Ask Anthony: Why Can’t I Get Interviews for the CE Positions I’ve Applied To?

March 21, 2018

As busy as the civil engineering market is these days, there are still many civil engineering professionals out there looking for new opportunities, and one of them recently submitted these two questions to me.

Why can I not get interviews for civil engineering positions that I have applied to? Is there something that I am missing?

Now, let me be clear, and state that I haven’t spoken to this person.

I only received the questions online, but I’m going to answer them based on my experience speaking with and guiding many civil engineers during their job search.

What most civil engineers miss in their job search is the need of the hiring company. They fail to identify the specific need of the hiring company and instead just explain to the company all of the great things they have accomplished in their careers. The hiring company is less interested in your accomplishments and more interested in their need. If you operate under this assumption (which is usually very accurate) your results will improve.

For example, if a civil firm is looking for a project manager who has experience managing client relationships, then don’t focus your pitch so much on the projects you’ve managed. Instead, focus your pitch on the clients and relationships you’ve managed.

q&a 1 (2)I know, this means that you actually might have to change your resume for every company you submit to. It’s more work, and most people don’t do it, which is why your chances of winning a job opportunity skyrocket if you do.

Companies invest a lot of time, energy, and money into the hiring process. They are not just looking to hire someone with a nice-looking resume, they are looking to hire a person with the right fit for them.

So, remember, when looking for your next job opportunity, identify the hiring company’s need, and make it clear to them how you can fulfill it. If you do, I bet you’ll have a much better success rate in your interviews.

Anthony Fasano, P.E., M.ASCE, is the founder of the Engineering Management Institute (previously known as the Engineering Career Coach), which has helped thousands of engineers develop their business and leadership skills. He hosts the Civil Engineering Podcast and he is the author of a bestselling book for engineers, Engineer Your Own Success. You can download a free video series on his website that will give you the tools needed to immediately improve your networking and communication skills by clicking here.

Anthony has also recently started the Engineering Management Accelerator to help engineers become more effective managers: www.EngineerToManager.com.

2 Comments
  • If you ever get into an interview – either for a new job, promotion, or going after a project, you could get some good tips from this ASCE webinar:

    http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/item/id/1499603/q/t=2120&n=13&c=79

    David

  • Stojan Jovanovic

    Dear Anthony,

    I am Civil and Structural Engineer with long professional experience. My ongoing Project Manager`s contract expires soon and I have just started looking for a new job. My first step was obtaining the professionally written CV but I do think you are right!!
    CV can`t be used in the same manner for applications with different Companies.

    I find your opinion to be very useful and interesting. Now I am sure I have to make some changes/modifications every time I use it and adjust my CV to my future Employer`s needs.
    Thank you for advise!
    Regards,
    Stojan Jovanovic

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