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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 Theodusian ( 300658 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:35PM (#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. []
  • by ezpei ( 461814 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:47PM (#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.
  • by Quints ( 944470 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @03:53PM (#14429978)

    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!


  • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Informative)

    by XMilkProject ( 935232 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @04:11PM (#14430136) Homepage
    That seems pretty unlikely since the publisher is IUniverse, a self-publishing company. In otherwords, the author of the book simply paid this company to print it for him. They are in no way affiliated with the author, or the marketing/sales of his book, nor do they care. They are simply a company with a printing press.
  • by Heembo ( 916647 ) on Monday January 09, 2006 @04:47PM (#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!

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."