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Why can't you get hired?

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zeeglen
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re: Why can't you get hired?
zeeglen   3/10/2011 6:17:15 AM
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Age discrimination and reliance on keyword matching by hiring personnel with no comprehension of what the the job actually requires. There was a time when hiring managers were technical, but not any more.

hotwire
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hotwire   3/16/2011 2:37:18 PM
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Definitely true here in UK, where recruiters are staffed with people who can't even understand a light switch let alone someone's engineering career or the job they are promoting.

Silicon_Smith
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Silicon_Smith   3/31/2011 2:33:50 PM
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I second this one. Hiring has become a profession as against a skill which was nice to have.

kdboyce
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kdboyce   3/10/2011 6:48:10 AM
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Another problem is advice on providing one page resumes, or other resume formats which effectively abbreviate experience and substitute buzz words or action verbs which supposedly attract the company recruiters. I advocate putting all relevant experience down, and using personal contacts to get the resume in front of an appropriate hiring manager...the one who is going to have that employee on their headcount roster.

phoenixdave
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phoenixdave   3/10/2011 2:21:14 PM
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After reading articles and speaking with recruiters and "resume experts" in the recent past, a few things become obvious; there is no consensus about the best format for a resume, everyone does things differently so advice you receive from one will likely not apply to another, and each person thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong. Recruiters for companies that receive large numbers of resumes for an open position use data analysis tools to select keywords that are provided by the requesting manager as a first cut so if your resume does not contain those keywords it will never be seen. One common thread in most of these recruiters is they are typically young and likely see the tools as very 'efficient' without realizing how 'ineffective' they can be in finding the "best overall candidate". If the manager determines they found a good person for the position, they conclude the tool works. If the manager is not happy with the choices they conclude the quality of the respondents was poor and repost the ad to receive more resumes for the "software analysis". Rarely do they blame the ineffectiveness of the methods they use.

lcovey
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lcovey   3/10/2011 5:10:26 PM
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I decided to leave the salaryman world after I had dinner with a very high-level HR executive with HP a couple of decades ago. I have confirmed much of what she said with CEOs and lawyers over the years since. My friend told me that the job of Human Resources is not to hire people. The job is to keep the company from getting sued because of the hiring and firing processes. If you go to an HR rep to report harassment of dangerous working conditions, the HR rep is not trying to protect you, but the company. They are about as friendly to employees as Internal Affairs is to police officers. The forms you fill out and the resumes you submit are not searched for qualifications, but for potential litigious minefields. With all the various lawsuits, discrimination laws and safety regulations in place, it is virtually impossible, even 20 years ago, to find a job candidate that could fit into the narrow confines of a safe employee. If you are the best qualified person for a job, you can be sure that HR paid absolutely no attention to that qualification, except to put it in the file of people with similar and lesser qualifications for the very same job. That's why being seriously involved in social media is absolutely required for any job candidate and the ability to network through those channels. Two out of three hires, as pointed out in the panel, get the job because someone pushed them through the HR department without stopping for a chat.

UnderboatBoy
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UnderboatBoy   3/23/2011 2:28:43 PM
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Like Dilbert said, HR folks are like cats; warm and fuzzy but don't care if you live or die.

Brian Fuller2
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Brian Fuller2   3/10/2011 5:38:51 PM
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To KD Boyce and Phoenix Dave... one of the things that emerged from the panel is the average resume gets a recruiter's attention for a maximum of five seconds. To me, that suggests resumes intended for onlinre distribution have to be crafted in a completely different manner. I think Phoenix Dave is probably right that there's no consensus, but doesn't that surprise you? We've come up with consensus on how to present digital content in other areas (videos, news stories, email newsletters), you'd think there'd be some consensus around resumes.

