Tim has worked for over twenty years in the engineering recruitment sector, both as In House retained recruiter and as director of Electronic Success, and Requaero, recruitment companies.
In this article Tim shares his experience and discusses ways an engineer can find a dream job which is within realistic reach.
I founded The Field Engineer community to create a place where engineers from across the world could support each other in their careers in field engineering. So, when someone asks me for help in finding a job, I welcome their question.
I have worked in recruitment for over 20 years, and I’m daily approached by people looking for a job in another country.
During my career, I have recruited engineers from every continent, except Antarctica, to come to work in Europe.
I have experience of being repeatedly asked similar questions, by people looking to find work outside their home country. So, I have written today’s article to answer those questions.
How to get your dream job
Our blog last November was about finding work in another country, so I am not going to repeat what we said there.
The focus here is on thinking about yourself as a product, and about yourself as a brand.
As a candidate, you are the product, and you are the brand.
So, be honest with yourself. Only apply for jobs you could realistically do with your current skillset, experience and with some additional learning.
If you are not learning something new, why change jobs? This is a question which you need to be able to answer.
Approaching your job hunt
The focus is on you, and how you approach your job hunt. There are good ways and bad ways of job hunting.
Some actions you take make you look a more attractive candidate. Other actions you take have an opposite effect and make you less attractive to employers.
Apply for the right job
Apply for jobs that are the next logical step in your career. Don’t apply for jobs you have no chance of being offered as this could ruin your reputation in a recruiting team. Keep in mind that you only have one chance to make a first impression.
Negative actions which may stop you getting your dream job
If you apply to a job in the USA, you have see posted, and the job post says:
candidates need eligibility to work in the USA,
need 5 years of experience in X, Y and Z,
and need a US driving license.
don’t have work eligibility for the USA,
have no experience of X, Y and Z,
and don’t have a US driving license.
The only thing you have done is to damage your credibility and damage your brand. If you apply to the same company again for a job you do not have the required work permit or hard skills for, you damage your brand even more. The more time-wasting applications you make, the more damaging it is to you.
Recruiters talk to each other; they will tell their colleagues about your unrealistic applications.
In addition by making pointless job applications you are disrespecting the recruiter’s time and the time of the HR department. Eventually, the recruiter may auto-delete any applications from you, as well as telling their colleagues to do the same thing.
Finding the right sort of help to find your dream job
Instead of saying:
“I need a job, can you help me find a job?”
Make it more specific and attractive:
“I have 4 years of work experience as a Medical Field Service Engineer. Now, I am keen to work in the UK. I have checked the work permit rules and I think I could be eligible to get a job. Could you give me some advice about how best to make an approach to the NHS and to private companies and hospitals?”
Positive Actions to get your Dream Job
Before you apply for a job in a company do your homework and find out as much as you can about the company and what it does.
Do you have any connections in that company? Even if your connections don’t work in the country you want to work in, they may know what the company’s policy is on hiring from overseas.
Ask around to see if there are any people who have done what you are hoping to achieve. Then, if you, can contact them and ask them how they did it.
You can also look at LinkedIn and see what locations a company hires from.
Be strategic, and tactical in the jobs you apply for. It can take months or even years until your plan comes to fruition. Be prepared to play the long game.
Don’t apply for every job, only apply for the right jobs.
Build your brand
Once you have done your research, make yourself visible and build your brand:
build your reputation as someone who is a giver;
build your reputation as someone who achieves.
For example, ask your colleagues and clients to give you recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you have good references and that they are up to date. All the references you use should be relevant to the type of role which is your dream job.
The Field Engineer blog has featured lots of engineers and gives engineers a place to showcase their abilities. You could contribute a blog, or write an article, or contribute in some way to make you a more interesting candidate.
In The Field Engineer community you could contribute your thoughts, and experiences.
If there is a skill that will make your application much stronger, but you need to gain an extra qualification, don’t apply until you are ready to make your best application. There will always be new jobs becoming available. The average time people spend in jobs is going down. You are unlikely to miss out on an opportunity by not applying. There will be similar jobs in the future when you are a stronger candidate.
My final thought is to ask yourself two things:
Firstly, are you sure this is what you want?
Secondly, could you reach your goals with your current employer?
You could also investigate whether your current employer offers opportunities to work in another country. It could be an interim step before you work in your target country.
Conclusion to how to get your dream job
Keep these five pieces of advice in mind.
Firstly, always be networking.
Secondly, no matter where you are working, there is an opportunity for you to work in your ideal job, if you work at it, and work with a strategy and a plan.
Thirdly, don’t damage your brand by wasting a company’s and its recruiters’ time.
Fourthly, think strategically, and keep developing your network, and your visibility.
Fifthly, teamwork and networking will help open doors that are currently closed to you.