Self Improvement Tips for Engineers During COVID-19
By: Josh Ogle, PE, SE
October 7, 2020
So, you’ve binge-watched Tiger King on Netflix, LegoMasters on Hulu, Onward on Disney+ and Contagion on AppleTV... now it’s time for something more productive.
This is a perfect time to improve yourself and your circumstances. Depending on your circumstance, you might use this time to improve in a few different ways.
Self Improvement for Engineering Students
1. Learn a software skill with free resources online.
There are multiple platforms online offering free classes or trial memberships. Use this time and these resources to your advantage to learn skills like AutoCad, Revit, or another software skill that is important in your career.
2. Clean up your resume and cover letter.
If your resume and cover letter are not up-to-date, then give them a refresh. Look for ways to reword your experiences so that they have a greater impact. There are things that you can do to differentiate yourself from competing job candidates. Check out some of these free resources for improving your resume and cover letter:
- Resume sample: Copy of a sample resume for reference.
- Resume verbs: Various action verbs to describe your experience.
- Cover letter sample: Copies of sample cover letters for reference (use promo PPICVD19).
- Job tracker: Excel file used to track contacts (use promo PPICVD19).
Preparing for the PE exam? Test your skills with a free sample quiz. Choose your discipline: PE Civil, PE Electrical, or PE Mechanical.
3. Prepare for your licensure exam.
Get all the materials you need, then start reading, skimming, and tabbing them. This time will help you spread out your studies enough to let the information stick in your mind. If you want help understanding what study materials and practice problem materials to use, then check out The Hipster Engineer for guidance on the FE, PE, and SE exams.
4. Apply for scholarships.
If you need financial support for school, then you can use this time to fill out forms, write essays, and collect anything else that is needed to apply for scholarships. There are scholarships available through ASCE and other professional organizations, along with alumni organizations from your school. See how much support you can get!
Self Improvement for Working Professionals
Sharpen your axe with items 1, 2, and 3 in the “student” section.
- Learn a software skill with free resources online.
- Clean up your resume and cover letter.
- Prepare for your licensure exam.
Out of work?
Along with the tips listed above, put yourself out there, and virtually connect with companies that interest you. If you are not doing this, then I can guarantee that somebody else is. Family and mentors can be good resources to reach out to for a pep talk.
If you need more advice, feel free to reach out to me. I am happy to help get you back out there and score your dream job. You can do this!
Keep on keepin’ on. Life’s a garden… dig it!
—Josh Ogle, PE, SE
Qualifying to Take the NCEES PE Exam
Make sure you've completed these steps for PE exam qualification. Learn more about the requirements for the PE exam.
About the NCEES PE Exam, or Professional Engineer Exam
The PE exam is a great way to improve your career prospects. Learn about the PE exam, including exam format, subjects, and more.