Sunday, August 31, 2008

Connections Through LinkedIn - Networking

I have recently realized my efforts to land a job based purely on my ability to search job postings may not be enough. After recently discovering Linkedin, I learned about my 'Connections'. Instead of just searching job postings, I should try and use networking to meet someone on the inside willing to help me out.

I can see that using connections can really help me to network, so after the Labor Day holiday I'm going to try and learn to do this using Linkedin. I'm new to this so the first couple of tries may be a little rough. It just takes practice though.

I looked at some of the job postings on Linkedin and I see most of them are networked to one of my connections. It tells me that people in my network are related to the job posting are open to helping me get the job. It's a little misleading to me at first, but I figured out that I'll have to get introduced to them through my connection. In other words, I know a person who knows a person that can get me a job.

I'll see how this goes and let you know how it works out.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

7 Things I Do To Help My Job Application Process

I have developed a sort of system while doing the job hunt. It's always being improved and it saves me many headaches. Maybe I'm obsessive about it, and maybe I'm crazy. But it works for me and that's all that matters.

1. I save every resume I submit in a separate folder ordered by company name.

2. I save every cover letter I submit in the same way I do resumes. In other words, I have a TON of resumes and cover letters.

3. I have a general resume and cover letter I can print out at a moments notice in case I meet someone who might know of a job opening.

4. I keep plain texts versions of my general resume and cover letter as well for the same reason. Some companies only accept plain text for some reason.

5. I have a references document listing the contact information of all of my managers, bosses, and important people who I trust to vouch for my experience.

6. I keep track of which jobs I've applied to, and which interviews I have gotten.

7. I have details of a bunch of companies in the Orange County area, along with websites, contact info, account info I use to login to their sites, and many other things that would fill up 10 posts.

It may all not be necessary, but so far I think it's working.

Whatever works.

Friday, August 29, 2008

LinkedIn

So today I've discovered LinkedIn.com. A job recruiter was asking me if I was interested in a position out in Florida. I kindly told her I wasn't interested in moving again as I had just moved to Lake Forest. However, now I have her as a contact on LinkedIn so thats a plus. Try some networking.

The site has a lot of stuff you can do. I created a profile, stevewrightaz@gmail.com is my contact email so look me up.

LinkedIn has a ton of potential for job searching. Check back later for more details.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Interview: No Dice

OK, so the first interview didn't go so well. I found that I was lacking some of the experience I needed for the job. Understandable but I am thankful for getting an interview so soon after starting my job search.

I wasn't expecting to be so out of it in terms of what I learned in school. However, I learned that being in a job you don't enjoy causes you to forget skills you aren't using. If I was going to stay with my database programming job, I was going to need to make a decision.

Either accept the fact of being in a career field I don't enjoy, or go to work during the day and practice and re-learn what I really wanted to do when not at work.

I can still make those decisions, but I don't have a job anymore. I can find another job doing database programming and accept it, or study up, look for my dream job, and don't settle for anything less.

I choose the road less traveled. I'll definitely learn a thing or two and grow up a little while I'm doing it.

I'd rather fail doing something hard, then succeed doing something easy.

Phone Interview Today

So I have a phone interview this afternoon. I got it through a staffing agency out of Irvine, CA. They're a great company that designs and manufactures medical device equipment and sells them to companies such as Johnson & Johnson etc.

The company handles all aspects of engineering. Software design, embedded systems development, and manufacturing. I am mostly interested in the embedded systems area, however I would be open to exploring the other areas as well.

I'm really excited about this interview. It's the first one I've landed since moving to California. I have a lot of confidence in what I'm capable of and I hope this goes well.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Easy Job Search / Application Website

I've been searching and applying for a couple weeks now and have come to the conclusion that there are good job search websites and bad ones.

A good one I have found is CyberCoders. This is one of the easiest job search websites to use and makes the process of finding a job and applying to it pretty painless. Most of the jobs have email and phone contacts to the recruiters.

It's an engineering-type job search engine but if you're in that field, then score!

The application process is very informative. It lets you build an identity for each job app. You select the experience you have in a particular area, answer whatever questions the recruiter has, and enter some references. It even displays the job description for you in the same same screen which I think is really helpful if you're applying on the fly.

CyberCoders is great.

Prepare For The Long Haul

I started to realize today that it had been two weeks almost since I talked to Google about a possible interview. A very good friend of mine had forwarded my resume onto someone working with Google in San Fransisco. I heard from the person working for Google that I was guaranteed an interview with them.

I get an email one day from a Google recruiter saying that there were no openings matching my experience. I remembered that I didn't send along a cover letter or anything indicating my wish to change career paths. After kicking myself a few times, I quickly replied to her email, and informed her of my situation.

It's now been that two weeks or so and no response back. I hope what I replied with has been read and considered and it's only a matter of time before they contact me. I never placed all of my hopes on this Google thing. I would be disappointed if my resume now lies at the bottom of the Google resume pool.

OK. Long story short, I know I may need to find some kind of temporary job to bring in some extra cash. I'd like to find something simple, so that I don't have two job searches going on. But I can't work too much because I don't want to take away from my time job searching. So I guess I just need money to help pay for my car, rent, and save my spendings.

