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Author Topic: [HELP!] Job seeking advice needed  (Read 429 times)
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Gromit
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« on: October 15, 2013, 07:28:18 PM »

Dear Hivemind,

I retired from the Air Force in Sept 2012 after 22+years of service.  I was extremely fortunate to transition from active duty directly into a well-paying civilian position with a private corrections company three days after retirement.  I lasted a full year before they decided I was no longer a good fit for the company.

I've been out of work for almost a month now, and have submitted countless resumes, cover letters, and applications to a myriad of healthcare administration-related opening in the Las Vegas area.  I have not received a single nibble.  Not one.

I am beginning to wonder if listing that last position on my resume is hindering my opportunities.  Are potential employers looking at my resume and seeing only one year with a company, and then figuring that perhaps I'm damaged goods?  Should I remove that one year from my resume and tell people I took a year off after my retirement? 

I just don't feel that's overly ethical, but after my year in the private sector, I'm finding ethics is a very muddied proposition in some companies...part of the reason I was let go.  They didn't like me questioning the ethics of my supervisor.

Opinions??
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rittchard
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 08:27:31 PM »

Don't worry about ethics, worry about how you are "selling" and presenting yourself on the resume.  Many potential employers will only give your resume a slight glance and not even pay attention to dates (until later once they are actually interested). 

If you feel the year at that company was all negative and you didn't gain anything worthwhile to show off on your resume, then feel free to leave it off.  The only problem with that is you'll show a much larger gap in work, and that can be much worse for a quick impression.  AND you'll potentially have to justify why you left it off if you actually do interview...

My two cents would be to leave it in and just paint it with as much positive energy as possible.  Since it was less than a month ago, you could even date it as "2012 - 2013" if you really are worried it is a stigma.  Remember, goal one for your resume is to draw enough attention to get a callback or some form of interest.  You don't have to tell your story or explain anything to anyone until you get to the next step.

Also before you continue to send out "countless" resumes, it may be wise to take a step back and make sure you are tailoring the resume to the specific job posting by emphasizing or highlighting the skills that relate directly.  For many jobs you only get a couple seconds of chance to get the right person's attention.
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th'FOOL
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 10:09:28 PM »

Recruiters and hiring managers look at any single resume an average of 7 seconds. Your resume needs to catch their attention and intrigue them enough to entice them to want to know more. Don't do more than one sheet, front and back if you need to, but no more.
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Mike Dunn
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Blackjack
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 10:36:02 PM »

While I'm the LAST person to give resume advice -- I only changed jobs three times since 1992, and all the jobs really had more to do with personal references or nepotism (I got a job at a newsletter company where my brother had had a great rep, and it ended up being a burden because I wasn't as good as him)... wait, what was my point?  icon_smile

I did buy a lot of resume books and software over the decades. You can probably find good ones at your local library too. If you feel like only staying at a job one year might hinder you, you can go with a resume type that emphasizes your skills and de-emphasizes your track record.

With me, from about 1988 to 1992 I never stayed at a job more than about 20 months, and when I did a chronological resume my record looked very checkered and not like someone who wanted to stick around. Now, my resume would say I worked at my current job 2006-2013, and my previous one 1993-2006, so I probably wouldn't worry about the chronology so much.

And definitely I agree with th'Fool. And I think attention span is even worse now than it was 10-15 years ago. The more concise, to the point, the better.

In my experience, it's really still more who you know than what you know. My last 2-3 jobs only came out because people vouched for me, and in this current job the guy who vouched for me hadn't worked with me in 16 years.  icon_smile If you ever worked with anyone in healthcare administration that you think might be helpful in networking, and pointing you to other contacts, that might be a place to start.
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th'FOOL
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 11:00:11 PM »

Oh yeah, one other thing- LinkedIn. Flesh out your LinkedIn profile as much as you can. It can supplement your resume'
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Mike Dunn
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Rowdy
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 04:16:18 PM »

Quote from: th'FOOL on October 15, 2013, 10:09:28 PM

Recruiters and hiring managers look at any single resume an average of 7 seconds. Your resume needs to catch their attention and intrigue them enough to entice them to want to know more. Don't do more than one sheet, front and back if you need to, but no more.

While I don't want to speak for all hiring managers, as a hiring manager I will say this varies widely and is probably a bit of an urban myth.  If I have a stack of resumes on my desk, I spend a few minutes at minimum on each one.  If I am looking for the right fit for a given position, it would be stupid to scan and discard a resume after a few seconds without having any idea of that persons skills, last few experiences and qualifications.  A resume of 2 or 3 pages, if it's formatted well, doesn't frighten me off.

