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  1. #31
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    I'm not trying to prove anything in this topic. I've created it to get advice AND related to the advice, figure out how I can improve my CV/get a job. By that said, I don't see how what you said is helpful or even makes sense.
    The point I am making is this:

    You clearly know almost nothing about the methods of career positioning available to someone in your position. You ask people for help--people who have positioned themselves well in their career, I might add. We directly spell out some methods available to you. You confidently explain to us why they are poor methods for someone in your position. The important part I don't want you to miss is this: we have careers and you do not, and we have successfully positioned ourselves and you have not. Thus, I urge you to consider that (while you surely have strengths), you suck at this particular thing. That, at least today, you are a methodological weakling, and that you are unlikely to get stronger at it until you start employing some of the strategies directly spelled out for you by people who are successful.

    Enlightening little assignment for you:

    Go through your posts in this thread and highlight all the times you used words like "how/strategy/position" (or, when referring to someone else's suggested strategy, you use the word, "that"). Then look at your explanation of what will come out of those strategies.

    You confidently predict they will not be a successful method toward your defined goal. I predict you will not get there until you start questioning your read of the relationship between strategy and outcome. I think your problem is that you are confident you are reading this domain correctly. And that confidence is, at least at this point in your life, unfounded, baseless, and devoid of any evidence-based experience.

    I'm saying other people have evidence behind their claims about what strategies you need to be using, and that the only evidence you have is that your strategies have failed you and left you without a job. So maybe meditate on the notion of evidence-based claims.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    The point I am making is this:

    You clearly know almost nothing about the methods of career positioning available to someone in your position. You ask people for help--people who have positioned themselves well in their career, I might add. We directly spell out some methods available to you. You confidently explain to us why they are poor methods for someone in your position. The important part I don't want you to miss is this: we have careers and you do not, and we have successfully positioned ourselves and you have not. Thus, I urge you to consider that (while you surely have strengths), you suck at this particular thing. That, at least today, you are a methodological weakling, and that you are unlikely to get stronger at it until you start employing some of the strategies directly spelled out for you by people who are successful.

    Enlightening little assignment for you:

    Go through your posts in this thread and highlight all the times you used words like "how/strategy/position" (or, when referring to someone else's suggested strategy, you use the word, "that"). Then look at your explanation of what will come out of those strategies.

    You confidently predict they will not be a successful method toward your defined goal. I predict you will not get there until you start questioning your read of the relationship between strategy and outcome. I think your problem is that you are confident you are reading this domain correctly. And that confidence is, at least at this point in your life, unfounded, baseless, and devoid of any evidence-based experience.

    I'm saying other people have evidence behind their claims about what strategies you need to be using, and that the only evidence you have is that your strategies have failed you and left you without a job. So maybe meditate on the notion of evidence-based claims.
    Okay, I'm going to attempt to recap what strategies were mentioned in this thread and what I've said about them. I think it will be easier to progress from here, in case I didn't get something, missed some point made or am utterly incorrect.

    The strategies that have been mentioned are these:

    1) Volunteer work

    2) Internship position

    3) Present myself, make an impression

    My comments in short on these strategies:

    1) I don't know about the rest of the world, or particularly the US, but volunteer work here means handing out food, mostly focused on bums. The cost-benefit factor is way outweighed by the cost: a) I would have to do it for a few months, b) I would hate it with every single molecule in my body, c) I would be VERY unmotivated to do it because I don't care one bit for the cause or the process, d) I couldn't express myself at all, because I guarantee you that my opinions are completely opposite of the people who wanna do that, especially the majority (they run most charities here, actually) - nuns, e) I would have to spend (how I'd see it - waste) the time that I would otherwise be spending home, learning new software/hardware-related information that would actually help me in a job that I'll eventually get, f) the result would be a recommendation saying that I've helped people by handing out food, I've dedicated myself to some cause, g) at least to me, if I was in their shoes, a person with such history would create an image that's completely different from who I am. In terms of imagination, compare an SFJ to an NTJ, of course nobody would think in those terms, but use the textbook character traits offered in various descriptions to fill what I'm trying to say. In short - very little benefit, even potential damage and definite damage to my inner self.

