Advice from the Insider: Landing Your Dream Engineering Job

Advice from the Insider: Landing Your Dream Engineering Job

This blog post originated from a presentation originally given by Alyssa Pohahau at Barnard College.

This blog post originated from a presentation originally given by Alyssa Pohahau at Barnard College.

When it comes to scoring a full-time position as an engineer, it’s no secret that competition is fierce. That said, if joining an innovative, cutting-edge community of sharp minds strikes your fancy, a bit of prep and determination will serve you well on the road to snagging your dream role.

At Square, we believe in the art of simplicity. This guide will break down the seemingly daunting job hunt process in just four simple steps. Intrigued? Let’s get started.

  1. Know Your Timeline

Depending on the role you’re seeking, application timelines will vary, so first things first: familiarize yourself with the key dates and plan ahead. Give yourself plenty of lead time to prep all pertinent materials in a timely manner.

Below, you’ll find a sample Engineering application timeline. The specific year isn’t important; what matters is that for Engineering positions slated to begin in the summer (e.g. summer 2017), your application process should begin one year full prior (e.g. summer of 2016).

2. Curate

Once you’ve identified the timeline that best fits your job search, you’re ready to get down to business and curate your professional presence. It’s time to tailor your resume, cover letter and online presence to fit the kind of roles and companies you’re seeking.

A few quick tips:

  • Sharpen your resume: Include class projects, links to an online portfolio or website, leadership roles, and internships.

  • Online presence is key: Envision LinkedIn and GitHub pages as a chance to expand upon — not simply repeat — the skills, projects and accomplishments listed on your resume.

  • Practice makes perfect: As you polish your on-paper and online presence, don’t neglect interview prep and studying.

3. Explore

Next up: explore and discover companies that you’d like to work for.

4. Decide

Armed with the knowledge gained during step three, it’s time to make an informed decision by weighing the various options at hand and ranking what matters most.

There are multiple important factors worth considering. Take time to prioritize and assess where you’re willing to compromise on things like:

  • Location

  • Size

  • Mentorship

  • Internal groups

  • Impact

  • Mission

  • People

  • Full time employees will also want to consider:

  • Compensation

  • Benefits

If possible, contact someone at the company, whether it is a friend, acquaintance or collegiate alum, to let them know you’re applying for a role there. Most companies have internal submission processes where existing employees can recommend candidates for a role. Reach out via email, Twitter, or LinkedIn, tell them you’re on the job hunt, and ask if you can keep in touch if/as the interview process progresses.

Now, shake off that application anxiety and dive in headfirst. Statistics show that on average, men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, while women wait to apply for a job where they meet 100% of the qualifications. There’s absolutely nothing to lose by trying.

You’ve perused, planned, polished, and prepped. Go forth and APPLY.

And did we mention we’re hiring?