Maybe a head hunter or someone trying to fill a ton of open positions might not follow this process, but usually the hiring manager is looking for a small number of candidates for a small number of positions and isn't having to deal with thousands of resumes.  I suppose your mileage may vary depending on the seniority of the position you're looking to fill; lower level positions would probably have more resumes and perhaps are being dealt with more casually.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 04:18:08 PM by Rowdy » Logged
ATB
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 09:22:11 PM »

Simplyhired
Indeed.com
Bright

Any other host of job aggregate sites.

Also call recruiting/placement firms and see if they know of any open positions they can submit you for.

Vaco
Addecco
Tek Systems
MODIS
etc...
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 11:54:21 PM »

Custom cover letter.

You sell yourself in that - but it needs to be to the point. Remember that you're not just trying to sell yourself, but finding something that is worth YOUR time. There is a form to cover letters, and that is where you get attention.

If you spend the time cutting one for a particular location, they're going to see that reflected in your interest - rather than a sky-dropped leaflet your application becomes more sincere. It's always worked for me. smile
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2013, 03:57:55 PM »

Good Luck Gromit,i don't wish to rub it in but i started work yesterday,my first job for 4.5 years(I was sick for just under 3 of those years),i was declared fit a year last April,and okay yeah i am in the UK,but i certainly know what its like not getting anything back when applying for jobs,i must of sent off applications for over 200 jobs in those 18 or so months and didn't even get a rejection letter/email/phone call back

The good thing about your situation is that you do not have that much time since your last placement,i think in my case people were seeing this 'last worked 3-4 years ago and dismissing my CV straight away,even though i knew i would be great in the job

I personally wouldn't remove that one years time of job worth,but i can't say how the situation plays out from looking for work in America.

I wish you all the best,because although people say they hate their jobs,i realise just how lucky some of them really are(granted some of those people probably ARE in shitty jobs)..and having a bit of time off is always nice,but too long when WANTING to work is nothing short of frustrating.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2013, 03:58:37 PM »

agreed on the custom cover letter.  you have to pimp yourself the best you can.
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ATB
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2013, 08:44:21 PM »

I honestly don't think hiring managers read cover letters anymore...
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notrich
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2013, 01:03:31 AM »

Quote from: Gromit on October 15, 2013, 07:28:18 PM


I just don't feel that's overly ethical, but after my year in the private sector, I'm finding ethics is a very muddied proposition in some companies...part of the reason I was let go.  They didn't like me questioning the ethics of my supervisor.

Opinions??
Definitely agree that ethics are muddled in todays world.

Given your stance on ethics is it safe to assume that you have put the reason you left your last job on your resume?

I, as your new ethics advisor, suggest you re-think that position.

slywink


But seriously, I had a couple of years of long term unemployment - as an older guy - it can be tough out there no matter what your field is...  definitely work your personal network.

I basically hit the lottery and 1 of the 1000 resumes/online apps I sent out was actually pulled by the hiring manager and HE called me for the first interview.  The manager! can you believe that in the year 2012?  

No mumbling furenor head hunter, no HR person who was setting up interviews in-between deciding where they were going to lunch or vacation... the actual manager did the first phone interview - 30 minutes later he wanted to schedule the in-person and a week or two later I had the offer (actually now that I think about it... I think he called to tell me he was going to offer me the job within a few days and that HR would contact me within a couple of days... it was a couple of weeks for the HR to get around to contacting me).

pure luck - and I wish you the best with your search!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 01:07:06 AM by notrich » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2013, 01:43:05 AM »

Quote from: ATB on October 18, 2013, 08:44:21 PM

I honestly don't think hiring managers read cover letters anymore...

Hiring managers are often just "managers" who are hiring. Cover letter on a resume is an introduction, and while some robotic HR folk go through the info on the second page, the cover letter helps you when they are looking on who to call in. It's you greeting them, without them having to sift through your resume for qualifications first or the awkwardness of them saying "NEXT".

It's all about presentation though - you need to be upfront on several things: The qualifications you feel place you as a candidate, the non-tangibles you bring to the role (teamwork, independence, etc), and what your expectations are.

No sense in letting these meetings for jobs *you don't want* waste your time either.
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2013, 08:03:11 PM »

The people I know who hire others put a lot of stock in personal recommendations.  I'd definitely focus on networking.  Volunteering may even help here.  Good luck.
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