My temp job ideas: Grocery stores, restaurants, construction, landscaping, computer IT, etc.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't Hesitate, Apply Now!

This keeps happening to me. I go and find a handful of job openings on Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com, bookmark them, and say I'll apply to them later.

I come back after doing whatever and I see that they no longer exist. Meaning, I waited too long and someone else got the job, or the hiring person didn't want to wait any longer and pulled the advertisement.

Just great. I could have applied to the position and had one more possibility. Another lesson in the world of job-searching. Don't wait at all.

I need a job.

Back From Camping, Still Jobless

So I went on a little camping trip this weekend to Big Bear Lake and took a break from the job hunt. Had a great time hangin with wilderness and mother nature. However, mother nature can be cruel.

While hiking about a 6 mile trail, it decided to rain for about 3/4 of the hike. Also, I was the closest I've ever been to lightning in my life. Saw the flash and heard the boom throughout my body. Walked much faster after that.

Before I left, I completed a questionnaire for a hiring agency I am working with. On my camping trip (I took my phone, not very proud of that but I need a job) I got an email from the lady at the agency saying that my responses were excellent and she would work on getting a phone interview setup. Definitely looking forward to that.

Also, I'm not unemployed, I'm funemployed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Making My Resume

Before I got my job at Raytheon, I was writing my resume by myself and it looked pretty bad compared to other resumes. Like I said, I was never taught how to write one. All of my information was organized poorly and I included information there I didn't need.

I found a tool from Career Services at the University of Arizona where it writes a resume for you. It was free, at least when I was in school, and was a step-by-step process. I wrote an objective statement, my degree information, coursework, and work history.

The format and structure was handled by the program. I only wrote down my information and it did the rest.

As for the information, I included everything I had ever done. All coursework, experience, skills, and work history. I saved this resume into a Word file and used it as a template for any other resume I needed.

When I went to apply for another job, I would make a copy and delete everything out of the copy not related to the position I was applying for.

Why did that take so long to figure out?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What I'm Not Doing While I'm Not Working

Without having a job and getting a paycheck every 2 weeks, I can't spend money like I used to. I got a lot of advice on what I don't need to be doing, and I was going to try and sum up my plan here.

What I won't be buying
- Fast food
- Dr. Pepper (My daily habit)
- Magazines
- Gas (Only drive when I absolutely need to)
- XBOX 360 Games (I miss that)
- Clothes (I don't need any right now)
- Beer, Booze, etc.

What I should only spend money on
- Rent (Need to live)
- Car payment (Bought a car when I had a job)
- Gas (For driving only when I need to)
- Food (Pasta, cereal, milk)
- Clothes (In case I need something new for an interview)

I realize I look cheap but hopefully I can outlast the unemployment period. Although, I do plan on getting a temporary job just so I don't blow all my savings waiting around for a job offer. Also, it will get me out of the house during the day and earn money to pay my car off and for rent.

Hire me please!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Call For A Unified Job Application Process

I know this is asking a lot, but why can't it happen? Coming out of college, I felt I was at a disadvantage. I didn't know how to write a cover letter. I barely had a good resume. I was never taught how to do such things. I didn't think it was that big of a deal. Was I wrong!

Was I the only one coming out of college who felt they missed something? I know there were classes teaching how to write these documents, but I couldn't take them and didn't have the time to do it. I got taught everything I needed to do my job in school except how to get it.

Why do some companies only ask for a resume and your name, email and phone number on their web site, while others want essays, cover letters, accomplishments etc?

I realize they have every right to. It's their company and their money they are going to be paying out to have you do the work. They want to choose the right person. I'm just asking for a consistent application process from one company to the next.

I Need A Job!

Hi all,

I used to work for Raytheon down in Tucson, AZ. I worked there for a little over a year, earned a pretty good paycheck, had a steady job, bought a nice truck, and pretty much had it made. But there was only one thing: It wasn't for me.

I know what you're saying. "What the hell? Are you stupid? You work for Raytheon. That's awesome." Well, not really. I didn't like the work I was doing. I wasn't using anything of what I learned in school. I was tired of the Arizona heat.

I adopted the belief from my family that something isn't worth doing if you're not happy doing it. I didn't feel like it was right for me to stay there if I was going to be ungrateful for being paid very well for doing something I did not like.

It was time to try something different. So after a year and couple months of having a job, and a couple months before that of looking for a job after college, I'm back to square one.

I moved to Lake Forest, CA in July 2008 in hopes of landing a new engineering job. I want to try and find something having to deal with designing computer circuits with microcontrollers, and resistors, and LED screens and whatnot. Something having to do with digital design which I think is awesome. Probably because it was the thing I was best at in college.

So here I am, up every day early in the morning searching the net. I know all of the happening sites, local and national. I have many resumes and cover letters. I have a little job system set up so I don't lose my mind wondering what the hell I'm doing. I keep track of everything. It's great.

Maybe someone will see me standing out from the crowd. Maybe they won't.

But, all I need is one "You're hired" though, right?

Happy hunting.
 
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