What Recruiters look for in Design engineering aspirants

A brief summary of what Engineering Recruiters look for when hiring entry level Design engineering talent

Like any professional, design engineers must work towards a Return on investment. Investment in this case is the salary . The salary paid by the employer should give outcomes in terms of ideas and execution maybe not immediately but projected in the future.

Specific to design engineers the Return on investment can be attained through the successful delivery and execution of projects which solve problems which in turn make money through sales.

The First level of basic requirements for any professional working in a team include the following

  • Decent communication skills to convey ideas, thoughts, and details.
  • Ability to work agreeably in a team environment.
  • Positive work attitude or work ethic

Design engineering specifically is a high impact high responsibility profession. At the entry level generally engineers are not given full responsibility for delivery of projects . Hence there are different expectations for the Entry level and for the experienced.

Here is an attempt to list down key differences.

Entry Level example: Graduate Engineer Trainee


  • Have an engineering problem solving approach and mindset
  • Strong in engineering fundamentals including Math, mechanics , materials etc
  • Basic exposure to engineering tools used in product development like CAD
  • Practical problem solving over theoretical problem solving
  • Openness to learning and tendency to learn quickly on the job

Experienced Level example: Lead Design engineer


  • Ability to deliver results in product performance, execution of projects.
  • Take responsibility for design decisions which impact downstream activities including manufacturing and testing.
  • See through the design process, solve issues,
  • Innovation in the domain
  • Improve designs for cost, weight, and other parameters.

How to make the transition ?

Work on projects , assignments which develop these skills

  • Learn the skills to solve problems practically
  • Learn the skills of product development
  • Learn engineering design
  • Learn tools

Most important fundamental skills for excellence in design engineering


  • Critical thinking & analytical thinking
  • Creative problem solving
  • Curiosity and learning
  • Attention to detail
  • Clarity in communication


  • Concept development, idea generation in product design
  • Visualization and documentation – CAD, drawings
  • Design for Manufacturing and Assembly, Design for X
  • Engineering analysis – applying mechanics

Categories: Skills and knowledge