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.  And remember to make sure that your Careers4Engineers account is up to date!

Career Tips for You

Resumes, Cover Letters, and Personal Statements

Writing an Effective Resume


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


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.


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 trick to writing a good cover letter is to tailor it 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 in a copy of the job description in addition to the cover letter.

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 of personal statement. This essay is different from the one you wrote to apply to college as an undergraduate.

Our personal statement guide will help you write an effective personal statement or statement of purpose.

Networking, Career Fairs, and Job Search Strategies

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:

Whether you need a suit, or just some socks or accessories, there are plenty of shopping options in the College Park area. See below for stores to consider based on your budget. Our guide to professional clothes on a budget guide will help you find clothing.

Interviewing and Job Offers

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 Techniques Workshop  If you can't attend the workshop, download our Effective Interviewing 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.)
  • Prepare what you will wear and what you will bring. See our tips on how to  dress professionally[pdf].
  • 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.

Consulting firms tend to focus on four types of interviews:

1. Screening: A short 30 minute interview to determine if the candidate has the qualifications for the job.

2. Behavioral: Interviewers will ask how the candidate responded or acted in past experiences. Many companies focus on the candidate’s ability to communicate that information in a clear manner.

3. Technical: Questions focus on the specialized skills related to the position.

4. Case studies: Case studies are descriptions of real or hypothetical business problems. Candidates are expected to understand, analyze, and recommend solutions to these problems. Consulting or business-oriented companies may require a case interview. A case study mirrors the work that consultants do day-to-day – this is usually the most critical part of the interview for consulting companies! Download our Case Study Interview Guide to learn more about how to tackle this type of interview.

For more details in preparing for the first three types of interviews, check out the interview tips handout: http://www.careerengr.umd.edu/students/interviews

What is a fair salary? How should you approach salary negotiation? Download the Evaluating Salary and Job Offers Handout for advice and resources.

Congratulations, you've received an offer of a job or internship! Learn more about what to do next, here.
 

Certifications and Further Education

About

Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is typically the first step in the process leading to the P.E. 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.

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.


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