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how to get an interview in this market?

I have tried most of my contacts to no avail, keep sending resumes, but no interviews.What extra thing  can people do to get an interview?
In this market,I think most of the people doing the hiring I think  are looking for "super programmers"...... There are only so many skills you can have.

roy
Monday, February 10, 2003

My company is looking for someone who you can write JBIG2 encoder. Do you feel able to do it?

Pavel
Monday, February 10, 2003

Dude, this horse has been beaten so many times on this forum and other forums that it is dead.  Not only dead but half-decayed.

With that said,

Just keep trying, get a temp job at Wally's world and know that about a sh** load of other people are in your boots.

Scroll down a bit and read some of the other threads.

One of Mario's Brothers.
Monday, February 10, 2003

Uh...I think you answered your own question.  "Hey, companies are looking to hire Super-programmers, what should I do?".  How about...become a "super programmer".  :-)  The problem shoul take care of it self if your observation is correct.

Vincent Marquez
Monday, February 10, 2003

Hi pavel...can u give me a few details?

roy
Monday, February 10, 2003

I would suggest get any job so that you can pay your bills, give your self a certain time frame to get the job while uprgading your skills by doing projects or volunteering.

If this does not work, switch to another career. No offense meant, but currently the demand & supply situation WRT to tech is pretty bad, and is going to be that way for a couple of years.

Prakash S
Monday, February 10, 2003

>>>>>>>>>>
Dude, this horse has been beaten so many times on this forum and other forums that it is dead.  Not only dead but half-decayed.
>>>>>>>>>>

I still think that this is an interesting topic.  I like to have an idea of the "job market" and these types of threads help (no matter how often they are posted).

Now, the thing that makes this thread uninteresting is that there is no information.

-- How long has this guy worked in the industry?
-- Does he have degree(s) and what are they?
-- What was the last job he had, before being laid-off, and what did he do (languages, projects, etc)?

Information like that.  I'd like to know if this is someone that got into the industry "coding html" during the bubble ... or someone who has been working with embedded software...or some sql dba...or what?  Info like that.  I've seen where people say they can't get an interview (on message boards) and I've seen people say they've got multiple offers because they actually knew how to code.  So knowing this guys background would be helpful to everyone.  And if people do post their info...then I have no problem with new posts.

William C
Monday, February 10, 2003


Hi All, this is my background..guess I should have mentioned it. 2 years of full-time experience mostly VC++/MFC,Java, working with 3D geometry,computer graphics library development.Have contributed code to shipped products. My previous project I was developing a CAD application  in VC++ to be used for designing Ships for naval architects ..etc...Lots of Math and Vector geomtery work.

I also have excellent references, and a cs degree, basically it's  been 6 months searching, having moved to a new city..........

roy
Monday, February 10, 2003

Ouch.  That scares me.  I've been developing for 3.5 years.  I figured a lot of the reason people are having a hard time is that because:

a) they want too much money (people used to making $100-$150/hr as a consultant during the bubble don't want to come down in price)

b) too much experience (I gues again, too much money)

c) not enough experience (skills, degrees, etc.) - haven't realized that the only reason they got hired in the bubble was because companies were desperate.

d) well, it's just really hard right now and it will take awhile
...

I was hoping, just because I have similar experience -- and if I ever got laid off I'd like to know my chances,  that people within the 2-5 year experience range were more likely to get a look.  This is because they have at least some experience AND they wouldn't be as expensive as some 100K/year engineers.

Discouraging.  Anyhow, I know I'm  not helpful...but why the move to a new city without a job?

William C
Monday, February 10, 2003

Hmm... Any database experience?  You might try the game field,  www.gamejobs.com 

Split Hair
Monday, February 10, 2003

Well I was in a very small town... less than 200,000, people and pretty much no opportunities there.
so I moved to the big city.I am taking some upgrading courses.Basically I was let go of my last job because I was juniormost, but really enjoyed it though....I was making nowhere near 100k,more or less half of that....

roy
Monday, February 10, 2003

<<Well I was in a very small town... less than 200,000, people >>

200,000 people is a very small town?? :)  I'm in a town of 35,000.  And the city I grew up in had around 95,000 people.  I don't know if I could handle it in a big city.

