I received several messages and email asking about why I cannot find a suitable planning engineer job although I am applying for many jobs? In this article, I will tell you the top 10 mistakes behind this.
I will divide the article into 3 sections to make it easy for you to read and understand my point of view. 1st section is related to the mistakes you might do before the interview stage. 2nd stage is related to the mistakes during the interview. And finally, the 3rd stage is related to after being hired and how to pass the 3 months test period.
1- Planner mistakes while applying to jobs:
Too many job applications, but no interviews!
Following are the common mistakes in this stage, if you do one or more of the following; then this might be the reason:
- Apply for the wrong position or job.
- Using the same resume for all job applications.
- You did not answer the question, why I would hire you.
If you managed to avoid the above three mistakes, your chances of being called for an interview will be increased by 500%. Why? Let me explain it to you.
First of all, you need to be focused on your applications, don’t throw your resume everywhere, and wonder why I am not being hired. Now you need to identify who are you? Junior, senior, or manager? Then which type of planning you are the most expert in? Buildings, highrise, infrastructure, oil, and gas…etc. Finally, which countries you are interested/ eligible to work in?
Once you know yourself, now it is the time to focus on your target, and nothing else. Instead of applying for all jobs, you will apply for each job that matches your defined criteria but with more efforts to find more sources of jobs. For example, instead of applying for 10 jobs found on LinkedIn, you may apply for one job only that is most relevant to your target and move forward to find another job on another website such as indeed, gulf talent, famous companies websites…etc.
One size fits all is not applicable anymore in our today world. I mean here, that you are looking for a job right? It means that you have time, why you are in hurry to submit your resume for a job and spend the whole night looking at the stars? Read very well the job description and requirements and edit your resume to focus on the keywords required for this job.
Since I am working as a planning manager, I am involved in hiring planning engineers sometimes. I was looking for a planning engineer who has previous experience in industrial projects. I made an advertisement and I received a lot of resumes. Very few of them had industrial project experience. Since I could not find a suitable person with the required skills, I started to look at the other qualified resumes without this specific skill. I selected 5 of the qualified resumes to call them over the phone to talk about the job. I was surprised that one of them has already industrial experience but he did not mention it in the resume. He is qualified, has the required experience, but he did not highlight it in the resume because he uses only one resume for all jobs, and no many jobs asking for industrial projects experience. Although he is very well qualified, he could lose this opportunity because he did not modify his resume to perfectly match the job requirements.
Why I should hire you? This is the question behind your resume. You need to answer it smartly. For example, a job is looking for a planning engineer expert in buildings, and you focus on your resume that you are a champion on infrastructure. Do you think you answered the question in your resume? Furthermore, you need to highlight your key successes such as completing the project on time, got approval on an extension of time from the client using method xxx. Have the ability to develop a complete working plan including mini schedules for each activity with required resources…etc. Just try your best to answer the question 100% related to the job requirements.
2- Planner mistakes during interview:
Too many interviews but no job offers!
If you reached this stage; it means you passed 50% of your hunting journey. I call this stage the magic show. You need to impress the interviewer like the magician does with his audience in the show. Remember, you don’t have a job, you have time, why you are not well prepared? Following are the common mistake at this stage:
- Come late or very early.
- Your dress is casual and not formal.
- You don’t have anything to show.
Although, you almost there in this job. You are sitting with the ones who will decide to hire you or not, you might easily lose this opportunity if you do one or more of the above mistake.
Coming on time or 10 minutes early, why it is important? You might think that what 10 or 20 minutes late will do in the world! But this is the first impression of your commitments. Let me explain to you in another way, Engineer when you will finish this schedule? You: After 2 days. Me: how I can trust him/her she/he could not manage to come to the interview on time how I can trust she/he will finish the tasks on time?
Dress, why you are looking for my dress? Look at my brain, not my dress. Yes sure, but from your dress, I can find out how serious you are about this job. As simple as this. Sometimes engineers will come directly from the site, tired, late, and not well dressed. What I will think of as a recruiter? He or she not serious. Maybe she/he will waste my time and when I give an offer she or he will just use it to negotiate his or her company to increase salary. Why I will go with this risk especially if I have other qualified engineers? Think about it from this perspective.
If you passed the above 2 points successfully, now the real show should begin. Print some of your reports, a sample of time schedule, cost loading, resource loading, cash flow, follow up reports… Whatever useful documents you believe it is well done. Remove the previous company name and hide all sensitive information and but these files in an organized good file. Now when they asked you about cost loading for example you answer the question then you open your file to show them a sample of your work. This will give you much more power and confidence.
3- Planner mistakes after being hired:
I got the job but could pass the 3 months test or increase my salary
Congratulations! You got the job. Now what? You need to prove yourself in your company. Following are the common mistakes that will make your dream job a nightmare and you feel that you are not satisfied although you got the job.
- I cannot do what I wrote in my resume.
- I cannot do my tasks on time or without mistakes.
- The manager is not good or other engineers take more benefits.
Several times I received messages or emails saying: Engineer, finally after 6 months of looking for a job I got a new job and now I am in trouble because they need a cost loading and I don’t know how to do it.
Excuse me, what you were doing in these 6 months?
Looking for a job.
Why you did not learn in these 6 months?
Because I was looking for a job and after I got a job I want to learn
Really! It is the other way around. You had a complete 6 months full time free to learn, and now after you are busy want to work and learn? Actually, this is a common mistake you might fall in. During your period of searching for the job, keep learning keep practicing, it is the best time to do so. Be ready to prove yourself and move forward in your career when you have the chance.
The planning Engineer will work in one of the two following scenarios. First scenario: always busy, cannot finish tasks on time, and many mistakes in his reports. Second scenario: sometimes busy, most of the time learning something new, and minimum mistakes in reports. What are the differences between the above two scenarios? It is are you working smart or hard?
If you decide to work hard, then be ready for scenario number 1. However, if you decided to work smart, then you can enjoy scenario number 2. So, what are the differences between the 2 scenarios? Following are the key works of working smart, if you know all of them and know how to implement them in planning, then you are working smart. If not, then you are working hard:
- Pivot tables in Excel.
- Excel Macros.
- Excel Power Quires.
- Import and export data from p6 using excel.
- Understand the claims management and EOT
- Project Data Loading sheet.
- Cost and Resource loading calculations.
- Power bi Interactive Reports.
- Concept of practical cost control.
One final mistake that could make you feel bad about your job or even might cause that you lose your job is to keep comparing yourself to other employees or keep an eye on others’ behavior. Just focus on yourself and your self-improvement. It does not matter who is doing what or what was the correct actions from your point of view in something not directly related to your work. Don’t assign yourself as a judge for others. Just enjoy your journey and keep improving your self for a salary increase or your next job challenge.
Where is mistake number 10?
If you count the mistakes above you will found them 9, so where is mistake number 10? It is the most important mistake so I kept it separate.
Mistake number 10 is not taking any action after you read all the above. If you are doing one or more from the highlighted 9 mistakes and you don’t take any action, this is mistake number 10.
So, what actions I should take? I don’t know what actions you should take, see which mistake you fell into, and just fix it. If you are not focused on your job applications, focus on them. If you need to learn something, start now before you are too busy. Do you have an interview soon, get ready. That’s it.