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How do I find a job?

AistanAistan Mr. CellophaneRegistered User regular
edited July 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So, i'm 27 years old and i've never had a permanent, full-time job. I've had quite a few jobs through temp agencies since I graduated from college, but since none of them ever had a chance of leading to an employment opportunity with the contracting company I feel like I really need to find something stable now. My most recent contract ended about a month ago, and since the head of the department seemed to have a personal issue with me I doubt i'll be called back when they start hiring people on again.

This leaves me scouring the job listings, but for most Seattle-area ones within 60 miles of my current location there are 0 entry level openings. I have a degree in Environmental Planning and Policy, but all jobs I see in that field require several years of experience.

I'm pretty much at my wit's end here. I would prefer to stay in this area, since moving to another location in the hopes that I find a job after I get there seems like a bad idea.

Any tips?

Here's my resume, just in case anyone wants to point out anything mind-blowingly terrible about it.
Spoiler:

Aistan on
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Posts

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Do you have any contacts anywhere?

    I'd start with them if you do and you think they respect you.

    It's not a great job economy right now. You may have to take anything you can get for a while yet longer, you should keep going through the agency and look for full time employment and contacts while under contract so you're at least getting paid, it may not be a career but it will put money in your pocket and leave you without gaps in your employment.

  • tardcoretardcore Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Here's one idea, be it good or not I'll let others decide.

    Find an internship where you can gain some experience in your field. After you find something, if the internship isn't paid, take out a small loan to live off of for a few months if you don't have any savings. Use this internship to meet people, network, gain experience, etc.

  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Get used to the idea that you may be moving to find employment. This goes double for any state in which the economy went into the toilet. Staying in place is now considered a Luxury.

    Register with the WA employment service. They've got a website:
    http://access.wa.gov/employment/getajob.aspx

    Craiglist is the new newspaper when it comes to looking in the classifieds - watch out for scams, but real jobs are posted there. Simple rule - if they want any money for you to start working - its a scam.

    You're resume needs a lot of work. First..you need to learn how to bullshit. Take that Study abroad section - you've explained the tasks instead of describing the work.

    Consider something like this:
    International Environmental Planning and Policy Representative.
    Western Washington University
    Nov 06 - Dec 06(whenever)
    - Responsible for developing feasibility studies involving rebuilding of historical Grecian site destroyed in 1953 earthquake.
    - Obtained international travel experience.
    - Utilized "whatever-the-hell-products,skills, or tech" in site development and city planning.
    - Responsible for public presentation of research findings, including community outreach and academic review.

    Almost all the sections need treatment like this - and you need to give more detail on the technical side of things. Mac and PC are generic terms - get specific. Mac OS X, iOS, Windows 95, 98, XP, 7. MS Office Suite 2003, 2007, 2010. Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator CS 4, CS 5.

    Software testing isnt a technical skill, its experience. What you used during the software testing is the technical skill - if you tested using an industry standard or a particular piece of software. Same for image scanning...any jackass can put a photo in a printer and click SCAN. It has to sound special and unique...if it doesnt, then dont bother putting it down.

  • AspectVoidAspectVoid Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    You should definitely work on the Experience section of your resume. You need to learn to make things sound more important than they actually were simply so it makes a better impression. As an example, lets look at your Nintendo job. You wrote:
    PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:
    Parker Staffing Services, Contracting for Nintendo of America Redmond, WA.
    Sept. 2010-Dec. 2010, Mar. 2011-May 2011
    - Assisted in debug testing of games for various Nintendo console platforms.
    - Submitted bug reports and bug reproduction instructions.

    Your first point is the debug and testing of games. Anyone who is not a gamer will look down and scoff at that, especially if its someone with little to no technical experience. A better option would be something like

    - Utilized industry standard software to test and debug software for multiple proprietary platforms.

    Its the same thing, the games being software and the consoles being proprietary platforms, but to an HR monkey, it will sound much better. Then, when you're in an interview, if the waters seem good to talk about games, you can go into it in more detail.

    Your second line was "- Submitted bug reports and bug reproduction instructions." Again, very accurate, but its not exactly eye catching. How about something like:

    - Created and provided detailed reports and documentation on conflicts that arose during software testing.

    Again, its the same thing you said, just given a bit more oomph to be eye catching to people who are not technically proficient.

    The point of a resume is not to get you a job. Most of the time, people aren't hired because of the resume. The point of the resume is to get you invited to meet the people making the hiring decision. In order to do that, your resume has to be eye catching and make the people at the company stop and say "Yeah, we want to talk to Aistan. He could be the one. Let get him in here to talk about the job."

  • godmodegodmode Nooo-ooo-ooo... That ain't dancin', SallyRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Have you considered these guys?

    I think the military provides a great experience in addition to being a good stepping-stone into careers later in life, especially if you're having a hard time finding a job.
    And with a degree, you can be considered for a cushy officer position.

  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    godmode wrote: »
    Have you considered these guys?

    I think the military provides a great experience in addition to being a good stepping-stone into careers later in life, especially if you're having a hard time finding a job.
    And with a degree, you can be considered for a cushy officer position.

    If you want to do this - do it FAST. You're 27, any more birthdays and you'll find yourself too old to join.

  • godmodegodmode Nooo-ooo-ooo... That ain't dancin', SallyRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    The service with the lowest age restriction is the Marine Corps (at 29 or 30 years old, I think? Maybe 31?) The other services accept applicants as old as 35-41 or thereabouts.

  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    godmode wrote: »
    The service with the lowest age restriction is the Marine Corps (at 29 or 30 years old, I think? Maybe 31?) The other services accept applicants as old as 35-41 or thereabouts.

    Its more varied than that - Active duty or Reservist.
    Plus it matters if you've been in before.

    Each branch of the service has a different number. If he/she goes now, then there is no limit to his/her choices. After the next birthday, doors start to close.

  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    The military may not be a bad idea. No offense bro, and I know the economy and all, but you're five years out of school and spinning your wheels on temp jobs. If not the military, look into other areas of civil service that are merit test based.

  • finralfinral Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Your chances of finding a job are going to drastically increase if you are willing to relocate, or go back to school. I've been looking for a job related to environmental consulting in the Seattle area, which I imagine is somewhat similar to your search. The environmental job market in Seattle is super tough right now, mostly due to hiring freezes and an overabundance of candidates. I recently applied to a City of Seattle job for one of their more basic enviro positions, and I later learned through a friend that it had over 100 applications, with more than half of them being qualified applications. Personally, I've chosen to leave the area because I can't deal with it any more.

    On to the advice! Network and volunteer. Join your alumni organization and see if you can make any contacts that will help you out. Ask your friends if they know anyone in an even slightly related field. Find some environmentally related organization and start volunteering there. You can start gaining some more relevant experience, and hopefully make some other connections. Something like People for Puget Sound might be a good start.

    The other option is more schooling. The UW extension has some pretty good certification courses that can be done in the evening, and may help you. The other options is to go back and get a masters, which depending on how much of an environmental career you want, may be a necessity, one that I'm having to face myself.

    I don't know if it makes you feel better, but your not the only one in this circumstance. Good luck out there.

  • AistanAistan Mr. Cellophane Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Thanks for all the advice, guys.

    I'll see if I can BS more on my resume, maybe look up keywords that are searched for, etc.

    Military may have to be the main option. Marines it looks like the limit is 28 years old for an officer, the rest a bit higher. I had considered it in the past, but never went beyond the general questioning phase, since one of my longer-term temp jobs started just then.

    I'll have to start working out more to make sure the PT part isn't what disqualifies me.

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