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Riodn

Recent Civil Engineer Graudate with no job. Am I doing something wrong?

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Hello everyone,

As the title stated, I graduated with a bachelor of science in civil engineering June 2011 with an engineer in training certificate and am having a really hard time even getting interviews for jobs. I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona and moved back home to the San Francisco Bay Area and don't really have any professional connections up here. So far what I have done in my job search is to apply to any civil engineering related jobs that requires <2 years of expereince on the following online job sites for San Francisco Bay Area: indeed.com, LinkIn, careerbuilder, glassdoor, craigslists, and simplyhired.

Additionally, I have also googled the engineering companies within a 50 mile radius of me and emailing them and inquring to see if there any positions available. All in all, since June 2011 I have had a total of one interview and that was with PG&E as an associate engineer. I would say about 80% of the jobs I apply to I meet the minimum stated requirements and am confident that I will excel at the job. The problem is that I am not getting a chance to prove my worth.

I created my own resume and had my friends and colleagues review it. One of the companies that I emailed about job inquiry gave a compliment on my resume but said that they are currently not hiring but would keep my resume on file.

My questions to you is am I missing a step or doing something wrong? I know that getting a job isn't just send a few resumes in and land a job. Currently, I must have sent over 100 resumes and cover letters. It is discouraging but of course I am gonna keep trying. I was just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience to mine and can share some insight.

My next step in addition to continually apply online to various job sites is to go door to door to these companies and ask in person. It is going to be uncomfortable but nonetheless, I have to.

I've also attached my resume if anyone would be willing to glance over it. I've just had friends and colleagues review it and would be great if someone with industry experience can look over it. Thank you all for reading what I have to say and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My Resume.doc

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Get involved in your community

Kiwanis, Rotoract (junior chapter of Rotary), Chamber of Commerce, Toastmasters, March of Dimes, anything. These clubs have members of the community (typically political or business owners)

Volunteer, talk to everyone, not about you needing a job but what you can do for them if they need help with anything. Prove you are a hard worker no matter what it is or for and always follow through and perform 100%. Many of these clubs have people that donate money but not alot of people that donate their bodies and time. My wife started getting involved and people recommend her even though we are new to the community and she would have no problem getting a job if she were to lose hers because people know she is good and will work hard for their organization.

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No, you are not doing anything wrong. Things are tough in the real world. All I can say is, "Keep Trying." I did review your resume-- you need to tailor the objective statement to the job that you are seeking. You have a generic objective statement-- NOT GOOD-- tailor it to each job that you apply for. You need to emphasize your LEADERSHIP and COMMUNICATION skills-- if you read PE magazine, that is something that many firms are looking for in millenials today. Get that in there someplace-- if it was Boy Scouts, Sports, Church, whatever, you need to show that you are able to successfully lead a team.

I would remove the 90 wpm typing skills-- nobody cares, you are not applying for a secretarial position--

Every bullet in your resume needs to follow the paradigm of WHAT-- HOW-- RESULT. WHAT did you do, HOW did you do it, what was the RESULT?. Never lie, however, don't be afraid to take full credit for whatever you did. The corpus (body) of the resume should be static, after you fix it. All that you need to modularize is the objective statement, i.e, meaning that you change the objective statement for each job that you are applying for. With software doing 99% of the initial screening today, you need to insure that your resume has the key words in the body and/or the objective statement so that your resume will at least pop up when the scan the resume bank.

Go to a professional engineers meeting-- find out where they are located, dress up and go. Take some resumes with you, some business cards and shake hands. For some, this is tough, however, this is the way that it is done. Yeah, the meal will cost you $25-- well, you have to eat and hopefully, you will find at least one or two contacts there. You can eat salad the rest of the week in order to pay for the lunch.

Have your schools alumni association give you the names of 20 grads in the geographic area that you are located. Call /visit each of them and see if you can at least score an interview. You need to plan on NO MORE than 30 minutes- however, you should be able to articulate your desires and ability to help the company achieve their objectives in that time. I never give anyone more than 30 minutes unless we are on "the same wavelength". If that is the case, you may be able to get 3 hours. Do your due diligence before you go, ie., web research, what the company does, recent projects, etc. Be conversant in what the company is doing before you walk in.

Wear a jacket, tie, slacks and shined shoes. I know, nobody else does that-- don't care, you do it. YOU are seeking the job.

