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Job Hunting and I Need Assistance

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Thorburne, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Thorburne

    Thorburne Centurion

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    I guess that this is the best area to post this.

    I am really at my wits end, so I figured that I would turn to the Civ community to possibly offer some help... or at least some good advise. I have been out of work for almost a month now. I have been job hunting since July. My last job, technical service for the cable company, was terrible for me and got to the point that I just had to leave.

    Prior to that job, I was in the Navy as an Information Technician. I have my MCP in Windows 2000 and I also have a TS security clearance. As I'm sure that you can see, I now reside in Baltimore, MD. I have my resume on various sites including: Careerbuilder, Workbaltimore, clearancejobs... to name a few. I am growing frustrated with the lack of responses I have been getting. Most of the responses that I do get are from offers for sales positions (which I do not like and I am not good at). Primarily, I am looking for an IT job... something hands-on.

    Another frustration that I have been experiencing is the job offers that seem promising and leave me hanging, only for the job to be filled internally. I even applied to a job for Firaxis, only to be turned down this way (I still love you Firaxis).

    Anyway, if anybody can assist me, I would be most grateful. If anyone is interested in contacting me about a possible position (preferably in the Baltimore or surrounding areas), please PM me and we can go from there. Otherwise, I am open to suggestions and any advise that can be given. Aside from the IT, I am also interested in writing. though I don't have anything currently published that I can use as a portfolio.

    I appreciate your time and hope that all of your holidays are going better than mine.

    Thank you!
    Sal S. aka Thorburne
     
  2. Part_Time_Civer

    Part_Time_Civer Warlord

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I didn't have a diploma (still don't but working on it). What I did was this; I trained myself in excel (John Walkenbach has pretty good books, but there's plenty of other free training on the internet), then I lied to my current employer about my resume (made up some working experience which gave me my excel experience).
    The end result: I'm a business analyst now, and coworkers view me as their excel guru. The best part: all my training has been free. :)
     
  3. Shylock

    Shylock Hey smiling strange

    Joined:
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    Get a temp job or retail job if you can for now. In the meantime try to get an internship. Getting in the front door is very difficult.

    Or maybe get a job with a rival service?
     
  4. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

    Joined:
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    London, UK
    Try looking in other areas, if the job market in Baltimore is depressed. Personally, I found that it was FAR easier to find a job if I was flexible with where I wanted to work.
     
  5. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Do you just use the 'apply' feature on these sites, or do you actually mail your resume+cover letter in?

    Have you had anyone look over your resume?

    Do you customize the cover letter for each job you apply?
     
  6. MOTH

    MOTH Emperor

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    I have been a hiring manager off and on for 16 years (as I have had openings in my groups). I have seen a ton of crap resumes (spelling, grammar, poorly expressed). I spell poorly myself, but some just galre at me. A few things you should consider:
    1. Have outside people read your resume. Hell, post a version of it here with all your personal info wiped out (wipe out the names of the cable company and any other specifically identifying info.)
    2. Custom tailor a cover letter and even the resume based on what job you are applying for.
    3. The company I am now exclusively searches monster.com, make sure you post your resume there.
    4. Respond to all emails that are sent to you promptly. Check your email at least daily.

    If you want, you can PM me your resume and I will give it a read over and an impartial critique
     
  7. LightFang

    LightFang "I'm the hero!"

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  8. sourboy

    sourboy Awakening...

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    Huh, sitting at my desk in the tech support department of my local cable company, I can only say this:

    Ditto.
     
  9. Thorburne

    Thorburne Centurion

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    Even this has been more difficult than I thought. I have applied at places like Best Buy and Circuit City (specifically for the Geek Squad and Firedog), and I even applied at a wholesale club (which my father works at part time). I did go in for the initial interview and test at the wholesale club, and the reception was nice (I worked there before returning to the military), but I stil have yet to here from them.

    I am trying to be flexible. Right now, I am accepting any hours available. As far as job type, I am willing to try a different path, but there are limits. While I don't mind customer service in and of itself, I don't like sales (or marketing). I am just not a good fit with selling. I can do it, but I am too honest and don't match what methods that they think is best. That is one of the reasons that I left the cable company. Though my job was troubleshooting, the company wanted us to try and sell every customer on a new product. It kind of violated my ethics. I mean, if I have a problem with a service, product, etc, and I call for assistance, I don't want the person trying to sell me something else while they fix my problem. It's a bit of an oxy-moron.

    I admit, I just use the apply button.

    As far as the cover letter goes, I have a general letter that I use, but I do customize it (especially if it is a job that I am really interested in). The last time I had somebody look at my resume was during a TAP class when I was preparing to leave the military. (For those who may not know, TAP is a transition class for military to civilian.) Of course, I have done several different drafts since then.

    Thanks! I can do that. When I PM you a copy, should it be a censored copy or the regular copy?

    And thank everyone for your suggestions. I'll see if it can help me any. Honestly, Job hunting has always been a bad experience for me. It is such an exroverted process, which is why, I think, that I always end up with no-where jobs. I get so frustrated and go for the first thing that comes along. I am 30 years old and I am trying to settle down my life and can't afford to settle with less anymore. That is why I am trying to get all of the help I can.

    Any more suggestions would be of great help. I'll keep you all posted on how things are going.
     
  10. Thorburne

    Thorburne Centurion

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    Here is a copy of my (censored) resume. If anybody has any suggestions, I am all ears.

    Thanks!


    Salvatore S.
    ________________________________________
    Street Address
    Baltimore, MD ZIP
    Home XXX-XXX-XXXX
    Cellular XXX-XXX-XXXX
    Email address
    ________________________________________

    Objective
    An experienced IT professional with expertise in Windows-based environments, networking and TCP/IP as well as PC repair and troubleshooting seeking qualified positions that will utilize my assets and provide for further growth.

    Accomplishments
    • Successfully upgraded system network from a Windows NT networking environment to a Windows 2000 networking environment.
    • Successfully managed sensitive project data to ensure safety, security, and transfer of current, accurate information where human lives were at stake.
    • Supervised and monitored the work activities of 20 subordinates and staff.
    • Managed and conducted customer trouble calls for classified networks and workstations.
    • Assisted users with daily operational issues and training on installed systems and programs.
    • Created and maintained user logins and passwords.
    • Demonstrated ability to analyze, evaluate, and resolve hardware and software conflicts.
    • Installed and upgraded computer and network components and setup computer systems and related equipment.
    • Skilled at diagnosing and repairing personal computers.
    • Assisted customers with troubleshooting networking, internet and phone services.
    • Answered an average of 18-20 customer phone calls a day regarding services provided.

    Experience
    Cable Company, Baltimore, MD
    Customer Account Executive, 2007 - 2007
    United States Navy, Norfolk, VA
    Information Technician, 2003 - 2007
    Wholesale Club, Baltimore, MD
    Stock Handler, 2002 - 2003
    Retail Store, Baltimore, MD
    Sales Associate, 1999 - 2002

    Education
    Certificate, Microsoft Certified Professional, 2002
    Training School, Towson, MD
    Earned a Microsoft Certified Professional Certificate in the Windows 2000 architecture.
    H.S., General, 1995
    Parkville High School, Parkville, MD 21234

    Training
    Journeyman Networking Core, 2005 - 2005
    United States Navy, Pensacola, FLA
    Six week course in Networking with Windows 2000, Microsoft Exchange and Cisco Routers.

    Skills
    • /2000/XP/2003
    • MS Office XP (All Products)
    • Veritas Backup Exec
    • Internet
    • Diagnosis and Troubleshooting
    • Software Installation
    • Computer Assembly
    • System Upgrades
    • PC Hardware Design and Setup
    • TCP/IP
    • Internet Technology
    • Networking
    • Local Area Networks (LAN)
    • LAN and WAN Administration
    • Desktop Support
    • Maintenance and Repair
    • Ethernet
    • Systems Administration

    Certifications
    MCP, 2002 - 2002
    Training School, Towson, MD

    Security Clearance
    Top Secret/SCI
     
  11. sourboy

    sourboy Awakening...

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    What cable company?
     
