Monday, June 06, 2005

looking for a job???

I received a resume from NBN in reply to a job description I sent out
for basically a hardware programming job. The resume was a generic, "I
can do everything" resume, which in his 3 years of experience as a
help desk administrator included programming in 15 languages including
Assembly Language at the very hardware oriented end and HTML at the
other end of the spectrum. Organizations such as NBN often have more
generic resumes so they can bulk send them to every company that might
have a position open. I sent him an email asking him to send me a
revised resume specifically for this position. He replied that these
were all of his qualifications and didn't I think it all belonged on
the resume. Below is my response.

His response to my original email:
> I have worked in a Help Desk, and have wotked as a Desktop Support Analyst,
> Programmer, System Admininistrator. As for the computer languages, I have
> worked and programmed with each of them. If I worked with and know all
> these languages, should I not have them on my resume?
> As for the hardware, I have trouble shooted/installed the list of difrrent
> pieces of hardware as a Desktop Analyst. I can revise the resume, but I
> feel that it portrays all what I worked with and know.

How much professional experience do you have with Assembly and C++,
and in what capacity? How comfortable are you with hardware concepts
and PC Architecture?
Questions that are asked on the interview often include things like:
Can you tell me what the FSB does, how does that different from the
old way of doing it and what benefit does the new way have to the old
way of doing it.

Friendly Advice (Other people may disagree with this):
I am not trying to put you down, or tell you that you are not
qualified for this job. You will probably never get a reply like this
from anyone who receives your resume again. I made aliyah two years
ago and I am interested in helping other Americans find jobs. What I
am writing here is based on almost 10 years of experience, including
being involved in the hiring process. If you don't like what I am
saying, that is fine, but it is the actual process. I personally have
over 45 customized resumes, each one slightly modified specifically
for the job I was sending it in for.

For example, in my last job in America my title was officially development team
leader. On some resumes, that position said DBA, which has an element
of truth in it because I was responsible for database development. On
another resume, it said System Administrator because I had some sys
admin responsibilities. On a third resume it said Programmer, because
the job I sent it in for was a programmer and I didn't want to look
overly qualified. The languages I used in each position were
emphasized differently as well. On a DBA job, I implied that my main
tasks were SQL and I had a little bit of VB coding as well. For a
programming job I implied that most of my experience was in VB and
Delphi, and that I used SQL along with it.

I am not involved in the hiring process here. However,I know if I handed in
this resume they would probably not consider you. In general, when I
see a list of 15 languages on a resume like this, I assume they were
all learned in college and not used professionally.

If you are applying to a software engineering position,
you would include languages that were possibly relevant to the job
description. Languages such as Assembler and HTML are polar opposites,
and most people are not looking for a job using both. If you are
looking for a hardware programming job, putting HTML on your resume is
of no real benefit. If you are looking for a web design job, putting
Assembler on your resume is of no benefit whatsoever. The harm that it
does is that it gives the feeling that you are a generalist and
everyone is looking for a specialist, except for help desk/system or
network admin positions.

Your resume gives a feeling of, "I can do a lot of things but I don't
have any real preference, if any of my countless qualifications fit
any job requirement that you have, I would like to be considered."
Evaluate that resume against one that says, you are
looking for a software engineer, I am a software engineer. My
education is geared towards being a software engineer. My experience
can be considered kind of software engineering. HTML might be put on
as a hobby, but not as a serious programming language because software
engineers don't consider HTML to be programming.

Your experience should emphasize the programming you did, and minimize
the help desk aspect.

If you don't have any direct experience in a sector, but would like to
try something completely new, such as hardware programming. You would
write an objective stating that you are looking for an entry level
software engineering position. In your experience you would list some
hardware projects you did in college. Your help desk experience would
be minimized, such as Help Desk job, programmed scripts using PERL and
performed system admin tasks. Detailing the experience means that you
want them to use that as a considering factor


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