Another test I use with all resumes that I help edit/review is the "So WHAT:" test. When you make an assertion about something, I am going to ask SO WHAT? If you have not answered that question, the point is not worth documenting.

Another idea is going to a service club, Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis-- they are always looking for new, young members. Again, I know, most of the folks there may be your Grandfather's age-- SO WHAT-- you are seeking a job. THOSE are the guys that can make decisions to hiring. Here, the meal is free-- after all, you will probably join a club after you find a job.

Get involved in the community-- sports, food bank, rescue mission, Boys and Girls club-- all ways in which to meet folks. Talk to the city engineer== he/she may know of a company that needs a new engineer. This is a free referral-- they are government employees and are usually very willing to help. They also know who might be needing some help.

If all else fails, they need help in the Baaken of North Dakota. Not a career position, however, you can make some good money to get you started.

Questions? Just Ask.

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^ That's about the most thorough resume review I've ever seen. Good advice.

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Thanks! I was a college Dean for several years-- I have written/rewritten and written again many student resumes!! Sadly, today, I don't think that either engineering or business schools (I was a business school Dean) teach these skills. I am not sure where this is supposed to be taught, probably in the capstone engineering course-- however, there is too much to cover in too short a timeframe for it there. Most professors today have not had real world experience, graduate school and then back to the faculty, so the students are handicapped to a certain degree.

We did use our business advisory board to help the students know how to dress and how to interview. I always had fun doing that-- I am real tough, however, the students that got through the process had no problem going out and interviewing. The "being tough" part is to point out all of the various challenges one faces in the job searching process.

I attended an industry/student nite at a large private school in the South several years ago. These were all engineering students. One kid was all dressed up and trying. I gave him my card and told him to call me if he wanted any more help. Surprisingly, he did call. We spent a couple of hours in the lobby of the hotel, then I spent probably 5 more hours on his resume when back at my office. He landed a job as a Mechanical Engineer at $10K over what Mechanicals were getting that year!!! I was very happy for him--however, I made him start at 0730 and go until 1800 every day, banging on doors in the large city he was located. He thought it onerous, however, in the end, he found a great job-- he ended up making $90K his first year out!!!!! We then had to have a chat bout money management-- another skill that seems to be lacking today.

I really feel for these millenials today. Sadly, nobody seems to have helped them get through the hoops. Because we never could have children, I want to try and help them the best I can. I have great faith that this guy will do well, however, it is very discouraging in the process.

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Hit the streets. Get in the doors of these companies if possible, let them see your face. It is too easy to ignore an email.

EDIT: Since you're in San Fran, hit the streets like Dirty Harry.

Edited by MGX

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^ That's about the most thorough resume review I've ever seen. Good advice.

+1 Very thorough and well said solomonb. A lot of good points and things I look for when interviewing candidates.

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All very good points on the resume format/content; generally the same things I look for. I am also surprised how many applicants do not dress the part on the interview .. sure I may be in slacks and a button up shirt, but I am working on many things that day. I expect you to be in a suit or at least a tie.

My company is not google, do not show up in tennis shoes for an interview ... in fact boots, sketchers and most shoes you would wear to the bar are off limits too.

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I had a really hard time finding a job after college as well. I'm not sure, but it was probably due in part to not having had an internship. I waited until my junior year to try and find an internship and wasn't able to land one in the tough economy. After I graduated, I didn't find a job for 9 months. Every day I did what you're doing. I applied for jobs online, tried to find opportunities thru connections as well. I finally got an interview for a great opportunity. I studied and prepared for the interview like it was my only shot. I ended up getting the job and spending 5+ years at the company. During that time I got my M.S. which helped me to land my next job. I now have recruiters seeking me out instead of vice versa. The point is, keep trying. I think things fall into place more easily once you get your foot in the door.

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The job market is definitely incredibly tough these days, especially here in California. I was 1 of only about 20 students out of a graduating class of 160 that had jobs lined up right out of school (graduated June 2011 as well). A couple of quick things that I noticed that really helped me along.

Put your GPA on your resume. I know that a lot of people will tell you that once you are out of college, nobody cares about your GPA. Well, in the case of the consulting firm I work for, one of the first things they look at when considering a new grad is GPA. They want to know how hard you worked during school. It won't be a deal breaker, but if you have a high GPA, companies will tend to notice you more. Now, once you get a few years under your belt, then GPA is pointless. But for your first job right out of school, companies want to know. This is a tough market, and they are looking to hire the best. The other company I interned with the year before looked at GPA as a first indicator, and then reviewed relevant credentials.

In your leading statement, if you are interested in water, don't just put water infrastructure (even if that is your primary interest). State that you are interested in a water resources engineering position (or somethign similar). In this economy, companies tend to look for a new grad candidate with a diverse set of interests and skills. I work in water as well, and the problem is that, with all of the state water projects being put off for many years and few housing developments being built, there is very little need for dedicated water infrastructure engineers. That's not to say that the state doesn't need to seriously upgrade its water infrastructure (it really does, but nobody wants to put money towards it). It's just that, in my experience with the firm I work for (where water is a huge part of the business), there is very little water infrastructure work happening that can't be done by a reasonably experienced land development engineer. There is, however, a LOT of hydrology and floodplain mapping happening. Additionally, almost all projects will need some or all of the following: drainage studies, hydromodification reports, SWPPP, flood hazard analysis, environmental impact analysis, etc. This all falls within the water resources realm, but doesn't really have anything to do with water infrastructure. But even though I work in water, I do land development work and a little bit of structural work. Firms can't hire all the people they want to right now, so they try to get someone who can do a variety of different work.

To illustrate that point, my firm just hired a new grad. The choice was between two well qualified new graduates. However, the first candidate kept focusing on how water infrastructure and distribution was his primary interest, which is all fine, but the majority of our work right now (with the slow economy) is surface water related. So, the firm hired the second candidate who had broader interests, but was slightly less qualified. Realize that in this economy, you probably won't get your perfect job, but it is always good to gain related experience.

Also, if you have other experience, don't hesitate to make your resume longer than 1 page. Don't go over 2 right now, but if there is something that you want the recruiters/engineers to see, put it on there. Even if it is not entirely relevant, if it is interesting and might create a talking point, put a short blurb about it. My example is this: I worked as a race car mechanic for a number of years back in high school and a little bit into college. I put that on my resume simply to stand out from the rest of the pack. It has nothing to do with water resources engineering, but it was one of the first things that came up in my interview. My interviewers were really interested in it. Turns out the office manager was big into cars and racing. There are little things like that which, in certain cases, can really help you connect with your interviewers.

But lastly, like others have said, go meet people. Job fairs are a great way, and if the area you live in has an active chapter of ASCE, APWA, FMA, etc., think about going to a few events. Most of these require a paid membership, but as a new grad, you can generally get in for cheap. Additionally, most of the time you can pay for a single event (if it is required). If the people in the hiring process like and remember you, you are far more likely to land the job.

What landed me my job was this (and I did ask them what made them pick me over the other candidates): a high GPA got my resume pulled out of the stack; the HR recruiter recognized my name and remembered having a good conversation with me at the job fair; I had a decent amount of experience from internships and other interesting jobs; in my interview, I came across as very friendly and easy to work with. That last one sealed the deal is what I was told. The other candidate for the position apparently had more relevant experience than me, but the engineers who I interviewed with simply liked me better.

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Thank you all for taking your time and responding. I appreciate all the feedback and will apply it in my job search. My GPA is under <3.0 so I feel like that will only hurt my chances of getting a job. As many of you suggested, my next step is to get more involved in my community and just put my name out there. I will keep you all updated if anything new happens.

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Just wanted to give an update and had a question.

This Wednesday, I will be attending the member orientation for the Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco. This may sound like a silly question and if it is, my aplogies. Should I dress up in a suit when I attend this orientation or just slacks and a dress shirt? Thanks again for everyone's input.

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I live on the east coast so..

You would be fine in a suit. Most people that will be at the Chamber go before work and are in suits. Again I live on the "east" coast (Kentucky) and know nothing of west coast dress.

At the very least I would put a blazer/sportcoat on. Shine your shoes, clean your fingernails, make sure everything is clean and pressed.

Practice your elevator speech (Your 20 second or so speech about who you are). Remember you are there to figure out what you can do for them. Ask questions people love to talk about themselves.

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Dress up--no question! Review what Bradlief said above. You are now out of school and are looking for a job. LOOK like you are looking for a job. I would wear a conservative dark suit, white shirt and simple tie, with shined shoes-- really shined. Remember where you are going, to the Chamber of Commerce. Who goes to the Chamber of Commerce-- Business leaders and business owners who are interested in business. Most of these individuals are senior folks who have been successful. Perhaps they don't dress up to the 9's, however, that does not mean that you should not, especially now.

Take a good pen--and make damn sure it works. Take some 3X5 note cards to jot down little "kernels" of information that you gather. Go to MS Publisher and make some business cards-- again, nothing fancy or drastic. There is one template that i used called "Straight Edge" that is just ideal for a simple business card. Put your name, address, cell phone and email address on the card-- a way to get ahold of you if anyone is interested. Take them to FedEX and have them printed. Blue or black ink-- again, nothing drastic.

Let's hit this dress thing again---- YOU are seeking a job. It makes no difference if the company is like Google where anything goes or the Federal Reserve Bank where everyone looks and acts like a stuffy banker-- you don't know who you will meet, who you will be directed to-- so dress up and show them that you know what you are doing. Now, if you get a job, you may be able to wear dockers and a polo shirt, jeans and a t shirt--- however, at this stage of the game, act like you own the place. I cannot over emphasize this-- get a good suit, make sure it fits, take good care of it and it will serve you well.

If you are not sure how to dress, go stand outside of some big business building in downtown San Fran and see how the executives dress. Most will probably be in a coat/tie or suit. On the off chance that you get some start up firm-- then you won't see that, however, you are probably not the guy they are seeking either!!!!

Don't wear any gaudy jewelery-- a simple ring or conservative watch is fine. Most millenials don't wear a watch, they use their smart phone. Make DAMN SURE that the phone, if you elect to take it is on VIBRATE mode. DO NOT ANSWER IT or look at it while you are talking to ANYONE at the event. There is nobody that is so important that you have to jinx the discussion because you need to check on FB or call your girl friend and tell her where you are and what you are doing.

This stuff may sound onerous, however, you are making a statement and impression on the folks that are visiting with you. Look and act like a professional. I know, lots of folks take the cell phone when they are talking to you---wrong. I always leave my cell phone in the car when I am with a client. Nobody is more important than the individual I am with at the time--nobody.

Don't be afraid to shake hands with a lot of folks. For many, this is tough, however, that is what has to be done. Don't talk to any one individual for more than 2 minutes, keep circulating and shaknig hands. I know, nobody else is doing it-- You are not anybody else!! If you take 130 business cards, you should try and get back 130 business cards. The next day, you should send a note to everyone of them thanking them for taking the time to visit with you. You can put a plug in there that you are "seekling new opportunities" and would appreciate being referred if the individual hears of something that you are interested/capable of doing.

Good Luck-- let us know how the Chamber experience turns out.

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Sorry for the delay but here is the update on what has happened.

I attended the Chamber of Commerce member orientation this past Wednesday and it was a good experience. I met about 40 people or so and it was acutally one of their bigger turnouts. I gave a card, received a card and networked as much as I can. I didn't want to sound desparte so I didn't tell them that I was seeking a job and just tried to get to know them and their company more. So it turns out, after the even there was an event called the Job Forum in which job seekers can attend for free and get advice. I attended the event and it was pretty helpful. They critqued my resume and what I got out of it was that in order to increase my chance of getting a job, I just have to network more. Prior to this whole experience, the majority of my job hunt was doe via on the internet. After these two events, I must say that my view on the job searching has changed. The following day, I wrote up thank you letters and personalized as much as I could remember to each person and mailed it to them (hopefully something will come out of that, but if not that's ok also). Not gonna lie, it was nerve wrecking and felt uncomfortable. Looking back on it now, I'm glad I was able to be bold and put myself out there and I intend to just keep going to these sorts of event to get my name out there.

So my next step (in addtion to applying online) is to search companies that I would like to work for and literally just walk in there and ask if they have any job opportunities. Additionally, I have scheduled some meet up with some of the people I met from the Chamber of Commerce event to see if we can help each other out. In addition to those things, there are a couple of networking events that are coming around the corner in which I'll try to attend as well. I'm not really sure why I waited this long to start networking but I do feel a bit silly that its taken me this long to start. The bright side is that at least I'm starting now.

Thank you everyone for all your feedback and advice and for listening to what I have to say. If there any other tips, suggestions, things I'm doing wrong, I'm all ears. Have a wonderful day!

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Riodn-- Very Good-- you have done well. The longest journey begins with the first step, which you have taken! There is nothing wrong with identifying that you are "seeking new opportunities" and are interested in hearing what may be available. Sending hand written thank you notes shows a touch of class that is a true professional. Go for it-- I do it each and every day with everyone I met. A friend of mine is an Edward Jones Broker-- he told me that they are trained to do that when they first begin-- and the expectation is to get out 50 thank you cards a nite for the first year-- that is how many people they want you to meet every day. I have never forgotten that and send a hand written note every day to new folks. It does make a difference!! I am very proud of you for doing that-- most folks either don't know how to do it or would not do it.

AS you begin your door banging operation, do some due diligence of each company and tell them what you can do for them. Do NOT ask if they have a position, the answer will universally be NO, we are not hiring. Show how you are invaluable to the firm and how much better off they will be with you on the team. This will require a little bit of brain work, on each company, however, you can do this-- it is not hard.

I have a friend that is the CEO of a large bank system in the Upper Rocky Mountains. When he graduted from colllege, he went and sat at the door of the president of the bank for 6 straight weeks--on Friday, every week being told that there were no openings. Upon the 6th week, there were still no openings, however, the president decided to hire him anyway. 43 years later, he is now the CEO of the big bank holding company. Persistence pays---- just do it-- you will have a job within the next month.

This new job may not be the ideal job that you seek, however, it will be a job. As you have already learned and observed, this is not quite what you thought-- it has turned out much better-- go for it Dude, it will work out fine.

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Hey Solomonb,

Thank you for your advice and I just had one question. What you say to do about the door to door makes sense. I'm having a hard time actually applying it and seeing it in action if that makes sense. What makes it difficult for me to envision it is how I would start the conversation when I got there. At first, I thought I would say something along the lines of "Good morning, I'm wondering if your company has any openings, I would really love to be a part of a group that (adds a specific thing about a company here and why I'm interested). I would like to go about using your approach but I'm not really sure how I would get the conversation started without stating that I'm looking for work. Thank you again and I hope you (and everyone else that is reading) are having a wonderful day.

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You ARE LOOKING FOR WORK-- There is nothing wrong with saying that. You don't have some communicable illness, I don't think-- you are looking for work!!!! OK, so how do you get started? Here is where the due diligence part comes in-- doing the web research, see what the firm does, has done and who is the President/Managing Principal.

Let us assume that you have done that and get to the front door. You walk in and say to the receptionist, is "Mr/Ms XXXXX available?"

The next question will be "Do you have an appointment?"

Your answer, "No, I don't-- however, I was in the area, did some web research and found out that the XYZ company is doing ABC work, something I did in school."

OK, now depending upon your personality, the tenor of the firm and the receptionist, the answer may be, " Well Mr/Ms X is unavailable now."

You say, "I certainly understand-- how about Mr/Ms ZZZZ, the Chief Engineer/Operations Manager/Director of Operations?"

The Answer-- "No, they are also unavailable/in a meeting/ cannot be disturbued/on a project" or some other line of denial.

You say, "I certainly understand, however, I really want to work for the XYZ company. Is there anyone I may visit with about employment opportunities?"

At this point, the receptionist is probably so flumoxxed about what to do, she will find someone, it may be the intern hired an hour ago, however, she will probably find someone to visit with you. Then you begin the spiel again!!!! You were in the area, did some web research, just graduated from ABC college and are really interested in working for the firm.

Now, there is NO REASON to be rude, curt, disrespectful, arrogant or haughty with anyone--DON'T DO IT. This approach will NOT work 100% of the time, however, probably 80% of the time, you will be able to talk to someone.

Now, have an idea of what kind of money you are willing to take. If the offer is made, "Well, we don't have anything for your skills, however, we have a project that we just received that we need a laborer on, are you interested in that position?" Think LONG AND HARD before the answer is NO. OK, I know, you went to college for 4 years, you got an engineering degree, took the FE exam and (hopefully passed) and now they want you to be a flunkie for $15/hour. Well, $15/hour is better than no job, that is what you have now.

Your answer, "Well, I really want to work for the XYZ company as an engineer, I did not consider the laborer opportunity. However, I am interested in exploring that opportunity further."

