Tag Archives: job search

The Road to Job Acceptance: Personal Experience and Tips from an Engineering Undergraduate

Cami Jones

Cami Jones,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 26 March 2018

Now that I’ve finally found and accepted a full-time job, it seems like an appropriate time to write about the process of actually finding a job. For all of you metrics people out there, here’s a quick “by the numbers” about my full-time job search.


  • 16 companies

  • 11 distinct resumes (includes revised versions & job-specific modifications)

  • 27 online applications

  • 4 candidate pre-screening “intelligence”/ “ethics” tests

  • 8 first-round interviews

  • 5 second-round interviews

  • 4 final interviews

  • 4 job offers

  • 20+ hours of driving to/from interviews

  • 7 automatic rejections

  • 12 applications still “pending”


I don’t know how it reads, but it sure did feel exhausting! And I was fortunate—I know some of my friends have applied to 100+ jobs online and are only just beginning to get interviews. For what it’s worth, I’ve compiled my own list of top 3 full-time job search tips below.

Students and parents alike, please note the following: online job searching is HARD even for well-qualified students. I believe that it’s imperative to “play the game” in a smart way to make the most of efforts made applying to jobs…otherwise it’s easy to get discouraged! It is my hope that the tips below will help serve as an introductory guide to “playing smart”.

Cami’s Top 3 Full-Time Engineering Job Search Tips:
1. Know yourself. It’s important to know your skills/interests AND weaknesses/dislikes when searching for and applying to jobs. Trust me, it’s no use to anyone if you apply to a job that you’re unqualified to perform or that you will be unhappy doing. Look for jobs that both appeal to your interests and require skills that you feel confident you have. It’s a plus if you actually
have prior experience using these skills from an internship or co-op!

Avoid applying for jobs that sound boring or require too many skills you don’t possess. At the end of the day, if you get an interview for a job you want to be excited (not reluctant to “have to” interview) and you want to feel ready to knock it out of the park – not worry that they will discover you’re unqualified!

2. Know the system. The truth is that if you’re applying for jobs online, it is highly unlikely that a human will be the first to view your resume. These days, there are sneaky Human Resources (HR) software tools called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that will “read” your resume and spit out a summary for the HR manager before anyone will see it. This summary needs to match the specific job description for you to get a call to interview…or to even get a real person to
review your qualifications!

If you’ve heard that you should make your resume “visually appealing” that’s still true if you are handing it out (or emailing it) to prospective employers. However, the formatting that makes your resume appealing may be a big reason that the ATS will reject your application! Many of these ATS systems cannot process documents with sophisticated formatting and therefore will not be able to read/summarize much of your content. AKA: even if you are perfectly qualified, you won’t get a call to interview!

Be SURE to create and use a plain text (unformatted) version of your resume to be submitted online. A helpful resource for creating a resume that both an
ATS and human can easily read can be found here (in step 2).

Once I started following these ATS guidelines, I started getting calls to interview. Before I used these techniques—crickets. I highly recommend doing your own research about ATS!

3. Use your network. If someone you know has connections to a job that you are interested in, reach out to them! From a company’s perspective, if someone who already works for them recommends someone for a job, it shows that the person is already trusted at some level. This takes some pressure off of the HR folks looking to hire for a position.

From your perspective, in many cases you can skip that pesky online application (and ATS scan) and have your resume placed in the hands of someone in HR who might actually read it! Again, if someone is willing to help you with this—take them up on it. In all transparency, this is how I got my foot in the door for three of my five internships and even the full-time position I accepted!

At Ohio University, we have a number of networking opportunities. The best, in my opinion, is building relationships with older students and alumni while still in school. Building up a good reputation with those entering the workforce before you for being a hard worker and someone who is easy to talk to can go a long way in obtaining your “dream job” later on!

Again, this is how I heard about the full-time job I accepted. An alumnus from our ISE department reached out through one of our professors to see if anyone was interested in working for Akron Children’s Hospital as an Operational Excellence Analytics Specialist and I jumped on the opportunity to send my resume her way! She sent my resume to her boss, and I had an interview set up a few days later. The rest is history.

Best of luck in your future (or current) job search!

Interviewing with Parker Hannifin

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 January 2018

This past September, I spoke to Parker Hannifin at the Ohio University career fair. At the end of our conversation, the recruiter told me to apply to the position as soon as possible because they would be conducting on-campus interviews in a few months.

