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I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 04:10 PM   #1
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I want out of my cube!

I've been actively looking for a new job during the last 3 months. I must have sent out 100+ resumes with little response. I've had my resume proof read by different people. I went through it with a fine tooth comb in order to find the gotcha's. I also have several permutations of "kick butt" cover letters and loaded my resume with key words. I can't understand what I'm doing wrong.

I just had a phone interview for an IT position with a major investment firm. The position sounded great but their salary is lower than I make now. She did say that my salary requirements are completely in line with other applicants, so I'm not out of range. She said the company will probably need to evaluate their salary requirements for this position soon.

This is exhausting. I can't imagine being unemployed and having to deal with all of this crap. :P

Any advice or words of wisdom is appreciated. I'm feeling down right now.
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 04:18 PM   #2
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Keep plugging away and you will find something good.

Have you thought of trying your search a different way? For example, if I were on the street tomorrow, I would immediately start applying to a few selected companies I know are up my alley. However, my real search would be through various alumni and professional networks as well as a few people I know personallly who might have a tip or an in.
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I've been actively looking for a new job during the last 3 months.* I must have sent out 100+ resumes with little response.* I've had my resume proof read by different people.* I went through it with a fine tooth comb in order to find the gotcha's.* I also have several permutations of "kick butt" cover letters and loaded my resume with key words.* I can't understand what I'm doing wrong.*

I just had a phone interview for an IT position with a major investment firm.* The position sounded great but their salary is lower than I make now.* She did say that my salary requirements are completely in line with other applicants, so I'm not out of range.* She said the company will probably need to evaluate their salary requirements for this position soon.

This is exhausting.* I can't imagine being unemployed and having to deal with all of this crap.* *:P

Any advice or words of wisdom is appreciated.* I'm feeling down right now.*
Over my working life I have been on the street quite a few times. I understand
your emotions but I am obviously not the best person to offer coping
techniques or job hunting tips as I never minded being unemployed.
Always figured something would come along and if it didn't I would just
go on my own. Worked every time, but I am an odd duck as I know
most folks get real queasy at the thought of losing their job.
Hell, people have killed themselves. It was always a vacation for me.

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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 04:38 PM   #4
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I've been actively looking for a new job during the last 3 months.* I must have sent out 100+ resumes with little response.* I've had my resume proof read by different people.* I went through it with a fine tooth comb in order to find the gotcha's.* I also have several permutations of "kick butt" cover letters and loaded my resume with key words.* I can't understand what I'm doing wrong.*
Maybe you're trying too hard. *I rejected lots of resumes over the years because people get too exotic and try to make things sound more important than they really are. *Kinda like putting lipstick on a pig. *I don't know what your resume looks like, so I don't know if this is the case with yours, but I know it's the case with a lot of people. *By the way, I hardly ever read the cover letters.

Don't forget, there's always the self-employment route. *That requires no resumes.
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 04:44 PM   #5
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I've been actively looking for a new job during the last 3 months. I must have sent out 100+ resumes with little response. I've had my resume proof read by different people. I went through it with a fine tooth comb in order to find the gotcha's. I also have several permutations of "kick butt" cover letters and loaded my resume with key words. I can't understand what I'm doing wrong.

I just had a phone interview for an IT position with a major investment firm. The position sounded great but their salary is lower than I make now. She did say that my salary requirements are completely in line with other applicants, so I'm not out of range. She said the company will probably need to evaluate their salary requirements for this position soon.

This is exhausting. I can't imagine being unemployed and having to deal with all of this crap. :P

Any advice or words of wisdom is appreciated. I'm feeling down right now.
I've been trying to improve my work situation for a year now, and tomorrow's interview will be the closest I've gotten. Hmm, that comment may not have been much comfort. What's your specialty?
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 05:38 PM   #6
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Re: I want out of my cube!

I've cold called my resume. I've also targeted specific companies that I'd like to work for (ie, Genentech). I've done the Monster and Dice searches. I've met with Robert Half Technologies. nada.

Also, when applying on-line most companies are requiring a cover letter regardless of whether the hiring manager looks at it. Some companies even have mini on-line interview questions specifically tailored for the posted position.

I thought about desperation and how it might ooze into my job search. I simply haven't gotten far enough into the process to demonstrate (or NOT demonstrate) my desperation.

For Laurence, I'm a senior software engineer working in a technical lead capacity. In other words, head geek. Unfortunately, the last several projects had me leading offshore resources. It's the sign of today and will increase in the future, for sure. Having said that, I'm looking to morph into a senior systems analyst role supporting business applications, like PeopleSoft HCM and Oracle/PS financials.

Good luck with your interview, BTW

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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 05:46 PM   #7
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Yeah, I am starting the job search process as well. Not looking forward to the process. Can't offer much advice as I am sure you are better at this than me. I can only offer a :P :P
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 05:55 PM   #8
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Yeah, some jobs are worse than others:

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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 06:10 PM   #9
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Yeah, some jobs are worse than others:
Gotta wonder why she doesn't let the poop fall to the ground. Poop hits ground, then scoop...
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 06:16 PM   #10
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Gotta wonder why she doesn't let the poop fall to the ground.* *Poop hits ground, then scoop...

That's Xtra-clean scientific test poop there! God knows what's on the ground.

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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 07:04 PM   #11
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I've cold called my resume.* I've also targeted specific companies that I'd like to work for (ie, Genentech).* I've done the Monster and Dice searches.* I've met with Robert Half Technologies. nada.*

Also, when applying on-line most companies are requiring a cover letter regardless of whether the hiring manager looks at it.* Some companies even have mini on-line interview questions specifically tailored for the posted position.

I thought about desperation and how it might ooze into my job search.* I simply haven't gotten far enough into the process to demonstrate (or NOT demonstrate) my desperation.

For Laurence, I'm a senior software engineer working in a technical lead capacity.* In other words, head geek.* Unfortunately, the last several projects had me leading offshore resources.* It's the sign of today and will increase in the future, for sure.* Having said that, I'm looking to morph into a senior systems analyst role supporting business applications, like PeopleSoft HCM and Oracle/PS financials.
I've never had to find a real job, but two of my old shipmates are headhunters at Lucas Associates.

Aside from the myriad of personal job-hunting services afforded by their firm, they say that the vast majority of job offers come from knowing someone at the company who's in a position to hire you. Statistically it's not cold calls. It's not searches. It's not online applications. It's going to Toastmasters or the Rotary or the User's Group and getting to know people. It's volunteering at their charitable or social events and helping out on their boards or committees. It's doing things for higher-up people and then one day asking for advice. The problem with this advice is that it's not something that you can accomplish in the next two weeks... it's more a product of an occasional evening or weekend over months or years.

It's also a function of opportunities. Nelson Bolles describes a book of hundreds of pages filled with the word "No." At the end of the last page is the word "Yes". The book's title, of course, is "The Job Search." There are jobs out there, and you're not in the wrong field, but so far you haven't encountered enough people that would hire you for the odds to swing to your side. After three months you may only have three or even six months left before you get an offer that you can really accept.

I don't know what "leading offshore resources" means but you make it sound like a growth industry. (I used to do that as a Navy division officer on sea duty!) Are you one of the industry's leading experts, and would other companies hire you for it?

This is small consolation but in the last 12 weeks we've sold an entire kid's bedroom suite, a washing machine, a dryer, and some old carpeting. Advertising included freebies in both daily newspapers, cards on five different community bulletin boards at shopping centers, a martial-arts studio, & three military bases, and postings on craigslist & two local discussion boards. No one venue was a screaming success. It took man-hours of labor to keep up with the ads and the posts. We had dozens of phone calls from some of the most clueless people on the face of this earth. However, at the end of the 12 weeks, despite what seemed to be crappy responses, we sold it all at our asking price. The key was having the patience to wait for the right customer to come along. Your key will be working like crazy to be ready to recognize & exploit the opportunity when it finally pops up.

This may be a dumb question and it's not intended to be an offensive one, but would a headhunter help your situation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Gotta wonder why she doesn't let the poop fall to the ground.
Nah, from a time-motion perspective she's being quite efficient. Anything more efficient would require one humongous diaper.

Talk about paying your dues (or losing a bet). My kid has a horse t-shirt that says "Born to ride. Forced to muck."
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 07:59 PM   #12
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Nords, I agree with you on the networking angle. It's so important to know people. Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a loner, nerdy type which doesn't help one bit.

Well, here's an update. I received a phone call today from a hiring manager from a very big, well known entertainment company. (I have been drooling over this company for quite a while, until I found out where they're located.) Frankly, I found her demeanor off putting, to say the least. She was very pushy, arrogant and not respectful of my time. I had a meeting that I needed to prep for and she insisted to speak with me as it was going to be a *quick* screening (I always plan to be screened, not to be caught off guard). Anyway, I received several difficult questions in rapid fire succession. I do not know if I made her list of canidates at this point. It turns out that the commute is a major pain in arse, so I cut the screening short. Oh well, things happen for a reason.

Thanks again everyone for your intelligent thoughts.
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 09:54 PM   #13
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Treat callers such as you described in a very professional way, something to the effect of:* "I am very interested in your organization but this is, unfortunately, a bad time for me to give you the attention you deserve.* Let's make an appointment so that I can answer your questions thoughtfully."* If the caller isn't willing to do that consider that you have fair warning about their culture.* The recruitment is a courtship.* If the courtship is difficult can you can reasonably predict a misrable marriage.*

In your community employers have workplaces scattered around the metro area.* Don't give up.
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-28-2005, 11:14 PM   #14
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Nords, I agree with you on the networking angle.* It's so important to know people.* Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a loner, nerdy type which doesn't help one bit.
I've probably hired a couple hundred software weenies.* *By far, the best way to get me to look at your resume was for it to come via somebody I already knew and respected.* *The ones that HR forwarded to me were almost pure noise.

If you don't have a connection, there are two ways to get the hiring manager's attention.

1) Become a known quantity.* *That means send your resumes to direct competitors building the same stuff you're building today.* *It means publish in your field.* *It means contribute visibly to open source projects.* *It means speaking at conferences, joining spec-writing committees, etc.

