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How to get a job (or not)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Birdjaguar, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Night Elven Ghost Agent

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    Or enlist into the armed forces. Which is what I am about to do if I don't get a job by the time my unemployment runs out. :(
     
  2. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

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    I suppose enlisting in the army is a good last resort, but do please try going to very obscure placements and looking for work there without a resume, or primarily via talking to the boss. I doubt you'd prefer to get shot at in a pointless war in the desert over doing some menial tasks to at least get some money and at least get some experience.
     
  3. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    You have to give evidence of a time hwen you've been dependable. So 'my manager called me up late at night the other week explaining that we'd been hit with a project for tomorrow, and I went into the office and helped him get it done': rather than just saying 'I'm dependable! Honest!'

    Solution - join the Navy!
     
  4. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Night Elven Ghost Agent

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    Something like that strikes me as something to say during an interview.
     
  5. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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  6. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    You only have one degree...an AA doesn't count. What skills do you have?

    Both of these are true. I don't usually read cover letters, but I remember who has them...it shows they are actually interested in the job, rather than the guys who apply to 50 gigs at once. I always call them back first. Some of my recruiter friends ONLY call these people. A cover letter can only help you.

    Yeah, it's all market driven. How "good" your work is is typically way less important than what the projected market for the work would be. Writing letters to publishers requires you to get pretty good at sales.
    That is EXACTLY why you need to call those agencies! They exist to help people like you entry level jobs. Not taking help when it is offered is exactly what I mean by not demonstrating you can be reliable.
     
  7. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Night Elven Ghost Agent

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    MS Office Suite (Excel/Word)
    Point of Sale processing (Handled the billing for a time at my former employee's livery department processing credit cards)
    Database entry (Pit Clerk, inputting patron's win/losses)
    Check transactions (As a pit clerk, processed markers)
    Stocking and inventory
    Mail processing

    I just have the basics of a Clerk with some finances thrown in (Casino Pit Clerk).

    and yes, I admit that my degree is as worthless as poop (Liberal Arts) :(. If I knew know what I knew then, I'd transfer to an Batchellors program in accounting, even if I had to say an extra year.

    Still dont know why associates don't count, the should count for something :confused:.
     
  8. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Ok, those are some actual skills. Thats why those temp agencies would be even more useful, since you could be a strong candidate for a temporary office clerk opening. After you get a few months of experience in a general office setting, instead of a casino, you could work your way into a larger company as a basic clerk, and they could help pay for accounting (or other) training.

    Check Craigslist as well.
     
  9. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Liberal Arts (as you Americans call Humanities) degrees normally, along with the associated qualities, translate into management and leadership positions. It's the ability to think and adapt that they show, rather than actual skills.
     
  10. Alassius

    Alassius Flame Warlord

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    Some more questions one can ask:

    Is this position new? If yes, ask if the position is part of a growth plan/strategy; ask them to explain further; pretend you understand; then ask how you can contribute to said plan. If no, ask casually why the last guy left.

    Ask as many questions as you can on the operational side of the business, including the parts that do not directly relate to your role. This will be different across industries. For a programming job, for example, try these:

    How they handle customer requests;
    How teams communicate with each other;
    What they feel can/should be improved;
    Software development life cycle;
    How they do high level documentation;
    Their architecture;
    Infrastructure (how robust, how many people in the team).

    Always try to follow up with questions or ask for elaboration. If something they do is obviously wrong, ask if they have tried to improve.

    Do people at work hang out often? Friday lunch and pubs, etc.

    What's the average age?

    And ask to see the office!

    These questions serve a few purposes: to show that you think; that you want to learn and contribute; that you are interested in the company; and to give you some idea about how it'd be like to work there.
     
  11. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Night Elven Ghost Agent

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    How do I go about explaining my "attendance problems" to my future employer (eather paid or voluntere) and explain to him or her that I've learned from that mistake and that it won't happen again in the future with them.
     
  12. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    Outside of the obvious of networking, I would suggest job applicants become intimately aware of what Taleo's software is looking for. Though, Taleo's software is a p.i.t.a, there's a ton of companies that use it. Taleo helps companies sort resume's easier through the software and the reader.