Brian Fuller2
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Brian Fuller2   3/10/2011 5:39:56 PM
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And by the way, those online hired gun sites (Odesk, eLance, etc.) I would not recommend to anyone who doesn't want to diminish their hourly rate by a factor of 10.

krisi
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krisi   3/11/2011 4:45:08 PM
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Brian, the basic premise of your article is that there are engineering jobs out there but unemployed people somehow do not manage to properly apply for them...if that was the case the problem would be tactical, basically how to make process of finding right engineers more efficient...but I think the problem is more fundamental, there are simply no engineering jobs in North America, they are all in Asia now! Kris

Brian Fuller2
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Brian Fuller2   3/11/2011 6:51:04 PM
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Kris, thanks for your comment. I think it's a complex issue. Surely you are right that many jobs are being created overseas, but I have to think that the relentless surge of electronics creation expands the overall pie. But, that said, more experienced engineers I think become victims of ageism in that they command high salaries and, north of 50 years old, are expensive on a company's health care plan. CFOs want their companies to compete with lower-salaried companies in Asia, hence "no jobs." I mentioned this on the panel and we didn't burrow down that trail too much. But it needs to be studied.

zeeglen
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zeeglen   3/11/2011 8:44:13 PM
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Yup. Right. You got it. Absolutely. Illegal, but nobody can do anything about it, too hard to prove. I need to prune another 10 years of experience off my own resume...

ese002
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ese002   3/11/2011 9:19:52 PM
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The unemployed do not get hired because they are not "safe" choices. All the electronic filtering and hr screening is about finding safe choices, not about making good choices. A safe choice is one that can be quickly justified to someone who doesn't know the particulars of the situation. Being unemployed at any time, regardless of the economy, means that some will think "maybe there is something wrong with this person". Not safe. Referrals work because someone trusted is taking some of the responsibility for the decision.

krisi
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krisi   3/11/2011 9:49:33 PM
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Brian, agreed, this is a complex issue...the fundamental question is whether the engineering job pie in North America would get bigger if recruitment process was very efficient, companies would accept 50+ old, unemployed etc...anyone knows any research or study that would indicate whether that statement is true or not? Kris

OzarkSorcar
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OzarkSorcar   3/12/2011 12:30:23 AM
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Yes, age discrimination is real. I was unemployed 42 months. It was the first time in my 60yo life that companies didn't leap at my applications. I had 2 telephone interviews. An Engineer friend got me in direct contact with management at the biggest area employer. The Electronics R&D Manager and a corporate Director spent 3 hours with me, despite not yet having a formal job opening. They told me that they were impressed. When the job was posted, I applied - again, having been ignored a year prior - and let the Manager know that I had applied. I was rejected, without inquiry. I am now working for a company that prides itself on experienced employees. It was obvious enough that I brought up the subject of age with my 33yo Manager during the first interview. For this company, age is a positive if it brings experience.

daleste
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daleste   3/12/2011 3:35:19 AM
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This is a very difficult time for us older engineers. Companies are doing some hiring, but they are looking for the cheaper(younger) employees. Sure, they could get someone experienced that would help them get their new products to market faster with fewer problems, but think how much money they can save with a fresh out.

KB3001
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KB3001   3/12/2011 12:36:19 PM
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I guess it's a combination of less Engineering jobs on offer (the Far East is the prime place for such jobs these days) and a trend towards hiring more mobile younger and relatively cheaper engineers.

JGod1605
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JGod1605   3/12/2011 1:23:08 PM
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Hiring the right person is hard. It requires knowing exactly what you need. When I was hired into big companies, it was often very obvious that they didn't know exactly what they needed. They need a set (X) of skills, of which X1 and X2 are critical, but on the job it often turns out only X2 is needed, and X3 and X4 (unadvertised) are what you need to be to succeed at that job. Domain expertise is important. If you need to hire an embedded Linux kernel person, you need to know the very specific skills needed for this role. If you have been in management too long, or are in HR, you probably don't know the skills to the level of detail needed to know if you have the right candidate. Companies don’t put out good job postings. Often, the hiring manager under deadline takes a couple of old postings, cuts & pastes it together and sends it off to HR. HR "sanitizes" it and it ends up looking like a dog's breakfast of buzzwords. From such processes you get postings like, "Looking for a senior software developer with 15 years experience programming embedded J2EE, XML, CORBA, extensive experience in using map-reduce to scale is Oracle NoSQL relational database, and familiar using Agile RUP waterfall processes". (The real need was somebody to own and evolve over a complex code base, and had little to do with the job posting). Why is this important? If you don’t know your real needs or can’t make a good job posting, you rely on other things which could result in a successful hire. e.g., Old people often learn slower, work less hours, and cost more than young people. If can’t measure the relevant wisdom of an old person, then age will bias hiring towards young people. As another example, if you don't know which specific skills you need, then you just pick a skill list which includes a language, operating system, database, processor, serialization format, and ask for 10 years of experience in each. And the consequence is lots of useless resumes.