OK, let's assume that they give you $17.50/hour and you can start next Monday. GO for it. And then work your ass off showing them that you can really WORK! This make take 6 months, however, they will need an engineer with your skills, you are the first in line, know the company, know the rules/regulations, etc. Besides, you made $17.50/hour for the past 6 months as well.

There is no reason to be bitter, sour, disrespectful or arrogant abou this. Things are tough in the real world right now-- this is one way that always works, it does take some real guts to do it, I will give you that. However, most everyone else will probably not want to do it, so go for it!!! Nobody is going to shoot you using this approach. The worst that can happen is that you get to talk with nobody and go pound on the next door. There is nothing to be intimidated about-- even when nobody is looking for staff, a good individual that is a smart, hardworking dude with a pleasant personality will always have a chance.

You can do this---- suit up and go. Remember, No guts, No Air Medal!! You are looking for an Air Medal. (Air Medals are earned by Pilots in combat for doing heroic acts. Finding a job is a heroic act in today's environment. Go for it!)

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I wanted to just say first that there is some sound advice and wisdom here for you to follow. Also I applaud you for taking a big step of going to the Chamber of Commerce meeting.

I did want to build on a couple things. First, when you walk into these companies to talk to them, remember that they are just regular people, too. The next thing is to rehearse your opening line or two. You don't want to sound like a robot, but it does not hurt to know what you are going to say to 'break the ice'. This will help you be able to talk with a decision maker. Talking with the owner or manager will be critical in getting your foot in the door. If your resume gets put into the stack of others, your chances are slim of getting noticed.

This is one reason why the door-to-door method and the networking is so important. Sending your resume by email and to the online sites is one thing, but talking to a decision maker increases your chances dramatically.

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Thank you for the wonderful replies.

I know that a suggestion was to search several companies that I'm intersted in but I decided to take smaller steps first and in just going to one company tomorrow. I've done my research (and will continue doing so) and plan to be at the company around 9AM. I actually have a few other networking events and opportunities for tomorrow as well (although not directly related to Civil Engineering, nonetheless I am still excited!). You guys are so helpful it is amazing. I will keep you guys updated as the events unfold. Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.

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OK, on the networking events not related to civil engineering. Makes no difference what the event is related to-- somehow there is a civil engineering connection. It may be the church, Rotary, the car club, the school alumni association, you never know who you will run into who knows someone who is searching for an engineer. Make DAMN SURE that you have business cards with you-- ALWAYS have a business card with you. I am amazed at the number of folks who fail to have business cards-- "I ran out, I left them in the car/briefcase/hotel room/ office drawer, etc., etc." Get a card carrier and always have some with you. Always keep some in your right coat pocket-- if you forget, then you have some in your coat pocket to give out. It is easy to slip into the pocket, get a card, shake hands all in the same step.

Remember the thank you note routine. Send a thank you note to whomever you meet tomorrow-- get the card of the individual, or if you don't get to see he/she, get their card or the card of the receptionist/secretary, change the name to the principal that you were seeking and use the address on the card. Now, if you bust, through no fault of your own and the principal is unavailable/unable to see you, get the card of the receptionist. In addition to sending the handwritten thank-you note, you have a card with an email on it. MOST big companies use a common email naming format-- First InitialLast Name, jjones for John Jones @ABC.com. This is not 100% accurate, however, works about 90% of the time. Here is where some fun comes in-- if JJones @abc does not work, try jonesj@abc, John@abc, jones@abc--- this is trial and error experimentation, however, again, 90% of the time you will find one that works. Hopefully, this is the guy/gal that you seeknig!!!!!

Allright-- keep going-- we are maknig some forward progress.

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Update Time!

On Monday, my original plan was to just visit one company and see what would happen. I visited GHD and unfortunately the regional office manager was in a meeting (or so the receptionist said). She gave me a contact info for the HR (which I've been trying to call, leaving voicemessages and still no response) and I left her my resume and that was pretty much the end of it. The experience was not as terrifying as I thought it would be and I think it mainly depends upon the receptionist and their attitude/atmosphere. The reason I say this is because afterwards, I decided to go to another company that was a few blocks away and I felt more comfortable and confident when speaking to the receptionist. Unfortunately again the hiring person was not in on that day so I actually went back this morning and she was in a meeting (which was true, cause I could literally see her in a meeting). I guess just unlucky timing. The receptionist again gave me the HR person for their company (called them and again no response). I'm starting to see a pattern and I think one problem that I'm starting to see (which you guys already mentioned) is that I'm not going to get anywhere by speaking to these HR people. I need to be speaking to the regional managers, engineers but my problem is that I have no access to them. Its all pretty new to me and often enough on the company's websites, there are not specific employee's names listed on their site and I guess that is where I have to get creative to try to find these names. After visiting these companies, I had some other networking opportunities and that was pretty much the end of it. As suggested, everyone I met (doesn't matter who they were) I wrote hand written thank you notes.

