I have recently graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering and am having trouble finding
any form of work. Every place I turn the employers seek years of experience. I have tried
most sites on the Net gone to company web pages gone to agencies to help — but no luck.
I am trying everything I can; I even can’t get work at low-level places (grocery stores fast food)
because I am now too educated. So please give me some help and guidance.
The Career Doctor responds:
I have a two-part answer; one part is to give you some advice the other
part is to help other college students not fall into the same dilemma you
You’ve first got to change your attitude. I know you feel discouraged but I truly
believe in the power of positive thinking; besides employers can often sense
desperation. Once you have a more positive outlook you need to refocus your
job-hunting energies. Where is your network of contacts? You need to use your
family friends alumni past bosses and co-workers — everyone you know to help you develop solid job leads. Where is your college’s career services office? Go
back and work with them to help you build a solid plan. Where are your former
professors? Go talk with the two or three that you are closest to and see if they
can give you some help. You cannot rely on job ads to find a job.
You might also consider informational interviews — as a way to get your foot in the
door — by contacting some of those employers with job openings that seek more
advanced job-seekers. Acknowledge that you are not qualified for the position they
are advertising but ask to have a meeting to learn more about the profession the industry the company…and you’ll be surprised at the doors that may open for you.
Finally while you’re job-hunting investigate whether these are some volunteer or freelance projects you could be doing to gain some experience. And make sure
to include any projects you completed in college on your resume.
Now my advice to current college students. Learn from this job-seeker’s mistake.
Employers are now demanding that all college graduates have relevant experience.
You MUST find the time in those four (or so) years of college to work part-time do
one or more internships and/or participate in volunteering. Even those “entry-level” positions usually require work experience and there is simply no excuse for not
gaining meaningful experience during those four years of college.
Read what recent college grads have to say in the
Real World section of
For college grads:
- 15 Myths and Misconceptions About Job-Hunting
- Job Search 101
- Job Search Checklist
- Ten Questions to Ask Yourself if
You Still Haven’t Found a Job
For current college students: