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Landing the Internship or Full-Time Job 147

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."

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Landing the Internship or Full-Time Job

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  • by jaygatsby27 ( 894445 ) * on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:30PM (#14429766) Homepage
    im looking. any good books for people in mid-career network admin positions?
  • Huh? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:32PM (#14429780)
    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...
  • by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:38PM (#14429842)
    The author is currently working on his next book, "How Not to Get Fired for Reading Slashdot All Day".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:45PM (#14429902)
    And btw, non sequiturs are not automatically funny.

    Neither are ulcers!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:48PM (#14429930)
    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.
  • by flipmack ( 886723 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:55PM (#14429992) Homepage
    I wrote this article years ago for, 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 dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @04:01PM (#14430047) Homepage Journal
    Check Amazon for a book called "Final Exit". It'll be far less painful this way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2006 @04:20PM (#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.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @04:41PM (#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.
  • by iamlucky13 ( 795185 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @07:21PM (#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."
  • by Simon Garlick ( 104721 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @10:58PM (#14432863)
    I always throw half of the resumes into the trashcan unread. That helps ensure that I don't hire anyone unlucky.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner