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John Coxey - Job Search - Update #1

John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
All:
Per many requests, I have decided to include you all on my job search progress "live" as it happens. So, for the many folks here who have asked "How do I go about a job search" - follow along and learn.
As promised, the resume has been updated and posted to my pathetic little website. You can view in either text or ms-word format. BTW/ This is how a resume should look - for those that keep asking. Go ahead and use it as a guide for completing your own. BTW/ I spent a lot more than 10 minutes working on it - even for the update.
My MS-Word spell checker was corrupted when I uploaded "Baulders Gate" (a game). So I hope I caught all the bugs/errors.
I am in the process of posting the resume to www.dice.com and www.javajobs.com.
The JavaJobs.com site is updated manually by the webmaster so it may take a day or two for the resume to appear there.
I welcome any suggestions, comments, resume bug reports.
Here is the link to my website:
http://members.aol.com/jpcoxey
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)

[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited April 01, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by John Coxey (edited April 01, 2001).]


John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
John M. Gabriele
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2001
Posts: 232
cool. thanks for including us john.
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
John:
Thank you for sharing your insight in and constructive suggestions of job search all this time. I believe that your positive attitude will bring you a good job offer pretty soon.
Best wishes.
Ken Pullin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 29, 2001
Posts: 43
John - your resume looks really good! That would be a great reference to anyone else preparing a technical resume - BTW, I updated mine last night and guess who's outline I followed??
Simon Xu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 16, 2000
Posts: 235
hi, John,
I follow all your posts in this forum. It is very helpful for our job hunters. Thanks
Good luck,
Simon
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
John said:
"Per many requests, I have decided to include you all on my job search progress 'live' as it happens."
Cool! So what's the URL of the WebCam!?
Ha ha! Good Idea.


Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
John:
IMHO you should include an HTML format of your Resume. I know that a lot of recruiters ask for a Word formatted resume.
I never had my resume in that format and always told them to print it off the Web. I was looking for work as a Web Developer in Java and if they could not simply click on the URL and then click PRINT on their browsers, then I was not too interested in doing business with them. At which point they would say "OK!"
This thing about MS-WORD formatted resumes is ancient. You don't want to do business with recruiters that insist on them. They want that format to be able to edit your resume for their purposes, not necessarily yours.
I know MS-WORD is king BUT HTML IS "KINGER" At least in Web Development!
My OLD resume in HTML is in
http://alicea.org/resume
(Headhunters: Not to be used for recruiting purposes)
vin miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 01, 2001
Posts: 33
Tony,
I noticed in your resume that you are from Orlando. I am trying to relocate to Ft Lauderdale, got any advice? I knows it's somewhat far from you, but you're a lot closer than I am (I'm in NY, where there is still some snow)
I think I have a decent resume (http://vinmiller.net/resume) and some good experience, but I haven't been getting many replies from the job sites.
Thanks
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Tony:
I will take your advice and convert over to HTML - I believe that MS-WORD has this feature and does it quite nicely. Let me get back to you on this one.
It's Wednesday - man are things going slow.
Phone calls should have started by now. I am getting some trickles here and there - but right now it's pretty slow.
Talked with two recruiters here in Denver the past 2 days. Things are slow - but they are beginning to pick up. Both recruiters helped me out with the job search from last year - and have been talking with me on and off the past 6 months.
I am seeing a ton of $15 to $20/hour - 6 month contract positions for Help Desk Support. And some 3+ years of Java experience type jobs - you know the type (Java 3+ years, XML, UML, EJB, C++, VB, ORACLE, PL-SQL) etc.
See what happens. Sure seems A LOT slower than last October.
Johnny
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Not sure if you've been checking out the online job's section of local newspapers, but these are sometimes helpful. From www.denverpost.com jobs section and a keyword search on Java (there were more results but these were some of the more junior level ones).
----------------------------
Support Analyst
�Only those who risk going too far can possibly find
out how far one can go." T.S. Eliot To be a leader in
a dynamic industry requires hiring extraordinary
people with talent and vision. To retain the best
employees requires making a commitment to their
long�term job satisfaction. Our generous benefits,
including vacation, education assistance, casual
dress and much more, make the difference. Come
make a difference in your career with us! Support
Analyst Englewood Primary responsibilities will
include providing level-2 customer technical support
for all NextGen software components, tracking
problem reports, gathering background information
from customers, and reporting all findings. Requires
basic familiarity with Oracle, SQL, scripting tools
(batch files, Perl, JavaScript), and client-server
applications/architecture. Experience with Windows
and Unix is also a must. Additional experience with
software testing/methodologies and/or completion or
programming coursework in C, C++, or JAVA would
be ideal. Send resume indicating job title and
response code DP 3/11 to: CSG Systems, Inc.,
Attn: Human Resources 7887 E. Belleview Ave.,
Suite 900 Englewood, CO 80111 Fax: 303-796-2862
denjobs@csgsystems.com www.csgsystems.com
Equal Opportunity Employer
----------------------------
PROGRAMMER
PROGRAMMER
Medical billing firm seeks individual trained in Java and/or C++.
Experience not reuqired. Benefits. Fax reusme w/salary requirements to
303-288-3038.
Published 04/01/2001 - 04/01/2001 in CO - Denver -The Denver Post
------------------------------
COMPUTER
COMPUTER
Java Developer
Opportunity
- progressive Internet company needs Java programmers with 18 months
or more experience in creating java Internet based solutions. Competitive
salary w/ benefits avail. Send resume to resume@
persona.com
Published 03/18/2001 - 03/21/2001 in CO - Denver -The Denver Post
----------------------------
Tim Grandison
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 09, 2000
Posts: 6
One spelling error I caught, "aril" instead of april in your work experience section. Good luck with your search.
matthew austin
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 28, 2001
Posts: 18
John
It is much slower than last October . . . when I announced availability at dice back then I had 12 phone calls the next day. Within 2 weeks I had 4 interviews and 2 job offers.
Whole different ball game now. I was layed off Feb. 6th and most of the folks out there are looking for senior level people.
Its critical to leverage any personal contacts you have. Getting your resume above the noise is very difficult without someone pitching you. Developing a friendly respectful relationship with talented technical recruiters is not a bad idea. I am not talking about the freaks who call you about great positions that are good matches for you despite you not mentioning said skills anywhere on your resume .
You might have to relocate brother. And I'd post to:
www.brassring.com
www.dice.com
www.monster.com
www.headhunter.net
www.hotjobs.com
if your open to the bay area (expensive) add
www.bajobs.com
www.craigslist.com
We have slightly different approaches in regards to our resume's, but I did heed a great deal of your advice. Its actually funny because I had some of your points in there before, but then shifted things around after a month of no activity.
From my perspective your resume is sparse and a tad cocky. I think a slightly more humble and explicit approach is warranted during these times.
Additionally microsoft word's html is thought of as horrific in the web development community and if your planning on doing any jsp/servlet work employers largely expect clean hand coded html. It's up to you though.
Tony
I used to have that perspective on MS Word resumes but after a month of un-employment, I changed my tune . . . times are very different. Additionally you've got 20 yrs experience doing development and that gives you some room. I used exactly that same technique very successfully last September, but I wouldn't recommend trying that now.
I have how ever explained to some recruiters that they can simply:
1) click on the link
2) save the page to their desktop
3) then open it in word and save in .doc format
which is what the savvy ones probably did with your resume anyway!