2) Bypass HR.* *Find out who the hiring manager is, and send them your resume directly.* * Or, if you can figure out the name of an engineer in their org (say, from a usenet posting or something), send it to them and ask them to forward it to their manager.

If you're sending your resume to companies outside of your existing field, and you're going through their HR, you're going to have a tough time.* * At the minimum, you'll need to ensure that your resume includes all of the keywords that HR is likely to screen for.* * If you're trying to break into a new field, see if they have an internship program.
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-29-2005, 10:27 AM   #15
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Wabmester is right.* Most hires are the result of networking.

I know how hard it is for a person with your skill set to speak in public or get out there socially.* We like our cubes and converse with those who understand our language (my degree is in mathematics, my role in HR is analytical and I ended up there by accident).*

One approach is to start looking for seminars / grad classes in your field.* Meet people in those classes, get together for coffee with those whose professional interests are like your own.* As you ID workplaces that might interest you ask the people you meet about their managers.* Take notes.* When appropriate followup with the question, "Who should I talk to if there were openings in your organization?"* The absolute best way to get noticed is to have a well respected employee walk in your resume to a manager.

With respect to sending resumes, employers in your field use systems such as Resumix to screen for skills.* That is why key words are important.*

Many firms have "Technical Recruiters". There is a lot of pressure on the Recuriter to send the manager the right person yesterday.* The problem for recruiters is that they are often working long hours, it is hard to get an informational appointment.
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-29-2005, 10:40 AM   #16
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Re: I want out of my cube!

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Wabmester is right.* Most hires are the result of networking.
In an idle moment, I once did a study of my entire career, jobs held, comp,
benefits, dates, and..........how I got the job! I will have to guess at the
numbers but this is close. I held about 9 jobs where someone hired me,
(this excludes self employment),
starting back from high school on. 2 were obtained by answering ads.
7 were obtained through networking (people I knew). Through headhunters
and just sending a resume in "over the transom"? -0-

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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-29-2005, 10:46 AM   #17
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
2) Bypass HR.* *Find out who the hiring manager is, and send them your resume directly.* * Or, if you can figure out the name of an engineer in their org (say, from a usenet posting or something), send it to them and ask them to forward it to their manager.
Ditto on Wabmester advise especially on the above. *
It will be an exceptional HR person who has the technical breadth to fully understand the value and implications of the accomplishments in your resume. (your resume does focus on accomplishments and not just technologies, right?!).
As a technie you should have few problems figuring out who is the hiring manager for any job posted with a company name. *If you can not find from the web, use that old fashion device the phone!
As an Executive Search guy, there were very few times I could not get name, email and usually direct line for any position I wanted to talk to--it just takes a bit of effort. *But it will have a lot more payback than dumping your resume into the pot with 100's of others.
Most resumes from web postings are screened in about 30 sec so if you do not say just the right thing, your resume is pitched if it is even reviewed. *Many of the larger companies are using Applicant Systems that prescreen for keywords and context that drop you out even if you have the right thing but do not use some HR flak's terminology for it. *For example, you have a BA degree instead of BS degree.
The other advantage of going to hiring managers is that these guys are more likely to fully understand what you have done and if not right for them will know if someone else in their organization may have a need. *(often these opportunties have not even been shared w/HR).
Good luck
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-29-2005, 10:51 AM   #18
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Re: I want out of my cube!

Well, I looked at my job recruitment history with interesting results:

Job #1: family business
Job #2: recruited through an agency
Job #3: recruited through an agency
Job #4: Worked w/ someone who recommended me
Job #5: agency - temp to perm
Job #6: Worked w/ someone who recommended me
Job #7: Internet resume - took the company 6 months to interview me from the time I submitted my resume.
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-29-2005, 11:16 AM   #19
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Re: I want out of my cube!

I'm not a job search expert at all, but I recommend reading http://www.asktheheadhunter.com/ . I'm subscribed to his mailing list and it's pretty interesting reading. He advocates a very different approach to job searching: identify where you want to work, then identify a problem that company faces and demonstrate to them how hiring you is a cost-effective way of addressing that problem.

Tim
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Re: I want out of my cube!
Old 09-29-2005, 03:46 PM   #20
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Re: I want out of my cube!

I am sympathetic but not helpful Cube.

I never ever want to look for a job again for the rest of my life.

I was given the book "What color is my Parachute" after law school. Make me throw up or what. I hate having to be a salesman unless I am going to be a salesman.

I think I have kept to my present job for nearly 20 years because I could not stand looking for another job. I didn't want to network for a better opportunity.

The process can be so much BS. Flip a coin. Resumes don't mean much to me other than to exclude people.

When I interview associates, I want to know whether the person has a feel for the practice of law, can puzzle out complicated problems, presents arguments coherently, has common sense, isn't an asshole and plays well with others yet is an ardent advocate for clients and isn't easily rattled. Resumes don't tell me this.

. . . On the other hand, what Wab says about being a known quantity makes a lot of sense. I got a number of clients by speaking at seminars, writing articles, etc. Many of my clients came from referals from other lawyers. So I ended up being a salesman of sorts anyway.







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