Posts tagged ‘civil engineering job search’

What to Expect as a Candidate from your Recruiter – Part 1 in the “Honesty” Series

An experienced recruiter can be many things to a candidate they are working with:  career counselor, resume writer,  sounding board, confidant, negotiator, interview coordinator, interview coach,  and sometimes even friend.  One thing you should always expect from a recruiter as a candidate is honesty.  Here is how honesty presents itself through the recruiting process and what you should expect from the search consultant you are working with:

 

The initial call. When you are contacted for the first time by a recruiter you should know how the recruiter got your name.  Was it through LinkedIn or some other avenue the recruiter was researching on the internet, or was it via a referral from a previous supervisor, a client, a past subordinate, or maybe even someone in the peripheral on whom you made a positive impact.  This is important to know, because if the recruiter does uncover a great opportunity for you, you will want to reach out and thank that referring source.

 

Resume critique. Poorly written resumes are often brushed aside and given little, if no consideration. If someone’s resume is not up to par, I let them know, and we work on reformatting it together.  It is important that your recruiter share with you his/her thoughts, both good and bad, so that a properly formatted and laid out resume is developed prior to formal submission to any company.  I’ve seen my fair share of poorly written resumes, in fact I just concluded brushing one up with one of my current candidates.  The resume shipped over to my client in its original form may have not made the greatest first impression.  Your recruiter should understand that you are a professional engineer, not a professional resume writer, so if it is something that you have not done often it can indeed be a challenge.   A recruiter looks at resumes all day along, so they should be able to offer some solid tips.

Where your resume is going. Never allow a recruiter to haphazardly submit your resume to firms without your prior permission.  Having a recruiter “spam” your resume to dozens of companies is perceived as an act of desperation and absolutely jeopardizes your confidentiality.  You should be selective in who your resume is submitted to, and an honest recruiter will ALWAYS inform you as to where they would like to submit your resume and request your specific permission.

Qualifications / interview feedback. Submitting your resume and/or interviewing on your own without the guidance of a professional recruiter can be frustrating.  Receiving any feedback in response to a resume submission or an interview can be challenging, and for many people that is an understatement.  A good recruiter will provide feedback from the client.  Positive feedback is positive feedback; it is easy to understand and easy to communicate back to the candidate.  Often times, when a resume is not well received, or the feedback from the client in regards to the interview is less than stellar, the feedback can be a hard pill to swallow.  A good recruiter will be honest with you in providing feedback, no matter how negative; they should NOT beat around the bush or sugar coat things.  Discussing the negative feedback will provide value to you as a candidate and will help you better prepare for the next interview that arises.

Nothing available.  After speaking with a recruiter,  if they have nothing available, they should TELL YOU THAT.  This will allow you to move forward with other avenues and will keep you from being hung out to dry. So often candidates submit their resume to a recruiter, have an initial conversation, but then never hear anything back.  I can’t tell you how many times I have worked with a candidate who has told me they submitted their resume to another recruiter who said they had an opportunity for them, but never heard back from them again.

Negotiations. An honest recruiter should be able to have a frank conversation with you when it comes to negotiating an offer.  They are certainly looking out for your best interest and formulating an offer that you will be excited about, but they are working on behalf of their client, and if they feel as though your demands will “upset the apple cart” they should let you know ahead of time, because once the apple cart is upset it is very difficult to get it back on its wheels.  A recruiter should let you know what requests are feasible, what current market conditions are, what others in similar roles are making, and they should have a good feel for their client as to what will and will not fly.  From time-to-time I have worked with candidates who demand the moon when we arrive to the offer stage.  A good and honest recruiter will be able inform the candidate that their expectations may be a little rigid, and if they really want the job they will have to back down a little bit.  The goal of a recruiter is to hammer out a deal that will be a win/win for all involved.

I have seen many civil engineering recruiters come-and-go over my eighteen-and-a-half years in this business, many of them are no longer in business because they failed to be honest.  When working with an experienced recruiter, make sure you feel comfortable working with them, and set expectations up front that revolve around some of the points I mentioned above.

