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  1. #1
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    Lessons learned from unemployment

    After a good long while of unemployment, I finally landed a decent full time job. Here are the lessons I learned while going through the process of getting work:

    1: HR people will consider you a *LOT* more hirable if you are currently working as opposed to being unemployed. I've been even told directly that if another company hasn't hired you, they won't.

    2: Companies are more interested in what you have done than degrees, in my experience. The degree is more of a filter than anything else. Instead, they want to know what servers you have run, how many people, what stuff implemented, etc. Recent, relevant work history on a resume is probably the biggest factor of determining who gets the badge and who gets the "sorry, position has been filled" notice.

    3: UNIX jobs with old standbys pay well. If someone has AIX, HP-UX, or Solaris experience (and certifications), life is a lot easier. Linux follows, assuming one has experience with it in a production environment. And Windows, its random. There, it is a dog eat dog world, and even a load of certificates may not help.

    4: Use a disable-able address for your jobsearching. I.e. an alias that you can have all the mail routed to a mailbox to check every few weeks once you have work. Otherwise, you will still get inundated with "We have a position in Bumdung, Alabama for doing this really cheesy project for 3 months, and we are paying $6.00 an hour with no benefits and no relocation compensation." and other crap E-mail. Having another phone number is good too, because you get recruiters with a thick Hindi accent cursing you out because you turned down their bottom-of-the-barrel contract 3 states away, after they called you at some obnoxious time.

    5: Use a reliable E-mail address, and hopefully have a phone that can do E-mail, preferably real time Exchange pushes. This is how I managed to score my current position, because I was able to reply fast and get items back even while not near a computer.

    6: Watch your Facebook. This goes without saying, but FB is rumored to grant employers friends access as invisible users if asked. This goes double for Twitter because there is no way to delete things one posted there.

    7: Grab resumes from peers to see what others are doing. Two years ago, employers wanted 4-5 page resumes. These days, they want two pages max.

    8: Drop irrelevant experience off the resume. If an employer sees you repaired Vend a Goat machines for a period of time between IT jobs, they think you might not be up to date.

    9: Network, network, network. Get eyeballs and ears. I found my job because of a contact I made because I was part of the cast of a renfaire and was memorable. The jobs you find on dice.com, monster.com, and even indeed.com are usually well picked over before you see them, and are only published because the company has to. In reality, they already had someone for the job, and were just only publishing the opening to make sure all "i"s were dotted, and "t"s crossed.

    10: Be prepared to change and change fast. In IT, don't just learn virtualization, grok it. It is likely similar for other fields.

  2. #2
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    Great suggestions there - I would even go so far to create a separate email addy just for job searches - where I work right now the first thing we do is run the applicants email address though google to see what we come up with, 9 times out of 10 we find something that we don't approve of and that person doesn't even get a call in

    The last few people who have been hired did not have facebook or myspace at the time.

  3. #3
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    6: Watch your Facebook. This goes without saying, but FB is rumored to grant employers friends access as invisible users if asked. This goes double for Twitter because there is no way to delete things one posted there.
    Umm if that is true, that is really messed up. Any source for that?
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  4. #4
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    9: Network, network, network. Get eyeballs and ears. I found my job because of a contact I made because I was part of the cast of a renfaire and was memorable. The jobs you find on dice.com, monster.com, and even indeed.com are usually well picked over before you see them, and are only published because the company has to. In reality, they already had someone for the job, and were just only publishing the opening to make sure all "i"s were dotted, and "t"s crossed.
    In my experience, this has not been the case. The last three (very good) contract positions I've held have been from publishing my resume on Dice. But I did get my share of 3-6 month contract offers 500 miles away from thick-accented folks, as well.

    And one other point for IT folks - even in the completely trashed job market of CA, if you have VoIP experience you're gonna get lots of interest.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  5. #5
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    The best job I had was from a Craigslist posting of all things...
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
    Wife's Bikes: 2008 Globe City 7 | 1972ish Peugeot UO-18 (in progress)

  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
    In my experience, this has not been the case. The last three (very good) contract positions I've held have been from publishing my resume on Dice. But I did get my share of 3-6 month contract offers 500 miles away from thick-accented folks, as well.

    And one other point for IT folks - even in the completely trashed job market of CA, if you have VoIP experience you're gonna get lots of interest.
    Depends upon what you mean by "very good", which may be different than mlts22's definition. My firm's gotten several "very good" contracts for datacentre re-location/consolidation in the past year. Each one was worth over $100k/mn and none were advertised. Although I did hire a couple of subs through Dice/Indeed for specialty parts like EMC-DMX, R3/Oracle/Peoplesoft stuff. Didn't even have to pay them more than $75/hr, suckerzzz...

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