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Advice for a struggling engineer! - RF Cafe Forums

RF Cafe Forums closed its virtual doors in 2010 mainly due to other social media platforms dominating public commenting venues. RF Cafe Forums began sometime around August of 2003 and was quite well-attended for many years. By 2010, Facebook and Twitter were overwhelmingly dominating online personal interaction, and RF Cafe Forums activity dropped off precipitously. Regardless, there are still lots of great posts in the archive that ware worth looking at. Below are the old forum threads, including responses to the original posts.

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Post subject: Advice for a struggling engineer! Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:10 am


Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:05 pm

Posts: 1

Hi everyone,

New poster here and I have a couple of questions for all you experienced engineers. I have recently graduated from my masters in RF engineering and have been having some trouble getting the right job. Most of the jobs I search ask me for a minimum of 2 years experience even though skill wise I think I qualify for them. Anyway my main question is, what are the job positions I should target to get a start in my career in RF engineering.

I read a post from lincedpt about the things you shouldn't do in a job hunt and of all them, the only one I know I made a mistake was to rely only on the internet, now I don't think I have been making that many mistakes and I don't spam my resume all over the job listings that monster.com or careerbuilder gives me, for the most part I select the job applications that I fit the skills the most. Now I could get a job in any other area in engineering that isn't so specialized, however I don't know how much it will affect me, if I have in my resume, experience that isn't related to RF engineering. I know and understand that my biggest problem in my resume is work related experience; however I don't know what are the job positions I should try and get to “get my feet wet” in the RF engineering area.

I should mention also that I am from Mexico and all my education comes from Mexican schools, I recently moved to the US and I have permanent resident status, so I am legal to work here for most companies (except the ones that require US citizenship).

I live in the So. Cal. region and I have been searching here but wherever the job is I am willing to go there.

Any tips, suggestions or comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you



Post subject: Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:23 am


Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:39 pm

Posts: 10

How long has it been since being graduated?

A lot of companies look for people with tons of theory in their head. I like to find engineers with some soldering iron burns on their fingers. So I look for guys that build stuff in their spare time. Start building stuff, even if it is 'just a kit'. Build radios or antennas, or modify off-the-shelf products. Get your ham license (when I see that an applicant has an amateur radio license, I don't think of it as 'sucking up'; it shows that he has an actual interest in RF, its not just a paycheck to him). This kind of experience may not be job experience, but it is something.

While trying to find work in RF, don't hesitate to take on short term or contract work in other fields. If you help a small company with their documentation, ECO (change orders) or manufacturing test, or field training it will look much better on your resume than 'unemployed'. To quote a former colleague; "the only thing engineers produce is documentation; they don't manufacture the product". I had zero training in documentation for my BS. Learning documentation is a great benefit.

Can your university put you in touch with other alumni? Those alumni could give you a lot of advice, they might even know of some openings.

What about all the other places you have worked? Even if it was completely un-related to RF, go back and talk to your old bosses and co-workers. You never know who knows somebody somewhere in the RF field.

As I type this, I remember there was a posting on this very forum (maybe 6 months ago) for an RF engineer in (near?) Miami and knowing Spanish was an extra benefit.



Post subject: re; employmentPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:39 pm


Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:34 pm

Posts: 2

Location: Irvine, CA


We are hiring. give me a call at 949-454-6603 xt 26 or email me and we'll see what we can do.




Kirt Blattenberger

Post subject: Re: re; employmentPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am

Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm

Posts: 308

Location: Erie, PA

nmcgee wrote:


We are hiring. give me a call at 949-454-6603 xt 26 or email me and we'll see what we can do.



Greetings Neil:

Employers are welcome and encouraged to post here. You should identify yourself and your company - Excalibur Engineering.

In the interest of protecting my visitors from the dirtbag recruiters, I normally delete posts and ban the IP addresses of anonymous posters offering job "opportunities." I have a really low opinion of recruiters and the online job boards that steal resumes and job listings from other websites.



- Kirt Blattenberger

RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster



Post subject: Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:50 am


Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:34 pm

Posts: 2

Location: Irvine, CA

Hi Kirt,

I certainly understand your position. I was searching the web for some test equipment when I ran across this site. Upon entering the keyword 'test, I saw toto's post. I also assumed that my information would already be exposed in post, but it did not.

In fact, I am not a recruiter. Excalibur Engineering is a mid-sized test and measurement metrology lab located in Irvine, CA. We have some positions available for some capable techs, should anyone be interested in contacting us. Thanks!




Post subject: Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:41 pm


Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:28 pm

Posts: 4

Location: MA, USA

I think that the fist job will have slightly less salary. You may accept that and keep working. I do not think that it is difficult to find a job with RF education background.

Unfortunately RF DOES require some experience before your boss can expect you to give some work independently. That is why they require 2 years experience.

This is unlike the SW jobs where 2 month expperience in enough to get you going.



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