    2) Getting an internship position is close to impossible. People who take interns want someone who they can put at least an average amount of trust in, which is 3rd/4th course students, people who have already spend over 3 years in front of a computer and were examined by various tests, exams and even had to "defend" their work by the end of each year. Nobody wants to take a dude who says he can do lots of stuff, because they have to put trust in them, they don't want to have another guy double-checking everyone's work. Combine that with the fact that last year there was a big shortage of internship positions available, especially in the IT section, and well - you come to the conclusion that it's less than 1% chance that I'll get an internship position. So while it may be worth and I will send out emails to every single IT company in my city, I'm very unlikely to succeed. Therefore, I have to look for more viable options. Not to mention another problem, a motivational problem: I honestly don't know if I'd be able to work for no pay for longer than a month or maybe two, even if the job's very enjoyable. If I wouldn't get hired then, I'd likely quit because first I'd see no prospects, second I'd be getting no pay. Those are the most important things to me in a career, and even though I know that there'd be an experience counter running, I wouldn't feel motivated to keep working. Of course I may be wrong about that, but I think that that's what would happen.

    3) To do that, I need to get an interview in the first place. Which means, my resume has to make the potential employer to invite me and interview me. I'm still trying to figure out how to write it due to the lack of content I can put in it. Assuming I have a decent CV, I believe that chances of this happening are greater than that of getting an internship.

  3. #33
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Okay, I'm going to attempt to recap what strategies were mentioned in this thread and what I've said about them. I think it will be easier to progress from here, in case I didn't get something, missed some point made or am utterly incorrect.

    The strategies that have been mentioned are these:

    1) Volunteer work

    2) Internship position

    3) Present myself, make an impression

    My comments in short on these strategies:

    1) I don't know about the rest of the world, or particularly the US, but volunteer work here means handing out food, mostly focused on bums. The cost-benefit factor is way outweighed by the cost: a) I would have to do it for a few months, b) I would hate it with every single molecule in my body, c) I would be VERY unmotivated to do it because I don't care one bit for the cause or the process, d) I couldn't express myself at all, because I guarantee you that my opinions are completely opposite of the people who wanna do that, especially the majority (they run most charities here, actually) - nuns, e) I would have to spend (how I'd see it - waste) the time that I would otherwise be spending home, learning new software/hardware-related information that would actually help me in a job that I'll eventually get, f) the result would be a recommendation saying that I've helped people by handing out food, I've dedicated myself to some cause, g) at least to me, if I was in their shoes, a person with such history would create an image that's completely different from who I am. In terms of imagination, compare an SFJ to an NTJ, of course nobody would think in those terms, but use the textbook character traits offered in various descriptions to fill what I'm trying to say. In short - very little benefit, even potential damage and definite damage to my inner self.

    2) Getting an internship position is close to impossible. People who take interns want someone who they can put at least an average amount of trust in, which is 3rd/4th course students, people who have already spend over 3 years in front of a computer and were examined by various tests, exams and even had to "defend" their work by the end of each year. Nobody wants to take a dude who says he can do lots of stuff, because they have to put trust in them, they don't want to have another guy double-checking everyone's work. Combine that with the fact that last year there was a big shortage of internship positions available, especially in the IT section, and well - you come to the conclusion that it's less than 1% chance that I'll get an internship position. So while it may be worth and I will send out emails to every single IT company in my city, I'm very unlikely to succeed. Therefore, I have to look for more viable options. Not to mention another problem, a motivational problem: I honestly don't know if I'd be able to work for no pay for longer than a month or maybe two, even if the job's very enjoyable. If I wouldn't get hired then, I'd likely quit because first I'd see no prospects, second I'd be getting no pay. Those are the most important things to me in a career, and even though I know that there'd be an experience counter running, I wouldn't feel motivated to keep working. Of course I may be wrong about that, but I think that that's what would happen.

    3) To do that, I need to get an interview in the first place. Which means, my resume has to make the potential employer to invite me and interview me. I'm still trying to figure out how to write it due to the lack of content I can put in it. Assuming I have a decent CV, I believe that chances of this happening are greater than that of getting an internship.
    I hear what you're saying here.

    Perhaps the are more cultural issues playing out than what most of your respondents are aware of, myself included--definitely likely.

    I also wonder, though, if maybe the abstracted concept of interning is the solution, and you are going to have to tweak that idea so that it hooks on to how things work in your culture. Or, since you have an internet connection, you can use our strategies that we can vouch for in an American context, and build your CV by volunteering remotely.

    What about this idea?