wogold
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wogold   3/14/2011 4:12:37 PM
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Old people often learn slower Young people rush into rash catastrophes quicker work less hours young people work inefficiently and are often sleep deprived due to 'parties' as well as twitter. and cost more than young people quality does cost more. Risk/Reward Ratio is completely unbalanced. 1.)fear - HR sees that corporate research has been cut and they are next. 2.)greed - top down control organization. - hire only those with the exact skillset; no more and no less. You are old and OVER-qualified. 3.)pride - HR can assess talent in 'snap judgement' 5 seconds. 4.)lust for the 'old ways' - we will continue doing things 'the same old factory way.' The knowledge economy and 'open source' gain ground, yet HR manager work mostly as 'clerks.' Very few have 'project manager' skillsets where talent assessment is critical. 5.)anger at the 'cost of specialization and domain expertise.' Simple example: Best Buy CEO over-expanded and wanted to keep the fancy stores. So, he cut ALL the experienced salepersons SUDDENLY. He did not understand that he ALSO cut the high profit sales revenue in areas like cables and warrantees. Best Buy goes bankrupt. Note: headquarter's staff was NOT cut. PS. the incessant 'networking' and 'youth' making friends at 'potential employers' is a DISadvantage. It says: 1.)interested in job-hopping 2.)it's WHO you know, not what you do

daleste
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daleste   3/12/2011 5:17:58 PM
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Yes, there are a lot of job postings that don't make much sense. With the level of unemployment, companies have a lot of choice in choosing a candidate. They also need to screen out as many as possible with hare to meet requirements just to make their job easier. No one wants to read thousands of resumes for one position. How do you get to the top of the stack? Its not what you know but who you know.

zeeglen
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zeeglen   3/15/2011 5:30:00 PM
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Right. Many job postings make little sense. Example: "Employee Type: Full-Time Job Type: Engineering Telecommunications Req'd Experience At least 1 year(s) Need 5+ years of experience with GSM Equipment. 5+ years in Technical Support needed. " So what do they want, 1 year or 5 years experience? Another example: "Employee Type: Full-Time Reference ID: Clerk - Temporary Job Type: Engineering Required Education: 4 Year Degree Solicit quotes. Prepare purchase requisitions (PRs) Work with vendors on a daily basis. Prepare cost analysis and executive summaries. Track PR approvals, purchase order (PO) placements, etc. through to good receipt." Does one really need an engineering degree for this? And is it full-time or temporary? Seems like someone got their wires crossed. This type of senseless job posting happens all the time.

tfc
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tfc   3/14/2011 5:46:59 AM
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Why can't you get hired? It is simply supply and demand. I believe the supply of engineers greatly out strips the available demand of jobs to the point of being a glut. Managers and HR are simple little “thangs” and accusing them of anything more than taking advantage of a plethora of engineering choices is giving them too much credit for thinking and could be slanderous. Rather than engineers, imagine if one was a very rich customer who walked on to a car lot with thousands of new and used cars, what car would he pick? Imagine a young rich beautiful woman looking for a date in NYC, how would she pick? I saw a mid-1950’s article that IBM hired the whole engineering classes of a university sight unseen. Today, finicky managers have tens of thousands of graduates worldwide to choose either the best of the best or the lowest bidder and run them through a duplicitous HR wringer without a care. They cannot lose and have no reason to change until they run out of choices. If they ever did run out, then job ads as in the past will simply say “Engineer wanted, apply at XYZ” instead of the current ads where the word “and” is used like a machinegun in trench warfare to mow down the Mongol hordes of charging engineers and leaving only a lone “purple squirrel “that can do several jobs and more.

