Keys to Success for Mechanical Engineers

January 15th, 2016

Mechanical engineering is a profession that is in high demand these days. But the job market is competitive both from an employer and a candidate’s perspective. You need to be sure that you are fully prepared to jump in to your job search in order to quickly and efficiently find the best opportunities. This article will discuss three keys to a successful job search in mechanical engineering in today’s job market.

Networking

Networking used to be all about attending professional organization meetings and mixers arranged by employers, but today’s professional networking is much more flexible and innovative. Your networking strategy should be a balance of digital networking and personal connections. Update your LinkedIn profile and make sure that it is as much a representation of your professionalism as your resume and cover letter. Many recruiters and employers rely on LinkedIn to find top-quality candidates for upcoming opportunities with their firms. Furthermore, if you reach out and connect with former colleagues and other professional connections online, you will build a digital network that can notify you of jobs before they are even posted.

In-person networking is still very much an important part of building solid connections in the world of mechanical engineering. You may want to attend job fairs and professional organization mixers to reach out to prospective employers in person. Also consider connecting with old colleagues who have moved on in their careers as well. Their networks are almost as valuable as your own, so don’t be afraid to reach out and reconnect.

Building Your Portfolio

Your portfolio of previous work is one of the most engaging pieces for employers reviewing your professional marketing material. They want to know what you have done for other employers so they can get a better idea of what you will be able to do for them. Building a lackluster portfolio with personal projects and volunteer work can help add depth if you are new to the industry. Most importantly, make sure that the projects in your portfolio are the best examples of the work you are capable of, and keep your portfolio updated as new opportunities come along.

Working with a Staffing Firm

If you are at all hesitant about working with a staffing firm to help pin down the next step in your career path, don’t be. A staffing firm, such as Search Staffing, is a valuable resource in helping you find high-quality opportunities and connecting with employers who will value your work. Make sure that you pick a firm with good connections within the industry, and strong relationships with your ideal employer. Share your preferences with your recruiter and be up front about what you expect to make and your long-term career goals. A good recruiter is like a career consultant, and they can be one of your best resources as you begin your job search.
For more advice on how to further your mechanical engineering career, contact us today.

4 Character Traits to Market to Employers

January 12th, 2016

If your resume and cover letter are pristine and your interview skills are sharp, but you just aren’t landing the job you really want, it’s possible that you might need to work on your soft skills. Accountants are counted on for their technical and professional skills as much as any other candidates, but the success of an interview can often come down to your ability to show the quality of your soft skills, or character traits. Keep in mind, companies don’t hire resumes, they hire people. Here are a few character traits you should focus on marketing to really grab the attention of your interviewer.

Professional Skills

In an interview and in daily work life, it is very important to present yourself in a professional manner as an accountant. Professional skills include having a strong knowledge base of critical accounting skills, computer skills, an understanding of spreadsheet applications, organizational skills, communication skills, and the ability to multitask. Your professionalism is likely one of your highest selling points as an accountant. Employers want to hire someone who will best be able to represent the company in a smart and professional manner, so be sure you’re professional skills are on display throughout the application process.

Team Work

Employers want to hire people who will be able to work effectively with their team. People skills and communication are two important elements of this character trait. To market your teamwork abilities to an employer, share examples of how you worked successfully on past projects collectively. Maybe you have taught your colleagues something valuable, or did something special to bring out the best in a variety of skill sets. The important thing to remember is to show not tell in an interview.

Integrity

Persistence, responsibility, and honesty are important character traits for a successful accountant. Accountants carry a lot of responsibility as part of their professionalism. They are charged with overseeing and managing financial records, have access to corporate financial information, petty cash, investments, and bank accounts. As such, professional integrity is a very sought-after character trait. Share your understanding of what makes an accountant responsible on the job and show your honesty with an open and upfront communication style to market your integrity to an employer.

Attention to Detail

When you are constantly working with numbers and formulas, even the smallest error can have catastrophic repercussions. Accountants must be detail oriented, attentive, and have a keen eye for discrepancies. The ability to identify and solve problems early on in the process will help make the inevitable error easier to fix in the long run. Market your eye for detail by sharing real-world examples of how your attention to detail has helped your employers in the past.
For more advice on how to market yourself to employers, or for help in finding the next step in your career, contact us today.

Indicators a Candidate is a Leader

January 5th, 2016

Leadership is a highly sought-after quality in job candidates. But it can be difficult to really determine whether a candidate you are interviewing is a true leader. Today’s article provides a brief list of threekey indicators that will help you see the leadership qualities in your interviewee. These indicators include decision-making skills, innovation and creativity, and an ability to share knowledge and teach skills.

