Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

9/2/2016

Building Resumes

Filed under: Career Archive,Geek Work,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

No, I’m not talking about building the skills that go on resumes, but the resume itself.

For reasons that are best left unexplored, I’ve been thinking about resumes lately.  Specifically, writing them and formatting them.  It’s a chore.  And, it’s hard to do well, frankly.  For example, I’ve been using the same basic resume format since I made my first resume almost thirty years ago.  Granted, I’ve moved some things around and dropped some of the earliest jobs, especially those that don’t relate to my current field, but the basic resume hasn’t changed.  I’ve started to wonder if that works against me, making me look antiquated and out-of-date.
So, I nosed around a bit and found two resume-building tools that might help me reformat all that, and, of course, I’m sharing them with you so you can get the advantage of my research.  Besides, let’s be honest, it’s about time to update your resume any way, isn’t it?

Well, no matter how you feel about your resume, here are the tools.
First, there’s Standard Resume.  It’s a free web-based app, but it does require a login which collects your email.  The interface is pretty simple and about like every other job search or resume related form you’ve ever filled out.  What’s nice about it, though, is that when you’re done you’ll have printable PDF copies of your resume, a web-based version which you can link to from a webpage or email to an interested party, and they even make the web-based version mobile friendly for viewing on the go.  For free, that’s pretty impressive.  I’m not sure how they’re paying for all this, so I’d expect they’ll be either advertising to you directly or selling your information to someone.  Still, it might be worth it for the super nice looking resume that’s consistent across print, web and mobile.
The other tool is Creddle, which is similar to Standard Resume, but with some important differences.  For example, while Creddle used to have a direct import from LinkedIn that no longer works due to changes in the LinkedIn backend, they can still take your exported LinkedIn resume in PDF form and import that information, saving you the hassle of retyping it.  The interface is a little more challenging, also, but gives you much greater control over your finished product.  Creddle also adds cover letters to the mix, to help you get started with that as well.  Frankly, I find the prospect of writing cover letters almost as daunting as trying to sum up my entire career in two pages or less, so that’s real added value to me!  Finally, just like Standard Resume, Creddle requires an email to set up an account and will also give you a link to a easily sharable webpage of your resume.

So, there you have it, two helpful resume building and formatting tools just in time for a long weekend of revamping your work life.
I hope they help!

This post originally appeared at Use Your Words.

3/4/2016

A Free Civilization

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:22 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

No, this is not a political post.

I do my best not to openly participate in politics, frankly, because it all seems like a fool’s game.  On the other hand, simulation games have been known to unduly entertain me for embarrassingly extended lengths of time.  For a lot of my childhood, I played role-playing games.  For those of you familiar with my chosen profession probably won’t find that too surprising.  It seems like all the middle-aged professional geeks I know played…
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2/19/2016

Job Search Log

Filed under: Career Archive,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Never trust a Network Admin with a screwdriver,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is in the early afternoon or 2:48 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, I was laid off Tuesday.

I wasn’t surprised by it, for sure, since they’ve been laying off two and three people a week for the past six weeks or more.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, though.
A couple weeks ago, another sort of IT person, who’s here from the real parent company in China, was sent over to my location to gather up all the passwords and access I had.  Probably to make a copy of my laptop, too, but I kept that with me or locked up.  I know they were trying to be sneaky or subtle when they did it by distracting me with a phantom project, but, really, when someone is sent for the passwords, there’s really only one thing to think.  Then, when I asked why the theoretical project I was supposed to be working on hadn’t been implemented when it was first sent out for bid 18 months ago, I was told that it was due to lack of funding.  If there weren’t funds then, when the company was doing well, where were the funds going to come from now that so many people were being laid off?  I got the answer to that question on Tuesday morning, so I went in and packed up my desk, just in case.  You see, ever since I worked for a company that got liquidated, I’ve kept my personal belongings at work limited to what I can easily put into one, small box, which I keep under my desk.  Just in case.
Apparently, the fact that I went into my final interview with a 99% packed desk shocked the people firing me.  But, then again, they were always underestimating me at that job anyway.

So, regardless of all that, when I got home Tuesday afternoon, I applied for unemployment with the Texas Workforce Commission.  I was able to go on-line and sign up, which is an improvement over the last time I was out of work, when you had to call or go in person.  Sadly, I won’t be able to apply for a payment until the 28th, but I’ve started my job search.  Well, really, I’ve just intensified my job search as I’ve been looking for about a month.  And, while I’ve had a couple phone interviews and at least two really good prospects, I still need to keep the requisite job search log.  The Texas Workforce Commission has a downloadable form on their website, but, honestly, I kind of hate it.  So, instead, I made my own spreadsheet.  I’ve shared the blank one at the bottom of this post.
Some of the columns have drop-down choice boxes in them and the form has gotten kind of big to accommodate all the new fields they have on the original form.  It is, however, formatted to print all on one page for easy verification should it be requested.  And, yes, for those of you wondering, I verified with the Texas Workforce Commission helpline that a spreadsheet is just fine for recording your job search activity.

So, grab a copy of the form and good luck in your job search!

jobsearchlog-blank

6/3/2010

Finding Jobs with SEO

Filed under: Career Archive,Certification,Geek Work,News and Current Events,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:52 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Search engine marketing for job search?