tfc
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tfc   3/14/2011 5:47:18 AM
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Continued: In economics class, any discrimination, other than price and quality, leads to inefficiency and those who make such biased decisions earn lower profits than non-discriminators. Age discrimination in economics is no different. Thus the duplicitous “thinking” of “man-agers” who think everyone is spent by 30 . . . except for them. But, Karma is a female dog and most of these same discriminatory companies I have seen are now either extinct or gasping for air. Needless to say, most engineers and college students are picking up on this “group think” and saying “why engineering”? For the pay, the girls, the retirement plan, the benefits, or the job security? People are not going to spend 10 years gaining education and experience to qualify for a career only to be scraped at 30. Alas, the more managers practice age discrimination, the more smart people will eschew engineering and the more these same managers will whimper to engineering schools to provide them with even more cannon fodder because they desperately need more “qualified” workers. Not because there is a shortage of experienced engineers, but only in their arrogant opinion that old engineering experience is not a quality. In the immortal words of an ex-manager at an ex-company when he said to an experienced engineer, “you do not have thirty years’ experience; you have one year experience thirty times over. Alas, is it no wonder that my alma mater’s CS program has dropped 75% and EE by 80% over a ten year period. The free market is working as promised and when the wind changes direction and it is HR/management’s turn to fall into the grinder, oh well. In 10-20 years, when all those unwanted unemployable old (40-60) engineers are scrapped and all those new smart graduates if they are really that smart, will not have become engineers what will they do then?

DWilde10
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DWilde10   3/14/2011 8:20:39 PM
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My experience has been counter to most of the above. I'm 54, but I was recruited to an {insert large semiconductor mfr} contract position and have now been accepted for a staff position after seven months of running rings around two Chinese s/w teams in terms of business value created. I used my 4 page resume that happily shows me all the way back to 8086 and Z80 assembly language on Osborne 1's in 1982. I am rare in that I'm still a voracious learner; I took on SystemC and have already been improving the simulation kernel to make it more usable in a desktop environment. I don't have either an engineering or a CS degree; it's almost all self-taught. I'm not posting this to crow; my goal is to reassure you all that it is possible. The new job I'm starting is a dream combo of lookahead hardware and software for an industry leader in its youngest business unit.

tfc
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tfc   3/15/2011 4:39:42 PM
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It is good to see an employer realized your value and did not stare at your DOB like a deer in the headlights. I hope you make them so much money that their competition, who didn't hire you because of your DOB, slap their HR staff. . . several times ;-).

Duane Benson
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Duane Benson   3/14/2011 9:19:51 PM
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As someone who has sat on both sides of the unemployment equation, I can understand the seeker's frustration as well as the hirer's frustration. Even in tough job markets times, I speak with candidates that haven't even done enough research to find out what we do. I've tried to contact candidates that are very slow to return phone calls or emails. And there seems to be way more arrogance than is wise when unemployed. It's a tough job market, but based on what I see, it's not that difficult to stand out from the crowd. Research the company you're applying for. Make it known in your cover letter and in any interviews that you understand what the company does and who they do it for. Do your homework. Be respectful and responsive. Leave any attitude back at home. There's no guarantees, but once you've managed to get your resume in, this advice can give you an edge over those that don't do such things.

Bob Virkus
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Bob Virkus   3/15/2011 11:25:54 PM
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Do your homework. Best advice when you get that interview. Second best advice: "Look and act like you are sincerely interested in the position." Show some life and energy. I can't tell you how many times I've interviewed people and never got the feeling that they were interested in the job. Tell me what you can bring to the job is fresh and interesting. What contributions can you make to the team? And, this is important, follow-up with a thank you letter. If I have two strong candidates, I'll pick the one who remembered to write that letter.

CJS2
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CJS2   3/15/2011 12:05:47 PM
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Some years ago I was let go in yet another Silicon Valley RIF (Reduction In Force) as a result of another "merger" of two companies. At an outplacement seminar given by my former company the person leading the seminar asked everyone to list all previous employers. Next, that person asked each person to note which positions were secured via a personal contact. When I did this I noticed that all but one of my previous positions had been secured via a personal contact. The number of companies that I have worked at that did not involve personal contacts remains at one, over 15 years and four employers later.

FredB1912
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FredB1912   3/15/2011 1:45:38 PM
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Surprised no one has cited the current anti-small-business climate in the USA. The job market has shrunk to those companies who are required to have engineering-manufacturing here or the few doing so much innovating they can't afford the high time costs and error rates in new work done offshore. High corporate taxes and unlimited tort liability are tectonic forces driving anyone who can to go offshore.

Robotics Developer
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Robotics Developer   3/15/2011 3:25:04 PM
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I have also seen too many job postings that read like: can define, design, and implement the entire universe (blindfolded would be a plus). It seems that HR departments use the full shopping cart list of required skills/experiences to protect the company from lawsuits by rejected applicants. I must agree that the best way to be hired is to know someone on the inside, not just anyone, but someone with position and reputation within the organization.

tfc
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tfc   3/15/2011 4:51:12 PM
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Again, choosing an employee based on personal connections is not based on merit, thus may result in lower profitability for the company. Eventually HR if it is too careful, can will surly kill a company even more than bad employees albeit slowly.

tfc
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tfc   3/15/2011 5:06:25 PM
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BYW even though I am unemployed because of a glutted engineer market, I still sent money to Japan for their earthquake relief.

zeeglen
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zeeglen   3/16/2011 1:08:30 PM
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Right RobDev. Also one must have a bushy tail coloured purple and the ability to leap from tree to tree and scamper across rooftops.

Brian Fuller2
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Brian Fuller2   3/15/2011 6:45:58 PM
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Great inputs, everyone. I'm trying to put together an outline for a series of webinars on careers (targeting both fresh-outs and experienced engineers who want to manage their careers more effectively). Are there any topics not mentioned here that you think would make a compelling webinar?

tfc
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tfc   3/18/2011 4:57:30 AM
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Topic: is there really an engineering shortage (too few numbers) or do employer's expectations cause an engineering "shortage" (too picky)?

KTest
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KTest   3/29/2011 4:53:44 AM
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There is always a shortage of Exceptional people!

Cerberus
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Cerberus   3/15/2011 6:50:29 PM
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When I left the technical ranks and went into sales and marketing almost 30 years ago, I met/ interviewed/ followed-up/ and was offered the job by my 1st sales manager without ever meeting somebody in Beckman Instrument's HR department. When I asked Jim when do I talk to somebody from HR, I'll never forget his reply, "When you have a question about dental benefits. If you can go the rest of your career without speaking to somebody in HR about the job, you'll be better-off". As we used to say in the 70s when CBs were popular, "A big 10-4 good buddy" on the age discrimination and avoiding sending in resumes off all the job boards. 99% of the time it's a waste of time, and the response that they'll keep your resume on file and contact you if another position that matches your background..... is pure, unadulterated bull****. I'll go as far as to say 90% of the job posting on web sites and career boards are not real. They'll never fill them, or job board 1 picks up a job on job board 2, which then winds up on #3. The company takes it off their web site, but it's still on the 3 job boards.

Cerberus
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Cerberus   3/15/2011 6:50:37 PM
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I was out of work for over a year and a half in high tech sales and marketing, and looked for a job EVERY day. In the end I was hired by a company that I'd been in contact with their internal recruiter on THREE prior positions which never went anywhere. I got an introduction from a friend who left the company but stayed in contact with the hiring manager for my now current job, and went intro call to written offer in 10 days- and only at the end when the offer was made did I have any communication with their internal recruiter. My advise to job seekers? First reinforce your personal religious beliefs. For me it was go to church and pray. For you it may be lighting candles and worshiping oak trees, it's your business. Second, read "Ask the Headhunter" by Nick Corcodilos 3 times, because he explains how the job market really works, and how to really find a job. Third, if you read that company ABC has an open job, Google company ABC, find out who is the VP of sales, or operations, or engineering at call them up, never leave a message, and tell them you would like to show them how you are the best candidate having done the job before, and lead sending in your resume with a personal contact. All the rest? Nonsense. God bless you all (and hopefully nobody is insulted).

rakeshc4
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rakeshc4   3/16/2011 8:34:31 AM
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Hello There

rakeshc4
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rakeshc4   3/16/2011 8:40:13 AM
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I am a 6 yr. experienced guy in Automotive field and recently when i tried to change job, i was sent back in HR round. The reason was - I have low scores in my academics. However, i cleared the technical interview rounds but i am not able to convince HR fellow. What shall i do to get a new job??

zeeglen
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zeeglen   3/16/2011 12:52:38 PM
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You are on HR radar, under a microscope by a supercilious moron who feels superior because s/he has a job and you don't. No matter how competent, you are still scrood (int). If you really must change job, try accounting, or law, or politics.

