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Landing the Internship or Full-Time Job 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the wear-a-tie dept.
fires_of_heaven writes "Faced with some technical site interviews, I decided to rummage the web and came across a blog titled Landing The Job. I found the advice on the blog far more useful than the other random tidbits I found, so I emailed its author a quick note of thanks. The next day I found Landing the Internship or Full-Time Job at my doorstep. Normally, I don't bother with career books, but this title is written by people that have recently landed an awesome job at companies like Google and EA Games rather than a hiring manager or recruiter. It even includes the resumes they used to "Land The Job." Read the rest of Paul's review.
Landing the Internship or Full-Time Job During College
author Robert R. Peterson
pages 299
publisher iUniverse
rating 9/10
reviewer Paul Gerken
ISBN 0595366813
summary A guide written by those that have recently landed jobs at Google, EA Games, Intel, Amazon, IBM, and others


The book starts out with a foreword by an IBM Executive and then covers 10 chapters which I comment on individually below. Each chapter is followed by a profile from either an intern or new hire at a fortune 50 company. The profiles include a Q&A and the resume of the individual. I found them to be practical and honest. For example, Ben Lewis who is profiled as an Xbox developer said that he sometimes feels that he can't make a difference at Microsoft.

As a busy computer science student, I can really appreciate how the contents are written. Each chapter has a "Bare Minimum To Do" list with suggestions on how much time each item should take. They also include "Common Mistakes" sections. I especially used the to-do list for the company research chapter.

Another observation I should share is that everything is by example. When cover letters are discussed, there are two example letters--when rejecting an offer is discussed there are example emails. There are even example dialogs for behavioral interviews and for salary negotiation. I think most career books endlessly rant on about methods and rules. Landing the Job seems to be more centered in reality.

The only complaint I have is that there are a few minor grammatical errors. Overall, I think this book is going to be a classic. I haven't had all my site interviews yet, but I know it will help me land my future job.

Chapter 10. HR Interviews and Salary Negotiation
In my opinion, this chapter should be first because it is the best one. It starts off by talking about why recruiters act the way they do. Then it covers salary negotiation which includes a sample dialog between a student with an offer and a manager. I used the "Offer Comparison" section and am sure I will use again. It walks through how to evaluate the worth of an offer step-by-step. It even has a sample offer letter that it walks through as an example.

Chapter 1. Building Unmatched Credentials
If you are like me you often skip the first chapter of books. I didn't read this chapter at first because it talks about how to get experience while you are in college before you are looking for a job. Since I am already looking for a job, it doesn't really apply to me. After looking over it again though, I think it has really good advice. For instance, it recommends that spending endless hours to increase your GPA by a tenth of a point is not as important as finding personal projects or interests in your field.

Chapter 2. Crafting a Successful Resume
This chapter walks through writing a resume from a brainstorm to text and pdf versions. I didn't follow the entire process because I already had a resume, but the examples really helped. I also used the resumes from the profiled new hires and interns at the end of each chapter for ideas.

Chapter 3. Writing a Strong Cover Letter
I didn't have a cover letter prior to reading this. This is one of my favorite chapters because it is a short and sweet guide to getting together a nice cover letter. It includes two sample cover letters written by a mechanical engineer and a computer scientist. It also explains when to use a cover letter. For example, it suggests that a cover letter on-top of a resume can be mailed to any company address--say their customer service department--generating job leads outside of typical HR channels.

Chapter 4. Researching an Organization
I used this chapter less than the others, but it does answer some vital questions--what you need to find out and where to find it. It covers research with the internet, at company career sites, and at libraries. It has a profile of an IBM new hire at the end explaining how company research helped him.

Chapter 5. Secrets of Applying Online
This chapter is amazing. I didn't know how to put together a text resume properly until I read this chapter. I didn't know that many online forms accept unicode 2.0 not ascii so you can add bullets, underlines, and other characters to text resumes. The end has a profile from an Intel new hire and how he got his job by applying online.

Chapter 6. Mastering Career Fairs
This chapter wasn't that much use to me since I've been to a lot of career fairs. However, I agree with all the advice which is basically to know what you are going to highlight from your resume, how to act calm and confident in front of a recruiter, and to pay attention to who is attending a fair. It also cites references of where to find career fairs.

Chapter 7. Learning the Art of Interviewing
This chapter covers interviewing in general and topics that are not specific to behavioral or technical interviews. I read this chapter twice and I think I'm going to read it again before my next site interview. It covers how not to be nervous, getting safety offers, phone interviews, dinner interviews, and what you should try to emphasis about yourself during an interview (as well as what not to say). The end profiles a PhD student deciding between Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Chapter 8. Behavioral Interviews
Although I don't often do behavioral interviews and I don't think they are that big of a deal, I found this chapter useful. It explains why employers like behavioral interviews so much (in a nut shell they are assume future behavior will reflect past behavior). It also has an example behavioral interview and example questions--they are hard ones too.

