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Applying to the big places

  1. Aug 16, 2010 #1
    To all the employed physicists out there. When applying to the big places like the ones below,

    Lockheed, Raythen, Boeing, Northrop, GE, Bruker, Siemens, Varian, Philips, IBM, Intel, AMD
    Hitachi, Western Digital, Microsoft, etc....

    Did you go through the HR black hole? I.e. just submit a resume through their website. Or did you have a contact? Did you include a cover letter?

    I ask because I've heard that HR won't even read the resume or cover letter, or the posting is antiquated (My follow up calls have found antiquated posts are pretty common. So far, I've wasted twelve hours applying for confirmed antiquated positions).

    Assuming you weren't a 100% match or you were changing fields from you PhD research, how did you go about demonstrating the transferability of your skill set?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2010 #2
    My experience has been that websites for large companies are useless as is contacting HR. Your best bet is to go through a headhunter, and you get make contact with those through the standard job sites.

    [q]I ask because I've heard that HR won't even read the resume or cover letter, or the posting is antiquated[/q]

    They often won't. Part of the reason that they won't is that the systems large companies use to handle resumes are often completely unusable, and HR couldn't access a resume even if they wanted to.

    [q](My follow up calls have found antiquated posts are pretty common. So far, I've wasted twelve hours applying for confirmed antiquated positions).[/q]

    You should assume that most job postings are antiquated. That means not wasting your time with a specific one. Send out your resume to an HH, if they have any positions, they'll call you, if not, find another HH.

    Honestly, if you have to sell your Ph.D. you are probably not going to get very far. Fortunately, there are a lot of fields in which there are already large numbers of physics Ph.D.'s employed, and the easiest way of convincing someone that a physics Ph.D. is useful is to have your resume read by someone that has a Ph.D. already. Something that tends to be true for everywhere that I've worked in is that they already have large numbers of Ph.D.'s in management or semi-management positions so there wasn't that much of an effort to sell the Ph.D.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2010 #3
    I worked in one of the companies in your list before. While it is true that most of the time you won't get a response, it is not entirely useless. I got all my jobs through either applying directly to the company's or job search website's job postings. I tailored my resume specifically for each job, and I applied only to those that I thought I would find interesting and have a chance. In the case for my first job out of school, I got a phone call from my would-be boss and got the job after an interview. I didn't went through any head-hunter at all. The job is 200% unrelated to my previous research area. What they were looking for though was someone who has proven he/she can learn, and learn quickly, and are not scared of complex problems.
     
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