Hank Hill
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Hank Hill   3/16/2011 5:19:59 PM
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Age discrimination is legal - against new college grads mainly - you can literally say "no new college grads" in a want ad. Older employees think they are being discriminated against when they price themselves out of the market or let their skills atrophy.

antiquus
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antiquus   3/16/2011 6:41:38 PM
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Funny how so many people say "age discrimination", but over on Janine Love's blog (3/14/2011 3:48 PM EDT), there is a discussion of which cell phone to "move up to". If you're mindset is such that you futz about whether or not you are "ready" for an advanced telephone, then by all measures you are not ready to work in advanced technology. In recent years, engineering technicians have literally evaporated -- the draftsman, the PCB guy, the lab monkey. EE has little relationship to what it was 20yrs ago, and if you are not down with the necessary skillsets and mindset, then all that experience is Betamax.

Salio
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Salio   3/28/2011 3:18:39 AM
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I am not sure what is the correlation between being ready to use a smart phone and being ready to work in advanced technology?

anon7643463
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anon7643463   3/17/2011 2:31:11 PM
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"No new college grads" means experience required, that is not age discrimination. Your statement that older workers are too expensive and have outdated skills exemplifies the age discrimination practiced by management and HR departments everyday.

Brian Fuller2
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Brian Fuller2   3/17/2011 4:18:26 PM
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Following up on "antiquus'" comment: Earlier this week I attended the engineering/computing engineering department heads meeting in Arizona. At one panel's Q&A, a guy from industry (not academia) got up and said essentially "You guys are teaching kids higher abstraction and theory, and I'm seeing young engineers who can't read a circuit diagram or don't know how to solder. I'm not in the business of training people how to be engineers; you are." He was rather passionate about it (to say the least).

tfc
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tfc   3/18/2011 6:23:16 AM
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The problem is academia teaches students all the really important things (abstraction and theory) and leave the simple things (HW, soldering, and circuit diagrams) for students to pick up in the labs using the manufacturers prefab prototype boards (which are all becoming more software based thus cheaper than HW) or learn it OTJ. The employer want hit the ground running results (make something now) and does not care about theory mumbo jumbo. Several jobs I have done for past employers only used mostly my basic technician skills. Very seldom did I get to use my highest engineering skills. In an attempt to teach students what they need to advance their fields of engineering, academia is going the extra mile on theory and attempting to fill the employer’s ever growing engineering requirements. Then the employer expects the engineer to also be a technician and do all the grunt work (i.e. architect laying bricks). As everything becomes more software than hardware based, fewer new engineers will have the old skill sets that employers really require. In engineering school I worked with a foreign CompSci student who never once had to open his PC in his young life (must be nice). He was 4.0 in CS theory so guess who did the HW?

old account Frank Eory
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old account Frank Eory   3/18/2011 8:45:06 AM
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@Brian -- it's sad, from two different perspectives, to hear that comment from an engineering department head. Perspective #1: I've been away from the academic world a long time, but when I was in school, EEs had lab courses and actually built circuits -- with solderless breadboards, but still they built them -- and drew the schematics, and analyzed how & why the measured performance differed from theory. The 'hard core' among us did hardware hacking on the side, because of a fundamental interest in radios, audio circuits, computers or whatever. Getting an EE degree wasn't just about getting a job, it was also about pursuing a passion for electronics. Perspective #2: My first job out of school, in Arizona, was at a company that immediately put all of us new grads through a 6-month training program before we were thrown into the fire to do "real work." It was there that most of those recent college grads actually learned how to solder. The point was to be able to breadboard & test your own circuits and to make sure you were familiar with actual components, not just symbols on a piece of paper or a computer screen. Perspective #1 relates to the success or failure of academia to give EE students at least a basic grounding in the real world of electronic circuits. Perspective #2 relates to the success or failure of employers to assist new EE grads in making the transition from academia and theory and mathematical equations to designing, building and testing real circuits for real products that make money. A university that graduates its EEs without any hands-on lab experience with real circuits is failing to do its job and is doing its graduates a great disservice. An employer who expects fresh grads to be fully trained engineers, ready to hit the ground running, hands-on, knowing all the nuances that separate theory from reality, is also doing them and his company a great disservice and is setting himself up for disappointment.

KTest
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re: Why can't you get hired?
KTest   3/29/2011 5:08:57 AM
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Is he proactive, i.e., does he have regular contact with academia and request they teach the skill set he needs? Or does he not know what they will need until the day they write the job posting? Reactive types (and companies) are crisis driven. New hires are expected to hit the ground not just running, but sprinting and singlehandedly rescue the company by afternoon coffee break. Management should expect no less from the optimal candidate, selected by their HR software - right? It's more wishful thinking than science.

krisi
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CEO
re: Why can't you get hired?
krisi   3/17/2011 5:27:48 PM
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To @antiguus, I think I know what you are trying to say, which basically boils down to being able to keep up with a technology as we age, I agree on that front...I do NOT agree however that keeping up with technology means that you need to use the latest and greatest smart phone. It might help (depending on what you do) to understand how that phone works but excelling in operating high-tech gadgets rarely in my experience translate into productive engineering work...Kris

moronda
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Manager
re: Why can't you get hired?
moronda   3/21/2011 3:27:21 PM
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The bottom line is that it's a buyers market. Companies are waiting for the candidate with the exact skills for the job. They aren't willing to take someone who has good skills and experience. They want the exact skills. It's really sad and short sighted. My advice is to claim you know the stuff cold. Then study extra hard before the interview. I saw a couple recruiters in here. You guys are funny talking about not getting back and so forth. What a crock. Companies and recruiters are the rude and lazy people. They don't even give you the respect to tell you how you did on and interview. After you get reamed hard for 6 hours on technical questions. They are the ones that don't get back. They just disappear with not even a thank you for your time. Rude company behavior is the norm today.

T in Az
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
T in Az   3/22/2011 12:31:16 AM
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Why can't I get hired?, ignorance or apathy? I don't know, and I don't care.

UnderboatBoy
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re: Why can't you get hired?
UnderboatBoy   3/23/2011 2:44:53 PM
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Well age discrimination is one thing when you are trying to get hired... Age discrimination when a company is considering a RIF is the real "tragic moment" and that is based on three things.. A. The cost of keeping highly experienced Old-timers. B. The notion that there isn't much difference between senior engineers and and juniors. C. Reinforcement of the "Notion" of equivalence between senior and junior engineers skill-set by under-utilization of Senior Engineers skill-set and allowing skill obsolescence to set in while the "old timer" is working for a company in projects and technologies of limited scope.

new2coding
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
new2coding   3/23/2011 4:00:43 PM
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BecaUSE THIS IS NOT A SUM ZERO "GAME" for every three or four engineeing jobs at least one if not two moved overseas. If you are pushing resumes out to job posting on the net...Your screwed basically. IT makes no sense but most are not real jobs just recruiters tring to get as many resumes as possible for other possible job opennings. Also 99% are screened for keywords not intelegent logical truthful,writing. So you are dead in the water if each resume is not tailored for each jo posting. Even then it is not very good odds and a lot of work. I will not say that it is not worth it but for me I have better options that have better probabilities so I do not waste my time on these sites anymore. Unless the job description is specific i do not apply or bother with lame job description "opportunities" I could not get a job until I went into contracting. It is still chalenging to get work but at least I can eat.

bcarso
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
bcarso   3/23/2011 6:39:42 PM
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On keywords and abbreviations: one of my favorite stories is of the person who applied for a job requesting expertise in digital signal processing. He felt his resume was a nearly perfect fit, and was surprised when he never got a call for an interview. He finally talked directly to the HR person, and she explained that he didn't qualify because they were looking specifically for people with DSP experience. That is, he had spelled it out --- and since she didn't know what DSP stood for, the resume was tossed out.

zeeglen
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Blogger
re: Why can't you get hired?
zeeglen   3/24/2011 12:02:59 AM
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Good one, Bcarso. Have to wonder how many times this happens, probably more often than we realize. Several times I have been asked by headhunters to explain technical terminology they did not understand. On this topic of words try to avoid using the word "specialist" in an email even if the word appears in the job title. Also remove the sub-word "cialis" from your spam filter junk list if you want to receive a reply with the word "specialist" in the subject.

