Posts tagged ‘LinkedIn’

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

10 Ways Social Networking Can Impact Your Business & Career As A Civil Engineering Professional

By Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc.
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC, home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

Remember when musings of the Internet was just a fad?  Remember when the compass and slide rule were irreplaceable?  Remember when the Post Office was relevant?   Well, as it turns out, the  Internet is here to stay; if you have a compass and slide rule you just might get your 15 minutes of fame on PBS’ Antiques Road Show; and I can’t recall the last time I paid bill or sent a hand written letter via snail mail. Compass That said, consider yourself forewarned in regards to the utilization of Social Networking sites LinkedIn (44M+ users), Facebook (250M+users) and Twitter (4.5M+ users), among others – don’t be a naysayer, or you will be left in the dust.  Chances are, if you are reading this, you are familiar with, and hopefully active on, one or more of these technologies.  The key is – how can you make sure your company stays relevant by using them effectively?

10 WAYS SOCIAL NETWORKING CAN IMPACT YOUR BUSINESS & CAREER AS A CIVIL ENGINEERING PROFESSIONAL

1. Recruiting Professionals – Did you see the user statistics in the above paragraph? And those are only the three most popular sites among hundreds.  And guess what?  I suspect there are likely hundreds of thousands of members of the civil engineering community  who utilize these tools and share information. They have put themselves “out there.”   By joining these networks yourself and “working the network,” you will find many outstanding professional candidates, both passive and active.  This topic of recruiting on social networks is quite a robust topic and information can easily be found online, in books or through various seminars.  There are plenty of experts in this area so invest a little bit of time and money to catch you and your firm up to speed.

2. Industry News – Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin all have users and user Twitter Logo Headergroups who will be of interest to you.  You will find that ENR, ASCE, Society of Hispanic Engineers, SMPS, etc all have active users and groups on these sites where news bites and press releases are shared regularly. Also, by connecting with other friends and colleagues within the industry you will often read status updates or tweets in regards to local infrastructure news.

3. Relationship Building – Learn what your colleagues, clients, and potential clients are doing; learn their interests; follow their tweets; make logical and profound comments in response to theirs.  You  can get a real sense of their personality, interests, etc that will certainly assist during face-to-face marketing efforts.

4. Marketing/Branding – Develop a Facebook Fan/Group page with blog entries, promotions, press releases, wins, job postings, awards, charity events, etc.;  tweet these same items; develop a compelling corporate profile on LinkedIn and make sure your employees do as well.

5. Recruiting College Students-This is a “no brainer”.  If you want to reach out to the next generation of civil engineers you need to have a strong corporate brand on Facebook and MySpace for sure.  Join the CivilEngineeringCentral.com Fan Page on Facebook!When visiting college campuses for recruiting trips have a couple laptops up and running at your table exhibiting these pages and invite them  to join your pages or groups on line.   Come prepared with business cards that provide the URL’s of your corporate social networking sites.  College students want to work for firms that understand and are avid  users of the web 2.0 technology that they utilize.  85% of college students are active on Facebook, 65% are active on MySpace.  Again, a “no brainer.”

6. Recruiting Boomerangs – How often have you had employees of your firm fly the coup, only to return because the grass was not greener on the other side?  By staying in touch with well respected ex-employees  by Linkedin Logoinviting them to join a group where they will be exposed to all the great news that is occurring with your firm, you are giving yourself a nice advantage above other firms when the time comes that he or she begins to look for a new job.  Firms like URS & Toll Brothers, among others, each have “Alumni” groups on Linkedin.

7. RFP’s – It’s only a matter of time before builders, agencies and architects will be tweeting RFP’s.

8. Professional Growth – By joining Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or by following specific associations or trainers or presenters on Twitter, you can remain well informed of all of the conferences, seminars, blogs, articles and publications being offered that you find relevant in your career.

9.

10. Ignorance is Bliss.  Do not fall into this trap.  These networks are no longer the wave of the future, they are a mainstay.  As a civil engineering professional, by not jumping on board you will become a relic – and this label is not something you or your firm will want to be labeled as as the demand for talent begins to hit the upswing.

As you can see, I intentionally left a blank space after #9 – what might you suggest to fill in that blank?


Bookmark and Share

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

August 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm 10 comments

Questions Of The Month – Final Tallies Revealed

By Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc.
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC, home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

Each month at CivilEngineeringCentral.com we have a Question of the Month.  This question is posted on our home page and is included in each issue of  “The LinkedIngineer” as well as our monthly e-newsletter which is sent out to nearly 10,000 members of the civil engineering community (If you would like to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter please click HERE…sorry, couldn’t pass up that free plug).   It’s been a while since we have posted the results, so in light of that (plus the fact that I have struggled to come up with anything else),  check out the results below.   If you see any surprising results in there or feel the urge to comment about any of the topics please feel free to do so.