Sure, why not?
I mean, that is why I started this blog ten years ago.  I guess I’m a little ahead of the curve, though, because Channel Insider just recently ran a story listing 17 tips for using SEO and social media to get the IT job you really want.  Mostly, they’re good tips, too, though for anyone who’s internet savvy at all, they’re also mostly common sense.  In fact, I think most real, good search engine optimization is just plain common sense.  Granted, I may be biased because of what I do and how I spend my free time, but, still, it’s not rocket science, you know?

I’ll grant you, this blog has wandered away from my original purpose a bit, but I still talk about technology and some of the things I do at work.  Initially, I started do this so I could drop buzzwords on my page, like “networking” and Certified Novell Engineer”, with normal language to lure in the search engines.  It was easy, really, all I had to do was bore people with detailed descriptions of the IT stuff I did all week long.  Then, because that gets boring fast, I started to occasionally pepper those entries with more colorful personal anecdotes.  Not too colorful, though!

One of the best tips is, to me, one of the most obvious, too.
Be careful what you post.  People seem to quickly forget that the search engines find everything.  Every drunken picture you post or every off-color joke or skeevy thing you share on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else eventually will get traced back to you.  Count on it.  So, be careful to share only the important information and just the details that relate to the image you want to project to get that job.  Treat the whole exercise as an extended digital job interview and put your best foot forward.

Oh, also?  Be honest.  Don’t over-share, but don’t lie either.  The other thing you can count on is that every lie you tell on-line will eventually be found out.

Other than that, though, the real secret is to just provide good content that people want to read.  That, by its very nature, will include all the SEO keywords that you’ll need and give you all the right kinds of links, and, most importantly of all, the right kinds of readers.
Trust me.  I’m telling you this as a guy who once got a call from another city from someone looking for a Novell consultant and was hoping I could help.  Why?  Because I was the number one hit for CNE on Google and they could get to me, but they couldn’t find similar help from Novell themselves.  So, yeah, I do know what I’m talking about and it really does work.  Just do the foot-work, and be patient while the rest happens.  It will.
Trust me.

7/3/2000

The tie that Binds, Part 3

Filed under: Career Archive — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Well, it’s been a while since I put in an update, so hold on to your hats! A lot has happened in the past two weeks.

First off, I went back to Binder and made my sales presentation. It actually went quite well, in spite of the fact that I was very nervous. I didn’t sleep for two nights before the day of the presentation I was so nervous. But, I know I did okay, because they made me an offer. In fact, they made me a nice offer. The base salary was a 9% increase over my current salary, and with the “sales incentives” it would have been a 39% increase! Yikes! But, I had to turn that job down. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Well, I just didn’t think that either Anne or I could quite cope with the 75% plus travel that I would have to be doing. And, I just wasn’t sure that this was the direction that I wanted to take my career. But, I have to admit, I’m going to be thinking about that decision for a long time.
One of the many reasons that I thought the travel would be too much for us both is that Anne would be almost totally alone. Her sister, who she’s very close to these days, is getting a divorce and moving to Pittsburgh, of all places. It seems she found her first fiancee, whom she was ready to marry at 18, and they’re getting back together. It seems her parents didn’t approve at the time, but now she’s old enough to make that choice for herself. I say, good for her! After all, I moved down to Houston from Chicago two years ago, and things have worked out pretty darn well for me. Well, except for the whole job search thing… She’ll be coming back this week for a couple of days to stay with us. She has a few things to wrap up before moving up to Pittsburgh pretty much for good. She’ll come back down to get her stuff into a U-Haul and take it back up in a month or two. I wonder how that will effect how Anne’s mother talks to her?
Well, sorry for that departure into Way Too Much Personal Information Land, but it’s a pretty good example of how personal stuff effects the job search.

On other fronts, I’ve been talking to D. at the WacoSyndicate about that management job. She expected to get the job description last week. I haven’t heard from her yet, but she still seemed positive about the whole thing, so I hope I will this week. (D. if you’re reading this, I have my cell phone with me most of the day!)
I never did hear back from T. at DT about their position. I suspect that it was because there wasn’t a position at all. I found the exact same job description on Monster.com and I applied there. Also, I think DT is part of the WIZARD “family” of companies. And I’m growing more and more disenchanted with them as time goes on.
Which brings me to J. from WIZARD… He wanted me to come to a “job fair” to look at positions they need to fill. Mind, he didn’t have any in particular that he wanted to show me, but he suggested that there might be one that he “missed” that I would like to do. To be honest, after having someone there not return my calls, having another person tell me that I was making too much money for my skill set, and then not having any real jobs that fit me (i.e. no management positions), I really don’t think I’ll be able to make their “job fair”. Also, Anne has worked with the WIZARD people before, so I know that their “job fair” is a list of jobs that they need to fill taped to the wall in their office. Wow. Sounds like the big time, hunh? Luckily, I gave them the excuse that I was going to have houseguests again this week, so I might not be able to make it. Nothing like thinking on your feet, eh?
On yet another front, someone I used to work with at Harbor has found a job at a financial firm. She called last week to tell me that they’re looking for Network staff, so I sent my resume over to her. Her boss, a Vice President walked it over to both HR and to IS, so hopefully, I’ll hear something from them soon.

Well, until something breaks, I’m still pounding the digital pavement. If anyone reading this has a Network Management position, y’all let me know! Anything for a medium to small sized company would be great. I can run a help desk, too, so a position that combines both would work.


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