 

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Matt Barcus
President :: Precision Executive Search, Inc.
Managing Partner :: CivilEngineeringCentral.com

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December 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm 1 comment

Choosing Between Civil Engineering Job Offers


By Carol A. Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com
  View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn

Spring has sprung and there appears to be a sense of energy within the civil engineering job market. As a civil engineering recruiter, my phone is ringing from companies looking to hire, and from experienced civil engineers ready to make a job change. Fortunate candidates are finding themselves with multiple offers and career choices. The question is no longer “Should I leave my employer?” but rather “Which offer do I choose?”

Here are some suggestions to help guide you when choosing between job offers:

  • TRUST INSTINCTS

If you are a strong analytical thinker, you are more likely to focus on the facts. That comes next. First, how did you feel when you left each interview? Do you remember? Just because one job may appear better on paper, that doesn’t mean it is the best job for you. Consider other factors such as environment, future colleagues, personality of supervisor, company culture. What does your instinct tell you? In which job will you feel the most enjoyment? Did you meet any potential colleagues? Did they appear stressed or friendly? Did you feel a good chemistry or good “vibe” when you walked in the company door?

  • Think Analytically
Now go back to making traditional comparative lists. Detail the facts of the offers: company reputation, supervisor personality,  job description, title, salary, benefits, location, potential for advancement, work hours expected, billable hours expected, back log of work in the division/office/company, commute, travel, clients, potential ownership- just to name a few.  Then divide them into your pros and cons of each. What does your analysis tell you?
Finally, as discussed in previous blogs, making a job change is an emotional situation. It is easy to get caught up in the rush of excitement as well as the stress of receiving  job offers. Focusing on facts is important but do not underestimate or dismiss your instincts. Making the wrong choice is not the end of the world but taking steps to minimize that makes your life easier! Feel AND think before you make your final decision.


civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

April 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm 1 comment

The Cost Of Finding A Job In The A/E/P Industry

By Carol A. Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

This week I received a call from a candidate/ job seeker.  A senior manager in the A/E community, he told me about the increasing costs associated with his job search. He was asked by an engineering firm if he could drive 5 hours (one way), at his own expense, to their corporate office for an interview.  Prior to this request, he was contacted by an “employment consultant”.  That person wanted $5,500 – $9,500 to review his resume and discuss how he should proceed in his job search.  The consultant offered no guarantee that he would have a job after the consultation.

This job seeker also told me that the cost of finding a job has become expensive! Paying to attend professional association meetings to continue his networking, travel costs to firms who won’t contribute to offset costs and exam costs to obtain a new registration or to renew registrations are just a few expenses that tax someone without a weekly paycheck. The good news is that some of the expenses incurred in your job search are tax deductible.  Here is what I have found…but, please check with your tax consultant! Some of the costs that are tax-deductible include:

Employment and outplacement agency fees.

Resume services.

Printing and mailing costs of application/search letters.

Want-ad placement fees.

Telephone calls.

Travel expenses, including out-of-town job-hunting trips.

But you can’t automatically subtract your job-hunting costs from your income — just those that, when added to all your miscellaneous deductions, come to more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. And the expenses must be for a search within your current profession.  If you are looking in a new field, you are out of luck.

In trying to minimize your financial cost you can suggest to firms that you would be available to interview by teleconference.  Visit a local mailing center and for a minimal cost you can utilize their teleconferencing stations.  As for traveling at your own expense for an interview…ASK THE COMPANY FOR ASSISTANCE!  If they told you to travel at your own cost, then ask them to split it with you or ask if they can contribute in some manner.  You won’t know the answer until you try! Firms, like job seekers, are all feeling the financial pinch. But, many firms will step up if you make the request. Hopefully they too understand the strain on the job search.

To continue your face to face networking, you need to approach your professional associations about a reduction in event fees. As in the travel situation above, if you don’t ask for help so you can continue to attend functions, then you won’t know if changes can be offered. Some associations have funds that are specifically designed to help in these types of cost challenges for their members.

The emotional costs of finding a job is becoming a frequent discussion piece on many of the social media outlets. Besides lack of application follow-up from firms, many of those candidates that manage to interview and receive offers are finding limited relocation allowances and low salary offers. To attempt to place a number on the emotional costs of a job search would be out of my expertise. Treating your job search as a full time job when receiving limited positive feedback can be overwhelming and depressing. Be aware of the taxing nature and be kind to yourself.

What are you experiencing and what suggestions can you offer to others?  How are you tackling the process and making it through?

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civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

February 23, 2010 at 10:08 pm 11 comments


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