To help you begin your search, we've compiled the following topics to help make sure that you are prepared to embark on your job hunt. Don't be overwhelmed by the amount of information provided; just take it step by step and soon you will be on your way to starting an exciting, new engineering job!
Writing a Resume
- Review our Resume Writing Tips before you update your own resume.
- For more assistance, sign up and attend an interactive Resume Writing Workshop led by one of our staff advisors.
- Tips for editing your MS Word resume:
Walk-in Resume Critiques
- Once you have updated your resume, bring it by our office for a walk-in critique.
- Our staff is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
- You do not need to make an appointment.
The instructions below are for current students of the University of Maryland. Alumni and former students requesting an official or unofficial transcript should use the forms at: http://www.registrar.umd.edu/former.
If you would like to send an official transcript to an employer, you may do so directly through Testudo. You will need to know the employer's address. Please note that the registrar charges a small fee for each official transcript issued.
To obtain your unofficial transcript for upload into Careers4Engineers or an employer's online system, follow these steps.
- Navigate to Testudo: http://www.testudo.umd.edu/.
- In the list of web services, you should see and click on Unofficial Transcript.
- Login using your directory ID or UID and directory password.
- Click the blue button in the upper right corner that says Print this Document.
- Print using system dialog, making sure to select Adobe PDF as your printer type.
- After clicking print, save the PDF File on your computer with the file name, lastname_transcript.
To upload the .pdf of your unofficial transcript into Careers4Engineers:
- Log in to Careers4Engineers. (Note: Your account must be active.)
- Under the Documents tab, click on Add New.
- Select Unofficial Transcript.
- Under Browse, find your unofficial transcript and select it.
- Finally, click Submit.
- Our staff is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm to help you review your cover letter. Please bring a copy of the job description in addition to the cover letter.
- You do not need to make an appointment.
Whether you are applying for graduate school or a summer research experience, you will probably have to write one or more essays, called a statement of purpose or personal statement. Our personal statement handout will help guide you through the personal statement writing process.
Personal Statement Handout
Searching for a job requires time and effort, but if you're willing to persevere, you can significantly increase your chances of getting a great offer. For information about job search resources beyond Careers4Engineers, as well as tips on networking and career fair preparation, take a look at the following tip sheets:
In addition to UMD's Careers4Engineers and Careers4Terps databases, expand your search by looking at external websites that can help you find internships, co-ops, or full-time positions. We've curated a list of external resources:
Networking is key to accessing the "hidden job market."
The term “hidden job market” refers to jobs that are not widely published on job boards or elsewhere. This is where the old adage "it's not what you know, it's who you know" comes into play. Your connections could help you by alerting you to upcoming vacancies that aren't yet posted publically.
Think of LinkedIn as the dynamic, interactive version of your resume, your professional social media account, and a database of your contacts and connections. This is where you convey your professional brand. Once you create an account, you'll want to personalize your LinkedIn URL by going under settings (think www.linkedin.com/in/SallySmith). You can add this link to your resume and your email signature.
You can upload images, files, and hyperlinks to your Linkedin profile in the experience and education sections. This feature allows you to illustrate your engineering skills through samples. Demonstrate your abilities instead of just writing about them. Check out the article below to learn how to add examples of your work to your profile.
Connect with Alumni & Others
Build your professional network through LinkedIn. To get the most out of the platform, you want to actively seek out and connect with alumni, classmates, professors, family, friends and colleagues. Instead of sending a generic request inviting a potential contact to be part of your LinkedIn network, take a moment to click directly on their profile, and personalize your message.
First impressions are important. Conservative, professional business attire is best. Avoid anything that will distract an employer from focusing on your qualifications, such as bright ties, strong cologne/perfume, or excessive jewelry. You can’t go wrong with a suit with comfortable dress shoes. If you don’t own a suit, consider wearing dress pants or skirt and a long sleeve shirt or blouse.
In order to impress the employers at your interview, you must prepare ahead of time! Here are some steps to follow in order to ensure a successful interview:
- Sign up for an Interview Tips Workshop If you can't attend the workshop, download our Interview Tips Handout for detailed tips and a sample thank you note.
- Before the interview, review the job description, research the company, and be ready to talk about your skills and what you have to offer.
- You can read about the interview process and employee reviews on Glassdoor after creating a free account using your .edu email.
- Practice answering common interview questions. Create an account on Interview Stream so you can record yourself in a mock video interview. (As of fall 2016, more and more companies are using similar platforms for screening interviews.)
- What to expect during a Case Interview (see page 8 of our Interview Handout).
- Have a technical interview for Python coming up? Search "coding interview" in LinkedIn Learning - it's free for UMD students.
- Prepare what you will wear and what you will bring. See our tips on how to dress professionally.