Today (Tuesday) was a little bit discouraging. I went back out to the streets again and knocking on more company doors. Unfortunately and this is totally my fault for lack of planning, literally half of them were in those huge buildings with a closed door and I had no access to (essentially waste of time). I spent most of my morning going door to door and then the other half of the day writing more thank you notes for meeting those people at the networking events last night. Tomorrow I will essentially do the same thing and will keep doing it until I hear something. My biggest hurdle right now is reaching the appropriate person in charge and not just the HR/reception person.

To end on a decent note, as I was walking back home a nice old lady complimented me on my attire and we started conversing. Next thing I know her brother is a retired civil engineer from San Francisco. So I gave her my card and very politely thanked her if she could pass my name along to her brother. I just wanted to end with that and say that its true that you'll never know who you'll come across when you least expect it. Thanks for reading and following my story. Hopefully you guys are having more success than me.

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You are doing good-- just stay at it. Remember, the more times that you get a NO or get turned down, the closer you are to a YES, come on in and let's visit. I will assure you that when that happens, you will be all fired up to do it again.

You are not the lone wolf in this exercise. We have all had this experience-- all of us. The locked door, the crabby receptionist, the principal in the meeting-- JUST STAY AT IT-- you may have to knock 567 doors before one opens, however, open it will.

Recall that Abe Lincoln had lots of hard luck before he ran for President of the United States. Lots of hard luck.

Keep going-- have fun-- again, you never know who you will meet! If the little old lady complimented you on your clothes, then you must have paid attention! That is good-- don't worry, this will work out.

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So far I've tried to go door to door to about 20 different companies both located in San Francisco and in Oakland. I was able to talk to a few Vice Presidents and senior engineers and actually had some good conversation with these people. I've handed them my resume and followed up with a thank you note essentially just thanking for them taking their valuable time and talking to a random guy. Additionally, I've attended a few more networking events, attended a ASCE Dinner last night (made a contact there as well and did my regular follow up). I've been looking into the volunteer organizations mentioned near the top of this thread and will be attending those orientation and events as well. In addition all these, I've still been applying online to jobs but as of right now, I still don't have a solid lead. I know that this kind of thing takes time and I'm gonna continue working at it and doing what I'm doing.

I am only human so I must admit, today was a difficult day. I've mapped out about 12 companies to go, and I was only able to talk to 1 person that wasn't the receptionist. I haven't experienced this the last few weeks but maybe they changed the security guards or something, the main reason I wasn't able to speak to anyone was because the security guard didn't allow to me to go to these companies (they first called the respective company and explained to them who was there and etc). It was pretty discouraging, I'm not gonna lie. As solomonb stated several times, this isn't going to happen overnight and takes hard work, which I completely understand. It just sucks. In this up coming week, I'm going to be visiting a different location and pretty much do the same routine while also following up with phone calls to the people that insisted I should so and also attend some volunteering orientations.

The positive thing that I'm taking away from all is that it is very enjoyable once I actually am able to speak to person and engage with him. I know I will it will be awesome once I get that opening and opportunity. In the meantime, I just have to keep trying and keep trying. Thank you guys for listening to what I have to say. Hopefully you guys are having a wonderful Friday and have some great plans for this weekend. Take care everyone until next time.

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Natural feeling-- you are doing just fine! Remember, the more misses you get, the closer you are to the target. Hit is again hard next week-- this is hard, hard work. However, you have stayed with it and are doing it-- you need to be commended-- and I do so now!!!!!! Yes, it is very discouraging, however, you are going to hit the target---and when you do, it will be great!!

Rest for the weekend, dress up and go again-- by now, you should have this down to a fine science-- hell, you don't know-- somebody may call you next week. I just had a client call and tell me she got a big order after being at a trade show for 3 days with little activity. You never know-- don't be discouraged-- you are, that is only natural and human, however, trust me, this is going to work out! HONEST!

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