Advice from a Technical Manager: Alan Wright — Jessica’s Career Tip of the Week

Today, I will provide a summary of the weekly webinar “Advice from a Technical Manager.” given by Alan Wright, Senior University Relations Recruiter for Cree/Wolfspeed. Available on Handshake, this weekly series invites various industry professionals to provide their advice on obtaining the job that you want and answering any questions related to your career development that you may have. Also, Keysight and Intel are coming soon, so I highly recommend checking it out!

From the beginning, Mr. Wright stressed the importance of having a usable network. As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” You’ll need to spend a lot of time building good relationships with peers and professionals through LinkedIn, Handshake, on-campus professional organizations (such as IEEE, NESBE, SHPE, SWE, or SASE), networking events, career fairs and more; however, this hard work will pay off by opening doors that were inaccessible before. For example, many companies work closely with professional organizations and thus offer their members new opportunities before the general public. The network isn’t only useful to land a job though; once you have a position, your contacts can help answer questions you may have, gain new skills, understand the workplace better, or even recommend a good restaurant to try. As Mr. Wright stated, progressing through the industry is similar to the letter “Z.” To further illustrate, there’s quite a bit of lateral movement in order to learn more skills and create new experiences that ultimately make you a great candidate for a promotion. Your network ties directly into this motion: the more people you know, the more skills you can acquire! For now, a good start would be working with the Career Services Office. The Fulton Career Center is in constant contact with the professionals who will eventually be the ones reviewing your resume, so our resources can help you be an outstanding candidate!

As resumes are an unavoidable aspect of the job search, Mr. Wright provided his advice here as well. Resumes should be straight-forward and concise to neatly fill one page; if you decide to use two pages, make sure you fill *all* two pages, not just one and a quarter. The template that the Fulton Career Center provides is one of the best formats that Mr. Wright has seen, and he believes there’s no need to deviate from it. He stated that color and utilizing a different paper size than 8.5” x 11” is unnecessary, and may even give a bad first impression. As for content, Mr. Wright emphasized the display of transferable skills. Internships are an invaluable experience to show knowledge of engineering skills, but that doesn’t mean academic projects are unnecessary. If you have no internship experience, he recommends discussing your role in a group project. For example, establishing a schedule and creating the PowerPoint presentation for the class can still demonstrate leadership and time management, which are valuable skills regardless. Unrelated work experience such as being a cashier in a fast food restaurant can be handled similarly – it can also demonstrate transferable communication skills or accountability. Mr. Wright spoke for most recruiters when he said that they understand you don’t have professional experience. They want to give you that experience. As such, show your transferable skills to demonstrate your ability to succeed in the offered position.

Mr. Wright delved into a lot more topics, but I felt these were the most important points that he discussed. If this advice piqued your interest, then tune in for Stacy Johnson from Keysight on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at 4 p.m.!

** This blog was written by Keene Patarakun, Peer Career Coach