I did as he said, and a few weeks later found out I was selected to interview at the beginning of November. The men I interviewed with informed me that they were going to select a few top candidates from the interviews that day to interview again at the Global Headquarters in Cleveland. I felt pretty good about my interview with them; however, I was unsure if I would be selected.

A week or so later, I received an email from Parker Hannifin inviting me to a banquet in January and a full day of interviews to follow. I was thrilled!

Over break I started doing more research on the position and company to educate myself before the big day. The banquet was wonderful. It consisted of managers and a group of employees who had recently graduated from the Technical Sales Associate position. I learned a lot about the position and became even more excited. I knew it would be the perfect job for me.

The interview day sounded intimidating, but ended up being quite enjoyable. Each finalist had six different interviews starting at 7:30 am and ending at 1:30 pm. The interviews were for different divisions in Parker Hannifin.

After the interviews, one of the managers told all the finalists we would
hear back from them within the next few weeks with either an offer or explanation as to why it did not work out.

I felt good about the interviews, but was still a little worried I would not get selected. As I was driving home, my worries diminished. I received a phone call from a manager in the Sporlan Division, telling me they had decided to extend an offer to me and I would receive the written offer on Monday.

I had no words. I was so excited!

I went over the offer for a few days and decided to accept. On June 4th, 2018, I will start working for the Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin in Washington, MO for my departmental orientation. I will work there until July 10th, then get relocated to Cleveland for 4-6 weeks to begin my Technical Sales Associate orientation with all the other TSAs that were selected. From there, I will rotate the US and get located in my permanent position in November.

I am so thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait to begin this next chapter of my life.

Networking Through the Sales Centre

Andrew Noll

Andrew Noll,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 1 November 2017

I was recently inducted into the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre here on campus. Schey is the #1 sales center in the country and has 100% job placement after graduation.

A lot of people ask why an engineer would join a sales center and what kind of benefits they would realistically get? Well to answer that, Schey is one of the best networking platforms I’ve been a part of. Furthermore, I have always had a bit of interest in technical sales, and Schey has over 50 corporate sponsors, including many technical sales companies.

I went to the Schey career fair and I thought I wouldn’t be there long because I only wanted to hit the tech sales booths. While walking around, I saw a few manufacturing companies, and even though they were hiring for sales, I told them about my manufacturing experience and showed interest. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked out of that career fair with two manufacturing engineer interviews, and a phone screening with Dell EMC.

The point I want to get at is that networking is such a huge part of one’s career. Obviously, classwork and involvement is important but I do agree with the statement “it’s all about who you know”. Everyday you get out of bed and go about your business, you are networking.

The motivated individuals in a group like Schey that you surround yourself with, the countless connections on LinkedIn and your willingness to reach out to them, the guy or gal sitting next to you at the barber shop, even your barber can be valuable connections! Networking comes from a wide variety of sources and I always try to expose myself to many situations and experiences because I know it will pay off.

I have always been a natural extrovert. In regards to my education, people are my favorite subject. I say that people are my passion because I know I can learn a lot about myself, what I want in a career and plenty of other valuable knowledge from others. Taking the extra steps to meet people and learn about other industries has allowed me a sense of stability in my job search and I plan to keep up the solid networking in the upcoming years.

Life Decisions

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 28 March 2017

This semester I have been faced with making huge life decisions. As someone who is pretty indecisive in general, this has basically been a nightmare.

For the past 4 years of my life here at Ohio University, I have had a vision of what my life would look like when I graduated. This semester forced me to evaluate whether that vision still rings true to me. Making the choice between industry and graduate school has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. I am a big believer in gut feelings, but in these past few months it sometimes felt like my gut was refusing to talk to me.

What helped me come to my final decision was the enormous support from everyone around me. I am the kind of person that wants to know absolutely every piece of available information before I am willing to make a final decision. This is not a particularly useful personality trait in situations where there are a lot of unknowns.

The reason I’m writing this blog post is that I think my situation probably resonates with a lot of incoming freshmen who might not know what the right path is for them. I have two things to say which might ease your worries.

First of all, I would like to say that I reached the decision to accept a job offer because of the unwavering support and patience of my academic advisor here at OU, Dr. Doug Goetz. His impact on my experience in the Russ College cannot be understated.