MAY 2009

DID YOU SEE AN INCREASE IN PROJECTS IN YOUR COMPANY DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2009?

83.1%     No
16.9%     Yes

Just yesterday I was speaking with  a colleague of mine who commented on a report he had just watched on MSNBC. They were discussing the question “where did all the stimulus go?”   Most of it of course is going to construction; all those projects that we have come to love and know as…shovel ready. What seemed like a lot of money initially, when spread out over the entire United States, seems to be spread pretty thin.

APRIL 2009

HAS YOUR FIRM CUT IT’S BENEFITS PACKAGE AS A RESULT OF THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE?

67.6%     Yes
32.4%     No

It’s expensive out there folks.  Our health insurance has gone up 50% over the past four or five years…everyone is feeling the pinch here.

MARCH 2009

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT SEARCHING FOR A JOB?

42.9%     Networking
25.0%     Not Knowing Where To Start
17.9%     Updating My Resume
14.3%     Nailing The Interview

The way I see it, assuming you are a talented engineer, if you are able to effectively network throughout the course of your career, that, in-and-of-itself, takes care of the the remaining three obstacles.  You see, if you are a great networker, you easily know where to start, and because you have networked so well and know so many people very well, there is no need to update your resume because they have seen you in action and your stellar reputation precedes you.  Your noticeable performance within your industry over the course of your career has coincidentally been an ongoing interview.  All that being said, a hand shake over a cocktail, beer, sparkling water or other beverage of your choice should be all that is needed to nail down your next job.  A little tongue in cheek maybe, but there is some validity to my theory.

FEBRUARY 2009

HOW OFTEN DO YOU VOLUNTEER IN YOUR COMMUNITY?

50.0%     8 or more times per year
23.1%      Not at all
15.4%     1-3 times per year
11.5%     4-7 times per year

One half of our respondents give back to the community 8 or more time per year…that is AWESOME!

JANUARY 2009

HAVE YOU EVER MISLED OR EMBELLISHED EXPERIENCES ON YOUR RESUME?

77.8%     No
22.2%     Yes

One should always be truthful on their resume, that goes without saying.  But sometimes resumes can be misleading as different titles mean different things to different companies and different people.

DECEMBER 2008

WHAT CONCEPT WILL MAKE THE GREATEST IMPACT ON SOLVING OUR ENERGY CRISIS?

40.0%     Nuclear Energy
23.3%     Wind Energy
20.0%     Solar Energy
13.3%     Bio-Fuels
3.3%       U.S. Oil Digging
0.0%      Coal

I think our economy will need to stabilize and re-establish itself for a while before we begin to see any of these technologies really begin to flourish.

NOVEMBER 2008

DOES YOUR MANAGER ALLOW FOR YOU TO WORK A  4/40 OR 9/80 WORK WEEK?

65.5%     No
34.5%     Yes

I think the civil engineering industry,  prior to “The Great Recession,”  had actually come accustomed to the 6/60 work week – that is Monday-Saturday/60 hours week!

OCTOBER 2008

WHICH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WILL YOU VOTE FOR ON NOVEMBER 4th?

49.4%     Barack O’Bama
42.9%     John McCain
6.0%       Undecided
1.2%        Other
0.6%       Ralph Nader

Not bad, not bad.  The final results in total votes for the Presidential election in November was Obama 53% / McCain 46%. Our participants were nearly dead on here…sorry I can’t say the same for the Question of the Month which we ran in August 2008; see below!

SEPTEMBER 2008

WITH HIGH GAS PRICES, HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR COMMUTING HABITS BY OPTING FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?

73.5%     No
26.5%     Yes

This poll was posted at the time when gas prices were averaging $3.74/gallon.  We have come a long way over the years in mass transit, but you know what?  People love their cars and it would take a lot more  than higher gas prices for them to drop their keys and take to mass transit.

AUGUST 2008

WHEN DO YOU BELIEVE THE LAND DEVELOPMENT MARKET WILL BEGIN TO PICK UP?

30.6%     2nd Quarter of 2009
26.5%     2010 or Beyond
14.3%     3rd Quarter 2009
12.2%     4th Quarter 2008
10.2%     4th Quarter 2009
6.1%        1st Quarter 2009

As of today, just about 50% of our survey responders are wrong and there are another 26.5% who will likely end up on the wrong side of the fence as well by the end of this year.  Seems to be an ol’ case of “if I only knew then what I know now.”

I would like to thank you all for answering our Questions of the Month and look forward to your continued participation.

Got Comments? Got Questions? Got Insight? Got Speculation?  Got Inside Information?  Let us know, we would love to hear from you on any of the subjects of our recent polls.


Bookmark and Share

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

June 4, 2009 at 12:09 pm 1 comment

Social NOTworking

By Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC, home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

That’s right, Social NOTworking. This title has a double meaning, which I will get to in a minute.

If you have the internet in front of you, you cannot help but at the very least be aware of the social networking/web 2.0 phenomenon.  Here are some of the more prevalent social networking/web 2.0 sites that you may be a member of:

Linkedin, MySpace, Classmates.com, Facebook, ERE, Flickr, Meetup.com, Twitter, Second Life, Ning, Plaxo, Naymz, Xanga and FastPitch.  And trust me when I tell you, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Used properly in terms of your profession, these sites live up to the “Social Networking” category that they reside in. Used improperly in terms of your profession, they become what I like to call “Social NOTworking” sites.  Check it out:

A.  Are the social networking sites NOT working for you in meeting your professional networking goals?

OR

B.  Are the social networking sites bogging you down so much that you are NOT working?

If you answered “YES” to question A:

The first issue that you may want to address is actually question B.  Beyond that, what you need to realize is that these social networks are great tools (“tools” being the key word here).  The challenge is to utilize all your tools in your workbench, but some recruiters are SO reliant on these sites the same way so many recruiters are reliant solely on online resume databases that nothing much of measure is ever accomplished.  You would not build a swing set with just a Phillips head screwdriver, right?

As a recruiter or HR professional, or even as a hiring manager or staff level engineer always on the lookout for outstanding additions to your team, make sure you are looking on the RIGHT sites.  Chances are you are not going to find a civil engineering professionals hanging out on MySpace or running around on Second Life, but you may find those quality professionals on Linkedin or Facebook (Facebook is very similar to MySpace, but the presentation and the quality of content is much classier and desirable).  For civil engineering, stick with the pioneers in social networking like Facebook & Linkedin – they are conservative and professional and run parallel to the personalities that we associate with the civil engineering community.  Everyone else is trying to develop the next best social networking site, and each time they pull themselves further and further away from mainstream into areas that are unique, but not relevant to your professional audience. Though I am not a civil engineer, I am confident that civil engineers are not following each others’ every move on Twitter.

Finally, because these sites ARE all the rage, you cannot deny them.  Develop interesting and exciting company MySpace or FaceBook pages that reach out to the college crowd.  Have your employees blog or answer questions on the corresponding forums, throw up some pictures of completed projects or of your CEO knocking down a strike for the company bowling team, post jobs and publish press releases.  Show up to the college career fairs with a couple of laptops displaying your MySpace of Facebook page and impress the masses.  There is rarely a college student on campus who does not utilize one of these sites in their life.

If you answered “YES” to question B:

First and foremost, if you did answer “YES” to question B and you would like to respond in a defensive manner to this blog entry, make sure you come up with a nifty user name, you do not want your boss to know you are a “Social NOTworker.”