For those interested John made some healthy critiques of my resume in this form http://www.javaranch.com/ubb/Forum37/HTML/000390.html
May the force be with all of us in the job market currently.
[This message has been edited by matthew austin (edited April 04, 2001).]
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Matt / Tim:
Thanks for the notes. Will look for the mispelling "Aril" vs. "April". My spell checker is broken on MS-Word 2000 - as I had to hand-remove a video game from the computer and must have touched some "shared" files.
Yeah - things are definitely a lot slower right now than back in October - hard to believe. Last year, I had pretty much the same results as you did - 20 phone calls a day - and within 2 weeks had a solid offer way out here in Colorado and a few back in Pennsylvania.
Had to believe how quickly things cooled off.
I figured it was the H1B people and these "quick buck" kids from the HTML schools that were feeling the pinch.
--------
I have lunch tomorrow with a tech recruiter (Maxim Group). She says things are picking up again. Basically repeated what Tony says that we are not really in a "slump" but more of a "correction".
Kind of wondering what the college hiring scene is like this year for our industry (IT as a whole).
----------
Gotta run. Thanks for the comments/corrections.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Jason:
I am planning on getting the Sunday Denver Post as well as the Sunday Colorado Springs paper.
My job search has not expanded into the online section of the newspapers yet - but will over this weekend.
Back in October - I was going to do the online thing - but I was just too overwhelmed with phone calls. Yes, alot of them were those "promise you everything" type recuiters. But there were a lot of what I feel, sincere people who called.
I see this Requisite Technology constantly advertising for junior level people. I talked to them last year - but was snagged up by the time anything happened.
Their tech interview over the phone was very friendly. They asked about servlets and XML to which I replied that I did not anything about - to which they replied ok - and then focused their interview on the core Java stuff. Also talked alot about projects.
Company was going to bring me out to Colorado - but again, I already had like 2 offers out here in Denver and 3 back in Philly.
-------
Again, I am starting out slow with the job search and gradually cranking it up. Right now, I am also focusing alot on the SJCP exam. I have about 5 months into it so far. I am wrapping up File I/O this week and starting the overall review - including mock exams starting next week.
--------
So that's where we are at this lovely Wednesday evening. It's so nice outside - like 75 degrees here in Denver. Sorry all you folks who gotta freeze in other parts of the country.
Gotta run.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
M Prembroke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2000
Posts: 56
Hey Matthew, I'm wondering if you're encountering any extra resistance/difficulty in hiring due to not having a CS degree? I ask only on behalf of some currently employed friends who are anxious (if they get turned out) and either degree-less or didn't major in CS or some other similar area like math. The number of openings that now "require" such degrees are increasing a lot lately. While having a CS degree hasn't mattered a lot in last few years in terms of getting interview, I'm glad now I withstood the agony required to get my BA in CS (also from Berkeley )
matthew austin
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 28, 2001
Posts: 18
Yes I think there is definitely a stigma with not being a CS major now a days.
Thankfully I have been developing on the web for 2.75 years and have an established company like Sybase on my resume. Otherwise I think I'd be in even more hot water.
It helps that my bachelor's is from Berkeley I imagine . . . so many folks assume I have some smarts . Congrats CS from Berkeley . . . that's no joke! I took EECS1 thinking I'd learn how to tinker with VCRs, oops. I eventually ended up getting an A- in the class, but I really had to work. Wouldn't that be a BS vs. BA? Or maybe its all BS
matthew austin
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 28, 2001
Posts: 18
John
unless you've got a healthy stash and solid severance I'd hit the ground running. You are CS majored with an MS in CS which is definitely to your benefit, but your work experience is lean.
I started out slow too . . . I don't recommend it. I don't care what other folks are saying. When Sun and Oracle both have hiring freezes (last month fiscal Q4) things are in a severe state. This is no joke and folks pushing that 'adjustment' lingo are flat out in denial. Just off of a basic count of newspaper headlines over the last few months I'd say there have been well over 100,000 jobs cut. Granted some of that is attrition/contract but thats a big number.
I applied for a job at wells fargo for a position requiring a solid two years work experience building dynamic database driven websites and within 24 - 48 hrs of a post on monster.com they had received 100 resumes and 20 phone calls. I felt blessed to have had a second phase phone interview (during which time they had already extended an offer to someone and I was being talked to as a backup . . . the person accepted)!
Now to put this in perspective they bay area is more severe with all of the .coms going down and things should be opening up with fiscal Q4 having just passed but I definitely want to be clear about the state of things.
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Matthew:
That's my big gripe with the US-College system. All theory and no practicality. I am hoping an MS-Computer Science, plus production support experience (3 yrs) and core Java experience (2 yrs) will open some doors. Problem is that I do not have the XML, EJB knowledge yet. I want to knock out the SJCP2 (have too much time invested in it now to quit) - before I hit up EJB.
Might even grab a course in EJB over at Sun after I get the SJCP under my belt.
Regarding hitting the ground running ... I am cranking up the job search slowly but surely. Again, I have a lunch meeting tomorrow with a headhunter - so perhaps she will have something.
Remember, I am only 3 days into the job search - so I still have a lot of options to research and look at. Just that compared to last year - it's just really slow.
See the guy over at www.javajobs.com put my resume up. Hopefully should generate some leads.
-----------
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
As far as $$ goes - gotta see what Colorado unemployment is all about. I know PA requires you to work 6 months - and then I believe you only get like 18 weeks at 60% of previous salary.
If I can get 18 weeks here at 60% of salary - I'm off to Montana for a few weeks of fly-fishing.
---------
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
Peter Tran
Bartender

