One of the reasons I started blogging was to help the next generation of FPGA engineers get a jump on their career. One problem is how to land the first job.I get messages on linked in constantly asking for me for a position. I want to make a few recommendations for cold contacting engineers:
- Don’t simply send a message asking if there is a job available. This sounds desperate and it sounds like I am one of many you are sending your resume to. My current company might be your dream job and you might have reached out only to me, but I’m immediately turned off to helping you.
- Do research the company. Look at the website for positions that match something you want to do. Research what is required and highlight what makes you the best candidate for me to look at. I have received two resumes this way from dozens. I took the time to help both. I’m not currently in the position to hire a jr. engineer, however, I identified weaknesses and suggested what they might work on.
One suggestion I make constantly is to get involved in an open source project, either on your own or find something on github. These days you can get a zedboard or microzed board very cheaply, I think even cheaper with a student discount if you qualify. When picking a project, I suggest picking something which plays well to human senses. For example, video, graphics or audio. This also provides something that you can bring and show at an interview. Understand the project thoroughly and be able to talk about every aspect of it and show the code.
In an upcoming post I’ll discuss some free or opensource simulators and tools that can help you out.