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Years of Experience

 
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Recruiters and recruiting companies almost always specify required number of experience while looking for suitable candidates.
I have always been truthful and I count actual months of hands-on experience (and then convert them to years). However, I know that I learn faster than average programmers. The time I have spent should really carry higher weight.
Sometimes, I think that my honesty hurts me during the first round of screening. What I mean "first round" is when I am asked the number of years of experience I have. How do I handle the situation?
 
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I have always been truthful



That's your first mistake.
 
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Hi,
That number can always be checked out by calling your previous employers HR reps. The last thing you want to come across as a liar.
I alway write down exact mo/yr as indicated in the appl. When the subject mention during the interview, I alway give a ball park figure. When someone gives me a hard time as I notice a sign language on his/her face. I recover by saying: "Look, I am not a clock watcher, I never enjoying working with a clock watcher. I remember the project schedule time and what going on during the that time slot then remember my own time with the company. I think you could check my time with the previous companies from the HR people?"
Regards,
MCao
 
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Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:

That's your first mistake.


As soon as honesty is a bad thing I know it's time to leave.
If I need to be dishonest to even get an interview I don't want to work there as I'll be surrounder by liers and cheats which is not something I want to contemplate.
 
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Originally posted by JiaPei Jen:

I have always been truthful and I count actual months of hands-on experience (and then convert them to years). However, I know that I learn faster than average programmers. The time I have spent should really carry higher weight.


OK, everyone on JavaRanch who doesn not learn faster than average raise your hands... Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
You are right to be truthful. Lying is never the right answer, and as Jeroen pointed out, if you need to lie, that's not a place you want to be.
Playing games like "I'm a fast learner so I should convert my numbers" is total BS. How the heck can you know? Can I say the same thing? Can I say more if I think I'm even faster than you? Let them judge you for how fast a learner they think you are.
The worst part is, if you lie, you're screwing over the honest people.

--Mark
 
Jeffrey Hunter
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As soon as honesty is a bad thing I know it's time to leave.


As soon as the world becomes a fair and balanced place, then we can all be brutally honest but until then, it's a dirty game sometimes, and yes, believe it or not, being 100% honest may not be the strategy that will get you ahead in the game.
It's sad but true. People fudge resumes, experience, and turn into Prince Charitable when it comes to getting a job, and is this a bad thing? Yes, I think it is, but unfortunately it's the way it works sometimes in a capitalist society. Dog eat dog.
And don't mistake this post as advocating lying, or cheating. I'm in no way supporting the guy who lies about obtaining an MS degree and gets a job starting at 70k -- yes, it happened. What I am saying is, if you're going to compete and play strictly by the rules, you may be left behind.
I'm willing to bet most of the power-mongers in America didn't get to where they are by crossing all the ts and dotting all the is.
 
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and of course interviewers and hr never lie:-
training, no overtime culture blah blah blah...

It's a two way street guys.
 
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However, I know that I learn faster than average programmers. The time I have spent should really carry higher weight.


Are you saying you've been unemployed and spent your time studying? Do you feel that time spent studying could be more valuable than the time people on the job who spend in status meetings, planning meetings, get the company spirit up meetings. The time they spend reading emails about cleaning out the company refigerator?
On of my former bosses showed up at my desk and vented for long periods of time about his problems in life. I yes deared him for years. Do employed people subtract that from their experience?
Do you have disjointed experience?
Q. How much experience do you have with servlets.
A. I started developing servlets in January 2000.
Do you notice they don't pay much attention to standardized tests like tech check or brain bench unless you score poorly? Score well on an objective test written by a professional examiner carries less weight than an interviewer by their technical guru. A guru plagued by human biases. A guru who may well be the best they have, but may or may not be accurate.
E.G. is an interviewer who is an evangilist for XP interviewing a UP person fair?
Somethings they like to boil down to meaningless numbers. Others they don't.
The process is haphazard at best. If the interviewer is having a bad day, you are too. :roll:
[ April 29, 2004: Message edited by: Rufus BugleWeed ]
 