  12. JJ Boston

    JJ Boston Chieftain

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    Boston
    You said you're interested in writing, what kind of writing do you do? Whatever it is, try to find some freelance opportunities.
     
  13. boarder

    boarder King

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    Think of the whole process as selling yourself. Your the product which you must convince the companies to invest in.
     
  14. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    You've got a pretty impressive list of achievements there, at least to an outsider, which suggests to me that perhaps you haven't tailored your CV/covering letter well enough for the specific job? IMveryHO, the list is quite broad and covers a lot of things -- it would help if you expanded on the parts of it that pertain to the job specifically. So, for instance, if the job you're going for was to upgrade systems to a newer OS, you'd expand the first line; if it's to build/repair systems, expand on those lines; if it's to manage a team of people, expand on that line, etc.
     
  15. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    That reads like something lifted right out of a sample resume. IMO it should be totally rewritten.

    This is too vague and doesn't really explain what you did.. a bit on the dramatic side too, I can see somebody rolling their eyes and moving on to the next item.

    I think being more specific would help here too.. what kind of a network? how many computers? What as the scope of this project?

    edit: I think the 'be more specific' comment applies to your skils as well, as Mise suggested above
     
  16. TrailblazingScot

    TrailblazingScot I was kittenOFchaos

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    Hmm, it is a resume, but it doesn't have anything that would make someone want to actually meet you and perhaps work with you. Say you're Scottish, that always interests people.
     
  17. Thorburne

    Thorburne Centurion

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    Mostly fiction writing, though I like writing other things as well. The only professional (unpaid) experience that I have is on a game website. However, that site no longer includes any trace of the reviews or articles that I have written, so I couldn't even use that for a portfolio. Of course, my dilemma with fiction writing is that I need something else to pay the bills until I can get something published. I have read countless material on the pains of writing and getting published. Another problem is that I am having a hard time putting the pen to the paper, so to speak. With all the stress in my life at this time, my head feels clouded, making it hard to concentrate.

    On past attempts to write fiction, I found myself getting so involved in developing the back-story that I would get burned out. As far as non-fiction type material, the closest I get is on message boards like these. I have several topics which I have marked down for writing an editorial/blog about, but I am having a hard time getting started. Anyway, for most of it (especially the fiction part), I feel that it may be better to get my head together first, so that I can concentrate better. The key to that is getting myself into a position where I can start clearing out some of my debts and easing my mind.

    FYI - if anybody is wondering, my username is taken from a character in some of my previous attempts.

    To be honest, that is something I have heard over and over, whether through the TAP class, or through the advise of various mean-wellers. And I have to say, it is probably the hardest part for me. As I have said, sales is not my thing... so that makes the process that much harder for me. I'm afraid of over-embellishing and under-selling myself at the same time. It is a constant struggle. That is probably another reason why I often go for the first thing I can find... so that I can end the charade.

    I have always had trouble targeting my resume specifically. It often overwhelms me trying to narrow down to specific jobs. Part of it may be because I'm not a specialist, but more of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to computers. "Skilled at all, master of none", so to speak! Another problem that I have is numbers. Recently, it seems that all of the resume advisors say that numbers are important. Unfortunately, I can't even begin to even 'guess'-timate specific numbers for the various bullets. I've also been trying to build an application/resume worksheet (which I think is a good idea), but remembering everything is very difficult. Of course, the worksheet is so that I don't have to remember on the spot when I am handed an application to fill out, but trying to go back the last ten years and remember names, phone numbers, specific numbers, and other details is by far a stretch. These are all adding to my frustration.

    Warpus and Mise - Thanks, I will try to see how I can improve those points.
     
  18. Thorburne

    Thorburne Centurion

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    kittenOFchaos - :lol: Thanks!
     
  19. Chieftess

    Chieftess Moderator Retired Moderator

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    Try www.dice.com, it has tons of IT related jobs.

    (And a favorite of Parkville Sr. High Alumni! :wavey: )
     
  20. IglooDude

    IglooDude Enforcing Rule 34 Retired Moderator

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    PM me with your email address and I'll send you a copy of my most recent resume, it might give you some ideas.
     

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