Member Voices

Career by Design: How I Found a Job During COVID-19

ASCE’s online community for younger civil engineers, Career by Design, gives you the tools, tips and resources you need to advance your career. Much of that is in real-life advice from young engineers.


Hala Abdo, EIT, A.M.ASCE, is a drainage and road engineer-in-training with FAM Construction LLC, working on the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. She earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Jordan, where she was an active member of the ASCE student group as a social media team leader and board member.

Hey, you did it! You finally graduated, and now you are ready to find a job and start the journey of life!

That was my thought, too, after graduation and passing my F.E. exam. Sadly, my enjoyment was short because COVID-19 soon broke out, a situation that made me more discouraged about my career opportunities. And to make things worse, companies were either having hiring freezes and/or laying people off. Yet, I got hired! And you can too. Here are some tips:

1. Always have a resume available.

Create several resumes. I suggest having a general resume as well as others that match each job description or discipline you are applying for.

2. Be active on LinkedIn.

3. Look for professional development opportunities.

Focus on the key technical skills required of an engineer. 

4. Have a mentor.

5. Never stop applying.

Don’t be discouraged to apply. The process takes time, but you are definitely on the right path!


This article first appeared in the September 2020 issue of Civil Engineering.


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