    1.) Find American-style small company, perhaps a startup of young people who are still trying to get the ball rolling with their business
    2.) Talk with them to figure out what useful, reliable skills you can execute that will help them with their business to make a visible product (e.g. website design)
    3.) You help them complete the product for free, and in exchange, you put that on your CV under Work Experience, and you also get them to be a reference for you
    4.) You might have to do a few projects to build up a portfolio of work experience
    5.) Now you can apply for jobs that will pay you for your experience because you have references who can speak to you how reliable you are, how quick / careful / [whatever your skills are] a worker you are, etc.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  4. #34
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    The career statement obviously must be job and company-specific, however most job ads ask to write a motivational letter as well. In such case, I usually include the motivational letter as contents in the email and leave the CV as an attachment. I think the motivational letter would at least partly overlap with the career goal statement. Reading Essentially the same thing twice isn't something I'd like to provide the potential employer with - do you think that I still include it in such situations (which is most cases)?
    As Usehername mentioned, it sounds like there are local job-hunting customs in your area that differ from what most Americans are used to. First, I would still include a brief (1-sentence) statement of objective at the top of the resume, under your contact information. If the cover letter is separated from the resume proper, the basic idea will still be there. It need not be tailored to a specific position, but can cover an area of work. You mention looking for an entry-level IT job, likely focused on setup and troubleshooting for users That, then, should be the gist of your goal statement. You would adjust it perhaps if going for a computer sales job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    My experience with that is very brief. Mostly my "site creation" skills are as in getting a CMS and configuring it towards the subject's liking, making minor changes to the template in HTML, CSS and PHP, sometimes SQL. So almost no creation process involved.

    I have created a web interface for a program using SQL, PHP and some CSS/HTML however, but as I see it, it was a simple project. Basically it took the data that the software wrote into a database server and displayed it. Then, there was a possibility of changing some of the data, like deleting the entry or marking it as "done."

    I have also created (or actually radically modified, so there was the skeleton on which I could build up) the design of around 5 to 10 templates for various CMS using HTML and CSS, including HTML5 and CSS3 recently. Also very brief experience with Javascript, used it in 2 sites I think. Other than that, done some editing to make plugins work the way I needed them to.
    How would you summarize this in a few short sentences? Start by making a list of every single project you can remember doing. Try to group them into categories. Pick the most significant categories if there are more than 3-4, and summarize each in a sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Computer assembly and troubleshooting - definitely lots of experience, once I was troubleshooting a server rig in a datacenter as well. I had rented space there and the tech guys were unable to solve it, so I solved it myself after a couple days of waiting and asking for updates.

    Programming - I have only worked on small projects like calculators, text-based games, pong, twice or trice on a side-scroller, but never finished that one. I don't have enough nerve to code, even when I wanna reach the goal. Programming is quite tedious to me, I get bored rather quickly. So that was C, C++ and RUBY. I've helped a university student with Java a bit, so basically I only know the syntax. Along with all that comes the understanding of how programming works, how to make a program work, how to code it so the possibility of bugs would be minimized, etc.
    Same advice for these two categories: make a list, sort, pare down, summarize in ~3 sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    I haven't worked for a company nor have I been employed or took money for it (which would be freelancing). My experience is related to individuals, mostly to people who wanted a site for their gaming server, some of the more advanced workings for myself. Most of them probably were underage even. As for computer diagnostics, that was for me and people I know/knew, mostly classmates or friends of friends. I haven't done any important projects, or at least nothing that hit the news nor worked for a group or a company. As I've mentioned in the OP, I was involved in a successful project, but I cannot mention that. I have maintained a site with ~10-20k visitors a month and other sites with less, but those were gaming-related sites as well, they aren't up anymore. As for my training experience, only showed a few university students on how to use software neither of us knew how to use, but that's very brief, took maybe an hour or two, a bit longer with Java, and that's a maybe.
    Gaming site, now-defunct site - doesn't matter. Make this a sentence in your website management entry above. Include only the relevant facts: number of users, length of time maintained, complexity of site, etc. (but be concise).

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    I do have a high-school diploma, but that doesn't mean anything at all. I think it's implicit, so I don't think it's worth mentioning in the CV, I'm not from a poor village or something like that, we have schools and people go there. I don't have any other diplomas and haven't attended any training. The only "training" is what I do by myself either for my own interest or because I need to get something done. I read a lot, but I can't try things related to networking, I've only had brief experience with that when I was 10 or so, helped to setup a LAN by configuring part of the computers after shown how to. I wouldn't even remember it now.

    Maybe you also meant something like "10 steps to learn ..." by the "self-paced" part. I don't do that, I just take it and learn it my way, then do what I wanted to do with that knowledge.
    In the U.S., people just starting out often will list their high school diploma, especially if they graduated with honors or some other distinction. If that looks odd where you are, leave it out. How, then, did you teach yourself to do all the things you can do? You mention reading alot - what kinds of sources?

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    As for programming, I'm not sure if I should mention them - as I've mentioned, the knowledge is brief and I don't enjoy it much. As for software packages, do you think software like antivirus configuration (as far as I'm concerned, most of my contacts don't get how to configure it), etc., should be mentioned?
    If you have even an elementary proficiency, include it. Better to be in the position of turning down a job that included too much programming, than never to get the offer or interview at all. Yes, include antivirus configuration, any server OS, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    I haven't nor do I belong to any community. I've search for volunteer work that's related to what I'm seeking, but unfortunately handing out food and clearing up the streets isn't something that is.
    When I mentioned volunteering, it wasn't full time or in lieu of a job. In the U.S., many people volunteer part time, a few hours a week, outside of work. Ongoing commitments like this, even unrelated to one's job, are good additions to resumes especially of new job seekers. It shows community involvement, a desire to do your part to make things better, etc. So, go ahead and hand out food, if you can do it on Saturday, or a couple evenings a week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    At the moment, I'm looking for an entry-level IT-related position. I understand that that's the best I can hope for with my resume, and even that would be HARD to get. Later on, I see myself in the management, perhaps related to evaluation as in "can that work? What would be the outcome?" In the very long run, however, maybe in my early 30s, I would like to start my own company. Anything further than that is irrelevant.

    By entry-level position I mean something like this (how I image them - best to worst):

    1) Consulting the workers in a company about their PC-related problems (printer doesn't work, mouse broke, etc.).

    2) Setting up new hardware and configuring it so that it reflects what the company needs (install Win8 on 25 PCs, re-configure LAN to work with them, install and configure the software in them, connect them all throughout the weekend). Although, that may get monotonic quickly...

    3) Troubleshooting PCs, configuring them, changing parts, making orders, getting them out of BSODs, etc. (but NOT administrating servers).

    4) Selling computers and hardware in a store (anything above that isn't entry-level).

    I am not aware of any other entry-level positions (so please mention if you are) that don't require programming or visual design, which I've little interest in.
    An entry-level IT position such as you describe seems a reasonable goal. You can't be overly picky at this point, though. Take whatever you can get, whether it requires programming, visual design, or other tasks that don't really interest you. One of the truisms of job hunting is that it is easier to find a job when you already have one. Get your foot in the door, commit (to yourself) to put in at least a good year doing the best job you can, learning all you can. At the same time, keep your eyes open and network. If you develop a good reputation and track record, you may be able to move into more appealing job in the same company. If not, you now have experience to take elsewhere.

    A decent resume is only half the battle, though. Lots of people send in resumes to any given company, and as you mention, most probably have better credentials on paper than you. You overcome this by doing a better job of marketing yourself. Sure, look for opportunities to freelance. Use your own website to solicit projects from anywhere. Charitable groups are good if you can volunteer a few hours, or sometimes they can even pay a little. See if those nuns handing out food need any computer work at their worksite or convent.

    Mostly, though, don't just email your resume to people, even if that is the local custom. Bring it to people. Dress up presentably, and go to their offices. Ask to see the supervisor, hand him/her a blemish-free copy of your letter and resume, and give them a short (~ 3 minute) summary of what you can do, and what you are looking for. Focus on what you can do for their particular company, right now. This means you have to research the companies and understand their business and their needs. (Yes, getting a job can be a job in itself.) If you are looking also outside your local area, try to make consolidated visits, or even try the phone. I have landed more than one job by stopping in to see the supervisor over a period of months, accepting a job that was not what I wanted, within 6 months transitioning into something better, and eventually leaving with an excellent reference. It does work.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #35
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    As Usehername mentioned, it sounds like there are local job-hunting customs in your area that differ from what most Americans are used to. First, I would still include a brief (1-sentence) statement of objective at the top of the resume, under your contact information. If the cover letter is separated from the resume proper, the basic idea will still be there. It need not be tailored to a specific position, but can cover an area of work. You mention looking for an entry-level IT job, likely focused on setup and troubleshooting for users That, then, should be the gist of your goal statement. You would adjust it perhaps if going for a computer sales job.


    How would you summarize this in a few short sentences? Start by making a list of every single project you can remember doing. Try to group them into categories. Pick the most significant categories if there are more than 3-4, and summarize each in a sentence.


    Same advice for these two categories: make a list, sort, pare down, summarize in ~3 sentences.


    Gaming site, now-defunct site - doesn't matter. Make this a sentence in your website management entry above. Include only the relevant facts: number of users, length of time maintained, complexity of site, etc. (but be concise).


    In the U.S., people just starting out often will list their high school diploma, especially if they graduated with honors or some other distinction. If that looks odd where you are, leave it out. How, then, did you teach yourself to do all the things you can do? You mention reading alot - what kinds of sources?


    If you have even an elementary proficiency, include it. Better to be in the position of turning down a job that included too much programming, than never to get the offer or interview at all. Yes, include antivirus configuration, any server OS, etc.


    When I mentioned volunteering, it wasn't full time or in lieu of a job. In the U.S., many people volunteer part time, a few hours a week, outside of work. Ongoing commitments like this, even unrelated to one's job, are good additions to resumes especially of new job seekers. It shows community involvement, a desire to do your part to make things better, etc. So, go ahead and hand out food, if you can do it on Saturday, or a couple evenings a week.


    An entry-level IT position such as you describe seems a reasonable goal. You can't be overly picky at this point, though. Take whatever you can get, whether it requires programming, visual design, or other tasks that don't really interest you. One of the truisms of job hunting is that it is easier to find a job when you already have one. Get your foot in the door, commit (to yourself) to put in at least a good year doing the best job you can, learning all you can. At the same time, keep your eyes open and network. If you develop a good reputation and track record, you may be able to move into more appealing job in the same company. If not, you now have experience to take elsewhere.

    A decent resume is only half the battle, though. Lots of people send in resumes to any given company, and as you mention, most probably have better credentials on paper than you. You overcome this by doing a better job of marketing yourself. Sure, look for opportunities to freelance. Use your own website to solicit projects from anywhere. Charitable groups are good if you can volunteer a few hours, or sometimes they can even pay a little. See if those nuns handing out food need any computer work at their worksite or convent.

    Mostly, though, don't just email your resume to people, even if that is the local custom. Bring it to people. Dress up presentably, and go to their offices. Ask to see the supervisor, hand him/her a blemish-free copy of your letter and resume, and give them a short (~ 3 minute) summary of what you can do, and what you are looking for. Focus on what you can do for their particular company, right now. This means you have to research the companies and understand their business and their needs. (Yes, getting a job can be a job in itself.) If you are looking also outside your local area, try to make consolidated visits, or even try the phone. I have landed more than one job by stopping in to see the supervisor over a period of months, accepting a job that was not what I wanted, within 6 months transitioning into something better, and eventually leaving with an excellent reference. It does work.
    This is gold. If I were OP, I'd read this 2x a day until I deeply shifted my worldview to this thinking. To speed-shift my thinking, I'd:
    Try to imagine Coriolis' perspective as it relates to my everyday experience (What can I do right now via just the internet? What can I do with my phone today? Who's the ExFx in my social network who I can recruit to help me list all the volunteer places that might need computer support if only I asked them first? Who are the master networkers/know everybodies in my contacts? Once I've identified them, what's my "elevator speech" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_pitch that I want them to broadcast out to the world?

    I'd also journal, spend time every day brainstorming for at least a month, etc. Anything that would help me shift my deep identity frames and deep thought ruts.

    We've all been stuck, OP. The way out is action.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I hear what you're saying here.

    Perhaps the are more cultural issues playing out than what most of your respondents are aware of, myself included--definitely likely.

    I also wonder, though, if maybe the abstracted concept of interning is the solution, and you are going to have to tweak that idea so that it hooks on to how things work in your culture. Or, since you have an internet connection, you can use our strategies that we can vouch for in an American context, and build your CV by volunteering remotely.

    What about this idea?

    1.) Find American-style small company, perhaps a startup of young people who are still trying to get the ball rolling with their business
    2.) Talk with them to figure out what useful, reliable skills you can execute that will help them with their business to make a visible product (e.g. website design)
    3.) You help them complete the product for free, and in exchange, you put that on your CV under Work Experience, and you also get them to be a reference for you
    4.) You might have to do a few projects to build up a portfolio of work experience
    5.) Now you can apply for jobs that will pay you for your experience because you have references who can speak to you how reliable you are, how quick / careful / [whatever your skills are] a worker you are, etc.
    That's a great idea, however my skills are severely limited by the distance. I have to think about this. Good part is, I know more people in the US than locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    In the U.S., people just starting out often will list their high school diploma, especially if they graduated with honors or some other distinction. If that looks odd where you are, leave it out. How, then, did you teach yourself to do all the things you can do? You mention reading alot - what kinds of sources?
    Either I try to do "it" and it (most often) turns out to be successful, or I skim through some guide, an article or a forum post about what I want to do and do it. Most of what I've "learned," I just took it and done it without reading anything at all. Kind of like maths at school: I knew the answer but couldn't explain why it is so. Sometimes I just took a look at an equation and knew an answer within a second without any conscious reason that I could recognize. Same goes for English, didn't learn it at school.

    I do not have any honors, my grades were poor, I didn't care much for school and the out-dated information we were being thought. I think I should just skip it, instead I'll mention that I've learned some stuff about Office at school, so it'll indicate that I have finished high-school.

    If you have even an elementary proficiency, include it. Better to be in the position of turning down a job that included too much programming, than never to get the offer or interview at all. Yes, include antivirus configuration, any server OS, etc.
    Good point. As for anti-virus (and lots of other software) configuration, I could write... A lot. So I'm really unsure what I should mention. I'm probably going to write my resume and post it here for a review.

    When I mentioned volunteering, it wasn't full time or in lieu of a job. In the U.S., many people volunteer part time, a few hours a week, outside of work. Ongoing commitments like this, even unrelated to one's job, are good additions to resumes especially of new job seekers. It shows community involvement, a desire to do your part to make things better, etc. So, go ahead and hand out food, if you can do it on Saturday, or a couple evenings a week.
    I'll ask around for more info about how such activities work here, don't want to hate myself for no reason.

    An entry-level IT position such as you describe seems a reasonable goal. You can't be overly picky at this point, though. Take whatever you can get, whether it requires programming, visual design, or other tasks that don't really interest you. One of the truisms of job hunting is that it is easier to find a job when you already have one. Get your foot in the door, commit (to yourself) to put in at least a good year doing the best job you can, learning all you can. At the same time, keep your eyes open and network. If you develop a good reputation and track record, you may be able to move into more appealing job in the same company. If not, you now have experience to take elsewhere.
    I'm the kinda guy who doesn't commit unless he's interested for whatever reason. Programming definitely wouldn't interest me enough. Design likely wouldn't as well.

    A decent resume is only half the battle, though. Lots of people send in resumes to any given company, and as you mention, most probably have better credentials on paper than you. You overcome this by doing a better job of marketing yourself. Sure, look for opportunities to freelance. Use your own website to solicit projects from anywhere. Charitable groups are good if you can volunteer a few hours, or sometimes they can even pay a little. See if those nuns handing out food need any computer work at their worksite or convent.
    That is a great idea, could offer my computer-services to charity organisations.

    Mostly, though, don't just email your resume to people, even if that is the local custom. Bring it to people. Dress up presentably, and go to their offices. Ask to see the supervisor, hand him/her a blemish-free copy of your letter and resume, and give them a short (~ 3 minute) summary of what you can do, and what you are looking for. Focus on what you can do for their particular company, right now. This means you have to research the companies and understand their business and their needs. (Yes, getting a job can be a job in itself.) If you are looking also outside your local area, try to make consolidated visits, or even try the phone. I have landed more than one job by stopping in to see the supervisor over a period of months, accepting a job that was not what I wanted, within 6 months transitioning into something better, and eventually leaving with an excellent reference. It does work.
    Not looking to move, not at this point. Money is an issue to me, as you'd imagine. I am utterly interested in the "dress up, ask to see a supervisor," etc. part. I am able to present myself very well in real-life situations. Lately I've asked a few people whose friends I've met, how they saw me. The description was pretty much a description of an ENTJ, whether I'm an ENTJ or an INTJ.

    However, I'm having a problem in my mind at the moment. Let's set up a situation that I would be in:

    1) I dig a lot about a company, see if they may be looking to hire anyone, if they have the positions that I'm looking for.
    2) I get a suit, get a haircut, shave (lol), go to the headquarters, ask the secretary if I could see the manager.
    3) I go in and... How do I start the conversation? To me, an intuitive thing to do would be to ask if they are hiring, but that would be a stupid question, because they have a website and they put that kind of information there. If that IS present in the site, I could say something like "Hi, I saw that you are hiring for ......., I'm interested in that position and I think I could definitely help your company by offering my skillset in ........" basically go on about what I can offer. But if there is no hiring information on the site (apart from a clear "we are not looking to hire at the moment), what can I do? To be perfectly honest, I haven't been in any similar situation, the highest "official" business I had to conduct is to talk to the principle for something I needed, but there I could just go straight about it because the principle is related to my position - I'm at his school, so I just went directly at what I needed from him. But going to a company out of nowhere to hand in my resume is in no way related to me, I'm not working for them, I wasn't invited to an interview, etc.. What do you think about my current approaches?

    ---

    Appreciate your post, it's a great read, lots of helpful advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    This is gold. If I were OP, I'd read this 2x a day until I deeply shifted my worldview to this thinking. To speed-shift my thinking, I'd:
    Try to imagine Coriolis' perspective as it relates to my everyday experience (What can I do right now via just the internet? What can I do with my phone today? Who's the ExFx in my social network who I can recruit to help me list all the volunteer places that might need computer support if only I asked them first? Who are the master networkers/know everybodies in my contacts? Once I've identified them, what's my "elevator speech" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_pitch that I want them to broadcast out to the world?

    I'd also journal, spend time every day brainstorming for at least a month, etc. Anything that would help me shift my deep identity frames and deep thought ruts.

    We've all been stuck, OP. The way out is action.
    No such ExFx, so will have to dig myself. I also don't know any positively social people, I know a few who know a lot of people who say "work? *deep and hard laugh*," I tend to skip their conversations about their activities due to potential legal issues. Will have to think about the elevator speech, it'll be useful when talking to the supervisors. Didn't know the term before.

    ------------------------------------------

    Will work on my resume soon and will post the results. After which, and probably a few more posts, I'll start posting my progress towards job hunting!

  7. #37
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Everything is about how you word it. You make things sound more professional than they are.

    Example: Helped dad sell shit at a yearly faire.
    Turns into: 8 years of dedicated experience in retail and customer service responsible for managing and assisting sales. Responsible for the security of inventory worth over $xxxxx while working flexible hours and schedules to suit the needs of the business.

    Not that those words exactly are the best, but you can turn 'menial' work into something outstandingly super sounding because, honestly, that is exactly what it all is. People don't realize how much responsibility is in even small jobs. It just looks small and 'whatever' to them. I worked yearly at the Renaissance festival, but on my resume I am a store manager responsible for over a million dollars worth of inventory security and three store associates in a team-oriented environment providing a service to customers and a stable sales environment.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Okay, handing out food and keeping my mouth shut about my beliefs gets me a noon to vouch that I'm great at handing out food. She writes me a reference after a few months of painful process. That doesn't help get me a job in IT.
    Tons of people need help with their computers. You could volunteer at a community center to teach people how to use technology. Call up schools, retirement centers, low-income environments, etc. to volunteer. Ask around to banks, insurance companies, etc. who are updating their technology equipment and see if they are discarding the old or if they are willing to donate it for a tax write-off.

    An even more simple approach is to make signs and place adds saying that you fix computers and help people get set up on the internet, etc. In this case you could charge even a little something, or volunteer time depending on where you are advertising.

    That type of volunteering demonstrates that you have initiative and it also strongly suggests that you are person who has concern for others. That can go a long way for employment because everyone has had headaches working with difficult people. Work environments can accomplish more when not burdened down with too much negative social nonsense, so having that volunteering on a resume' could be rather significant.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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  9. #39
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    We've all been stuck, OP. The way out is action.
    Yes. When I needed money to pay for college, my first job was washing dishes. Then I switched to housecleaning because the pay and schedule were better. I really wanted to work in the library, though, and after months of stopping by to ask for work, was hired to shelve books (boring^3). Then I was given an amazing job working directly for the head librarian. I got to do special projects, and get experience in every department of the library, from circulation to cataloging to the bindery. Then I learned about a consulting firm I wanted to work in. Again, after checking in with the boss for several months, was hired to do clerical work. Upgraded to research intern in 6 months. This is how one advances in the work world. Rarely do we step into just the job we want right away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Either I try to do "it" and it (most often) turns out to be successful, or I skim through some guide, an article or a forum post about what I want to do and do it. Most of what I've "learned," I just took it and done it without reading anything at all. Kind of like maths at school: I knew the answer but couldn't explain why it is so. Sometimes I just took a look at an equation and knew an answer within a second without any conscious reason that I could recognize. Same goes for English, didn't learn it at school.
    What I was thinking here, is that being self-taught is an accomplishment in itself, especially if formal credentialing is not required. (In the U.S. IT people increasingly are expected to have CompTIA or similar credentials - I even had to get one, and I'm not in IT!) It would be unique, and might make a great impression with the right manager, if you could append to your resume a list of all the books or other resources you used to educate yourself. Almost like the syllabus of your own self-designed program of study. As it is, though, you are probably best off focusing on experience (what you have actually done) and skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Good point. As for anti-virus (and lots of other software) configuration, I could write... A lot. So I'm really unsure what I should mention. I'm probably going to write my resume and post it here for a review.
    List everything you can think of, then organize it, pare it down, prioritize the rest, and summarize in brief statements. The three categories I mentioned in my first response may not turn out to the best to organize your practical experience. See what works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    I'm the kinda guy who doesn't commit unless he's interested for whatever reason. Programming definitely wouldn't interest me enough. Design likely wouldn't as well.
    OK, but if the choice is between a job doing these things, or no job at all, what would you choose? You can't be too picky at this point. You admit you lack formal work experience, so the best thing you can do for your future is to get some. Playing all or nothing can all too easily result in nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    That is a great idea, could offer my computer-services to charity organisations.
    Yes. I designed and still maintain the website for a community group I belong to, just as a volunteer activity. They were going to pay someone to do it, but we had problems with the last external web designers. I offered to do it (1) to save money, but (2) also to retain better immediate and long-term control over the product. You could offer to do something like this at a discount or even free, and it would boost your resume considerably and get you some good references.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    1) I dig a lot about a company, see if they may be looking to hire anyone, if they have the positions that I'm looking for.
    2) I get a suit, get a haircut, shave (lol), go to the headquarters, ask the secretary if I could see the manager.
    3) I go in and... How do I start the conversation? To me, an intuitive thing to do would be to ask if they are hiring, but that would be a stupid question, because they have a website and they put that kind of information there. If that IS present in the site, I could say something like "Hi, I saw that you are hiring for ......., I'm interested in that position and I think I could definitely help your company by offering my skillset in ........" basically go on about what I can offer. But if there is no hiring information on the site (apart from a clear "we are not looking to hire at the moment), what can I do? To be perfectly honest, I haven't been in any similar situation, the highest "official" business I had to conduct is to talk to the principle for something I needed, but there I could just go straight about it because the principle is related to my position - I'm at his school, so I just went directly at what I needed from him. But going to a company out of nowhere to hand in my resume is in no way related to me, I'm not working for them, I wasn't invited to an interview, etc.. What do you think about my current approaches?
    1. You might not need to buy a suit, unless the places you want to work have a very formal environment. A good shirt/trousers, dress shoes, perhaps with a tie or blazer/sweater might be enough. Know the enviroment you are targeting. Shave/haircut are good ideas. Mostly, don't go in jeans/t-shirt or whatever you wear every day (not sure your usual dressing habits).

