More than 30 companies set up booths at this year’s IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference, held 23 and 24 May in San Jose, Calif. As we all know, however, it takes more than just knowing about a position to get your foot in the door. So The Institute asked recruiters and hiring managers at the career fair what it takes to get an interview and ultimately land a job with their companies.
Cadence Design Systems, headquartered in San Jose, provides advanced electronic design automation software and hardware. “We’re at the heart of so many technology innovations out there,” says Lynn Wright, senior group director, who leads the company’s global quality validation team. “Our chips and other technology innovations are in your phones, televisions, laptops, and wearables.”
Cadence, which needs more than 200 engineers worldwide, has job openings for lead software engineer, lead product engineer, principal application engineer, data warehouse analyst, senior storage engineer, and enterprise architect, to name a few.
“We’re looking for core engineering skills,” Wright says. “However, I’m also looking for people who are individual thinkers and who strive to make an impact.”
Candidates should not only list their job responsibilities on their résumé, she says, but also provide concrete examples of how they’ve contributed to their projects’ success. “I want to see how applicants have made an impact,” she says. “These examples also show me that they are proud of their accomplishments and want to continue moving the needle throughout their careers. These are the type of people we want to bring on board.”
During a job interview, Wright recommends, candidates should talk about the examples noted in the résumé. It’s perfectly fine to discuss failures, too, she adds, as long as you state what you’ve learned from them and how you grew from those experiences. “These types of discussions provide the kind of human connection that will get you into the position you are looking for,” she says.
The world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation solutions, Rockwell Automation, headquartered in Milwaukee, offers recent graduates a way to get their foot in the door through Engineering in Training. The entry-level program teaches budding engineers about Rockwell’s hardware and software products, and how to apply them to applications and systems. Rookies also receive training on how to become field support engineers—which involves providing services for installing and operating automation control and manufacturing systems.
Jena Miller, industry sales engineer for the company, got her start through an entry-level program. In addition to technical chops, she says, the company looks for candidates with “strong leadership initiative, great interpersonal skills, and a 3.0 GPA or higher.”
Rockwell has more than 100 job openings for experienced engineers. They include firmware engineer, software test engineer, technical lead, and project engineer.
The company is focused on diversity and inclusion, Miller says, and is looking to hire more women.
The company develops technologies for innovative sustainable energy methods and ways to better manage existing energy sources. Headquartered in Rueil-Malmaison, France, it has more than 180,000 employees in over 100 countries. Schneider Electric has more than 300 engineering job openings, including ones for senior software engineer, senior automation engineer, and power system engineer.
Roxana Svensson, the company’s director of diversity and inclusion, says she looks for people who embrace Schneider’s high-performance culture—which includes showing passion and being up for a challenge. Moreover, she says, “Candidates should communicate clearly what their skill sets are and what they can bring to the table.”
Although education and experience are important, Schneider says, she seeks candidates who can be themselves. “We don’t want people to change in order to fit in,” she says. The company offers benefits for personal and professional development.
The virtualization software company in Palo Alto, Calif., employs 19,000 people. Wendy Salle, VMWare’s staffing manager, says the company needs to fill positions in just about every kind of engineering role. There are more than 500 open positions for engineers now. They include cloud solution engineer, senior consultant for networking and security, and lead architect of security products.
Candidates who want to stand out from the pack should do their homework. “Research the company,” Salle says. “And don’t hesitate to share your opinions about it, whether in the cover letter or in an interview.” Being passionate and proving you’ve put in the extra effort gets you further in the hiring process, she adds.
“You don’t have to have every skill listed in the job description, but showing that you take initiative and have a ‘can do’ attitude will convince hiring managers they want to invest in you,” she says. “VMWare is a fast-paced, fun, and electric environment, so bring your excitement to the interview.”
Other companies recruiting at the career fair included Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel, and Verizon. Be sure to check out their job boards for open positions.