    As this article says, and my girlfriend can confirm (executive in the very fast growing RPO industry) the "spray and pray" approach to sending resume's does not work. Your resume' should adapt to every job you apply for. Using "sales" for a job that has nothing to do with "sales" will be tossed.

    Article about Taleo and general good advice for job hunters.
    http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/02/news/economy/kowitt_resume.fortune/index.htm

    There's a lot more I could add like preparing for "behavioral interview questions" but a good amount has already been offered.

    Poor attendance will always be problematic so avoid the discussion at all cost.
     
  13. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Taleo is a horrible piece of software. Any time I've used it I felt like calling up the HR department and telling them they needed to hire me to fix their system.

    In any case, I feel I've got enough demand for my skills now that I'm not going to bother wading through awful online application systems anymore.
     
  14. Archbob

    Archbob Ancient CFC Guardian

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    Thats only a small % of liberal arts majors. It doesn't help as much as actual skills in getting in the door.
     
  15. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    There are loads of fanfic writers who have gone on to become professionals. In the Star Trek sub-genre, the first name that comes to mind is Diane Duane. She got her start in the early Star Trek fanzines, and is today one of the most well-respected Star Trek authors (as well as publishing books in her own original universes). And take a look at the fantasy section of the average bookstore; people like Mercedes Lackey and Diana Paxson started out writing fanfic for Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series. Now they are prolific authors in their own universes. And even though the examples I've given are all women, there are men who have also made the leap from fanfic to published author. It's a shame the Star Trek anthology series Strange New Worlds isn't published anymore; that series gave several authors a start when they were published in those books.

    Networking is crucial. You really need to get yourself noticed and work at maintaining a blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

    But the main thing is sheer, dogged perseverance. I was part of an editing team that helped a friend of mine get his first novel published. My friend literally did legwork to find an agent that would represent him, and even that took a long time. Before this happened, the book (two, actually; there was another novel he wrote that has so far not found a publisher - a damn shame, since that one is the better one, in my opinion) went through multiple revisions. There's nothing quite like an email conference at 3 a.m. because I'm on Mountain Time in Canada and he's in London, England...

    Been there. My own solution was to create my own job, which I worked at for many years.

    The only way to show on a piece of paper that you can be counted on is through references.

    Do you do any volunteer work? If not, you should start. Experience gained through volunteering is still experience, and can sometimes lead to paid employment.
     
  16. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    Indeed but the reality is they are biggest in their space and 3rd largest software as a service company behind only concur and salesforce.com. As a user of those two, as well, I have to admit SaaS has long way to go as an industry.
     
  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Me too. I had a very hard time finding a job right after University. I ended up going on welfare for a while, or whatever it was.. unemployment insurance? I'm not sure. They made me go to a meeting every 2 weeks and I REALLY didn't want to be there, so I started looking for a job even harder.

    And nothing seemed to work.. nobody was responding to any of my applications. In hindsight I should have probably made more follow-up calls and there were probably other issues with my approach..

    I ended up getting that first job via networking.. Sort of. My roommate knew that I was looking for a job and he forwarded me a random email he received - he didn't understand where it came from.. It was an offer for a job. He was still an undergrad then - he didn't apply to any jobs or have his resume up on any job sites. It baffled him, but he couldn't take the job because he was still in school, so he passed it on to me.

    So I call the guy and he's like "Can you do this, and that, and stuff?" And I said yes.. and I had a job! Not even a minute on the phone and I was hired.. somehow. Now that I think back on that, I was really really lucky. Got to work from home, in full control of a web server, good pay.. great experience. I lucked out so I guess I should shut up about giving advice in this thread.
     
  18. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    A question inspired by this comic in this thread, how much background check type stuff do companies actually normally do?
     
  19. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    We formally look for a police record and sometimes do a credit check. I often do Google searches.
     
  20. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    It depends on the job. I worked for my state's AG in college, and had to get a security clearance, so they checked me out pretty good (credit, criminal, driving record, FB, references, google search, grades, etc).

    I always run a driving record and a 7 year criminal background check on somebody I'm looking to hire. I'll also look them up on LinkedIn as a way of doublechecking their resume.
     

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