Chapter 9. Technical Interviews
It is clear that the author has had some serious technical interviews. This chapter covers brain teasers to quality assurance questions to hard-core programming questions. It has a huge section on example questions and solutions (which takes up about a 4th of the book). It covers how to write good pseudo code, how to handle the situation when you haven't a clue what the answer is, and even technical questions for non-computer majors like civil engineering and mechanical engineering.

This is an excellent book for any major in college."


You can purchase Landing the Internship or Full Time Job During College from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.
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Landing the Internship or Full-Time Job

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  • by jaygatsby27 (894445) * on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:30PM (#14429766) Homepage
    im looking. any good books for people in mid-career network admin positions?
    • I can say that, without a doubt, the best job hunting book I ever read is "What Color Is Your Parachute". Anyone looking for a job should have a copy of that book. I've seen it work through firsthand experience and would recommend it to anyone.

      Good luck with your job hunt!

      -Q

    • by dr_dank (472072) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:01PM (#14430047) Homepage Journal
      Check Amazon for a book called "Final Exit". It'll be far less painful this way.
    • I know this is probably a joke, but if I came across a cover letter or resume that had no capital letters and no apostrophe in I'm, I'd throw it straight into the trashcan, regardless of content. And so would most companies that aren't absolutely desperate for people. This is one of those places where attention to detail matters.

      (It also gives you less authority and respect from others if you email like this. It's a surefire way to get people to not like you for seemingly no reason. Really, a lot of peo
    • by iamlucky13 (795185) on Monday January 09, 2006 @06:21PM (#14431786)
      Perhaps the reviewer isn't the person to ask. There's a few hints in the review that he still doesn't have a job. Ok, I admit that's totally unfair joke at his expense. It's a tough job market. I think it was a good review, despite the fact that he mentioned occasionally bad grammar as a downside of the book, then forgot to proof-read his own submission.

      Having completely failed at it during my brief time of unemployment after graduation, I'm intrigued by the chapter on applying for jobs online. I seriously doubt any of the resumes and cover letters I submitted to online forms were ever seen by human eyes, regardless of whether I tried to write like a real person or match keywords in the job description. The worst part though, was their lax responses. For one job I applied at with Boeing, their online system showed my status changed from "Under Consideration" to "No Longer Under Consideration" the same day I submitted the application. That, however, didn't surprise me nearly as much as the (computer-generated) email I got, a full 5 months later, letting me know that they had selected another applicant and that they "wanted to let you know as soon as possible so you can pursue other opportunities."
    • Seriously. And just so you know, "networking" means, "calling everybody you know or have known and let them know that you are available." Start with people with whom you have worked in the past.

      That is what I have always done since, like yourself, I am experienced. It has never failed, and it has never taken more than a week.

      Good luck out there!

  • Huh? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    written by people that have recently landed an awesome job at companies like Google and EA Games...

    Okay, an awesome job at Google, I can see that, but at EA? Um...
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by secolactico (519805) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:41PM (#14430399) Journal
      Okay, an awesome job at Google, I can see that, but at EA? Um...

      I dunno... maybe the job they got was wielding the whip instead of getting whipped. I guess it might be fun, for example, working at HR in a large company.

      Imagine stopping by a cubicle and saying, "Hey, Joe, drop by my office at the end of the day, will you?". Poor Joe will start sweating and might very well be close to tears when 5pm arrives even if all you wanted was to invite him to join the company's softball team.

      Fun fun fun.
  • Great Jobs at EA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by puppetman (131489) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:34PM (#14429797) Homepage
    "this title is written by people that have recently landed an awesome job at companies like Google and EA Games"??

    I thought the only thing a job at EA was good for was giving you a bleeding ulcer within 5 years...
    • I thought the only thing a job at EA was good for was giving you a bleeding ulcer within 5 years...

      Yet people still work there.

      And btw, non sequiturs are not automatically funny.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        And btw, non sequiturs are not automatically funny.

        Neither are ulcers!

      • So? People work at Walmart and McDonalds too.

        Being someone that has worked for a studio that was acquired by EA, I would recommend anyone trying to get into the industry to avoid them and instead seek out defectors. They aren't too hard to find since the best talent always quickly flees EA assimilation.

        Chances are, your favorite games were created by them anyways...
    • I have been employed by EA Canada for almost a year now. I went through a "crunch period" and I've worked many late nights.

      I do not agree in any way with the "Spouse of EA Employee" Letter that I read even before I got my job.

      I worked hard to get this job, and EA gave me an opportunity that I might not have recieved from other tech companies; Now I have a long way I can go; and many career paths. Aswell as training from EA University.

      While EA may have a bad reputation from the accounts of a few angry spouse
    • You missed his point. Someone getting a *typical* position at EA games is dead within 3 months and has a moth stuffed down their throat.
    • Re:Great Jobs at EA? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by creimer (824291) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:38PM (#14430373) Homepage
      I quit Atari after six years. I didn't want to sacrifice my personal life to the video game gods. During my last three years there, I started going to school part time to learn programming and picked up some certifications (A+, Network+, MS W2K). Five months ago I got a job working on the IBM Help Desk. I'm a lot happier now working only 40 hours a week for the same amount of money that I was making at Atari working 80 hours week for months on end. I'm finishing up school this semester to get my associate degree and complete the Microsoft Certified System Administrator (MSCA) certification.
  • by Theodusian (300658) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:35PM (#14429803)
    companies like Google and EA Games
    Google, as I understand, is a generally nice place to work. But isn't EA generally regarded as a bad employer that mistreats employees? See this LJ entry. [livejournal.com]
    • Maybe that holds true for EA in the US, but I've had nothing but good experiences with people from EA Europe.
      A couple of years ago, I was working for a big online gaming network, and got a few invitations to press events from EA.
      Fast forward a bit and I ended up monkeying at an internet café, hosting such events along with the phenomenal EA crew - security/operations people, PR people, developers etc.

      Were they just putting on a show? I don't think so; I managed to get the operations guy for Battlefield
      • by BVis (267028) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:23PM (#14430226)
        I might be talking nonsense, but IMHO the reason the EA Europe people may have at least seemed more sane is because most European countries actually give a shit about how the employees of a large corporation get treated. For example, if someone in Europe was told "You need to work 14 hours a day, six days a week (or whatever long hours EA Spouse was talking about) until further notice, and no, we're not paying overtime" that person would quickly introduce you to several uses for four-letter words you might have been unfamiliar with, and refuse to do so. Employment law would also back them up and prevent the company from firing them for refusing. Whereas, over here in the U$A where the government is of the companies, for the companies and by the companies, said employee would nearly immediately be sacked without notice or reason, and without any recourse, since more than likely they would be an "at-will" employee, subject to termination at any time for any reason, or no reason.
         
        Exhausted employees on the verge of a psychotic break don't produce well. The Europeans have realized this.
        • If that is so true then how come upstart companies don't emerge in the US and overtake the companies that make employees into "exhausted employees on the verge of a psychotic break don't produce well." Perhaps you are wrong entirely--italy for example has in the past mad maximum 6 hour days. Why? Because they were fighting high unemployeement.
          • If that is so true then how come upstart companies don't emerge in the US

            Why would they want to do that? They can sell product to US citizens without ever setting a manufacturing/engineering/assembly/whatever foot here. The untapped labor market here isn't enough of an upside to warrant building new facilities here. That, and we tend to take a dim view of "furrners".

            Maybe they're happy enough taking our money, and could give a shit about anything else. Sounds like capitalism at its finest :)

  • Books, eh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rwaliany (798184)
    I wouldn't recommend wasting your money on books. I've received offers from Google, Microsoft (ew), etc... The secret is being passionate about a project that you craeted or helped make. You need to be able to explain the struggles and challenges that you've faced with the projects you have worked on. If you have no experience in the field, I suggest you start a project for fun. Just write a list of qualities you would want for someone you are hiring, then make sure your resume addresses it. Otherwise, I wo
  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:38PM (#14429842)
    The author is currently working on his next book, "How Not to Get Fired for Reading Slashdot All Day".

  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:40PM (#14429863) Homepage Journal
    This is a great review breakdown, concise and to the point. I think slashdot should have a "Tip" button for good articles.

    Some points from a guy with absolutely no experience in internship, but as someone who has performed mentorship programs, which are an old fashioned internship to learn a trade:

    1. Offer the company you are interviewing the sense that you will be valuable in your position. Remember, in any market exchange, the manufacturer has to offer the consumer sonething for their money. You are manufacturing labor, the company is consuming it -- they are YOUR customer.

    2. Understand that BIGGER is not always BETTER. Trying to get in with Microsoft, Google and those guys is a huge task, but if you're one small fish in a very big pond, is there a likelihood that you'll get far? Consider talking with smaller companies -- even much smaller companies. The most successful friends I know are ones who "interned" with small companies and then struck out to start their own: stock brokers, accountants and even retail store owners that all worked in much smaller corporations.

    3. Time preference is key. The reviewer here points to that -- chasing after the 1/10th of a point of GPA doesn't translate into time well spent. The old adage that time is money is not really true actually -- MONEY is TIME. Make sure the time you're going to spend with this company translates to earning potential in the future. Don't be a lemming and don't always follow the masses, do proper research in finding out what the real benefits will be.

    4. Search for the disgruntled. Use Google and other search engines to find out what made previous employees and interns mad about the company/ies you're talking to. Be aware of the shortcomings of the company, and even use it in your negotiations (although don't be specific, of course). When I lost a profitable business this year due to inept partners, it really hurt my short term ability to bring on new "interns." They point to the lost company (which had my name in big letters on the letterhead) and I know that I am in a decreased position of bargaining. Don't take advantage of the information in such an obvious way, but use it to your benefit. Companies with a sour public record for a given reason will likely be looking for people to help them not have another sour situation. I wonder if Sony is a good place to intern at.

    • 2. Understand that BIGGER is not always BETTER. Trying to get in with Microsoft, Google and those guys is a huge task, but if you're one small fish in a very big pond, is there a likelihood that you'll get far? Consider talking with smaller companies -- even much smaller companies. The most successful friends I know are ones who "interned" with small companies and then struck out to start their own: stock brokers, accountants and even retail store owners that all worked in much smaller corporations.

      I disa

      • You're right -- I didn't mean to infer to STICK with companies. Put yourself in a mentorship position so that you can strike out on your own and run your own business. Even in my worst years of entrepreneurship, I learned more about business than I would have earning "average pay for average work."

        Good reply, I appreciate the insight.
        • Not everyone wants to run their own buisness. Given the choice between that and a menial minimum wage job, I'd pick minimum wage- better hours and lower stress. So I think I'd change your advice to "Put yourself in a position to advance your goals". Wether those are ownership, early retirement, or just a 9-5 job where money isn't a major worry.
      • Unless this monster company is one that is organized into many smaller units (like EA), you will likely find the large company experience a negative one. It will likely be rife with politics and beaurocracy. Job roles will also most likely be far more structured and specialized than in a smaller shop. You will probably get pigeonholed into a relatively narrow focus and have fewer opportunities to drive your own learning curve than with a smaller outfit. Larger companies also tend to be sluggish, overly
    • chasing after the 1/10th of a point of GPA doesn't translate into time well spent.

      See mom! I'm not lazy!

      I'm efficient.

      OTOH, that's a fairly stupid thing to say. The type of person who goes and talks to their professor or spends an extra day per test studying to get the extra 1/10th of a GPA point, is exactly the type of person who will analyze a problem into the ground.

      Whatever issues they've got going on that drive them to be a perfectionist can be well utilized in most any business environment.

      I don't see

      • My sister, who works for a small software firm had a client comment to her how she was so estatic when they spent the whole day and finally found where 2 pennies were missing. Thats what a perfectionist does.

        So spending 8+ hours @ x amount of dollars to find 2 missing pennies is worth the effort? The statement of not spending a lot of time going for an additional 1/10th of point towards your gpa may not be a good statement, but the point behind it may be important.

        GPA 1.9->2.0? Probably a good idea t
        • My point is that your sister is exactly the type of person I'd want working for me when a million dollars go missing.

          Accounting/lawyering is something of a special case, because it is usually worth it for a company to have a small army of perfectionist accountants/lawyers racking up hours, than to have the SEC or IRS arrive and really fuck up their whole year.

          Still, my original case was software developement, where the first 90% is easy and the second 90% is hard.

          It might not be worth it to the software com
          • If someone spends thousands looking for a few pence, then they'd probably spend billions looking for a missing million.
          • Didn't mean to take it off topic, but i was illustrating my point. In the end, it all comes down to a cost/risk/bendifit analysis here in the real world. In the case of banks/air traffic, the risk would require you to spend money to find more of the obscure problems. Most other things wouldn't in my opinion.

            If a million dollars go missing, spending a fair amount to find it would be worth it. Spending a large amount of money to find/fix a software problem that only doesn't have a large effect on your sof
        • So spending 8+ hours @ x amount of dollars to find 2 missing pennies is worth the effort?

          Might be not - in this isolated case. But what if she had discovered a crack in the system where this time only 2 pennies were lost? What if next time 2 millions will go though the very same crack? When it'll be better to spend her time searching for an answer for the money lost?

          You can also look at this issue from another angle: while searching for 2 pennies (and "wasting" all that time) she dug though and understoo

          • You do bring up good points. As you say, its not black and white, you have to take in both sides of almost anything.

            Off topic, but the 2 pennies were input error. (not saying the software doesn't have its problems, i'm sure it does)
      • The point is that someone with a 4.0 GPA will have difficulty getting hired due to lack of directly applicable experience, and someone with a 3.0 GPA who's had a co-op/internship with a major technology company will find it much easier.

        For every 4.0 studious, analytical student out there who fits well into the work world, there's a 4.0 GPA "professional student" who doesn't have the soft skills to fit into corporate culture.
      • I don't see why we applaud that type of advice when it comes to grades, but heap scorn upon it when it comes to software development.

        It really, really, depends here. GPA is widely accepted to not be a good indicator of corporate success (forget about exceptional cases, I'm talking about the average case).

        It's somewhat irresponsible to say that GPA doesn't matter (because it does), but it OP's point, I think, is that sometimes one's time can be better spent pursuing other things instead of focusing on getti
      • The type of person who goes and talks to their professor or spends an extra day per test studying to get the extra 1/10th of a GPA point, is exactly the type of person who will analyze a problem into the ground.

        But look at it from the employer's point of view: how do you know what they did to get that extra 1/10? Did the student go to a lot of extra trouble, or were the tests just easy? Damn, a fluctuation of .1 in GPA can just be a factor of the weather or traffic on the day before a test. You don't ha

        • I knew this would fit in here somewhere...

          I had a good GPA as an Undergrad in Electrical Engineering - 3.8 or so. This got me a lot of interviews, and I went to almost all of them. At least 20% of those interviews were obtained on my GPA alone, due to what I refer to as "The Lazy Recruiter Syndrome." The best example I have is a recruiter who did not know what type of engineer I was, and was asking me lots of specific questions from another unrelated field. When I mentioned to him what my major was, he got
  • Good source? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm not so sure that the book is necessarily a must-read for those looking to get an internship. From the author's blog, it looks like it's simply an eclectic collection of "profiles" from soon-to-be-graduates that are in the market for an internship or full-time job. Heck, I could've written this book too. In fact, anyone with sufficient interviewing experience (which isn't hard to come by if you're going through recruiting in your senior year of college) can give the same advice. The book is just a collec
  • Noddy Advice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:42PM (#14429882)
    This is Noddy stuff, if you're leaving college or university and can't get hold of good sample letters you might need to buy this book. I had a halfway competent careers officer in my school and this book doesn't sound much better. I think I can also safely assume that the bullshit it is suggested you peddle to get your first job isn't going to work beyond that, and a lot of people who read Slashdot are beyond that somehwat awkward phase in career development.
    • I had a halfway competent careers officer in my school and this book doesn't sound much better.

      Are these the same people who think objective statements on resumes are a good idea? Why state the obvious and waste ink?
  • by tont0r (868535) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:46PM (#14429914)
    Getting my coop(now fulltime job) was the best thing I ever did in college. When i discovered how easy it was, i wanted to get my friends jobs, so i would go with them to speak to the person in charge there and make it so my friends were comfortable with her so they would go back on their own. and you know what? the people that went back to her on their own were the ones who got the internships, and the ones who didnt really bother with it too much didnt get it. but if you are in a university, take advantage of the internship/coop program. especially in CS/CE because everyone knows the amount of experience you have can make or break you in future jobs. lots of people are afraid because they dont have experience in what jobs are available. to be honest, i knew NOTHING about this job when i first started (other than i knew how to program java well), but getting the job is about selling yourself. if you can get them to understand that you may not know the material now, but you can learn it, thats all they care about. they will teach you what you need to know.
    • I heartily second that, except with correct capitalization and punctuation. Five years ago, I started as an intern and started the Monday after graduation with a full time job. Besides doing actual engineering work (at my company, interns fill actual engineering job reqs), that year counted towards corporate benefits - 401K and stock vesting, vacation time accrual and the like.

      I got the intern job because I paid attention to what was going on around me. I overheard a friend of a friend say that he knew a
    • I work in the IT field in a retail business. I tried to recruit interns, paid interns, from the local university. I was suprised by the lack of response. Students these days do not appear to be interested in working while going to school.
      • Students generally get jobs like behind bars or stacking shelves. You're not going to get an IT job with no qualifications anyway, especially not part time.
      • School is harder these days. CS and CompE degrees have as many course hours in them at some schools to take 5 years instead of 4. If money isn't tight, why add to the pressure and time it takes to get out? I know back in school I worked the absolute minimum I needed to for pocket money. And I don't regret it a bit, it allowed me to enjoy school without being stressed for time.

        Of course, I had enough cash to be able to do that and not take massive loans. If thats your alternative, working becomes a bett
  • by ezpei (461814) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:47PM (#14429922)
    Here's how you get any job or internship: know someone at the employer who thinks highly of you.

    Anecdotally, I'd say at least 80% of hires happen that way. You want to work at Company X? Get to know some people there first, either online or at their local hangout or whatever. I know it sounds like a depressing concession to nepotism, but people ultimately want to work with people they know they can stand to have around.

    And if you don't have the social skills for meeting people you want to work with, you're probably going to blow the interview anyway.
    • Finally, someone who points out the (admittedly painful) truth. Most real jobs are gained because you were able to do an end run around HR and talk to the real people in charge.

      This is often done by having an "in" in the company you want to work for. Sometimes, however (as in my case), it is done by standing out in a crowd and being able to chat comfortably with random people.

      In my case, I decided to be different and wear a sign which announced my availability on my backpack when I went to a tech conferen
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Someone must be mistaken! this is slashdot. Around here, people BITCH about not having a good job -- they don't actually go out and find them. Seriously people, do your homework before posting an article like this around here.
  • I wouldn't call landing a spot with EA the most [livejournal.com] awesome [nytimes.com] job [com.com].

    How many companies do you call 'awesome' that have workers suing their employer?
    • Most of them? Every big company will have disgruntled employees, it's just the law of numbers.

      (But yes, EA are naughty naughty bad people)

  • by flipmack (886723) on Monday January 09, 2006 @02:55PM (#14429992) Homepage
    I wrote this article years ago for junebug.com, now a defunct website.

    How to Land a Job in Corporate America

    Nowadays, recent college graduates have two options to consider after graduation: go to graduate school, or join the work force. For the interests of the captivated audience reading this article, I won't bother discussing graduate school (but if you're interested in grad school, I can forward you my other article, "What to do after being denied admission into your favorite grad school").

    The problem with finding a job is that most recent college grads don't have the experience that most employers want, and on the other hand, most recent college grads want a job that will best compensate them monetarily. Obviously, most entry-level jobs pay meager wages and won't cater to a person's decadent lifestyle (that is, if you want to continue eating out every night and hitting the bars and clubs once a week). What's not obvious is that if you want a good job, you have to start out at the bottom and work your way to the top. Nobody is ever going to offer a position for an entry-level CEO. So, reality has to dictate the fact that success and wealth come later in life.

    Evidently, success and wealth (at least the monetary kind - intrinsic wealth and success can be attained anywhere) can only be attained through the right job, and by the right job, I mean a career in Corporate America. Albeit, anyone can have success and wealth through any given vocation, but only through Corporate America can a person lose all that is meaningful to him and suddenly take on the values and responsibilities of a large group of people and do things for the interests of the company. Once this becomes ingrained in a person's mentality, then he is well on his way to success and wealth.

    But, how, you may be asking, does a person go from a happy-go-lucky everyday joe to a person clawing and inching his way up the corporate ladder? Well, my first piece of advice is to network. Learn to make friends in the corporate world, attempt to maintain those friendships, and once those friends learn of your graduation from college (it doesn't matter what your grades were), take advantage of them and use your friendship as a basis for future interviews and job offers. Use them for all they are worth, because if they don't land you a job, then think of the money you wasted on the friendship.

    If networking doesn't work, I suggest trying to attend information sessions hosted by corporations regarding employment opportunities. When you attend these info sessions, make not only a mental note of the people that are attending, but take down their names, addresses, and phone numbers. You can then begin to develop friendships with the people who share your career interests. Most likely, these people will have advice on resumes and would be glad to share their list of contacts with you. If they're not willing to part with such information, then sabotage them. If he's not with you, then he's against you, and competition lost is a position gained.

    If neither of these two tactics work, you can always do everything by yourself and go directly to a company for an interview. Don't bother calling and mailing a resume. I always feel that this method of gaining a company's attention is a waste of time and stamps. Rather, if you go directly to the Human Resources office without an appointment and refuse to leave without being seen for an interview, they'll see how determined you are, and isn't determination a respectable quality of a potential employee?

    Once at the interview, don't be nervous, but rather, be straightforward and honest. It's never a good idea to lie about skills and attributes that you don't have. Instead, wear revealing clothing. If you can't wear revealing clothing, flirt with the interviewer. If you don't know how to flirt, bribe them with money, jewelry, or sex. Bringing kneepads to an interview wouldn't be a bad idea.

    If you follow my advice, you will be guaranteed a position pushing paper in a cubicl
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:00PM (#14430037) Homepage Journal
    resumes. I have been looking for a job on Monster and got nowhere with the jobs I physically applied to, but just for kicks made my resume searchable. Nothing but a headhunter for a few months and basically I forget about it. Then about a month ago out of the blue I get an email from a person who wants to set up an interview, and now I am just waiting on the formalities before I get the job offer of my dreams.
    Now it's time to share your job site stories; reply if you had
    a)no luck with job sites and swore them off forever
    b)got the job through going through the "official" application process
    c)were contacted through someone searching your resume
    d)If Cowboy Neal set you up with this awesome freelance gig.
    • I had very poor luck responding to job postings on various job sites (no interviews after more than 300 attempts), but very good luck with folks finding my resume online and contacting me (all five of my serious interviews came as a direct result of a headhunter or company rep finding my resume on a major job site).
    • Not quite what you were asking for, but...
      I went to have lunch with a friend, that had been gone on travel for a couple weeks. She showed me around the building (ex-top-twenty supercomputer http://www.top500.org/lists/2005/11/basic [top500.org]), introduced me to a Network Specialist. He showed me the "off-limits" areas. I ended up getting an interview that day, and two weeks later I started. I've been here two years now.
      • Yes, social networking can work wonders. I know a lot of folks who've obtained job in that way, and I've gotten some interviews that way as well.

        Just make sure that the folks you know are working in a variety of industries so if one of them gets hammered worldwide you aren't left up a creek without a paddle. :-)
    • I have been looking to switch jobs for about 5 months. I got tired of posting my resume... and waiting... and waiting... answering job posts that turn out to be recruiting companies. I finally found a site to search for jobs directly from the companies I wanted to work for and contacting or applying straight to the source, and I have been having a lot of success this way. -Rhonda
    • I found my current job by submitting a resume through Dice. I think it was the only response I got from the dozens of resumes I submitted. I had much better luck submitting resumes through the company's web site or fax.

      I've had my resume searchable on a few sites for a while, and I do get calls every now and then because of it. One big thing I've noticed - the vast majority of the calls you get will come within the first week or two of when you post your resume. The odds of a recruiter responding to your re
  • Take the job (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hao Wu (652581) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:01PM (#14430044) Homepage
    This is not the 1800s, where apprenticeship still matters. Companies want FREE LABOR, so they use interns.

    Don't believe the "benefits" they promote - you will gain all of that by working and being paid for your time and talent, like you deserve.

    • Very true. Some companies are dependent on intern labor in that fashion. Straight out of college, I interned at a record label where a large batch of interns did most of the office work and preparation for promo gigs (most not for college credit, but trying to get into the industry) . One guy who was an employee had interned there for several months (no pay, no college credits, just some free cds) before he was their mailroom sort of guy.

      That place sucked.
    • Re:Take the job (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Metasquares (555685)
      On the other hand, it is still a great opportunity to get "in the door", so to speak. They'll hire you with little experience. After all, why not? They're not risking anything if you're working for free.

      If you do a very good job, they'll come to need you, in a sense. That'll make them hire you when you graduate, probably at a much better rate than you'd get just by walking in the door. This is especially true in smaller businesses, who may not be able to find someone with your skillset very easily (there's
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Obviously this gotta be a scam mostly because:

    All those big 3 are using agencies to fulfill their needs in short term and contract basises.

    Where the hell is networking in all of this, to keep things consistent with what people talk you should include the networking factor period.

    Do you really think I'm gonna buy the "landing the job" crap when downsizing and financial restructuring are the trends nowadays.

    C'mon this is a blogger page are you gonna fall for this that easy?.

    Most of the content are regurgitati
  • by DamienMcKenna (181101) <damien AT mc-kenna DOT com> on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:19PM (#14430200)
    A tip I gleamed from an in-law is that at the end of the (formal) interview ask the interviewer(s) if they feel you have the ability to do the job. If they say yes, ask them for the job! I've typically phrased it from the point of view of saving them time, e.g. "so, why don't you save yourself some time and hassle, and just hire me now?" Has worked quite well I must say. One HR person (albeing fresh off the block) was actually taken aback and visibly impressed by my asking this and I had a job offer half an hour later (I was waiting for a lift home and he came over to make me an offer), while another was comfortable enough already by this point to say yes.

    Then again, if you get a "no, we're not sure if you're quite right" there's not much point in pushing it unless you can first get past their issues.

    Damien
    • I've typically phrased it from the point of view of saving them time, e.g. "so, why don't you save yourself some time and hassle, and just hire me now?"

      Many corporations have policies that require them to interview all qualfied candidates that submit for a job (especially internal candidates). A tactic like that would have to depend on the interviewer. Some may be impressed by it while others would be put off by the perceived cockyness and arrogance that gives off. No offense intended to the parent poster
    • Oddly enough, I had this work in my favor once, by accident. A friend of mine had a computer support position with a large financial company in town, and kept trying to get me a job there too. Finally, a time came when his boss said he needed to hire additional staff, so he kept harassing the guy to invite me in for an interview.

      The only thing was, my friend didn't quite explain the situation to me accurately. He made it sound like the guy was ready to offer me a job, and I just needed to come in as a fo
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:20PM (#14430202)
    1. Make sure you can direct the interviewer to the subject "Microsoft vs Linux" and make you distain for anything Microsoft known and that you think people who do not know the difference between copying and linking files are weenies.
    2. Make your distain for anything corporate-America related known from the beginning.
    3. Make sure they notice your pierced body-part. Bring up the subject if they do not mention it.
    4. Make sure you let them know that intellectual property should be free.
    5. Don't take the first offer they make. Hold out, you deserve better.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      1. Lie at all costs.
      2. Forget the Constitution, deny everything.
      3. If your mouth is open, a talking point or denial should be coming out of it.
      4. Go to war on false pretenses without a plan; be sure to underestimate the enemy and say things like "bring it on" in reference to combat; also, be sure your troops are not properly supplied.
      5. Be sure all contracts are no-bid to corrupt associates.
      6. Profit.
  • by Heembo (916647) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:47PM (#14430452) Journal
    Chapter 1. Building Unmatched Credentials
    Dude, work hard and be nice to poeple. It takes 10 good references to make up for one bad one.

    Chapter 2. Crafting a Successful Resume
    I think that if you can not build a resume that is clear, with good spelling and clear ideas, you should not be hired. Get professional help (pay someone to help you) if you are clueless.

    Chapter 3. Writing a Strong Cover Letter
    Make it brief, leave you contact info, and be enthusiastic.

    Chapter 4. Researching an Organization
    Google around about the company for at least 5 minutes, DUH!

    Chapter 5. Secrets of Applying Online
    Brief emails with your contact information and resume attached (or a no-nonsense URL) is the only way to go.

