Looking for a new job is always daunting. Since you
graduated and have a couple of years experience I would suggest the
- Sign up with the TAMU Career Center
services at http://careercenter.tamu.edu/. They have
assistance available for both current and
- Send me your name and email address
(Lowery@tamu.edu) using the subject
line "Add to jobs list server" and I will add you to
our list server so you will get copies of any job offers
that come to our attention. The only problem with this is that
when you get a job and want to stop the emails you have to again send me
your email address to take you off.
- If you like, email me back and I will send you copies of past job
email offers sent out to
our students. I have no idea if they are located in your city or if they are
in your field, so you would
have to dig through them and see. I will probably just forward the last
6 months to you. If you reply to any of them, just say something like
"Dr. Lowery at TAMU recently sent me an email regarding
possible openings with your company. I realize that it is rather old, but
he thought that since I was looking for such a position I should check to
see if it might
still be open."
- I will be glad to put you on
under "Earlier Graduates Wishing to Relocate". Since you probably
have a computer account through A&M, you will have to put your resume on
a free site somewhere. See
http://lowery.tamu.edu/placement/CivilgradsListing.htm for instructions
on this. Please be sure to tell
me when you get a job and want to be taken off of Civilgrads so it won't sit out there long
after you are again working.
- Go to
and read everything in sight.
- Go ahead and file your resume with a bunch of the head hunters.
They have your best interest at heart, since they don't get paid unless they get
you a job. Normally you don't have to pay for these. Their fees are paid by the employer. An exception
is someone whose sole purpose is to send your resume
to recruiters, such as
They seem cheap enough, although I haven't heard of anyone who has used them
so I don't know how effective they are. Their Better Business Bureau record
Update - They are still in business after 12 years, which is pretty good.
2nd Update: Now they have an F rating, because they say they are BBB rated,
but aren't. However, they have no complaints lodged against them for
the past 3 years. Who knows?
- Go to
civil engineer in the category, your
state, and the city you want. In Houston you will find 468 Civil Engineers
and 69 in land development and planning. Write a really nice generic letter (not
a resume) stating that you recently graduated from Texas A&M, and after
working for the past two years are now looking for other employment. You
have been educated in a wide range of civil engineering areas including etc. etc.
etc., and feel competent to take responsible charge of practical engineering
assignments. "Although I have only two years of engineering experience other than that
gained in my engineering classes and practical labs, I have learned to work
hard, carefully follow instructions, and accomplish goals with a minimum of
supervision. If offered a position with your company I can assure you that I
will make every effort to quickly become productive. I appreciate your consideration."
Something like that, but add more personal and specific information. Add your
photograph and list of references to your resume so the employer can call or email them
immediately. Do not put "available on request". After you send the letter/resume to about 100 or so companies, move
on to Arkansas. Be careful not to hit the same company twice. Put your telephone
number and email address on the letter. Put your parents telephone number on it,
so someone will always be available to answer the phone while you're out looking.
Email me a copy of the final letter/resume to critique.
- Get a local telephone book and send the same information
to anyone not listed above.
- Go to the library and get a telephone book for the city in which you wish
to work, and send your information to those engineering firms.
- When you find a company who looks good and is
willing to talk with you, write a letter of recommendation as
and I will be happy to send
it to them. Or if you need a letter of recommendation to go with
your resumes for all the firms, I will just address it to whom it may concern
and send it to you. Please realize that a lot of people take
me up on this offer, so I will be unable to do any clean-up on it.
Making it respectable will have to be your job. It should certainly be
heavy on what you have learned during your last 2 years of employment and
how you are able to accomplish things that they need done.
- One other suggestion - go to the City Engineering
Department and ask them what is being
built in the city. Then ask them to look at the plans. Find out where
companies of interest to you
are working, then go to the job
site and look around. Walk around on the site and get chased off. Tell
whoever chases you off "Sorry, you are just doing some neat stuff here
and I am really interested in this type of
work." Tell them who you are and introduce yourself. Then go to the company and
talk with someone about a job. Tell them "Joe" chased you off the job site
when you were looking around. That shows interest in their work.
- As an aside, I used to hate
FaceBook and LinkedIn and nonsense like that. However, I am being told
more and more that they can be very useful in networking and finding a job.
LinkedIn seems to be used more for networking, and they check Facebook to
see if you are a drunk. I guess you should consider joining them, but
for heaven's sake, if you are already out there, clean them up. The
days of pictures on the beach drinking beer are certainly behind us.
Nothing but pictures of you swinging an ax on grandpa's ranch or working on
a computer or volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or the Food Bank is
acceptable. If you are between jobs, I would highly recommend that
along with interviewing you volunteer for such things and put them on your
Let's start there. Email me again when you have finished. This assignment is no different than all the
others you have successfully completed. At first the assignment seemed daunting and you
were totally lost. Then you thought about it, tried working on it a little, and
realized it's just one more rotten thing that has to be done to move your career
forward. Then you beat it into submission, and successfully completed it. That's
what you're doing again. The average worker in the US changes jobs 8 times in
their career. Fortunately, as an engineer your average will be far less. Nevertheless, like all your other assignments, this one is important and will
require both time and effort.
The days of employers knocking down our doors to get at new graduates may
well be behind us. Now we knock theirs down instead. I assure you that
there is at least one company out there today who needs a really good engineer. I
can also assure that company that there is one top engineering graduate looking for work.
They just need to find each other.
Keep me posted.
More notes to another student:
I got your resume and it looks fine. Minor suggestions are noted
on the attached. Add a photograph and post it on a web site and on
http://civilgrads.tamu.edu. We donít link to our jobs list because within a
month the employers get more responses from non-aggies than from us, and
complain. Email me at Lowery@tamu.edu
with your name and date of graduation and I will send you the address.
Are you on
http://civilgrads.tamu.edu? If not see
As you know, your Facebook was actually quite clean, but all
employers go through those with a white glove for any hints at all about you.
The slightest thing can have them move on to the next candidate. Go
through any and every social media site you have ever used and scrub them.
If you have friends listed and they have pictures of you in a speedo with your
bikini-clad wife, get rid of it. Find out how to make your site and
acquaintances inaccessable to any and all but close friends if at all possible.
You are always welcome to come up and talk with us at any time,
but you seem to be doing all the right things. Send me a few copies of any
cover letters you have written.
Who have you interviewed with that didnít hire you? Do you have
an email address for them? Perhaps I can contact them and ask if they truly
just arenít hiring. How did what they do align with your strong points here?
I.e. were they environmental but you were structural?
https://ceprofs.civil.tamu.edu/llowery/recommend/index.htm if you want me to
write you a letter of recommendation. I still have several students
frantically looking after over a year, but most are finally getting jobs. As I
said, thing are truly brutal right now. If the government really cuts 10%
across the board, you and I will both be looking for work.
Email me back with the above information and again in a month to
let me know how you are doing.