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Successful at hunting a Java Job!

 
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Following the John Coxey pattern for the job hunt, September 1, as became unemployed, I began spending close to 40 hours per week job-hunting. Seeking specifically Java Developer positions, I first rounded up as many Web-sites listing programming jobs as possible. Finding that the first dozen consumed my first 40 hour week, I modified my resume then pumped it out to almost 500 openings (across the nation --- ie, all-states, I had the luxury of relocating anywhere) within the first week.
Monday, a disappointment of sorts, I only received one phone call, but quite a few emails, which I immediately began responding to. I added a few more Web-sites each week, and kept responding to all new openings daily. With a dismal response, seemingly, during week two, I decided to spend a few hundred to pay for a resume revamp. I really do not recommend this in retrospect. Just look around at other resumes and place every skill you ever even heard about on a project, in a tidy little list.
By third week, I was beginning to get more phone calls, and feeling a bit more positive. The recruiters do not know technology and tend to be very conservative (at least lately). So I had to keep reminding myself (in the John Coxey pattern) that this is a "game of large numbers" and that in due time, it would work. I had performed several phone "technical" interviews only --- seemed too little for 120 hours-plus effort.
Week four slowed down almost to a stop. Of course, the WTC disaster, and the start of war was not helping, here. Then, at end of week four, late Friday, I conducted a very positive hour long phone interview. The following Monday, I conducted an additional interview with same Fortune 500 firm, and scheduled an interview for the following Monday (which ended up getting postponed - and they still want to do it, almost 3 weeks later). Continually, I responded to all new Java openings, even if I did not have the full skill-set requested.
Late Thursday of Week5, I scheduled a phone interview with the hiring manager of yet another Fortune 500 firm for the following day. After that interview, he requested my references, and the following Monday, his HR called to schedule an in-person interview for that Friday. The next day I received FedEx with complete travel/lodging arrangements.
Two nights before I flew to that interview, a local firm called me. When I told them of my planned interview, but my preference to stay local, an interview was arranged with his client for the following evening (the night before flying to my first interview). And, yet another Fortune 500 firm called and arranged for me to conduct a telephone interview from-the-airport (this was not a good idea).
In short, I when I returned from the out-of-town interview, the local firm called me wanting to know if I still would accept the local position. Now, at end of seventh week, I just completed my second day on project at the local firm. I must turn down offers from two other interviews.
Throughout all this, I reviewed Java, read JavaRanch, ServerSide, and Java.Sun, and tried not to fret too much. I do have a Bachelor of Science in Finance with lots of Computer Science classes, I am a Sun Certified Java 2 Programmer (long, hard effort, three tries over a year, but success last spring), and I have approximately 4 years experience overall.
That's my job-hunt story over a period of a national crises plus start of a war plus downturn in economy.

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Tom Hennigan
Sun Certified Java 2 Platform Programmer
 
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Tom,
Well done. I am just curious to know where you live ? I want to have a figure abour the market.
Regards,
 
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Congrats..
Just curious regarding your background vs. interviewing experience in these dreadful times, how long ago did you get your degree, and what type of computer science classes did you take? Was the finance education particularly helpful in getting an interview, or the CS coursework? Also, how "close" was your previous 4 years relevant work experience to what the new position demanded- up, down, or lateral move?
 
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Congratulations Tom. Your story is a lesson in determination
All the best for your future.
------------------
Jane Griscti
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
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Congratulations Tom....
Wish you all the best in your new Job...
[This message has been edited by Nasser Aboobaker (edited October 21, 2001).]
 
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Congratulations Tom!
Thnaks for sharing your experience. It's high time I focussed on my job search with equal determination.
All the best,
Jyotsna
 
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Hi Tom,
Thanks for your story. It might just be the reminder I need not to a take the non-Java job I am supposed to interview for later today!
Congratulations!
--liz
p.s. If any of the jobs you need to turn down are in the metro-DC area, I'll take 'em!
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Elizabeth Lester
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
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Tom:
Good to hear that you found a J2EE job.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
 
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Congratulations, Tom.
Your story is very inspiring.
Chris
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Tom,
Great news . Hope the job turns out to be everything you want. Its a good lesson to everyone that you just have to keep plugging away.
Dan
 
Tom Hennigan
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Sorry for not monitoring this post --- the story continues ... I live in Denver, Colorado, and was happy to find a great project as close as a one-hour commute. I completed my bachelor's degree in Finance at the University of Wyoming 1988. I had as many computer science credits as any other subject, but no official "minor" but it is all there on the transcript.
Total programming experience on the payroll, perhaps 4-5 years. Many of my positions were 50/50 or even 30/70 accounting/programming.
Now, to the rest of the story. I won the interview in Indianna, plus a company in Missouri wants me to first interview with them, and they are willing to match the other offer.
When it rains it pours! I'll need to reference Coxey's past post for any hints on what to do now. Actually, I plan to accept the Indianna position --- assuming that I pass the drug test, and my references satisfy them.
I'll read closer next time and try to answer anything that I left out --- right now, I am bushed!

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Tom Hennigan
Sun Certified Java 2 Platform Programmer
 
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You need to take a drug test to get a job as a programmer! Now I have heard everything.
 
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