Archive for September 20, 2010

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at the 24 hours of PASS. My session was about getting ready to look for a new job. This is an event that is hosted online via Live Meeting to include audio over the internet. During the session I was asked a number of follow up questions. I figured I would answer the questions here as well as during the session, If you would like to listen to the session it is free of charge and can be found here, when they come available. I have altered the text of the questions a bit to add context to the questions.

  1. Are these suggestions valid for juniors or just experienced/senior people?


    This session is valid for all levels. No matter if we are talking about goals in your career or what you want in a position. The more senior of a DBA that you are you will find that each of your past positions will help you develop criteria for the rest of your career.

  2. Should a resume look different for a contracting vs. permanent position?


    Absolutely, history on permanent positions are going to be more task oriented and may have shorter periods of employment, you may want to make sure that you outline that you were a contractor at those times. A full time position or FTE should include information about how you assisted with the bigger picture or the long term goals of the company.

  3. How many pages should a resume be?


    Resumes in a soft copy should explain in detail your experience. Keep in mind the longer your resume is the less likely someone will read it. This is one of the reasons I am a big fan of Linkedin will allow you to list more details over your last couple of jobs while you can point them in the direction of your linkedin profile for a more descriptive history. At the same time this is not a substitute for having information on your resume itself.

  4. Can a DBA include a skill set matrix and how long should that be?


    I recently reviewed a resume for a individual who attends the local user group that has changed my mind on this. I use to think that many of the skills that were included in a skill matrix were filler space, however this recent resume has a small skill matrix on the right hand margin. The resume looked professional and the smaller space made sure that the info was very specific. If you do put it on your resume make sure it does not look like you are trying to fill space where you could have more pertinent information about you.

  5. Can I present a smaller resume’ initially and follow it up with a bigger one detailing all my work?

    I actually recommend this. As a hiring manager it is always nice when a candidate brings a copy of their resume for me, and when it has added information on it, I can review it if they are a good candidate. It keeps the candidate in my mind. If you do pick this method, make sure your shortened resume is very focused on the job description that you are applying for.

  6. Am I allowed to ask for referrals on LinkedIn? Is it ok to ask anyone who asks you for a ‘return’ referral?


    You bet. Employers assume that you have not only asked but informed everyone that you have asked for a referral. That is why candidates look so bad when a referral does not give a referral in a positive light. At the same time remember that all referrals don’t have to say you are the best thing around, then they just sound fake all together.

  7. I live in a small community, how do I network for jobs and risk my employer or colleagues knowing about it?


    Honesty is always the best approach, this is a small community make sure that you don’t burn any bridges.

  8. How do I explain pay history to a prospective employer?


    Honesty is always the best approach, this is a small community make sure that you don’t burn any bridges.

  9. What are some valid reasons to state for leaving a job if you have been at it for 2 years or longer?


    Honesty is always the best approach, but make sure that if this is something that you are worried about that you try to paint everything in as positive light as you can. I will not talk bad about any of my past employers during an interview, but don’t let it fool you; I have wasted many a years at companies that were never going to go anywhere. This does not mean that it was all their fault, I am sure I has some of my own faults. This is why it is better to only look at positives of each company you have been to. In the Marine Corps as I was transferring from one duty station to the next I would ask other Marines what they thought. The reply was always the same… My favorite duty station is the one I am going to and the one that I am coming from.