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How to Get an Engineering Job Using LinkedIn

How to Get an Engineering Job Using LinkedIn

The professional network can seem more cut out for MBAs than P.E.s, but following some simple rules can improve your chances for an interview.
Is LinkedIn really a viable tool for finding a job? Personal experience (and opinions) runs the gamut. On one hand, there are those who claim that every job they’ve had for the last six years have been found via the professional network with more than 830 million registered members. On the other, some people lament they can’t even look for a gig with the people randomly spamming in chat for opportunities in Bangladesh.
 
And the widely held observation that professionals going into marketing or finance will probably get more out of LinkedIn won’t exactly instill confidence in those looking for engineering jobs.
 
But engineers shouldn’t give up on LinkedIn. It is possible to find an engineering job there, and it can be quite easy if you leverage LinkedIn in the right way, according to Kristen Roper, owner and president of TRIAD Engineering Corp. in Lynnfield, Mass.
 
Roper has spent many years working with employers and candidates to fill positions across engineering disciplines. As an owner-operator of an engineering company, she has firsthand experience connecting engineering job-seekers with employers offering in-demand engineering positions.
 
She stresses that engineers and engineering job seekers in all stages of their career to remember that LinkedIn is a powerful professional network, with customizable tools designed to connect you with the audiences you seek. The more active a candidate is, and the more connections one makes, the easier it is for a recruiter to find and connect candidates with opportunities to which they may not otherwise have access.
 
To be considered for the opportunities presented by the three major LinkedIn audiences critical to finding you—professional staffing firm recruiters, potential employers and professional peers and industry groups—you must first be found. Investopedia’s article, Four Ways To Be Found On LinkedIn, is a great primer on creating a solid LinkedIn profile.
 
According to LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen, cofounder and Chief Visibility Officer of Vengreso, 98 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates and 85 percent of hiring managers look at applicants’ LinkedIn profiles. Those stats alone prove that having a profile (and keeping it updated) is crucial. Recruiters search for engineering professionals by using filters, Boolean searches (key words and “and/or/but” scenarios), or both.
 
Completing the key LinkedIn profile section in full earns users an All-Star status, a badge showing you’ve completed the seven key sections: Summary, Skills, Experience, Industry and Location, Education, and Connections. The badge makes it easier for recruiters to notice and review a profile. Achieving All-Star status also requires adhering to certain rules, such as limiting a headline to 120 characters or less. An example headline for an engineer could be: I’m a mechanical engineer and results-driven problem solver with 10 years developing cutting-edge medical devices.
 
In addition to achieving All-Star status on the profile, there are other key things to do that can help land an engineering job on LinkedIn:
 
  • Identify engineering companies you want to work with using things such as LinkedIn Jobs, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter.
  • Locate a company’s hiring manager using LinkedIn search.
  • If you can't find the hiring manager, find a decision-maker. A vice president, director, or regional manager will do. For smaller companies, go directly to the CEO or president.
  • Invite that person to connect using a personal message, such as “We have several mutual connections in the engineering industry. I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network.”
  • Once they connect, message them directly. Tell them you are interested in a position with their company and why you think you can be an asset. Ask them who you can send a resume to so it doesn’t get lost among other applicants. Most times they will point you to the person or ask you to send it to them and they’ll forward it along. Either one is a big win.
Not everyone will answer, so be professionally persistent and do this for every job you’re interested in.
 
Whether or not your profile comes up depends on the criteria for each of these searches. Therefore, it’s very important to pay particular attention to details such as Skill Words, Job Descriptions, Location, and Education/Dates.
 
Remember, LinkedIn is a starting point for employment discussions, and every profile, update and interaction is an opportunity to show your expertise and professional insight to nurture mutually-beneficial professional relationships. All of which can lead to career enhancement, mentoring opportunities, engineering job opportunities, and more.
 
Whether it’s engineering or astrophysicist, applying these tips are sure to at least elevate your profile above the competition. Whether that leads to a job offer is up to you.
 
Michael Beachum is a technology and business writer based in Dallas.
 

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