- On the day of the interview, arrive 10 -15 minutes early. Let your enthusiasm for the company and the position show. Don't forget to ask thoughtful questions of your interviewers.
- At the end of the interview, make sure you get the employer's business card so you can follow up with a thank you card or email.
What is a fair salary? How should you approach salary negotiation? Download the Evaluating Salary and Job Offers Handout for advice and resources.
Check out current information on UMD Undergraduate and Post-graduate Salaries.
Congratulations, you've received an offer of a job or internship!
Accepting an Offer
The hardest part of the job search might be over but you still need to make an important decision - so take some time to give it serious thought. Don't accept a job offer on the spot! Make sure you weigh your choices carefully and ensure that you are making the best possible choice for your career goals. If you have other offers pending that are higher on your priority list, contact those employers to let them know about your new offer and ask when they are planning to make their decision.
Remember, once you accept an offer, you are obligated to that position even if you get a better offer later. As always, you are more than welcome to stop by Engineering Career Services to talk through your options!
Accepted a position already? Whether it's a post-graduation job, an internship, or a co-op position, please let us know by filling out this short Job Update Form. And if you've been hired as a full-time co-op student, you must stop by our office (during the pandemic, you can access the co-op forms online and schedule a virtual appointment) to register for the 0-credit co-op class, ENCO 098 or 099!
Declining an Offer
If you choose to decline a job offer, do so tactfully and in writing. If you have developed a rapport/relationship with a recruiter, offer them the courtesy of a phone call. Keep in mind these tips when declining a job offer:
- Avoid saying anything negative in writing about the employer, even if you had a negative experience.
- If you choose to decline an offer because another offer is a better fit for your interests and goals, it is fine to state this, without giving details about why the declined offer is not the best fit. It is not necessary to state whose offer you accepted, but you may do so if you wish.
- Remember that this employer may be a contact for you in the future. Be professional and courteous.
Consequences of Reneging
When you accept an offer, you are obligated to that position even if you get a better offer later. Do not accept an offer unless and until you are sure of your commitment. Once you accept a position, you should withdraw yourself from other positions you are being considered for, and stop submitting new applications.
If an employer makes you an offer in August or September for a summer internship or full-time position, you may ask to have until the end of October to make your decision. If you receive an offer after September, you may ask to have 2-3 weeks to communicate your decision to the employer.
If you decide to renege on your commitment to accept a different offer, there will be consequences. Reneging damages not just your professional reputation, but that of the Clark School of Engineering. Your actions can jeopardize opportunities for other Clark School students. Your Careers4Engineers account will be blocked, and you will be barred from participating in campus recruiting activities until you meet with an Engineering Career Services advisor. You will be required to compose a sincere letter of apology, explaining your actions, which we will review and submit to the recruiter. Future recruiting privileges will be evaluated at that time.
Have you seen that the most interesting job postings ask for an advanced degree or specialization? Do you dream of being a lifelong learner? Do you enjoy conducting research? If so, then pursuing a graduate degree might be the path for you.
Graduate School Handout
Professional Licensure PE/FE
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is typically the first step in the process leading to the Professional Engineer (PE) license. State laws limit the practice of engineering to licensed professional engineers, which means that a P.E. is required for such things as:
- Stamping and sealing designs
- Bidding for government contracts
- Owning a firm
- Offering expert witness testimony
- Advertising services to the public
Engineers who do not perform the above functions can also benefit from holding a professional license. As a P.E., you are likely to reach managerial positions more quickly and earn a higher salary than your peers. See a video from NCEES about the importance of Professional Licensure.
The FE exam is offered in seven disciplines:
- FE Chemical
- FE Civil
- FE Electrical and Computer
- FE Environmental
- FE Industrial
- FE Mechanical
- FE Other Disciplines
The FE is a computer-based exam that is administered year-round in testing windows at NCEES-approved Pearson VUE test centers. The FE contains 110 multiple-choice questions. The exam appointment time is 6 hours long, which includes a nondisclosure agreement, tutorial (8 minutes), the exam (5 hours and 20 minutes), a scheduled break (25 minutes), and a brief survey.
Registration & Testing Center Locations
Register for the Exam
Testing Centers near College Park, MD:
- 1615 L Street NW, Suite 410, Washington, District of Columbia 20036
- 4350 East West Highway, Suite 525 Bethesda Towers, Bethesda, Maryland 20814
- 1900 North Beauregard Street, Suite 12, Alexandria, Virginia 22311
- 9891 Broken Land Parkway, Suite 108, Columbia, Maryland 21046
- 8391 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 201, Vienna, Virginia 22182
Register for Canvas Review Sessions
Register here to be included in the Canvas Site created to help students review for the FE Exam.