As an engineer, you may struggle with marketing yourself or even marketing your creations. We aren't known for our ability to communicate, and some of us may even have a disdain for the world of marketing.
However, learning how to properly market yourself as a technical professional is key to landing the right job. Let's explore some ways in which engineers can better market themselves.
1. Build a Portfolio
Whether you are a new engineer or one who has been in the business for a while, you can and should build a portfolio of your work. If you just got out of college, make sure you have all of your college projects listed and compiled. If you have been working for years, compile your most notable projects as well. In terms of publishing and getting this portfolio out there, you have a few options.
First, consider publishing all of these projects to your LinkedIn profile (which you should have). This will help employers better understand your experience. This can also be helpful if you are able to link your projects to other team members, furthering your discoverability.
Another option of what to do with your portfolio is to assemble it into a professional document to give to employers. While it may not make sense to attach to your resume, it is a great piece of documentation to have to impress your employer and give them talking points for the interview you will inevitably get.
2. Volunteer Your Expertise
In the modern technological age, getting your name out there is perhaps the best thing you can do. Nearly every one of the jobs that I've ever gotten as an engineer or in the technical fields has been through my work or through my public communications. Don't keep your experience and knowledge tied up to your employer, offer yourself up to publish blog posts or weigh in on news articles. You don't just have to be an expert to do this.
People all over the internet are looking for people who can communicate, and there's no reason you shouldn't be one of them. Just reach out through email or phone and volunteer your experience and see where it lands you. Getting your name published across the web will help employers find you and it will bolster your resume when people go searching for you.
You've heard it a million times, networking is the most important thing you can do for your professional career. But let's face it, we engineers do not like having to communicate with other people. Networking doesn't just mean going to lunch with coworkers, it can mean sending emails and checking in on past colleagues.
For most of us, we can maintain our networks purely through digital interactions. Sending emails to potential employers or past friends can open up a wealth of jobs. Not only this but when you send digital communications, you can spend time refining your words and making yourself look as professional as possible.
4. Custom Resume
The days of having a boring bulleted resume need to end. As engineers, we often don't extend too much creativity into creating a resume, but we need to. As employers and hiring managers sift through stacks of resumes, something needs to stand out on yours if you want to get noticed.
While having special experience can help, sometimes employers make their picks purely on visual first impression. Don't be afraid to add graphics and custom designs to your resume – in a professional manner of course. Structuring your resume as more of a promotional poster may help you catch the eye of an employer and help you land a job.
5. Face to Face Communication
Sending emails and applying to jobs online may be easy, but everyone does it. The modern-day hiring process is filled with algorithms and is almost completely digital. If you have somewhere you want to work, don't be afraid to follow up face to face. I would recommend submitting your resume through official means first, then showing up to your potential employer to put a face with a name.
This strategy will generally work better with smaller companies, but it can work for big companies as well. Just walk in the door, tell the receptionist who you are, what job you're interested in, and they may just hook you up with the person doing the hiring. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't get the job.