Jonathan A.
Monday, February 10, 2003

Well I grew up in a city of 10 million,so relatively it's a small town

roy
Monday, February 10, 2003

35,000? You city slicker! We are happy here with out 17,000.

I'm also 2 miles from the old HQ for Digital. HP has 6 major offices within 10 miles of my home. Intel's Processor Design plant is 300 years from my front door.... The list goes on.

My point is, size of town doesn't mean much. It has more to do with quality of the overall area. There are only so many tech jobs in Kansas after all. Up here in New England we have done pretty well. The 128 belt isn't great, but its much better than the Valley is at the moment.

Marc
Monday, February 10, 2003

"In this market,I think most of the people doing the hiring I think  are looking for "super programmers"...... There are only so many skills you can have."

Well, as someone who's hiring right now, I can say that the super programmers ARE getting the jobs.  Why?  Because there are more of them out there right now.

We have four contract-to-hire positions open right now.  We put out the word through four recruiters, and we're wading through several dozen resumes.  We're finding that over half of them are sufficiently good to pass screening, and about 25% are hireable. 

That's a lot.

If it's any help, this is what I look for on the resume, in order of importance:

1. Easy to process (mentally).  We don't use any automated resume-scanners, so when a person has a four-page resume for three years of experience, detailing their favorite modules down to the source code level, it gets a mental minus.

2.  What you did, when you did it.  It's OK to have a summary of all your known acronyms.  It's more important to, for each chronological job listing, tell me which of those skills you used.  If I just see "SNMP" in the middle of a pile of acronym soup, it could mean that you know how to spell it, or it could mean that you invented it.

3.  Experience. More is better, if it's the right kind, but only up to a certain point.  Fifteen years is often the same as five in this industry.

That will get you ranked properly in the stack of resumes.  Like Joel mentions, we usually hire for smarts, not for skills, but the skills are a hygenic factor in getting the interview in the first place.

If you want to take a look at the kind of resume I like to see, look at mine:  http://www.lesher.ws/resume.shtml

Tim Lesher
Monday, February 10, 2003

That's a nice resume.

Wayne Bloss
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Hey you guys from the UK/Europe, do you have a copy of your (if you don't mind ...) CV, ...

I did look at a few CV's from google, but none where impressive.

Want a model to mine my CV after..
Thanks,

Prakash S
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Tim,
That is a nice resume, but don't you find this:

Very strong with Win32 systems and Windows multimedia; experience with object-oriented design (OOD), MFC, STL, ODBC, COM, ActiveX, DirectX, client/server architecture, Video for Windows, TCP/IP using WinSock and UNIX sockets, DirectShow/DirectMedia, TAPI, RAS, XML, RSA public-key encryption. Good knowledge of programming for major Internet protocols including SMTP, POP3, NNTP, HTTP, and FTP.

Hard to read?

I put my "top ten" skills in a bulleted list at the top of my resume (which I don't have handy at the moment). It seems to keep getting me jobs...

Philo

Philip Janus
Tuesday, February 11, 2003


I just accepted an offer from a mid-west
company.  Medium-sized city, I will not have
to move.

A few things that I think helped:

1) Involvement in  professional organizations.
--- Don't just go to meetings.  Present, and become an officer.  Get involved and get to know people.  Say helpful things on e-mail lists.

2) Graduate Studies
-- Don't just take a course or two - get involved.  Earn the high grade in the class.  Get a reputation.

3) Keep in touch with former co-workers
-- In a small city, there are only so many employers.

4) This ain't no practice life
-- Keep in mind, the relationships you build today may be your references tomorrow.  Try hard to be genuinely helpful, even when you don't have to.


just my $0.02 ...

Matt H.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

You education says computer science 1990-93. What does that mean? Someone might read it fast and think you got a degree, but it doesn't say anything about a degree. So after reading it twice I thought maybe you dropped out. Shouldn't you be more explicit on a resume?
And what does "familiar with" assembler mean? I've seen "familiar with" on resumes before, and it seems like it could mean anything.

PC
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Oh I was writing the above to Tim Lestner.

PC
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

"You education says computer science 1990-93. What does that mean? Someone might read it fast and think you got a degree, but it doesn't say anything about a degree. So after reading it twice I thought maybe you dropped out."

That's precisely what it means.  I've found it's the most honest way to tell people that, yes, I have CS background, but no degree.  Generally, I've found that most people that read the resume ask me about it, and I'm up-front with telling them about it.

"And what does "familiar with" assembler mean? I've seen "familiar with" on resumes before, and it seems like it could mean anything. "

True.  I try to follow a consistent pattern with skill set experience:  if I list it as "very strong", I mean that you ought to be able to ask me pretty esoteric questions about it.  If I list it without qualifications or as "experienced with", I mean I use it day-to-day and ought to be able to answer anything reasonable.  "Familiar with" means that I can read it and understand it, but I probably need a reference in front of me to synthesize it, or it's been a while since I really used it seriously.

Thanks for your feedback... there's always room for improvement in these things.

Tim Lesher
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

PhilipJanus,

"That is a nice resume, but don't you find this [...] Hard to read?"

That's probably true, if you're reading it straight out.  Most of the time people are scanning for two or three key skills, and ignore the rest of it.

"I put my "top ten" skills in a bulleted list at the top of my resume (which I don't have handy at the moment). It seems to keep getting me jobs..."

Good.  Whatever works. :-)

I used to have it bulleted, but it got pretty long that way.  I try to include the "kitchen sink" in this section, because people (or machines) are usually scanning this section for known keywords rather than reading it straight through, and often the "side skills" people would like to see aren't in the job listing.

One thing I don't do (and don't recommend) is to include every skill I've ever worked with, even tangentially.  I've seen resumes where people list a skill, and when I ask about it, it turns out that they had to use it one time in a programming assignment in college ten years ago.  That always makes me wonder how many other things on the resume are iffy...

Part of updating your resume should be pruning the things you don't think you could answer questions about anymore.  I don't list Motorola assembler, for example, because while I used to be pretty decent at it, I've forgotten most of what I once knew.

Speaking of which, it's probably time for me to prune OpenScript, VB, and Delphi...

Tim Lesher
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I think it's a catch-22. To me, the "long list" approach is hard to read, and even tough to scan - I'm as inclined not to bother (but I'm not a recruiter).
OTOH, if you list SQL2000 and not SQL7 you could miss a job because the clueless noob reading the resume is only looking for exact matches.

One other thing to prune when appropriate - technologies you don't want to work with. :)

Philo

Philip Janus
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

http://bookshelved.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?DontSendAResume

Brent P. Newhall
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I wanna ask a slightly different question. Being unemployed for how long should I consider a different career? (Should I?) I got good grades and it has been months.

S.C.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Keep plugging away, consider moving, dont give up...it'll happen...good luck.

Realist
Tuesday, February 11, 2003

By the way, for any IT type who has time on their hands, I have two very strong recommendations:
1) Take a writing class.
2) Learn to type

Spelling, grammar, and sentence construction are simply valuable talents in any career in any market. Take whatever kind of writing you enjoy (technical, business, creative), so long as the course requires a lot of actual writing.

And if you can't touch type, get a typing tutor program or take a class and learn. :)

Philo

Philip Janus
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

be professional and make sure that your resume is accurate, outstanding and professional. talk to the interviewer as if you know that you should behired for the job, know and let them know you are qualified.

Sonia Acevedo
Saturday, February 28, 2004

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