4 Reasons Why It Is So Hard To Get An Engineering Job?

hard to get an engineering job

So you might have been on the look for engineering jobs. You might be a new graduate or another engineer looking to change careers, but it seems that getting a job is a big challenge. You can find jobs everywhere, and you make your resume and cover letter and apply for those jobs, but you keep getting that same email that says, “Sorry, but your application is not successful” Where is the problem? Is it you, or is it something else? Believe it or not, there are 4 reasons why it is so damn hard to get a job in engineering those days, and it is not all your fault.

1- The Supply of jobs is lower than the demand

This first reason is not your fault. It is actually out of your control, sort of. There is just a high number of engineers, more than the available jobs in the market at any given time.

Why? The answer is simple; engineering has become an easy degree to do. Most universities have easy entry requirements to engineering and easy pass requirements, producing engineers faster than we can hire them. While there is a constant increase in job creation, it is not at the rate that covers the demand.

In fact, a recent study done in the US has shown that around 75% of graduate engineers will never work as engineers. The study has concluded two things. First, high supply of engineering graduates and a low supply of jobs and second fresh graduates lack the skills required to work as engineers. This article covers the entire study: Why Do Most Engineers End Up Joining Other Fields?

These are very scary statistics as it shows that we have a substantial decline in the quality of engineers. Engineering is a career where engineers solve complex problems and find solutions where it can potentially create more jobs. But in the last few decades, we have been seeing the opposite effect where people go into engineering to get a secured job, which makes talent a commodity in engineering.

2- Your job application is too weak

Let’s face it. Gone are the days where you can write one resume and one cover letter and submit those to 30 jobs in one day and get 10 calls for interviews, which is a 33% return. The low number of quality engineers meant that recruiters had to level up their filtering process to find the best candidates for the job.

Thanks to job search websites such as Indeed and LinkedIn, applicants are more exposed, and your presence on LinkedIn, for example, does matter these days. How you format your cover letter and resume and what you write in them became very critical to recruiters. On average, recruiters spend about 5-10 seconds reviewing a resume. If you haven’t written your resume and cover letter the way it is supposed to be, your application will be left out.

You can spam your application to 100 jobs in a month; there is no guarantee that you will get a call back for any. It is no longer a numbers game in the engineering job search. It is very much a quality plus numbers game now.

So what is the solution? You need to write a specific resume and a cover letter tailored to the job you are applying for. This is the only way these days where you can play this game. Companies genuinely want to hire talent, and your application will be neglected if it has the same fluff as the other 10,000 applicants.

Now, if you have been doing things the wrong way and have no idea how to make a strong application, you should check our guide on how to write a resume and cover letter for your dream job: How To Get an Engineering Job? 6 Actionable Steps To Follow.

3- You are not using keywords in your resume

Using keywords means you write your resume to be more AI-friendly. Yes, artificial intelligence has become very sophisticated in this space.

A pop quiz for you, if Microsoft put a job ad for a software engineer, how many do you think will apply for this job? Probably nothing less than 200,000 engineers. How would you filter those to the best 10 candidates for an interview? Simple, you use AI to filter those applications to the best 50 applications by ranking those resumes using keywords. Then a recruiter will pick the best 10 for an interview. Your resume will not reach the top 50 because you did not use keywords.

How to write your resume using keywords: well, you look at the job ad and find all the attributes and the skills they look for in the engineer, and you put those keywords in your resume. You definitely should not over exaggerate your skills, but you should think of making changes to your resume based on the job ad every time you apply for a job.

AI has become so mature that it even looks for your university GPA in your resume and ranks it against its minimum requirements (Who said that marks in engineering do not matter, they do very much) Or if the job requires a proficient level in Excel, the AI will look for the word Excel in the resume.

4- Not showing the confidence required in the interview

Yes, interviews are scary and might even be terrifying if you are interviewing for your dream job. But more than often, fear is what makes us lose. You might be well prepared, and you might even be the most qualified person for the job, but the interviewer did not see enough confidence to give you the job.

This is a tough one to swallow. Interviews are hard to come by; when they come, you fail because you did not answer one question correctly. Interviewers will be very critical and will most likely look for the slightest mistake to pick the other person over you.

So what to do? Practice for the interview. Practice the common engineering interview questions and find the best way to answer them. Show confidence and assertiveness by selling yourself. If you have not worked in sales before and feel that you lack the ability to sell yourself, this might be a good time to take a course in sales.

For further help, you can use three of our best free resources to practice for interviews:

Finally, do not give up. Good luck!

Joseph Maloyan

Hi, this is Joseph, and I love writing about engineering and technology. Here I share my knowledge and experience on what it means to be an engineer. My goal is to make engineering relatable, understandable and fun!

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