    Chapter 6. Mastering Career Fairs
    Keep away from these evil wastes of you time. 1-on-1 in this market is best.

    Chapter 7. Learning the Art of Interviewing
    Well, you are who you are. Talk only when asked a question, speak slow, be calm (self-pleasure before interviews work well), and eat a little before you go in. There are some techniques you can learn to fake it, or give a "template" message - but dont go that route - people you want to work for can sniff that crap out. Be yourself, and give clear honest answered.

    Chapter 8. Behavioral Interviews
    Again, most people you want to work for will know if you are faking. Common sense during such interviews is best. If you dont have common sense, you are f'ed.

    Chapter 9. Technical Interviews
    The best answer I heard was "I dont know, but based on my previous experience, let me take a few intelligent guesses...." But in general, if you don't know it, do not try to fake an answer. That will be like shooting yourself in the foot a few times.

    Chapter 10. HR Interviews and Salary Negotiation
    Well, always aim high. If you ask for a low salary, you get a low answer. I also like having pay raise analysis every 1 year or 6 months in my contract. Please, it's not rude to be very clear and un-embarassed asking for a certain salary. These 5 minutes of negotiation will determine your fiscal outlook for a long time, so I say be bold of they will bowl you over!

    • while thats nice "perfect world" stuff.. how many jobs have you had in the past 10 years?? there is a lot to be said for the stuff that is in this book, if you havent read it, you probably shouldnt critique the content.
      • I have real world experience in getting every job I have interviewed for. "Perfect world" stuff works. You try these "sly" techniques to nail a job other than common-sense research and behaviour, you are just shooting yourself in the foot since they can always fire you. I guess if you wanna job-hop and keep going from job-2-job, sure, learn sly techniques.
        • yeah, Im going to call BS if you say you have gotten every job you ever applied for. I highly doubt it, unless its intercompany. And its not sly techniques that get you the job, its gettng in the door. Once there, speak to your merits and be honest sure, but sell yourself and expand your horizons.
          In the past 15 years Ive gone from entry level IT well over the 6 figure mark. Done it by progressively bouncing from one position to a better more challenging position, I usually end up holding a job for 1-2 years
          • yeah, Im going to call BS if you say you have gotten every job you ever applied for

            With respect, I have a great deal of skill as a coder and enterprise computing "thinker" and I am well spoken (at least at first glance!) I truly have nailed every job I've interviewed for in my career. (But I admit, I only apply to jobs that I really want, and if I want something I tend to get it since I am rather driven by nature.)
  • by Shirlockc (916165) on Monday January 09, 2006 @05:16PM (#14431312) Homepage
    Having reviewed lots of resumes (no, I'm not in HR), I have assembled a short list of what to do if you DON'T want to be hired - in no particular order, and yes, I have had all of these in the past, and no, haven't hired or even interviewed any of these candidates:

    1) Mass email your CV and let everyone see everyone else's email addresses.
    2) Have a mini blog on your website/portfolio that says the city you're in "has design studios that are crap and all they produce is shit".
    3) Send me links for work examples that don't work - if you're applying for a web developer job, I expect to see web work. Similarly if you're applying for a copy editing job, I don't want to see a typo on your CV.
    3) Send me "questionable" work samples to review - that gay porn site that you got paid to put together might not be something you want to be remembered by.
    4) Spell my name incorrectly if you're emailing me.
    5) Call me when I specifically say on the job ad NO PHONE CALLS.
    6) Show up late or not show up at all for the interview.
    7) Inappropriate dress, demeanor at interview - you would think this is a given but it isn't.
    8) Tell me your life story at the interview as opposed to your work experience.
    9) List age, marital status, GPA etc. on the CV - this may be SOP in other countries but not in the U.S.
    10) Send out your CV and cover letter without getting a friend to review it. If you have no friends, pay someone, get your mother to do it. Ultimatley, you're not "waiting for my replay" and I don't want to "TTYL".

    • Honestly, anyone who does any of that stuff is beyond advice anyway.

      I only disagree with your GPA comment. One of my friends wrote his (very high) GPA on his CV, and not only was he hired, he mentioned that he saw a copy of his CV on his interviewer's desk with the GPA circled in red. Of course if your GPA is middling, then don't write it.

  • Networking! I have landed most of my jobs from attending seminars and conferences and networking. People like to hire people they have met and know. Get invovled with user groups and attend conferences and seminars in your area.
  • Apply everywhere you think you might want to work. Whether they are advertising something or not. The hundered or so bucks you'll spend printing up and mailing out several dozen resumes will get back to you when you get a job sooner than a more conservative approach would get you.

    Put your resume on *every* jobs website that covers career fields you are trying to get into. Whether you actively monitor a given site or not, have a resume up there. Most of my contacts have come from sites I don't actively mo
  • by andreyw (798182)
    I have no problem *landing*, I just don't know when to quit =(. /getting walked all over for shit pay when I'm worth at least 2x what I get.

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