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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 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 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 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.
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