Top tips for getting that AEC-industry job you’ve always dreamed of in today’s virtual world.
Don't be afraid to seek information about job opportunities at AEC firms.
Although not all AEC firms have moved to hiring exclusively through online services, there’s no doubt that the hiring process has evolved with the times. Here are our top tips for getting that AEC-industry job you’ve always dreamed of in today’s virtual world.
- Don’t be afraid to stick your toe in the water – On the fence about making the next step in your career? It doesn’t hurt to see what is out there. There may not be an immediate opportunity for you, but connecting with an organization now could lead to engagement down the road. I highly recommend a “passive” approach to engage in the job search by participating in AEC industry networking events. Ask your friends and mentors about their companies, and learn about their cultures and work styles. That will allow you to quickly gauge if there’s an ideal fit for you.
- Be true to yourself – Setting expectations is important. If you are not savvy about using social media and you claim that you’re proficient on your resume, you will set an unrealistic expectation with a prospective employer. You may not be familiar with Snapchat or some other hot new app, but you are still a valuable candidate.
- Showcase your skills – Showing off your skill set through a job application can be hard but it is the best way to catch the eye of AEC firms looking to hire top-quality professionals. Are you a master of InDesign? SketchUp? Laser scanning? BIM? Add some enhancements to your resume to show off your skills. Refresh your portfolio to indicate what specialized stills you provided for each project.
- Use social media – LinkedIn is your virtual resume. It’s also a great tool for gleaning information on AEC firms. LinkedIn now offers job searches and the option to apply to companies directly. You can use their search engine to begin your research on a prospective AEC firm’s identity. Following companies via social media also keeps you up-to-date on their projects, strategies, and viability. It also is a great way to show a prospective employer your interest in engaging with them.
- Networking – Job searching through your network can be a very successful technique. Potential employers see it as a built-in reference. Your network is probably larger than you think. Don’t forget your alumni association, friends, past colleagues, mentors, etc.
- Trust a professional – Personal connections play a big role in today’s hiring environment, and who has more connections than a professional career consultant? Consulting with an executive search firm – yes, Design Force is such a firm, serving the AEC industry exclusively – can help shed light on the current state of the market so that you can make an informed decision about your career path. An executive search firm can often open doors to the most desirable employers and may have access to jobs that are not known publicly (the so-called “hidden job market”).
- Follow the tried-and-true rules – Always arrive early to interviews. Dress to impress. Bring a notepad and pen to take notes. These tips apply even if you’re applying online: some things never go out of style.
The hiring process – whether online or face to face – may seem tricky to navigate. But with preparation and research you can overcome those obstacles and find the ideal position for your career trajectory.
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