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!

TOP 7 CAREER TIPS FOR NEW STUDENTS TOP 7 CAREER TIPS FOR NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

You will need to write a resume to provide to employers at a career fair, or to submit as part of an application for an internship, job, graduate school or scholarship. A resume is a brief summary of your education, work experience, and activities. It should focus on those aspects of your education and experience most relevant to your current career objective.

Writing a 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.


Official Transcripts

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.

 

Unofficial Transcripts

To obtain your unofficial transcript for upload into Careers4Engineers or an employer's online system, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to Testudo:  http://www.testudo.umd.edu/.
  2. In the list of web services, you should see and click on Unofficial Transcript.
  3. Login using your directory ID or UID and directory password.
  4. Click the blue button in the upper right corner that says Print this Document.
  5. Print using system dialog, making sure to select Adobe PDF as your printer type.
  6. 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:

  1. Log in to Careers4Engineers. (Note: Your account must be active.)
  2. Under the Documents tab, click on Add New.
  3. Select Unofficial Transcript.
  4. Under Browse, find your unofficial transcript and select it.
  5. Finally, click Submit.

 

The key to writing an effective cover letter is to tailor each letter to each individual job description. Your goal is to prove that your qualifications match the employer's requirements for the position. Try to use key phrases from the job description in your cover letter. The ideal cover letter is around half a page long (no longer than one page) and written in professional business letter format.

  • For more information and sample cover letters, check out our Cover Letter Guide.
  • 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

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.
  • 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.

Congratulations, you've received an offer of a job or internship! 

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 to register for the 0-credit co-op class, ENCO 098 or 099!

See the Evaluating Salary and Job Offers Handout for advice

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
  • Consulting
  • 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.


Graduate School

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


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