In these past few weeks, he has met with me every time I felt uncertain or wavered in my decision. He has answered emails, asked for input from his colleagues, and generally been the greatest ally I could have asked for at such a critical point in my life. Ohio University and the Russ College have put me into contact with some of the most incredible people in my life: people that were willing to fight for me and who were there for me during every step of my college experience.

That leads me to my second point: coming to Ohio University was the single best decision that I have ever made. It meant leaving my family behind and flying across the country to a place where I didn’t know a single other person. It also meant that I found a second home.

As I am preparing to leave Athens for my new job as a process design engineer at Kiewit Engineering Group Inc. in Kansas City, I am definitely sad to be closing this chapter of my life, but I also know that my experiences at Ohio University have prepared me to take on the challenges that this next chapter may present.

I wish the best of luck to anyone who might be making those big decisions in their life, and I hope that the experiences of myself and the other Ambassadors might be helpful in making that choice!

Moving to Pittsburgh

Kevin White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 26 January 2017

Over Winter break, I got the phone call that I will remember for the rest of my life. I was offered a full-time Industrial Engineer position with FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, PA…and I accepted the position. I interned with FedEx Ground for the last 3 summers and I loved every second of my experiences. Working there full-time is such an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.

Working in Pittsburgh full-time means that I am going to move to Pittsburgh, which has always been a lifetime goal of mine. Shortly after accepting the job offer, my mom and I took a whole day and toured about 10 apartments around the area for me to live in. As an engineering major, of course I had my clipboard with me for every apartment and was being way too analytical when it came to the square footage and the pricing. I want to be close to work and close to downtown, so finding a perfectly located apartment was a challenge.

At the end of the day, I sat down and evaluated my top 3 apartments and now am waiting to send in an application. This was an eye-opening experience for me because I saw all of these costs that I am going to be responsible for while entering the real world. As I graduate in April, I will now be transitioning into the next chapter of my life and I am very excited. It has been a great 4 years at Ohio University and the relationships that I have built with the students and faculty here will last a lifetime.

Where to Go After Graduation?

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 January 2017

As the new semester kicks into gear, I’m realizing that this is my last semester that will have this common progression: Early ease/confusion, then cruise control on the next three weeks, then progressive chaos from week 6 to week 14. I’m sure graduate school will have its own rhythm, but this is my last uniquely undergraduate semester. As I look into where I’ll be going for graduate school, I realize I’m going to have to get over my desire to know where I’ll be. It’s likely I won’t know that until June.

My two options are Ohio University’s graduate school to work with my advisor, Dr. Cyders, or GE Aviation’s Edison program. Graduate school here would be great, but it would be the safe option. My advisor wants to work with me, so I don’t have to convince him to hire me—I’ve been doing that for the last four years.

What’s not safe and is pretty scary is the Edison program. It’s a graduate-school track GE has to teach their engineers in depth how they do things, design things, etc. It’s super selective. I have to convince them that I can handle it and that they should invest in me.

I think what scared Jane would prefer would be gradually building her resume with safe options that just take time and hard work, until the point that I can apply to my dream job and there’s no convincing required. However, to make the most of my early years I need to take risks. I need to apply to places that might reject me. It’s scary, but necessary. So I’m applying to the Edison program. They don’t interview until June, but it’ll be okay. Everything will be okay. It’ll be an adventure.

Preparing for Life after Graduation

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 7 February 2016

My four years at Ohio University have almost come to a close and I am now in my last semester. Even though these four years have been amazing, I have to prepare for what my life is going to be in 3 months.

After thinking about my plans for several months, I have decided to pursue a career in industry and not to apply for graduate school. The oil industry had always been my passion; however given the fact that the price of oil has declined to record levels, I started looking at other industries.

The industry that has caught most of my attention has been the software industry, especially business intelligence, analytics and big data. My current plan is to find a job in a company that works with the applications of this type of software.

In order to find a job in the industry that I want, I have been using several resources that are very effective. While being an international student, finding a job in the United States is not easy since it requires sponsorship. However, I do think that the resources that I have used have given me several opportunities to at least introduce myself to the company.

Among the resources that I have used, the one that has helped me the most is my network. Since I was a sophomore, I knew that I had to build a network and I did so through my student organizations. This network has benefited me in getting interviews, assisting me through the hiring process and on top of that provided me with an even larger network. I will keep working on my job search during the next couple of months hoping to have something lined up for after graduation!