Statistics report that there are circa 90,000 STEM graduates per year. Graduate engineering roles are highly competitive and having a degree does not guarantee you your dream job after graduating.

We’ve made a list of top tips that can help you to make a good first impression, stand out from the competition and secure your first job as an engineer.

Social Networking

To shine and be noticed by potential employers it is imperative that you develop your professional presence on social platforms. A LinkedIn profile detailing your skills and experience will make it easier for employers to look at your professional background.

Utilise it to connect and engage with people in the engineering industry. Join groups and communities of other graduates and engineers in your desired sector. Keep up to date with industry changes so that you have lots of interesting things to discuss during interviews and you can show a genuine interest in your field. Comment on social media posts from potential employers – it could be seen by a hiring manager!

LinkedIn is a great place to find out about jobs, as well as other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. These free tools are available to you to help market yourself in the best possible way. Make sure to sign up to job alerts so that you are the first to hear about new opportunities.


Demonstrating that you have knowledge about the company you are applying to shows you have taken the time to research before applying. If you can reference business updates from their website, or information from news articles, it shows you have a vested interest in who you want to potentially work for.

Research whether any of your academic projects match a field of their research or align with any of their current or future product ranges.

Always read and understand the job specification if there is one so that you can detail your experience in line with the requirements of the role at interview or in your application.

Cover Letter

Always write a cover letter, even if it’s optional!

This will be your chance to grab the attention of the hiring manager, or whoever is recruiting for the role. You can change your cover letter in accordance with each position that you are applying for ensuring that you point out specific skills and experience that match or could be an asset to their business.

As well as detailing your skills and experience you can use this opportunity to highlight the areas of your personality which align with the company’s core values.

Your CV

A mistake many candidates make when writing their CV is to over-complicate it. Make the layout as easy to follow as possible, keeping your CV no more than 1-2 pages long. You want to keep the employer engaged and not bore them with pages of information which isn’t relevant.

Typically, the reader with give your CV 15 seconds to determine if they want to continue reading. Make sure the se 15 seconds are not about your contact information or home address!

98% of Fortune 500 companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Keeping the same CV for every application will not give you the best chance of success. Read the job description carefully and pick out the keywords they use to enhance your CV. Applicant Tracking Systems will be scanning your CV to pick out these keywords before a human has chance to read it. Tailoring your CV to each job application can help to make sure it gets through the initial stage of the process.

Always get someone else to proofread your CV and cover letter, checking for any spelling and grammatical mistakes and most importantly that it makes sense!

Follow Up

After all this hard work don’t forget to follow up with the roles you have applied for!

A follow up email, phone call or LinkedIn message will improve your success in two ways: it reminds the hiring manager of your application and it sets you apart from other candidates by demonstrating your enthusiasm and diligence in your search for a career.

Sign up to job alerts on our website or email us at if you have any further questions about graduate engineering positions.

Be persistent, promote yourself in a professional way and you will certainly stand out.

Thanks for reading!

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