I suspect for a lot of people their day goes, or has gone, something like this:  Arrive at the office at 8:30 AM, fire up a hot cup of joe and crank on the computer.  Logon to your Linkedin account and check out the connection updates that occurred overnight, and then the status updates.  But hey, cool, you can expand that list to see ALL of those updates, not just the most recent half dozen. Checking out what your connections did overnight, you click on the people that they made connections with and see if you might know them.  If you do know them, then you make a request to connect, which leads to the frequent clicking of the “Send/Receive” button on your outlook toolbar all day.  Maybe you don’t know that person, but you used to work at the company they work for, or maybe your neighbor does, so you click on the company name to see what other people in your extended network may work for them in an effort to connect.  Going to the status updates you see all the completely irrelevant groups (with the exception of course to the Civil Engineering Central Group) that your connections joined, like the Google Group that is for those who use Google as their primary search engine (boy, what a way to really differentiate yourself); or The Open Networker Group which puts you in a group where everyone connects with everyone and you are not allowed to turn down an invitation or you will be booted out. You’ve requested to join all the groups that you want to join for the day and you anxiously await for the group moderator to approve your admittance into those groups. Along the way you have read and contributed to all the blogs that your connections run and  you finally look up and realize that it is now 10:30AM…not only do you need a refill on your coffee, but you realize that you forgot to logon to your Twitter account before you even came to work this morning so you could let everyone know how you were feeling at that moment, only then to let everyone know that you were eating a bowl of Golden Grahams for breakfast. Time for a break, you’ve been working hard, so take a 10 minute stroll around the office, refill the coffee mug, sit back down to check your email and you see that your ex-girlfriend, one of your old college professors and the guy 3 cubes down from you have all posted comments on your wall on your Facebook page.  Logon to Facebook, check out your wall, reply back onto their walls, accept invitations from old friends or colleagues who have tracked you down, email them, check out their photo albums, tag people in their photos that you know, and then spend the next 30 minutes using the Classmate Search and People You May Know tools to further expand your network on Facebook.  Take some worthless but fun quizzes, serve up a few electronic cocktails and join a few causes. Time for lunch. Take an hour away from the office, clear your head, have a nice lunch and return to the office refreshed and ready focus on work for the rest of the day.  Work your butt off all afternoon playing catch up on all that you missed during the morning. Your day is almost done, it’s nearly 7PM, you are ready to finally go home, and because you can’t really NOT do it, you send a tequila booze mail to your new friends that you made on Facebook today, and send one to yourself  in celebration of the fact that you just received an email indicating that your application to join the Overachievers Club, a private membership club on Linkedin for outstanding individuals.

Have you been a social NOTworker?

The fact is, social networking is here, it is relevant, and it can be utilized in so many different ways.  These networks can be a lot of fun, but when it comes to using them for professional purposes, I am in no way suggesting that you abandon  or ignore them, you will be left in the dust.  But learn how to effectively use the well known sites like Linkedin & Facebook to recruit for your firm or for your clients.  Be seen, enhance your visibility and credibility by being active in the forums and blogs that specifically relate to what you do, like the ones you find here at CivilEngineeringCentral.com , they are full of intelligent information that you can really use.  Just be smart about it!

Finally, here is a little 5 minute clip you might enjoy…so sit back, throw back a

compliments of Facebook, and enjoy:

July 16, 2008 at 8:35 pm 1 comment

Networking with Generation Next

Networking with Generation Next

By Matt Barcus

Moseying on up to a bar stool and talking shop with a potential client over a few drinks. Sharing the fairway at the local country club with a couple of high profile public sector clients to pick their brains as to who they might recommend as viable candidate for the VP slot that just came available in your firm. These always have been and always will be the best ways of networking at a high level with your Baby Boomer peers. As we all know, your Baby Boomer peers are retiring and people from a new generation are moving up. My question is, how current are your networking skills to the younger generation of engineers? How can you equip your people to get in touch with this generation of students and junior engineering professionals who are internet savvy and using social networking websites like MySpace.com and Facebook.com? After a few years out in the real world they transition into more professional oriented networks liked LinkedIn.com. If this is all a foreign language to you, hit the books (or at least the websites) for Social Networking Websites 101.

Assuming that you have at least a vague understanding of what I am talking about, do you know that on both MySpace.com and Facebook.com you can find different groups like ASCE, and ASCE student sections? Did you know that schools like Syracuse University and Virginia Tech have their own MySpace page specifically for their Schools of Architecture? A company website is great, but you need to expand your exposure to the tech savvy potential hires of today. It is easy to develop a MySpace.com or Facebook.com page that you can promote within the trade associations mentioned above, and many others as well. You can even start your own group (what a great way to generate loyalty and name recognition!). Post jobs, announce big project wins, discuss market conditions, highlight current projects and update it once a month. When your firm attends University career fairs make sure you have a couple laptops at your table where students can see that you are current and that you understand their generation, they will be impressed as you flash them your MySpace.com page.

LinkedIn.com is the professional version of MySpace.com and Facebook.com, and a natural transition for regular users of those sites. People love to see their accomplishments and bios on the internet. Explore different groups or start your own. Search for potential candidates by plugging in your competitors’ names or keyword phrases like “civil engineering” or “environmental planner” and see the results. In future articles, I will discuss what you need to do with that information you gather and how you may approach the people you “meet” through online social networking.

Matt Barcus is President of Precision Executive Search, Inc., a Pottstown, PA-based executive search firm specializing in the civil engineering community. Matt is also Managing Partner of CivilEngineeringCentral.com. He may be reached at 610.705.4942 or mbarcus@precision-recruiters.com.

January 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

What’s Tweetin’…

Archives

Feeds


%d bloggers like this: