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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:25 AM

DUer needs some advice

Looking to relocate from east coast to the Olympia area. I do IT (not a programmer, database admin or networking person) I've applied for several positions with different state agencies and had lots of interviews but no takers. Any advice on the job market in general there? I may consider moving there without a job in hand but need to be rational and take in consideration the availability of IT jobs or any kind of job just to get by in the short term. Any advice from DUers that live there would be great!

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Reply DUer needs some advice (Original post)
angrychair Feb 2013 OP
DisgruntldCurmudgeon Feb 2013 #1
angrychair Feb 2013 #2

Response to angrychair (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:23 PM

1. You "do" IT?

I'm not surprised that you have not had any takers if you are applying for IT jobs and can't program, don't know database technology (like SQL) and are not a network operations specialist. Most jobs in that sector require a solid background in at least one of those skills. I'm sorry if that seems harsh, but it is the standard by which all of us in the industry are measured. Your post begs the question, "Just what exactly is it that you know how to do?" If it is something marketable, then it behooves you to explicitly state that first and foremost in a general inquiry such as this one, but more importantly, in a job application.

No one cares what you don't do, especially the personnel clerk who screens the applications. What they do is scan the résumés submitted for the short list of key words and phrases they have been given. If they don't see enough of them, they toss your application. It's that simple. The people doing the screening usually don't fully understand what the key words and phrases mean, so it's vital to use the exact terminology used in the job order. if you think I'm kidding, dig this. I applied about a dozen times over a period of three years at an avionic electronics firm that was always seeking people for job orders that read like my résumé. Eventually, I got an interview and was hired immediately. The hiring manager pointed out to me that I had given extensive detail about my experience in programming embedded systems, but the job order had required ROM-based system programming experience. He and I knew that those were the same thing, but the low-skilled clerk, who was not an engineer, did not. Worse than that, the director of personnel (who interviewed me before the manager) was worried that I didn't know C, the programming language required for the work. (The hiring manager told the personnel guy not to send over another programmer who didn't know C.) My last three jobs had been as a C programmer. He didn't realized that because the screening clerk had not circled it in red because "C" had not been explicitly listed on the list of key words. I pointed this out to him and he took another look and said, "Oh. Yeah. I see that now. That'll be fine then." Got it? If the hiring manager doesn't know you're a good candidate for the job, he won't even get to talk to you.

If you want to move here, do it. Live where you want to. You can get unemployment from your old home state through our Employment Development Department if your claim is based on work while in residence of that state. Check with EDD if you're worried, but I'm fairly sure that it works that way.

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Response to angrychair (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:34 AM

2. Thank you for the points you made

I do believe that I created the wrong impression with respect to my skill set and for that I am sorry. I did single out those three items as they are the most common generic descriptions of jobs in IT and items i have no specific expertise in. I see now that that may have created the wrong impression. I have 18 years of very broad IT experience doing everything from A/V to iPads to managing small projects, desktop support, remote support, blackberries, smartphones and application support. I have ITIL v2 and v3 certifications. A+ and Microsoft certifications. So while I cannot program in C# or mange a router I never the less have a very strong set of skills which currently pays me a very decent wage. My issue isn't my employer or pay just a desire to relocate to washington with my family. It's a beautiful state and we've met some great people from that area that loved living there. Your point of being specific and tailoring my résumé to the job description is good advice and point taken.

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