Leadership Indicator #1: Decision Making Skills

A strong leader is able to make good decisions quickly and efficiently. They are committed to taking responsibility for their actions, and the actions of their team, because they know the buck stops with them. A confidence in their ability to make decisions in high-pressure situations, ones which are based on information and data, is critical to high-quality decision-making skills.

Focus your questions on providing sample scenarios and asking how they would address an issue that might occur on the job. Exercises such as this provide them the opportunity to walk you through their thought process so you can see how and why they might make their decisions. This will help you better understand how they might react in similar situations as an employee, and help you decide whether they have the right decision-making skills for the position.

Leadership Indicator #2:  Teaching Skills

A good leader is also a naturally good teacher. These candidates are able to show their love of sharing knowledge and understanding with their team. Teaching skills might not seem like a staple leadership quality, but those managers who are unable to communicate new processes or insights effectively are often unable to motivate and engage those they need to get the job done. A successful leader is able to identify gaps in the skill sets of their team, and then work towards teaching individuals how to fill that void to create a better, more well-rounded team.

To see whether a job candidate is able to lead through teaching, ask for an instance where they have taught a colleague something.  Ask them to describe why they felt it was necessary to share their knowledge, how and what they taught their co-worker, and how the team dynamic changed because of the sharing of knowledge. This will not only help you evaluate whether they are in fact a good teacher, but will also show if their teaching had the type of positive impact good leaders are built on.

Leadership Indicator #3: Innovation

Creative thinking and out-of-the-box innovation are additional indicators of high-quality leadership skills. It’s easy enough to simply follow directions on a day-to-day basis, but rethinking through processes and implementing improvements takes innovation and tenacity. Ask your interviewee to provide an example of a time when their innovation and creative thinking helped to solve a problem or improve a process in past work experiences. Better yet, ask them how they would solve a problem you are currently facing today.

For more advice on how to identify candidates with leadership qualities, or for help in finding quality talent, contact the experts at Search Staffing Group today.

4 Employee Engagement Ideas for 2016

January 3rd, 2016

It’s a new year! Are you ready to bring your employees on board in new and exciting ways? Leave any crisis or reactive management habits at the door, because this can be the year when you really engage your team to inspire better productivity and long-term commitment. Studies show that engaged employees are more content, more effective in their jobs, and more likely to stay loyal to their company. This year can be your year to focus on making sure your team is at their happiest and most productive. This article will discuss four exciting ways you can engage your employees in 2016.

Communicating Strategy

Employees like to know they are being kept in the loop in terms of long-term and high-level corporate strategy. As an employer, be sure to communicate your departmental efforts clearly to demonstrate leadership and engage your staff. Show your team how their efforts roll up into the overall success of the company. Give credit where credit is due, and be as transparent with high-level decisions as is practicable. Employees will feel more comfortable with the direction the company is heading if you engage them and communicate with them directly.

Developing Top Performers

Your company’s greatest resource is your employees. Top performers should not only be rewarded for their efforts, but also invested in to engage and encourage them to stay committed to your company. Hold training seminars, offer clear paths for career growth and development, encourage positive work-life balance, and take the time to review goals to make sure that your best employees are headed in the direction they want to go. One of the top reasons people become unhappy at work and choose to pursue opportunities elsewhere is a lack of corporate commitment to their career growth. Don’t let this lack of engagement lead your top performers astray. Keep them interested and engaged in their jobs and in the company.

Opportunities to Collaborate

Today’s workforce is interested in being included in high-level decision making. To keep your team engaged, offer them multiple opportunities to collaborate whether through meetings for staff to brainstorm solutions in response to a particular issue or problem, or through more project-based efforts. Give them the chance to reach out to and meet other professionals across the company and learn how they might work together to do new and exciting things. As an employer, it is your job to encourage and perhaps even facilitate these opportunities in order for your staff to know they have the chance to reach out. Once you see the success and engagement such collaboration inspires, you will be very happy to have gone to the effort to engage your team.

Mentorship

Mentorship opportunities abound in the professional realm, but not everyone is lucky enough to find a good mentor on their own. As an employer, you can encourage mentorship through a mentor-mentee matchmaking program, or other such example of corporate support of this common networking activity. Have your managers make a note of pairing up new hires with experienced employees, and do what you can to create a corporate culture of mentoring to engage new hires and veteran employees as well.

For more advice on how to improve your employee engagement efforts, or for help in finding quality talent, contact the experts at Search Staffing Group today.