Joined: Jan 02, 2001
Posts: 783
John,
You need to fix the spelling typo in your resumes! It doesn't help your cause to having spelling typos. I've read earlier that your spell checker is broken - lame excuse. Get an account on mail.yahoo.com and cut-n-paste your entire resume into a mail and use their spell checker. Here are couple of things my colleague and I found wrong with your text version.

AMERICAN MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS - NEW MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS, Denver, CO
January 2001 - April 2001
Assigned to bench, and studied for Sun Microsystem's Java 2
Certification Exam.
Division experienced layoffs in Aril 2001.
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES - COMMINICATIONS SOFTWARE DIVISION, Warren, NJ
May 1999 - October 1999

Good luck!
-Peter
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Peter & Others:
Good catch. Glad we caught it now - rather than during an actual interview.
Got the spell checker re-installed on Office 2000.
Resume's are updated - and ready to go. Also verified that my phone number and e-mails are good.
-------------
Here is the link for others that are just joining the thread.
http://members.aol.com/jpcoxey
-------------
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
Pete Pan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 44
Here is my input:
I think a CS degree is important, very important. I majored in both CS and EE in college and two didn't compare when it came to programming. The EE's all had programming classes, but didn't really learn HOW to program, they just learned the language de jour. I would have CS classes where you would learn 6 languages in a semester. You learned different "types" of languages and more importantly you learned that the language was not important, it was you ability to use the tools that you were given that really counted. Half the EE "programmers" are probably still using the one language that they learned.
As for the MS degree, I think that you can learn a lot. I think I did it backwards (I went to a "theory" school for undergrad and a "practical" school for grad school), but my skills in the years I spent in grad school grew beyond belief. The people that I met (shared an office with people that were "drafted" by Sun and Xerox Parc before they finished their PhDs) taught me so much that it is hard to explain.
As for the job search, I think one of the most important thing is to be truthful on your resume (not saying you are not). The resume gets you the interview, but what good is an interview for a job that you cannot do? As soon as someone catches you on the "enhancements", the interview is pretty much over. If you are unemployeed right now, keep up own your skills. Donate some time to a charity and set up a kick ass website for them just for the experience.
As for headhunters, they suck. Most of the ads out there on the "big job sites" are fake and are just used for headhunter to collect resumes for their own databases. Some are even for just collecting email addresses to add you to their "free jobs list". So beware, create a "fake" email address on yahoo or something and watch out for posting for jobs where the salary is too good to be true, it probably is.
-pp
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: John Coxey - Job Search - Update #1