    2. Don't worry whether the company you want to visit is officially hiring. If the job market and hiring process are anything like in the U.S., most jobs are not secured by responding to published advertisements. You almost have to apply for the position before it is open or exists, so when it does become open, the supervisor has already met you and knows you are a good fit. Yes, you may have to make alot of visits before something turns up, but just emailing resumes seems almost pointless given the competition you face.

    3. How to approach managers, or even the receptionist, is indeed a daunting prospect. I'm not sure exactly what you did helping your father with sales, but think of it more as selling the product "you" than responding to a job posting. Obviously, if a company has advertised a position, match up your skills with the requirements, and present that to the manager. In the absence of a position listing, look at what the company does and imagine how you could best contribute. Do they need website work? network management (a larger comany, or one with separate locations)? basic user support? Do they do online sales, CAD, or computer graphics? 3-D printing has become a big new area here, especially for small companies. Most of the work of this process is in CAD and interfacing with the equipment.

    4. When you visit a comany (having researched and planned out your personal sales pitch), simply ask to see the supervisor or manager. If you can find the name of the supervisor or a department head from the website, ask for them by name. When you meet them, introduce yourself, then start right in. Tell them you are looking for your first entry-level position doing [kind of work]. You understand their company does X, Y, and Z and thought it would be a good fit with your skills, since you have experience doing A, B, and C. If you keep it brief (< 3 min), only the rudest manger will cut you off. Ask if there are any opportunities at their company. Odds are, the answer will be no. Follow-up questions then become important: does the manager anticipate hiring in the forseeable future? does he/she know of any other similar companies that might be hiring? and finally, what skills does his/her company find in most demand now? Give the manager your resume anyway and ask them to keep it on file in case anything changes. Be sure to thank them for their time. If you can get the manager's email address, follow up with a brief note: "Thanks again for speaking with me today. Please do let me know should you need anyone with my skills, as I would be interested in working at a company like yours that does A [or for reason Q]." Then, you are in their inbox and easy to contact!

    5. The hard part may be getting to see the manager to begin with. My only advice is to role-play this with a friend, and role-play the pitch to the manager, too. You can go through various permutations of: "Mr. Smith isn't here today." "Do you have an appointment?" "What is this concerning?" and if you answer that, possibly "We aren't hiring right now." There is an effective response to each of these. One might in fact be to make an appointment with someone (see 6 below). Also, if you don't have the name of the manager or department head, this is a good chance to get it. Don't ask "who is hiring", but rather "who is in charge of product development, or the IT department, or the company network, etc."

    6. Have you ever heard of "informational interviews"? Here it means to set up an appointment with someone at the kind of company you want to work for, just to get information about the industry as a whole, current needs and trends, and what skills are most relevant. It is bad etiquette to try to wrangle a job directly from such a meeting, though making a good impression can't hurt. If you can get a lead on someone both knowledgeable and helpful, they should have some valuable advice on how to market yourself, and possibly some contacts for networking. Treat this like a real interview: do your homework, dress nicely, and follow up with a thank you note (preferably snail mail).
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