How to Get a Job at Tesla Early in Your Career

How to Get a Job at Tesla Early in Your Career

  • Tamer Shaheen is a mechanical design engineer at Serve Robotics and a former Tesla engineer.
  • When he applies for a job, he always sends his portfolio along with his resume.
  • He says sending in a portfolio and keeping a master list of questions helps him land jobs.

I graduated as an engineer in April 2021 and started at Tesla a month later in a full-time contract position as a mechanical design engineer.

I recently left for a startup called Serve Robotics, an autonomous and sustainable delivery service. I know my portfolio helped me get both jobs.

When I started applying for jobs while still a student, I barely got any interviews. I would have to go through 10 to 15 interviews to get a job offer.

I was super nervous and felt unprepared. But through extensive research, trial and error, and many failures, I found a method that worked for me. These are my tips for landing a job as a mechanical engineer.

Keep a master list of technical questions

For many of these engineering roles, you must pass a technical interview. I had my first technical interview in the second year of school. I was surprised by the complexity of some questions. But with each interview I did, I became less and less nervous because I started accumulating resources.

I did more than 10 interviews at Apple, three or four at Tesla and several other interviews at startups. I learned that companies often ask similar questions. So, at the end of each interview, I wrote down the questions they asked me. If I didn’t already know the answer, I’d figure out how to answer it.

I kept a master list of technical questions and went through that list before an interview. It helped me not to be caught off guard.

Resume of Tamer Shaheen.

Shaheen added color to make her resume stand out.

Tamer Shaheen

I redesigned my resume to stand out from the crowd

I had a very traditional resume at first – everything was black and white with typical fonts and all in one column. I was not called back for many interviews. So I tried something different.

My resume is still only one page long, but I split it into two columns and divided it into four distinct sections: experience, skills, projects, and education. The result was a more aesthetically pleasing and easier to read resume.

When deciding what to include in the bullet points under each job, I think of three things:

  1. First, I make a list of all the important mechanical engineering skills I need for the job I’m applying for.
  2. Then, I think about which of my skills I want to highlight.
  3. Finally, I turn every skill I have into a chip.

My CV allowed me to stand out and highlight my best skills. But I think the real change for me was sending it along with my portfolio as a PDF when I applied for jobs, or even when I networked on LinkedIn.

This is what my visual portfolio looks like

Tamer Shaheen's wallet.

Shaheen always includes images as it makes it easier for investigators to browse his projects.

Tamer Shaheen

I have never received negative comments for sending my portfolio with my CV. I think as human beings we prefer looking at pictures to reading words. It also makes it easy for companies to browse your experiences.

For my portfolio, I made three columns and included a photo.

Under each photo I explain what I did for the project – the first bullet point is really just an overview. In the next point, I talk about what I did. In the “how to” section, I explain things like the software or the manufacturing process I did. I try to include keywords and terminologies that would show someone my knowledge and the value I brought to the project.

I also try to include as many numbers as possible. I try to quantify the positive influence of the project.

Interviewers always end up asking me about my projects. It’s a great conversation starter and makes you memorable to someone going through resume after resume.

I’m sharing these models so you don’t have to be as nervous as me

When I first started applying for jobs, I was super nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I share these models so that other people are less nervous than me. I’ve shared my experiences on YouTube and received feedback from people saying my formats have helped them get jobs at Apple and General Motors. I even have friends who use similar models. I’m really happy to see it working.

Here is the link to my Canva template for my resume and portfolio. It worked for me. Hope this will work for you. I know this method has helped me and others. It’s just a matter of being consistent and keeping your work up to date.

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