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Why yes. of course I have the 17 years J2EE programming experience you demand merely to be placed on the list to possibly be interviewed for this position.
OK, enough of the sarcasm. Back about a year ago when I was already unemployed for about 2 years, the internal recruiters at a major local corporation were very excited because they needed someon who could write Perl scripts that would convert Oracle to DB/2 or vice versa (I forget which). I have extensive Perl experience and have been working with databases of various brands for about 10 years or so. However, they wanted me to pad my resume and claim 5 years of nothing but Oracle. Oracle's one of the databases I'd worked with, and as a matter of fact, is the primary one I work with now, but I couldn't truthfully claim that I literally met that specific minimum criteria. And that meant that the regular HR people wouldn't even speak to me, since, as is common with big-company HR, they found the concept of equivalencies too difficult to swallow.
Yes, it cost me 6 months income, but I think I'm happier where I am (I wouldn't have been able to get past the HR people here, either except for some pull on the inside). And in the mean time, I hear from my spies over there, that they continue to hire the people willing to lie about experience and continue to flush money down the sewer as they repeatly discover the hard way that the database experience wasn't the only thing their candidates lied about and have to terminate them for incompetence only to repeat the cycle again and again.
Since I'm a small, petty, mean, and spiteful person, I consider this poetic justice.
 
Greenhorn
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>Sometimes, I think that my honesty hurts me during the first round of >screening. What I mean "first round" is when I am asked the number of years >of experience I have. How do I handle the situation?
Don't ever lie in your interview! What you need to do is to add some 'paddings' to your answer. You could say,"Although I only have 2 years of experience and the job requires 5 years, I can prove to you that I have the same amount of experience in, i.e. java etc. This is due to the fact that I am a fast learner....'
Then you need to convince the interviewer to validate your claim, that you are a fast learner. Bring some sample works etc.
My point is, to every interview question, DO NOT say NO or any sentences that have negative implications. ALways express yourself using positive words. Employers like it when you show a lot of enthusiasm, followed by some great examples from your professional life.
good luck
 
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Although I only have 2 years of experience...


I would consider that a negative. That's discrediting yourself at the beginning of your answer.
Don't apologize for "only" 2 years experience. Say something like: (staying within the truth)
"In my 2 years of intensive experience I have consistently been successful at everything I have done and I am confident that I can continue to prove my abilities through every challenge this position will bring. When I was on X project I had to become familiar with X technology in X time. I rose to the challenge, even dedicating my own spare time to studies, and became not only familiar with but also became proficient in X technology and have since become certified."
 
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two to 3 years is such a long time I am starting to feel impatient now.
 
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1. 2 years experience is a good band to belong. I guess 2-4 years has always been a sweet patch in experience for companies and candidates as well, as money to performance ratio is at its best in this period.
2. Second is more of a question - I have also seen ppl with lesser experience and lesser knowledge getting better jobs and relatively more money with fake experience, and they knew the right people who could refer them. They easily get away with it. I have some of the most respectable and senior people playing some of the dirtiest politics. What is it that I could have done? Nothing, except for feeling bitter about the whole thing. And I haven't experienced any poetic justice much in my relatively small career so far. How do you pacify yourself in such cases???
- Manish
 
Matt Cao
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Hi,
You have stumble on an age old wisdom. It's not what you know, it's whom you know.
Regards,
MCao
 
Billy Tsai
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knowing ppl high up there in the administration or in the parliment is always helpful
my cousin's (my dad sold to them)company isnt even a software company they only sell computers and provide IT services to schools and local city council, but some how they got a big project worth over 10s of million dollars from the AirForce using Documentum for the airbase's documentation system or something, because my cousin hooked up with the formal air force cheif of staff's brother who is also now the military strategic consultant at the presidential office and he used the connection to get the project.
my dad used to know the previous mayor of the city because he helped him a lot in the election campaign then all the city council IT projects were all my dad's company's .
and my dad even get the job as the general secretary of science and industrial committe of the government.
blah blah u know the rests...
 
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