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How Engineers Find Jobs in San Francisco

The engineering job market is competitive in San Francisco but with the right strategy, you increase your chances of landing the job you are after.

How Engineers Find Jobs in San Francisco
Finding an engineering job in San Francisco Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

When it comes to finding some of the highest-paid job markets and jobs, San Francisco and the Bay area often come to mind. That's because San Francisco draws a considerable amount of STEM jobs each year. But the prevalence of high-paying jobs can also mean more competition for those jobs and engineering roles are not exempt from this level of competition. In fact, the landscape for engineering jobs in San Francisco is quite competitive.

That's why it's important to know how to find engineering jobs in San Francisco. And when you want to find a job as an engineer in San Francisco, it's critical to use different methods and not limit yourself to one. Here are some effective tips for getting it done:

Which type of engineering has the most jobs in San Francisco?

Understanding how to find engineering jobs in San Francisco calls for knowing the type of engineering roles prevalent in the area. San Francisco draws hundreds of thousands of engineers to its job market each year. But some engineering roles top others, including software engineering roles, mechanical engineers, and civil engineers.

Data from the United States Department Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights that computer and mechanical roles including software developers made up more than double the total jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area (6.1%) than it did in the United States (3.0%) as of May 2018. But when it comes to which engineering roles are the most common in the Bay Area, software engineers take the cake. However, an engineering role doesn't have to be limited to one job title. So, it's worth searching for the different tasks you can complete and discover the titles used in the industry, such as "mechanical engineer I" or "junior mechanical engineer" for a mechanical engineering role.

Treat your engineering job hunt like a job

Finding the engineering job of your dreams in San Francisco usually requires a long-term commitment. But if you can't find engineering jobs in the Bay area, it just may mean you're not doing it the right way, or perhaps you following the right steps but aren't treating your engineering job search like a job.

That calls for scheduling out time in your day to only focus on your engineering job search. Whether that means four hours a day after taking your software engineering boot camp class or forty minutes after your day job as a mechanical engineer, it's essential to put in the time you need so that you are making progress in your engineering job hunt.

Some people are also learning more about getting up at 5 AM to further enhance their chances of getting picked for engineering jobs in San Francisco - Hiring managers and recruiters like to see those candidates who wake up early to invest in themselves! Don't ignore this as it can be a high differentiating factor in your engineering job search.

Market yourself as an engineer in San Francisco

If you can't find engineering jobs in San Francisco, then it may mean you're not marketing yourself effectively. Start by developing a personal brand and using LinkedIn to help market yourself better. For instance, you can write articles on LinkedIn about your current role as a mechanical engineer or what you learned from working with various clients as a freelance software engineer.

Share your content with your audience and engage with them by commenting on the comments they leave and answering questions they may have. It's also worth answering every question as this helps to increase engagement and get the conversation going.

Think outside the box

Even after leveraging your network or marketing yourself and developing your personal brand, you may still find yourself looking for an engineering job in San Francisco. But if you can't find an engineering job in the Bay Area after all your efforts, it doesn't mean you're out of luck. Rather, it may mean you need to re-think your methods for finding your desired engineering role in San Francisco. Knowing where to find engineering jobs sometimes requires a fresh, thinking-outside-of-the-box perspective.

That may include heading to those startup meet-ups, speaking up during the question-and-answer sessions, or maybe volunteering with non-profit organizations like Hacking the Hood to learn skills that'll help you develop your network and diversify your skill set. It may also mean going to a few after-parties or happy hours following a tech conference to mingle with the right people. It may also mean searching for Tweets about job openings after learning about a new platform you want to use for a side engineering project.

In fact, that's what software engineer Luna Yu did to transition into a software engineering role at a San Francisco startup. Yu bumped into the co-founder of a tech startup at an after-party and got the courage to reach out after reading about the company online via Twitter. This led to meeting other important stakeholders in the company and eventually a new position as a software engineer.

Leverage the power of your network

The saying that "your network is your net worth" holds true when hunting for your next engineering role in San Francisco. But if you can't find engineering jobs based on your network, then it's time to rethink how you're networking. Start by focusing on building relationships to establish and maintain a strong network rather than just "selling yourself." Tap into your alumni network. Some schools are worth the effort or require little effort due to their vast network, such as Stanford University. But it's still worth asking to have a cup of coffee with an established colleague or someone who can help you get your foot in the door.

Final Thoughts

San Francisco's competitive job market may make finding an engineering role challenging. But when you learn the important idiosyncrasies on how to find the right engineering jobs in San Francisco, you can have the upper hand among other candidates applying for the same roles. From marketing yourself by building your personal brand to leveraging your network, you can take effective steps that will help you find your preferred engineering role in San Francisco.

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Nader Mowlaee is an Electronics Engineer, working as an Engineering Career Coach and Technical Recruiter since 2012. Nader is inspired by motivating confidence in engineers and helping job seekers take calculated actions to move towards their career goals. Nader’s mission is to enable engineers to break away from their fears and create the ideal career they want. He helps engineers strengthen their Communication, Personal Branding, and Networking skills, resulting in job interviews and job offers fast. You can contact Nader on LinkedIn.