On February 9th, Joseph M. Heaney III, P.E., Principal of Walden Environmental Engineering, PLLC, spoke to aspiring engineers at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, NY. Mr. Heaney is the Co-chair of the Board of Advisors to Hofstra’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). He spent the afternoon with students sharing his experience and recommendations on navigating the job search process. If you are looking for future career opportunities, consider the following key points as you pursue employment:
Networking is the key to getting your foot in the door and getting your resume in front of the right person. In order to network, utilize available contacts and look for connections through them. Also look through alumni directories for someone who graduated from your school that may be associated with a firm of your interest. Next, you should call or reach out to them directly and ask for their guidance. Let them know you are an aspiring engineer and are looking for advice regarding your career. A word of advice – make sure you don’t directly ask for a job!
Other ways to properly network are building your LinkedIn Network, attending a local professional meeting, and following up with people you have met!
“Hi Mr. Heaney, I spoke to you on the phone the other day….”
Or they can be sent with mention of a mutual acquaintance:
“I am a mutual friend of Mr. Heaney’s and he advised me to reach out to you”
Sending a resume this way can serve as an ice breaker and gives you instant credibility. Sending your resume to someone is already familiar with you will set you apart from dozens of other applicants, and you are more likely to receive a response.
Another clever way to send a resume, is to drop it off in person. If someone can relate a face to the resume, it is far more likely they will give you a response. You want to find a way to differentiate yourself.
Many career centers are advising students to send a resume with “To Whom It May Concern” to address the recipient. This method does not give you an advantage over anyone else. A future employer wants to see you did research on their company and that you have a contact within the company; it boosts your chances of getting an interview. You want to set yourself a part from all other candidates, and any details you present that you know, or who you know will help get you noticed.
Be persistent. If you speak to someone and send out a resume, follow up if you have not heard an answer. Most of the time “no answer” does not mean not interested, but could mean that work became busy and they haven’t had a chance to get back to you. You want to keep your name remembered, so check back in and see if they have taken a look, request an opportunity to come in to meet and learn more about the company, but avoid directly asking for a job interview.
Looking for job opportunities can be a stressful time. It is important to make connections and to be personable. Evaluate and learn from all of your experiences.
Walden has been a part of the co-op program at Hofstra University since the very first cohort in 2015. Walden also takes part in providing internships and externships to aspiring engineers and environmental scientists. Contact us at (516) 624-7200, (518) 698-3012, or (845) 745-0888 and check out our careers page for more career advice.