Author Topic: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong  (Read 7000 times)

NathanDrake

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I'm sort of at a cross roads with my current job. A little background info:

  • Early 30s Engineer, single, actually FI (35X current living expenses, bare bones) but do not want to RE because I'm extremely conservative. Probably won't consider RE until early 40s with 60X living expenses.
  • Engineering discipline in industry is fairly specialized within Electrical Engineering in Aerospace, and I do not have my P.E. (industry doesn't require it)
  • 10 yrs job experience
  • Always receive top remarks for performance
  • At first, job was interesting. As I've grown into functional project management, it feels like I'm going through the motions, and catching the mistakes of junior engineers is often extremely stressful and frustrating when combined with trying to ensure that they're staying properly on task.
  • My days are mostly filled with constant distractions of thought/emergencies from all sorts of directions, which has led to anxiety.
  • Job often requires working 6-7 days/week due to ridiculous schedules and higher up pressures.
  • I do not like my job location or commute (40 mins each way).

I think it's clearly time for a change, and I'm surprised it's taken this long for me to get serious about it. However, I'm being fairly selective of job postings I apply for so that the location is in a place I'm willing to live/work so I can coast into true retirement.... Many of which are outside my industry.

However, all of the generic 'Electrical Engineering' positions I apply for in areas I'd be willing to live, I simply am NOT getting any interview callbacks. I'd say that my resume, education, and work history would be more than sufficient to receive something.

  • Is my background too specialized? Something like nursing, where there's a need practically everywhere, is probably easier to find a job. I'm having no luck trying to leverage my specialization into other areas and I believe this is where I'm running into difficulty.
  • Do some employees look up my position and figure out that I'm maybe overpaid for the positions I've applied for (I try and leave the salary field as negotiable). I'm not necessarily getting paid a huge amount and would be even willing to probably take a paycut.
  • Are there better resources to use than job posting sites (indeed, glassdoor, etc.)?
  • Perhaps I need to consider positions outside of engineering? How would I leverage my existing experience into a completely different role without taking on lots of debt/schooling (which wouldn't be wise if I'm planning on retiring in the next decade anyway

It would be helpful to know if anyone else (engineer, over a decade of work experience) has run into similar problems and how they ended up addressing it.

Thanks
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 01:15:18 PM by NathanDrake »

Hargrove

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Job posting sites are almost useless for many people at least some of the time.

You ask about callbacks - are you exclusively waiting for calls back? Call the HR managers. I tell anyone looking for a job that there are often more resumes (thanks to electronic applications) than anyone can read. A referral in the company helps most, a face-to-face meeting with someone at the company can help some, but the minimum is the call following up on your application. I called the VP at my current company every week for 5 weeks before he assured me I was in the top contenders and asked politely that I stop calling him. 5 interviews later, I had the job. It was a process.

Linkedin and other professional networks are much more useful than most job sites. If you know anyone in the field outside your current company, who you could call and ask for referrals or other options, it may be worth asking around to see if anyone has anything they can offer or recommend. That's usually much more valuable than firing off applications to job sites. Former supervisors, colleagues with your company who moved on, anything.

That said, 35x current living expenses will be more than 60x current living expenses in the decade you described... if you do nothing. I get the impression that your conservatism is not negotiable, but if you got a job, any job at all, that paid the bills today and which wasn't making you miserable, you'd be ready to retire with more than your projected requirements without saving any more anyway.

Can't comment on parlaying to other engineering roles, though - not an engineer.

AZDude

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What about contract work? Short or medium length contract jobs are usually less selective about who they are hiring, but usually pay more with fewer benefits. Best of all, they are hourly paying jobs, so no overtime without making a shitload of money. Its easier to work on Saturday if you are getting $120 an hour.

AZDude

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Also... why are you still working there? With 35 times your expenses, you can afford to relax while you look for another job. Put in your notice first thing Monday morning. Resigning now doesn't mean RE, but it certainly would provide a nice break while you research other jobs, fields, etc...

As far as leveraging into another field, you have lots of transferable skills. In my mind, you would be qualified as a Business Analyst, Project Manager, or similar job. If you want some really different, if you have a degree, assuming you do, you could be a teacher with just a little bit of work. You could also look internally at the company you are with for jobs with less responsibility.

Bicycle_B

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There is no way tell from just an internet post. 

I suggest doing reading What Color Is Your Parachute and following the instructions.  This will likely lead to a job in a few hundred hours.  It will also expand your knowledge of the world, and your general ability to find/create just the right spot in it for yourself.

PS.  AZDude's suggestions are excellent. 

« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 07:17:24 PM by Bicycle_B »

Gone_Hiking

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You haven't mentioned networking.  This is crucial.  It doesn't mean that you will get a job through someone you meet, but you will have an opportunity to learn about the current needs of potential employers and you can position yourself accordingly.   Get to know people, inquire about their challenges, and offer help if you can.  That should do it.

Laura33

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If you're applying to jobs in other towns, you need to be significantly better than the other applicants even to get a call -- why are they going to bother with someone out of town, with all the extra costs, when they have reasonable local options?  And why would they have reason to believe you'd be likely to move to their town without some link there?

Throwing resumes into the ether almost never works.  My DH is also EE, and every job he has ever gotten has come through people he knew from school or prior jobs who knew someone who knew someone who was hiring.  Talk to people.  Check in with friends.  Put yourself out there.

retiringearly

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Set up an account/profile on LinkedIn.  It works.

Set up an account on Indeed.com.  Set up notices for the type of job you are looking for.

You will get a good job.

Count on it.

DavidAnnArbor

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what companies is your company working with?  maybe those companies need someone with your skills ?

Roots&Wings

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what companies is your company working with?  maybe those companies need someone with your skills ?

That was my thought too. Have you applied directly with other companies that do aerospace engineering? SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing, Northrop, etc?

Related jobs that might leverage your engineering expertise could include sales/marketing within this sector, oversight/safety/compliance certifications related to aerospace, public sector government, consulting, etc.

I'm also in a highly specialized job and sometimes wonder what else I might do...but we work with tons of other companies and really are lots of options.

Mgmny

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 05:44:43 AM »
I second everyone mentioning LinkedIn. I've gotten my last 3 jobs from LinkedIn, and between my wife and I, we get probably 1 recruiter message per week (sometimes many more).

Add a TON of stuff to your profile so LinkedIn marks your profile as, "all-star," and then start adding anyone and everyone you've ever met or heard of. Then, when I'm bored, i just click through recruiter profiles. You need to make sure you're not on private viewing mode, and when you click on a recruiters LinkedIn page, look on the right and see, "XYZ's Connections" or "people similar in to XYZ" it something like that. Just keep clicking to create a bread crumb trail back to your profile. The recruiters will see you clicked on their profile, and they will go back to your profile to check you out - they're always on the hunt. Then within a bit of time you'll start getting LinkedIn messages with job offers/interview requests.

I agree with the sentiment above as well that you should go into contracting. You don't need the money or the benefits, and hourly pay is great - especially if your field demands the hours.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 01:23:54 PM by Mgmny »

Vindicated

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 09:50:54 AM »
I second everyone mentioning LinkedIn. I've gotten my last 3 jobs from LinkedIn, and between my wife and I, we get probably 1 recruiter message per week (sometimes many more).

Add a TON of stuff to your profile so LinkedIn marks your profile as, "all-star," and then start adding anyone and everyone you've ever met or heard of. Then, when I'm bored, i just click through recruiter profiles. You need to make sure you're not on private viewing mode, and when you click on a recruiters LinkedIn page, look on the right and see, "XYZ's Connections" or "people similar in to XYZ" it something like that. Just keep clicking to create a head crumb trail back to your profile. The recruiters will see you clicked on their profile, and they will go back to your profile to check you out - they're always on the hunt. Then within a bit of time you'll start getting LinkedIn messages with job offers/interview requests.

I agree with the sentiment above as well that you should go into contracting. You don't need the money or the benefits, and hourly pay is great - especially if your field demands the hours.

I read this about an hour ago, then went to LinkedIn and started clicking through recruiters.  I just got my first view from one of them a moment ago.  Great idea!

v8rx7guy

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2017, 09:54:33 AM »
Is it possible that one of your references is giving a bad review?  Possibly a past-employer not happy about you leaving?

Sibley

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2017, 12:36:50 PM »
Brush up on your resume and cover letter. Do not cold call HR or hiring managers - sorry to whoever suggested that, but that's outdated advice and is most likely going to get your resume trashed.

Source for all things work and job search related:
AskAManager.org

Hargrove

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2017, 03:13:07 PM »
I would not want to work at a company where they trashed your resume for following up on your application, sorry.

Papa bear

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2017, 06:18:05 PM »
Brush up on your resume and cover letter. Do not cold call HR or hiring managers - sorry to whoever suggested that, but that's outdated advice and is most likely going to get your resume trashed.

Source for all things work and job search related:
AskAManager.org

The best way to get through big companies is by directly calling the manager or someone who isn't involved in HR.  After that is to call the actual recruiter (or their boss!) and speak with them directly. The comment above is bad advice and is contrary to a 142 billion dollar industry that exists because HR recruiting is terribly broken. 

I may get on my soapbox later in this thread. 




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Hargrove

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2017, 06:25:57 PM »
Hm, I guess I should probably clarify that you should call the most relevant person to hiring you. It may not be HR - it should probably be your prospective boss or a hiring manager.

I didn't assume a big company, and kind of used "HR" lazily - I would agree that HR in a megacorp is probably not useful, though I strongly suggest calling the most relevant person.

Louisville

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2017, 07:04:27 PM »
Hm, I guess I should probably clarify that you should call the most relevant person to hiring you. It may not be HR - it should probably be your prospective boss or a hiring manager.

I didn't assume a big company, and kind of used "HR" lazily - I would agree that HR in a megacorp is probably not useful, though I strongly suggest calling the most relevant person.
How does one go about finding out who that most relevant person is?

Papa bear

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2017, 07:23:38 PM »
Hm, I guess I should probably clarify that you should call the most relevant person to hiring you. It may not be HR - it should probably be your prospective boss or a hiring manager.

I didn't assume a big company, and kind of used "HR" lazily - I would agree that HR in a megacorp is probably not useful, though I strongly suggest calling the most relevant person.
How does one go about finding out who that most relevant person is?

LinkedIn. Or the receptionist. Or someone you know at the company. 

LinkedIn - use an x ray search - basically a Boolean search.
Receptionist - just ask them, they might tell you


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NathanDrake

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2017, 09:35:55 PM »
Thanks all for the advice. I really should read 'what color is your parachute'...seems to come up quite often :)

Ideally I wouldn't mind taking on contract type work, the trouble is in finding it. Are there any resources that are specifically tailored to contract engineering roles? Ideally, my long-term FIRE goal would be to continue working part time at home, but this seems difficult with my engineering discipline (sometimes wish I had chosen software instead, where remote opportunities seem more plentiful).

But for now, I still want to work full-time to accumulate more in the stash, and perhaps a new career opportunity that's closer to work would rejuvenate my career enthusiasm. Perhaps I could still consider trying to establish full-time jobs on a contract basis, but it seems rather stressful having to constantly churn through finding new employment...which makes me want to consider just roughing it out for a few more years until I very well could manage to have large lapses in employment. To be honest, an interesting job in a great location close to work would probably solve most of my current issues.

MerryMcQ

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2017, 10:32:11 PM »
Hm, I guess I should probably clarify that you should call the most relevant person to hiring you. It may not be HR - it should probably be your prospective boss or a hiring manager.

I didn't assume a big company, and kind of used "HR" lazily - I would agree that HR in a megacorp is probably not useful, though I strongly suggest calling the most relevant person.

I'm in HR (benefits) in a smaller company, where we have 1 recruiter. I get calls sometimes from candidates looking for an in, or to follow up on their resume, or just looking to find out why they haven't gotten an interview (that is the most common call I get). I don't appreciate it. Often, the person calling isn't even polite - they are confrontational and aggressive. A few times, I've ended my call with the person and walked over to the recruiter's desk and told them not to interview that person.

If you want to call the hiring manager (use LinkedIn to find who it is), then great! Study the company first. Read the entire website. Read news articles. Look at their facebook page. And actually read the job description. Maybe have your 30 second elevator speech ready. I'd suggest you practice calling a friend and getting a critique of your phone manners, ability to convey your message concisely, and to get straight to the point. :)

Just a view point from the HR side - although admittedly, not a recruiter!

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2017, 07:32:37 AM »
Bottom line, for all the complaining that companies do that there aren't enough engineers etc., it's obviously not true.
The economy still isn't strong enough.

Cwadda

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2017, 08:12:39 AM »
Is it really bad practice to call the HR or hiring manager to follow up an application? It'd be less than a 1 minute phone call.

Just speak with a pleasant tone.
"Hi, this is ___. I'm just calling to follow up the application I submitted for X job and to make a brief connection with you. Thank you!"

To me, this sounds like you give a damn and didn't just throw your name into a bunch of hats.

MsSindy

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2017, 08:27:50 AM »
Is it really bad practice to call the HR or hiring manager to follow up an application? It'd be less than a 1 minute phone call.

Just speak with a pleasant tone.
"Hi, this is ___. I'm just calling to follow up the application I submitted for X job and to make a brief connection with you. Thank you!"

To me, this sounds like you give a damn and didn't just throw your name into a bunch of hats.

It really does depend on the size of the company.  I worked as a recruiter for one of the largest engineering firms, where we processed thousands of resumes a day.  We had a system, where we logged each resume, sent a "we got it" letter.  They were scanned by the recruiter assistants, and then any that might qualify for open positions were passed to the actual Recruiters.  The Recruiters then determined who they wanted to interview.  To have people calling all day saying they were following up was tiresome - we could tell them either, "you have been passed to a recruiter for further evaluation", "you are not being considered at this time, as your skills don't match open positions", "the recruiter has reviewed your resume and does not believe you are a fit for the position".... we will keep your resume on file for 6 months should another position open.  They would ask if they could talk to a Recruiter, and the answer was always a polite, 'no'.

Now, in a mid-size or small company, I think it would be a great idea to follow-up with a polite inquiry and a message that you're excited to be considered as you believe your skills closely match what the company is looking for.... or something like that.  Keep it light & polite -- you could also ask about their timeline for filling the position, that could give you some additional info to think about (their urgency, their process, etc.)

SKL-HOU

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2017, 12:51:25 PM »
I would definitely recommend LinkedIn. I am a mechanical engineer with 10+ years of experience. I get calls/emails nonstop for positions in my city or even others. Majority are recruiting companies but there are also company's HR/recruiters that reach out. I typically don't respond to them but I know it works because I got my current job when I wasn't looking (my profile was pretty empty except for job titles). I got contacted by the recruiter from the company I work for and I happened to respond. Make contacts via LinkedIn with others in your field, recruiters, etc.

Cwadda

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2017, 02:43:32 PM »
Is it really bad practice to call the HR or hiring manager to follow up an application? It'd be less than a 1 minute phone call.

Just speak with a pleasant tone.
"Hi, this is ___. I'm just calling to follow up the application I submitted for X job and to make a brief connection with you. Thank you!"

To me, this sounds like you give a damn and didn't just throw your name into a bunch of hats.

It really does depend on the size of the company.  I worked as a recruiter for one of the largest engineering firms, where we processed thousands of resumes a day.  We had a system, where we logged each resume, sent a "we got it" letter.  They were scanned by the recruiter assistants, and then any that might qualify for open positions were passed to the actual Recruiters.  The Recruiters then determined who they wanted to interview.  To have people calling all day saying they were following up was tiresome - we could tell them either, "you have been passed to a recruiter for further evaluation", "you are not being considered at this time, as your skills don't match open positions", "the recruiter has reviewed your resume and does not believe you are a fit for the position".... we will keep your resume on file for 6 months should another position open.  They would ask if they could talk to a Recruiter, and the answer was always a polite, 'no'.

Now, in a mid-size or small company, I think it would be a great idea to follow-up with a polite inquiry and a message that you're excited to be considered as you believe your skills closely match what the company is looking for.... or something like that.  Keep it light & polite -- you could also ask about their timeline for filling the position, that could give you some additional info to think about (their urgency, their process, etc.)

Ok, awesome and I agree. Definitely makes sense for small to medium companies. Large, not so much.

Noodle

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2017, 04:45:27 PM »
On the calling to follow up on a resume...the reason I would be wary is that some hiring managers REALLY do not want to receive phone calls from candidates, whether it's because their company has a preferred procedure about hiring, or they don't care for being interrupted in their workflow. So you have to think about the possible advantage (maybe) vs. the very real possible detriment to your application if you happen to applying with someone who doesn't welcome calls. On the other hand, if you really would prefer to work for the kind of person who would take those calls, then have at it. Job hunting is supposed to be matchmaking, not supplication.

Back to the general advice...I think the Ask A Manager website is great. http://www.askamanager.org/ The author gives great advice on applications and interviews that a lot of people have said was helpful in getting hired. She's also great at debunking common wisdom that is detrimental to applications. And if nothing else, you can entertain yourself by reading about all the totally insane employees and co-workers out there!  I also encourage looking at industry-specific job boards and lists and keeping an eye on the websites of companies you would particularly like to work for. That's actually how I found my last two jobs--although I'm in a field where employers rarely advertise much in general forums.

The other deficiency I often see in applications, although I do not know if this applies to engineering, is mediocre cover letters. The truth is, a group of resumes for a given position is going to look pretty much the same to me...all the decent candidates will have similar types of experience. What can make a candidate really stand out is a fabulous cover letter that gets me interested, especially if on paper they are a bit weaker. But I get way too many applications where the cover letter consists entirely of "Here's my resume. Please consider hiring me."

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2017, 05:29:00 PM »
FWIW electronic applications are waste of time. Talk to people, get the job, and they'll tell you to go fill out the online stuff afterwards as a formality.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2017, 07:07:29 PM »
Uggh. So glad I'm self-employed.

MsPeacock

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2017, 07:08:12 PM »
LinkedIn and working  my personal network is what really helped me get the job offer I just got past week. I would suggest polishing your cover letter for every application you sent and personalizing it with the specific language of the job that you're applying for. Adjust your resume for every job also to reflect the specific qualifications the job listing mentions. Most importantly reach out to everyone you know and tell them that you're looking  for another job. If you apply somewhere, tell  your network that  you applied there ask them if they know anyone there, ask them if they know of anyone who knows somebody there. In other words get the word out that you're looking. If you have a good relationship with people you worked with before, and a good reputation for the work you've done, people will help you find another job.

I found that indeed and Glassdoor we're helpful for finding job listings.  However it was LinkedIn that allowed me to find out about the specific person I was interviewing with, what connections and she and I shared, to add mutual interest to my LinkedIn profile, and gave us something to talk about in the interview aside from specifics of the position.

stashgrower

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2017, 08:53:11 AM »
The Parachute book is helpful if you want to identify and word your skills. E.g. if you are switching industries.

To add to the 2 c, I think it's worthwhile following up with a phone call if it's a smaller company.

Better Change

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2017, 06:12:38 AM »
I'm going to hack this thread for a minute and talk about the problems I'm having with callbacks/rejections after the phone interview.

I currently work for one of the largest companies in my field.  Said company invests a lot in R&D, and it recruits "the best of the best" for industrial positions.  I thought this would be a great place to start my career, and it ABSOLUTELY has been, but I'm having trouble getting away.  Because of the exposure I get with my job, I have a number of positions on academic boards, and I travel to conferences quite extensively for someone in my position.

I'm worried that when I apply for new positions, I'm automatically judged as "not being interested" in smaller companies because they don't have the resources to spend on sending me to conferences or the breadth of projects to keep me around long enough.  Which of course is the complete opposite of my current direction: I want to step back in my career!

Should I selectively remove some of these positions from my resume?  Just keep my skills/publications/patents on there?  I write pretty detailed (i.e well-researched) cover letters talking about how I want to expand my experiences, but that never seems to work.  How do I convince recruiters that I'm not joking when I'm applying for "less prestigious" jobs? (it sounds so elitist, I know, and I hate it).

fluffmuffin

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2017, 06:38:23 AM »
I'm worried that when I apply for new positions, I'm automatically judged as "not being interested" in smaller companies because they don't have the resources to spend on sending me to conferences or the breadth of projects to keep me around long enough.  Which of course is the complete opposite of my current direction: I want to step back in my career!

Should I selectively remove some of these positions from my resume?  Just keep my skills/publications/patents on there?  I write pretty detailed (i.e well-researched) cover letters talking about how I want to expand my experiences, but that never seems to work.  How do I convince recruiters that I'm not joking when I'm applying for "less prestigious" jobs? (it sounds so elitist, I know, and I hate it).

Ask A Manager has a lot of posts on exactly that topic! AAM should be required reading for every single human being looking for a job. Cannot emphasize enough how much that blog has shaped and informed every single application material that I've submitted since someone suggested it to me back in 2012. Her interview prep guide is also stellar. I run through it every time I've had a phone or in-person interview, and have received feedback from multiple hiring managers that I've been one of the most polished, prepared interviewees they've ever had. And I really credit Allison for getting me there from my starting point in college, where I realized after a final-round interview for a FT job that that my blouse had gotten twisted around and my bra had been showing for at least 2/3 of the interview...

Lis

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2017, 09:08:03 AM »
AAM should be required reading for every single human being looking for a job.

Could not agree more. Required reading for everyone in any stage of a job, really - looking for a job, having a job, looking to be promoted. Then once you're retired just sit back and enjoy the ridiculously silly stories (like the duck club!).

Mgmny

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2017, 12:09:53 PM »
where I realized after a final-round interview for a FT job that that my blouse had gotten twisted around and my bra had been showing for at least 2/3 of the interview...

Sounds like you got hired!

kopsis

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2017, 03:37:01 PM »
Late reply, but for the benefit of anyone searching this topic:

Traditional big aerospace companies today expect applicants to apply for specific hiring requisitions. Just sending in resumes is virtually useless. Almost all maintain a public website that lists every open req within the company. You need to find the position(s) that interest you and apply for them directly through the company's website.

You'll often have to create a "profile" on the site and put in a bunch of info that is probably already in your resume. Don't assume that you can be terse because your resume covers everything -- you have to get through the automated scoring before any human will ever open your resume. The job listing will have a number of "requirements". You need to make sure that every single one of those terms appears in your registration profile. Often the system will "score" applicants based on simple keyword matches and only those that reach a certain minimum threshold get flagged for review.

If you make it through the automated system, a technical recruiter will double-check the computer's work. They may be looking at your resume instead of the online profile, so all those job keywords better be in there too. You may need to tailor your resume for each position. Recruiters are smart people, but their technical knowledge is usually not that deep. You need to make things easy for them. Don't bury the info they're looking for in the details of your work experience. Have a "skills" section where you can concisely list all the stuff the recruiter will want to see.

Last but not least, the classic advice to limit your resume to one page is spot on. Most engineers hate doing that. We like detail and feel obligated to provide as much as possible. Don't. Except in rare cases, the details of your experience will diverge from what they need. "Oh, he did this using X but we use Y here ... this other guy doesn't say what he used" -- who's more likely to get a phone interview? Your resume isn't a specification, it's an outline. Make it obvious that you "could" have everything they're looking for, but force them to pick up the phone to find out.

The other option is to shortcut the whole process and work directly with an independent technical recruiter. Register on LinkedIn and you'll be hip deep in them in no time. But be aware that the recruiter has to make a living and that's going to take a chunk out of your initial salary. Most Mustachians would favor putting in a little more effort to eliminate the middle-man.

nick663

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Re: Job search not working....no callbacks...tell me what I'm doing wrong
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2017, 03:55:13 PM »
Interesting to see so many people talking badly about online applications.  I have found my last 2 jobs online without knowing a person at either company.  I just made sure to highlight experience relevant to the job posting in my resume and got a callback pretty much immediately on both.

One trick I didn't see mentioned above is to never apply through the monster/career builder/etc portal.  If the job posting mentions an "aerospace company in Charleston, SC" spend 30 seconds on Google and figure out who that is.  Then find the job posting through their website and apply direct.  Much shorter pile of resumes generally going that route and shows you actually are interested in the company instead of just looking for a job.