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For Frustrated Job Seekers

  1. Jul 1, 2014 #1


    Staff: Mentor

    I found this article online that I thought may be of interest to us older job seekers:


    The gist of it is that the employment system is broken and that you must side-step it and do more than just submit a resume.

    If you can find how you can help a company improve and can sell it to them they will hire you.

    Of course you could take that same knowledge and create your own company and compete but the choice is yours.

    I'm sure this strategy couldn't hurt young job seekers either...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2014 #2
    I agree, but I'm not sure how you "side step" it... Companies will not let you march in, bypass HR and speak to potential hiring managers.

    I've ended up going back to school for an engineering degree in the hopes of getting an internship which will let me bypass HR.
  4. Jul 1, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    I think the side-stepping is to get in contact with some manager on the inside by following company news, conference papers... and to then create a dialog so that he/she will consider bringing you in for interview.

    Of course, you could do the research and get a headhunter to get you an interview but I think you might have to sell the headhunter on the strategy and what you can offer the company.

    Its almost like corporate stalking...

    Actually the internship won't bypass HR. They are the corporate police and check every potential job hire and interviewee or intern. They also mediate i.e. "police" employee disputes under the guise of being neutral but are in fact agents of the company.
  5. Jul 1, 2014 #4
    Well, I hope that by being an intern I can develop a relationship with a boss to get a job.

    How is following company news and conference papers allow you to speak with and create a dialog with a potential hiring manager? I guess in my case it doesn't really apply... I don't have a skill set. I am looking for low pay, entry level jobs.
  6. Jul 1, 2014 #5


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    To quote a UK politician (Norman Tebbitt) from the Thatcher era, you "get on your bike" and follow up the leads.

    A personal anecdote, dating back to before the current "job crisis": I was invited to do a presentation at a sales conference run by a computer manufacturer, about the way my employers were using their products. AFAIK the only data that was published about me was my name and the company name. In the next few months, I got 10 or 20 inquiries from students - a few wanting somebody to do their research projects for free, but most of them wanting to know about job opportunities. Some of them had blagged their way into the coference itself (despite the best efforts of the computer company to keep them out, since they weren't in the market for system costing $millions). Others had picked up the lead from the computer company's press releases. IIRC we interviewed and hired at least one of them.

    Well, yes, that's a different problem to overcome :smile:
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  7. Jul 1, 2014 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    I wouldn't say I don't have a skill set. Its just that you don't know what it is. Most jobs are 15% skills and 85% personal drive, teamwork and communication.

    We were taught to follow the "completed staff work" maxim when working with your boss in other words don't bring him/her a problem without a recommended solution.


    Knowing that principle is half of your skill set right there.
  8. Jul 1, 2014 #7
    Should have tried harder at school
  9. Jul 1, 2014 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    What do you plan to do now? The race isn't over school is just one lap...
  10. Jul 1, 2014 #9
    Leads? I got my degrees in physics, my professors were all career academics. Virtually none of my classmates have any sort of STEM career at all. I have no leads... But thats why I am back in school with the hopes of getting an engineering degree. That way I can get an actual skill set and some actual leads. I would love to get a job otherwise, but I don't know how and advice like this is not concrete enough. I cant afford to fly around going to conferences in the hopes of getting an entry level position...
  11. Jul 1, 2014 #10

    Not go back to school, that's for sure
  12. Jul 1, 2014 #11
    I think that is a platitude or wishful thinking. By skill set I mean a useful hard skill you can actually do. I cannot design bridges, I cannot diagnose medical ailment and prescribe radiation treatments, I've never worked on semiconductor process in a clean room. This is what I mean by having no skills. The "skills" I have from school and research are either soft skills or irrelevant skills, neither are very marketable.

    Right now I am gearing towards the electrical power side of engineering, but time will tell. I hope to get a job before finishing the degree.
  13. Jul 1, 2014 #12


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have to partly disagree with this. Yes, getting the internship goes through HR, but if you get yourself noticed as an intern, you have real leg up on a job, and can definitely sidestep HR when you are done with school. Many interns got to good positions this way at the company I work for.
  14. Jul 1, 2014 #13
    Many ways to "side-step" the bureaucracy and HR weasels. Much of it depends on your imagination, creativity, drive, tenacity, personality, panache.

    A couple of tips from many years working hard to stay employed:
    (1) online resume submission is very risky. I had my resume garbled by the online system and never knew it. Luckily, the principals knew how to contact me and asked to submit again.

    (2) During my unemployed/freelance period I was interviewing constantly. One interview went well, was told by the manager I was over-qualified but he was intrigued by my background and would call me back. Dream job. Never did call back, and deep depression ensued. Much later I said "what the heck?" and called him back. The reason he never called back was because he himself was laid off shortly after our interview. Called back into the automated attendant/voice mail system and kept dialing through the directory until I got a live person. Made my pitch, was passed to another, repeated etc., five times. The fifth time I was talking to the president of the company, who passed me to the engineering manager. I was invited to come in immediately. Tenacity pays off.

    (3) I never submit resumes via email if I can find a person's name and a physical address. I use a lot of methods to do this. The reason: your email can be deleted in a click, but a piece of paper sitting on a desk must be handled. One of the best jobs I ever had resulted in researching a company and PINGing my contacts for info on the company. I was told to call "Joe." So I called "Joe" and ask about employment. I later discovered "Joe" was Division Manager. Described my education, skills, background, and asked if the company might have any XYZ positions coming up soon. I was invited in immediately.

    Network, network, network. Attend professional society meetings, etc. Get out there, circulate, meet people. You get hired mainly on your personality, not your resume.

    Targeted volunteering works. A friend volunteered at United Way doing their IT work for them. He met dozens of future managers who were stuck with the unholy task of running their companies' United Way campaigns. But they remembered my friend and how good he was when their time for leadership arrived.

    Getting around the HR Weasels and other Gatekeepers can be done with enough forethought, creativity, and tenacity.
  15. Jul 1, 2014 #14


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    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    A couple of things you could do.
    Go directly to a company with a resume and tell them very briefly what you want (like employment). Don't be pushy, just be brief and informative. Maybe something is open and maybe not.
    Find a group of companies, and call them by telephone and try to talk to someone. Maybe you will learn what the company needs.
  16. Jul 2, 2014 #15
    This was my plan (I'm currently on my last internship) however the gods decided not to smile on me. I did 2 with a company I'd for sure want to work with but the market that they operate in has taken a significant downturn. I haven't seen ANY jobs posted at the plant I worked at for the past 8 months. Happens when you downsize a couple engineering departments (all the job openings go to staff who otherwise would've been let go).
    And this last internship, its not work that I think I'd like to do long term :(
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