Tag Archives: job search

Chewing and walking gum

The above title doesn’t make any sense, does it?  It’s a transposition of a silly old expression… but it’s indicative of the mixups that can occur when a person takes on too much at one time… and recent data proves once again it’s no laughing matter.

Multitasking, however, is the job requirement du jour it seems, expected of practically every employee as companies carve into the bone in desperate attempts to cut overhead.  And even if cost reduction is not part of the rationale, the goal remains to increase efficiency.

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The Job Search: when HR fails itself

I’m very busily employed now, four weeks into an IT change management role, but still receiving occasional thanks-but-no-thanks emails from former prospects.

For the most part I’ve let the 100-or-so job application dismissals I’ve received go without comment, but feeling frisky with two shiny paychecks under my belt I felt compelled to respond to one today.  I was polite, but wondered: where was my phone screen?

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Job search over?

After seven and a half months looking, and five and a half months actually out of work, I finally received an offer.  I’m taking a few days to consider it.  But thank God it’s there!

The job search: What NOT to do

Today I was discussing my discouraging job search with a blogging buddy who is in the same sinking boat.  Somehow we got on the subject of blog topics and he suggested I write up a list of job-hunting tips.

Problem is, seven-and-a-half months of hard effort have not yet garnered a job offer so while I am certainly a reluctant and repeated veteran of the unemployment wars I don’t feel qualified to suggest anything positive to other career seekers.

However, I do feel up to providing a bulleted breakdown of things to avoid, so here goes.

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The job search: Hiring the unemployed

I’m going to make another quick request of hiring managers:

If you have a choice of 2 equally-qualified people to hire, and one is unemployed while the other is looking to change companies, please make every effort to hire the unemployed person.  On one hand I’m saying that as someone out of work going on five months who lost out on at least one opportunity to someone who was already employed at another company.  On the other, there is a net benefit to society by pulling from the ranks of the unemployed but not so much by accepting someone who is already working somewhere else.


The job search: Titles and riddles

A while back I implored the warm bodies involved in job posting and hiring to improve upon a few aspects of the process.  After an attractive hyperlink led me down the wrong rabbit’s hole this morning I decided to expound further on one in particular: job descriptions.

The offender today was a listing for an Operations Coordinator.  As a current job seeker who has frequently found himself in such facilitating roles, even without the title, I eagerly clicked the link to view the description.  But they weren’t really looking for an Operations Coordinator at all– they wanted an administrative assistant for human resources.

Okay, by some stretch one could get there… using the same logic that promotes plumbers to Sanitation Engineers.  But wouldn’t HR Administrative Assistant be more accurate for the job seeker?

It reminds me of an anecdote recently related to me by the recruiter who helped get me into my original job with Nokia a few years ago.  He was supporting a client in finding a Packaging Engineer and was passed a resumé that just flat confounded him.  The goal was to find someone with broad experience ranging from product conceptualizing to marketing.  Instead he received an application from a big-thinking grocery sacker.

Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be an Easter egg hunt.  Once again on behalf of job hunters everywhere I am beseeching those responsible: for our sake and yours, please think these job titles through carefully.  The time you save may be your own.  😉

150+ and counting…

A few days ago I posted that I was up to 130 job applications since losing my position with Nokia.  Afterward, out of sheer frustration over lack of progress I began digging deeper than ever, turning up companies I had never heard of before but listing positions I could perform.  A few look very promising… at least on paper.

So as of today I am over 150 applications, and setting a goal for myself of 10 per day.

Perhaps I need to make it clear at this point that I am not spamming any employers– yet.  So far every job to which I’ve applied I believe I can do.  But as I exhaust the typical possibilities I am going to have to broaden my scope– both up and down.

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The job search: angels and angles

One of my job-blogging colleagues writes about a concept called Job Angels, which is essentially a network formed around the concept of people helping each other find employment.  Sounds great!  I’ve been doing it for years and never knew there was an organization.  Does that make me an unofficial member?  Do I owe back dues?

Silliness aside, she drove home the point that electronic job applications have not made the candidate vetting process any easier for recruiters.  Indeed, if anything they have made it much easier for great unqualified masses to spam employers with unusable applications that crowd out the qualified.  I don’t even want to know the typical signal-to-noise ratio these days.

She’s correct, then, that the process is broken.  Maybe services like Job Angels is one solution.  But maybe there’s another.

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Where’s my asteroid?

A popular theory has it that a massive asteroid or comet strike 65 million years ago had a negative impact on many dinosaur species at the time.  One could say their entire DNA lines were laid off– permanently.

I’m starting to feel like a dinosaur myself, and frequently looking over my shoulder just in case.

You see, I was born to be a product nut.  It doesn’t even matter what the product is.  Software, hardware, wetware, firmware… I just love to be in the thick of the development process.  The closer I am to invention of some sort, the happier I am.  I’ve even invented a few things but so far none has made it to market.

That worked fine for over a decade.  I spent seven amazing years in Texas Instruments former Defense Systems and Electronics Group (DSEG) and even after TI sold the division and sent me packing, I was able to find similar work (with Boeing) very quickly.  And later on, as my career took some interesting twists and turns, I managed to stay close to product development in some form or fashion.

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Cleaning up Careerbuilder

In addition to a few other job boards, I check Careerbuilder frequently– sometimes twice daily.  The job recommendations feature is fairly accurate enough to make my visits quicker but I often spend some extra time diving deeper to see if any opportunities are escaping my filters.  Sure enough, I typically net one or two extra listings that way.

But when I was first tossed back into the unemployment pool, I noticed a great many garbage listings on Careerbuilder.  Most were mere advertisements for training, with vague assurances of possible jobs after completion of the programs but no tangible opportunity.

Fortunately, Careerbuilder has a Report feature we can use to identify suspicious listings.  I personally put in good time looking for and reporting many improper listings and advise everyone who uses internet job boards to do likewise.

I tried to find at least one example to illustrate but despite clicking through numerous pages I did not find a single one.  Looks like the feature has been effective!  That helps all of us, as it improves the signal-to-noise ratio.  Ironically, it is also an exception to a point I made in this previous article about compounded individual acts working against the whole.  In this case, at least, they work for us.  😉