How to Get a Job at Raytheon

With 71,000 worldwide employees and $25 billion in annual sales, Raytheon has been one of the nation’s leading defense, aerospace and homeland security contractors for decades. Electronics, guided missiles, command systems integration and intelligence systems are all in its product portfolio. Headquartered in Waltham, Mass., this a company that really does need rocket scientists.

How do you staff up a defense contractor? Kristy Kucharczak, Raytheon’s director of Global Talent Acquisition, likes to ask this very fitting question of job applicants: “What’s your mission?” It’s important, she says, for you to “determine your best fit within the company based on your technical interests and your career path.”

How to Make Your Approach

Out of the company’s more than 2,200 job postings, about 1,000 are engineering and technology-related positions, many for software, system, computer, cyber and electrical engineers. Most in demand are security experts and application developers and are among the hardest positions to fill, Kucharczak says. “We’re looking for malware security software engineers and well as developers with experience in developing in Java/J2EE, XML, Perl, C, C++, PowerPC, MIPS, or ARM in a Windows, Unix or Linux operating environment.”

New hires need to bring “technical competence, adaptability and a team-oriented attitude.” If you’re called in for an interview, be prepared to show how your experience matches what you described on your resume with specific examples. And be ready to ask your own questions. Asking appropriate questions shows that you’re truly interested in the company and the position.

“Being good at your technical discipline is just the start of determining the right fit,” Kucharczak adds. “We’re looking for innovative people who are committed to exceeding the needs of our customers.” The company’s website includes a video of the corporate culture. Whether you fit is an important part of the hiring equation.

How to Read a Raytheon Job Posting

Raytheon’s job postings include a position description, lists of responsibilities, required skills and desired skills. Pay special attention to that last category. If you find an opportunity that matches your talents and you have those special skills, you’ll vault to the top of the pile.

Also be sure to read the fine print. As a defense contractor, Raytheon has many positions that require government security clearances and background checks. To make it through the application process, you may need to prove you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.

Finding Jobs at Raytheon

In addition to using its own website, Raytheon distributes job information via social networks. Besides publicizing open positions, Kucharczak says they “search out possible candidates through social media, and invite them to come to our events and explore our opportunities.” You can find Raytheon on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among other sites.

Advice for Seasoned Professionals

Raytheon welcomes veteran tech professionals, but suggests that if you’re looking for the first time in many years, take the time to determine what you’d truly like your next career step to be. Looking for any job as opposed to the right job is a mistake, she says. “Most interviewers can tell if a person isn’t passionate about the position. That matters because it relates to job satisfaction, and ultimately to retention.”

When interviewing at Raytheon, be ready to:

  • Discuss not only your technical competence but also examples of how you faced a challenge, showed innovation or partnered for a superior solution.
  • Explain some positive lessons you learned through both successes and failures.
  • Talk about how you stay up to date in your profession and how your experience is a fit for the position of interest.

Advice for Recent Grads

College grads have a good shot at getting in Raytheon’s door. On average, 15 percent of its annual hires are just out of school. The company recruits heavily at campuses around the country, and expects people to be buttoned up when they approach.

“The job search process can be a challenge for students, so we do recommend above-and-beyond efforts to stand out,” Kucharczak says. “If we’re on campus doing a recruiting event, you should seek us out and have one-on-one conversations with our engineering staff and then follow-up with them afterwards. Always follow the formal application processes, such as applying online, since it’s a required part of our process.”

A few more helpful hints:

  • Make sure your resume describes any type of experience relating to the career you want.
  • Get an internship. Students with internship experience make their way to the top of the interview list.
  • Don’t approach a Raytheon recruiter without first exploring its website, reading up on industry news and checking out the company on Twitter and Facebook. “Students who use these approaches can find themselves considered a high-quality candidate,” says Kucharczak.

Raytheon also hosts periodic online chats for college students who are interested in making contact with the company.

Comments

  1. BY Bob says:

    I’d probably hold off until Congress takes care of the sequester nonsense. Defense contractors will be laying off in droves if the cuts take place.

    • BY RonTheWriter says:

      Like most DOD contractors, Ratheon must provide mandatory employee data to the
      DOD to validate that all staff members meet the DOD’s criteria for the projects. This will be a main agenda item when applicants are interviewed and screened. Therefore, applicants should attempt to get overviews and, if possible, details of what types of projects they might be working on. And remember that contractors are a cultural extension of the DOD culture, which has been labeled a “conditioned mediocrity,” meaning you are paid well to be a mediocre team member. If you are innovative, possess an entrepreneurial attitude, and enjoy participating in an efficiently managed environment, you may be stressed by the working environment. Several years ago, I left the DOD after finishing two Valium prescriptions to spend full-time on a college education. A class .I took on industrial sociology opened my eyes

    • BY Dr. Dick says:

      Amen! There is a lot of talk about this where I am (DoD). Time to hit the private sector. Sorry.

  2. BY joe says:

    If you don’t have a security clearance don’t bother applying.

    • BY Pat says:

      False.

      I got hired without prior defense experience and without a clearance.

      To those who are wondering, you’ll get interim clearance in less than 3 weeks. From there you can access most of everything you need for your job.

  3. BY john says:

    This like all jobs in this country for any employer are just a joke waiting be played on the american public as washington moving along the unemployed to better careers yet providing nothing more than bs paper pushers. The gentleman who talked about the lay offs comming is sooooo correct. and the gentleman talking about the mediocre abilities. I worked on knox before the great election of 08 and you wouldn’t believe the crap I saw down there. These people in the service are risking their lives to provide us with these rights we have and you would think that we as people who support them in the information industry should be at least 24/7 and not straight 9 to 5 or in this case 8 hours in and nothing else. This country is allowing these people to have access to sensitive information and not caring who or what is being done. My entire time down on know was a joke. I did more volunteering for the trishia yearwood concert held on base than I ever did working on the systems.

  4. BY Barbara Vinson says:

    I’m a Recruiter who has been trying to get a job at Raytheon, and your article provided helpful insight into their process. With 2200 positions to fill, I figure they need a few Recruiters to fill those positions!

    Thanks for taking the time to write the article, and share it.

  5. BY Frank Prautzsch says:

    Nice write up on Raytheon. As a former employee who keeps tabs on them, I have some healtfelt pros and cons to their culture;
    PROS;
    -Organized and process driven with good lines of authority and responsibility
    -Excellent, if not superior, engineering talent and invention.
    -Mature planning and communications processes

    CONS:
    -Often so process focused that the process drives decsions off track or after opportunity passes. No business velocity.
    -Love to make thinks (invention)…but need to make improvements on integrating things (innovation). This includes non-Raytheon stuff.
    -Fiefdom business units who often have great synergies but dont work together for fear of losing a booking or taking on a high labor rate.
    -Totally focused on defense or defense related markets with limited/no market adjacency, which will make sequestration a real sting.

    But still all in all, I can make many of the same comments of all aerospace primes who will have a tough go of it for the next several years.

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