KTest
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
KTest   3/29/2011 5:13:45 AM
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I once saw a job posting for someone with 10 years' experience with AutoCAD 2009.

docdivakar
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Manager
re: Why can't you get hired?
docdivakar   3/24/2011 6:37:00 PM
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@Brian Fuller: thanks for starting this quagmire! @bcarso, what you stated is much more common than one would believe. Now a days, hiring mangers, swamped with work, defer the prescreening to non-technical HR people who try to literally match job description to the resumes they receive! This may have been addressed some what in other comments above -many companies are simply not hiring because they have used the rough economic times of the last couple of years to get extra mileage out of their employees; they are simply waiting to see how far this can be stretched. MP Divakar

joshxdr
User Rank
Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
joshxdr   3/25/2011 11:49:36 PM
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I worked at a semiconductor design center of over 200 engineers. The whole company liquidated at the end of 2008, and 100% of the engineers there lost their jobs. This is in an area without a large semiconductor industry presence. Even in the worst part of the recession, early 2009, I would say 85% found jobs within 9 months. The remaining 15% were never really that serious about engineering in the first place. Many found careers outside of the engineering field. The lesson I take from this experience is that even at the absolute worst of the recession, our economy needs good engineers, and there will ALWAYS BE demand. I think it is true that engineering is no longer a place for people who are not really interested or motivated to be excellent as engineers, or who do not have some natural aptitude.

tfc
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
tfc   3/26/2011 12:47:36 AM
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Sounds like the argument that there is plenty of parking if you come early enough. the late comers are at fault. So if a building has 85 parking spots for 100 people the 15 remaining cars belong to people who really did not want to park?

tfc
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
tfc   3/26/2011 12:37:35 AM
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Are you hinting there is an engineer glut?

Salio
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
Salio   3/28/2011 3:13:29 AM
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1. What do you think? Answer: I agree that networking helps tremendously when it comes to landing a new job. Hiring managers are likely to interview/take in employees who have been referred by people he/she knows to be top performers and/or trusted employees than to hire people who have not been referred to by an existing employee. Unfortunately this is one area I have to improve in. 2. What were your best experiences? Answer: I didn’t have good experience with any recruiter. For me they were a waste of time. What were your worst experiences? Answer: I think some recruiters are a waste of time. They ask for mundane information that can be taken over the phone but they want you dress up and give them the information in person in their office. I think we need to be careful of such recruiters and we should just ask up front as to the purpose of the face to face. More often than not it will be something that can be taken care of over the phone And why do we know so many colleagues who have had a hard time finding a job? Answer: I will say from my own experience that I was not spending adequate time preparing my resumes for the jobs I was applying to. I was making the classical mistake of using one resume for every job I was applying to. What this did was that I didn’t get an interview let alone a job for more than 8 months. I was devastated and at one point lost all hope. Then a friend of mine reformatted my resume and I used it to modify based on the job I was applying for. Within two months I landed more than 5 interviews and eventually the job that I currently hold. I have used my experience and have been telling my friends and whoever I meet the following: If you are not getting an interview most likely something is wrong with your resume.

DWilde10
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
DWilde10   3/29/2011 1:38:35 PM
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Wisdom from the trenches: http://www.inspiremetoday.com/archiveDisp.php?type=0&ref=1097

GordonScott
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Manager
re: Why can't you get hired?
GordonScott   3/30/2011 9:17:22 AM
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Something I didn't see mentioned elsewhere about older engineers. When the interviewer decides "OMG, this guy is too good .. he'll take MY job".

Test_engineer
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Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
Test_engineer   3/31/2011 12:56:00 PM
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Stay away from the big companies!!!. I've worked for some well known firms such as Nortel and Emerson Power and I can tell you that the bigger the company, the more idiots you will have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. I currently work for a small outfit here outside Toronto that has 44 employees. Just the right size. The pay could be better, but I love my engineering job here. We don't even have an HR person to mess things up. The big boss, who owns the company, does all the hiring.

Salio
User Rank
Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
Salio   9/1/2011 2:54:19 AM
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Unfortunately, more people than available positions. Too many options for recruiters to chose from...

Michael.Fliesler
User Rank
Rookie
re: Why can't you get hired?
Michael.Fliesler   12/19/2011 9:51:49 PM
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It's true that there are more applicants than open positions. Many companies are now able to get "free upgrades", hiring highly skilled, senior people for lower pay. Keeping your skills fresh and doing your homework on the company is important; resume buzzwords may get you in the door, but you still need to ace the interview by showing technical mastery, and "selling yourself" as the best candidate. This can be difficult for some people, but sadly, your work will not "speak for itself" -- you must. Personal networks are THE best avenue of success. Also, you may need to transition into a new field (from design to applications, for example). And yes, age discrimination is still prevalent, largely for cost reasons, so only list the last 10 yrs employment history on your resume.

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