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Re: Career advice (response to post by tolkienfan) | Reply
Ideally, and historically, that is true. However, I've been noticing that when times are not quite so rosy the managers start trying to be very targeted on the skills then need now. This appears to be a combination of the assumption that there's a lot of folks on the market with good skills, and that with lean times the company cannot afford a learning curve, even for a good generalist.

Fortunately there are still many managers that understand that an employee (as opposed to short-term contract workers) cost the company a lot to bring on board and it is worth looking for the capacity to learn rather than specific skills.

I always used to be amused at the level some managers would take this however. At Bell Labs, you'd see a posting for a "lab rat" -- someone to string cables in a lab and do other "operations"-like duties for the researchers. The post would specify a minimum of a master's degree and prefer a PhD because they still had that eye on developing the individual beyond the immediate needs of the job.
Re: Career advice (response to post by nicomp) | Reply
That's really dependant on what the employer is looking for.
If they have a project that has a specific requirement, they might go for something very narrow.

But more often than not, a company will be hiring for future rquirements - many of which may not be known at the time. A smart person with a good ethic is better than a drone with 5 years banging out C
Re: Career advice (response to post by jhughes) | Reply
"As a side note - get away from the Monsters, etc..."

I respectfully disagree. An employer can perform a very narrow skills search in a short period of time using the online job search sites. By receiving applications electronically the employers don't have to manually sort through resumes and filter out large numbers of unqualified applicants. If I want a programmer with at least 5 years experience in Poseidon, I can reduce my sorting and searching workload by posting on Monster or Dice or HotJobs.

If these sites didn't work on some level, they would wither and die. The sites seem to be as popular as ever. Employers are paying for the privelege of posting openings and searching through their databases of applicants. They are also paying for the opportunity to spam applicants with get-rich-schemes and education scams but that's another discussion.

I think the applicant pool that reaps the least benefit from the sites is entry level applicants. Entry level people immediatly sink to the bottom of the list because they don't meet enough of the search criteria. Anyone with experience is going to look more attractive when compared with entry level guppie. It's like comparing apples and oranges. I've never seen a job posting on any site that calls out a specific grade point average or a specific college. Those things are important on a resume but they pale in comparison to a very specific set of on-the-job skills.
Re: Career advice (response to post by entaroadun) | Reply
Thanks everyone for your posts. I apologize for not posting a reply sooner. It's been a busy month. First there were finals, then graduation and entertaining my parents for the weekend, and now I'm on the job search full time. Not much luck, there yet, but I'll keep plugging away at it. I even signed up with a local temp agency towards the end of last week. I hope to hear back from them at the beginning of next week. The weekends sure suck as far as that goes. I have to wait until businesses open again on Monday.

Anyway, I'm off to keep hunting down jobs.
Re: Career advice (response to post by Code-Guru) | Reply
It's very hard for an entry-level developer to get any attention right now. The market has come down significantly and there are plenty of experienced developers available for a song and a dance (IMHO).

That, combined with geography, makes it extremely hard for you. You need to get to where the work is. I can think of no companies who would be willing to let an untested dev telecommute. Even if you had decades of experience, development is a collaborative process; it works best face-to-face.

Given those constraints, get in touch with a good recruiter and get to know him/her very well. TC is a good place to start. jhughes is absolutely right. Managers don't hire resumes; they hire people. The purpose of the resume is to get you an interview. A recruiter can help you with both.

Remember that companies are flooded with candidates right now. You need something that separates you from the pack. Statistics and lists of skills don't do it. Get on the phone and let them hear your voice. You aren't a real person until you have some personal contact. Recruiters are invaluable for getting your foot in the door.
Re: Career advice (response to post by rgrig) | Reply
Sorry about that.

A bit more searching revealed that "criticism" is indeed used in a more negative sense than "critique".
Re: Career advice (response to post by PuffRing) | Reply
Since no dictionary I've searched mentions such a difference I'll conclude that what you said is not a difference in the meaning of the two words but a difference of how YOU use those two words.

The meaning of a word is what MOST people understand by that word. This is captured in dictionaries.
Re: Career advice (response to post by Hurd) | Reply
btw: facetious or is there any substance to your bite?
Re: Career advice (response to post by Hurd) | Reply
One is based upon things that you still have to opportunity to improve upon the other is a stated opinion on matters that you cannot influence.

Re: Career advice (response to post by PuffRing) | Reply
"get to know the difference between criticism and critique."

I'll bite. What's the difference?

critique (krI'ti:k). [A gradual alteration of the 17-18th c. critick, CRITIC
sb.[2], after French.

1 An essay or article in criticism of a literary (or more rarely, an
artistic) work; a review.

2 The action or art of criticizing; criticism.

Re: Career advice (response to post by Code-Guru) | Reply
Code-Guru,

I would like to mention to you the essential need for you to demonstrate effective time management at this point in life. You are leaving school, basically you have completed the minimum at this point to graduate and you have to devote time to finding a paying position. No, arguements to say that your GPA is important is a losing position. Take the time now to find work and don't wait for school to finish to "hit it hard" it will hit back harder.

That is first, second get some interview experience, go to the career center and ask for practice interviews. Some companies will send reps to schools specifically to get people potentially interested in their companies. Many large corporations not in the IT industry still require a good deal of technical support. Talk to people, find out what these people feel are important to know about their company. Sometimes finding a job is not about what you know but what you can learn from the company you will work for.

Third get to know the difference between criticism and critique. Adjust to one and learn how to dig for the source of the other.

It is better to keep in motion then to fight inertia get proactive kid. and good luck. Seems too late for you to have set up an option to go to grad school. (This is a criticism)
Re: Career advice (response to post by Code-Guru) | Reply
I've had good success with dice.com.
Re: Career advice (response to post by harvey6ft) | Reply
Thanks for the suggestions. I looked at dice.com briefly, but haven't taken the time to register and submit my resume because at the time it didn't give me many hits. I'll have to take a look at it again. I don't think I've looked at hotjobs.com yet.

CareerBuilder.com on the other hand has been a bit of a disappointment. Shortly after I signed up and submitted my resume, I recieved several emails from people saying how they liked my resume and wanted me to apply for a job. After a little bit of research, it seemed obvious that they didn't even look at my resume because the jobs were not even related to anything I have experience with. If I recall correctly, one was for insurance sales. Others were from recruiting agencies that I didn't think were worth my time dealing with.

Needless to say, it put a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak, for CareerBuilder.com. I apologize if this sounds a little negative. I don't mean it that way. I'll definitely look at HotJobs.com and Dice.com to see if anything comes up.
Re: Career advice (response to post by dplass) | Reply
It's not that I *need* to work from home per se. It just seems difficult to find the kind of job I would like in my area. I'll definitely consider participating in more component competitions. I've done some development competitions before but have not yet won any. I think time has been the main limiting factor here. Once I've graduated, I'll have a lot more time to improve my submissions.
Re: Career advice (response to post by Code-Guru) | Reply
I believe in the internet, but don't neglect the old fashioned approach. Speak to people and dig around to see what is available in your community.

You're graduating in CS. Your alma mater will have a computing center. Do they have openings? Even if not, they'll have employees who know people in other places. Where are your classmates working? Are there Unix/Windows/OS2/whatever user's groups in your area? Attend some meetings. Print calling cards and resumes and never be without them.

Perhaps you have other interests that dovetail with computing. Any small businesses that might need your services?

2 interviews from 25 applications isn't bad. Try 200 applications ...
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