Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

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Jean
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Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:21 am

So I seem like always asking the same question, but maybe if I turn it that way, some one will be able to help me...
I graduated in 2010 in Material engineering from a great school, with great grade. I looked for a job as an engineer, but never found one. I still regularly aply, but never get any serious answer.
Can someone ask me the right questions to help me find out why it didn't work?

wood
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by wood » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:53 am

You have a gaping hole in your CV. Graduated 8 years ago, but no relevant work experience. Employers will scratch their head while looking at your CV and wonder why. You need to explain why you have this hole in your CV while at the same time seem like an attractive employee. In other words, you need to have a good story to tell them. You need to formulate this with a few words in your CV/applications, and be able to expound on it during interviews.

Example. I quit my job in 2012 without knowing what I was going to do next. I ended up doing volunteer work in Africa for 3 months, then came back to apply for a different kind of job. I still had no motivation and I was broke. While applying for jobs I explained why I had quit my job, and I explained what I learned during my 3 month leave. I explained it in a way I thought would look sensible and attractive to an employer. I could have told them the truth. That I was sick of my old job, done with my dead relationship and filled with anxiety because of a diagnosis. But instead twisted it to look like I was seeking new challenges in my life, tried something new and exciting for 3 months that taught me a lot of life lessons, and was now back filled with enthusiasm knowing that "this is the kind of job I want and this is what I have to offer" (short version).
This was just 3 months, but it could have been 1 year. You need a story for those 8 years.

Get dressed in a truth that looks good and believe in it.

Then my usual advice to similar questions:
Ask yourself why you want to be an engineer and what you have to offer as an employee and as a person in an environment with other persons. Tell your network about it. Tell your network to tell their network about it. Socialize more, expand your network, learn how to network.

Jean
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:20 am

Yes, now it's obvious, the gap, but I mean, why did the gap occured in the first place? Why haven't i found a job before? What made me unemployable? I need to understand this to go further.

LarryW
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by LarryW » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:41 am

Two things immediately come to mind, neither of which are your fault (I don't know enough to tell you about things that may be your fault :-P) First of all, the late 2000's and early 2010's were a terrible time for entry level hiring (at least in the US, could also be the case where you are). Secondly, materials engineering is something of an oddball, specialized major. This makes it harder to find a job with than, for instance, electrical, mechanical, or chemical engineering.

Secondly, some employers are very specific in which materials specialty they want (polymers, ceramics, metallurgy--different materials engineering departments have different concentrations). Your concentration might have been "out of fashion" at the time. For the record, I also have a materials engineering degree which I regret immensely, even after getting on that career ladder.

The Old Man
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by The Old Man » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:46 am

What country are you from? Why did you decide to pursue Materials Engineering?

Jean
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:54 am

In switzerland.
I choosed material Engineering, because to me, materials are the key to every technological progress. We don't name ages with materials just randomly. I didn't wan't to specialize, that's why I choosed materials (lot of physics, chemistry, simulation, maths, everything). I hate specialization, because then, you become useless on your own. My projects where mostly on concretes and metals, and then I worked on wood for 2.5 years.
Thank you for the two reason, even if as it's not my fault, it could become an excuse.
A dream job would be scientific advisor in a team of settlers on an unknown land. Which will never happen, unless we start to explore space by randomly sending pods trough wormholes or something akin.
If it was to redo, I would study medicine. I registered to study medicine next september. I'll start if I don't find a job, and I'll finish it if I manage to clear myself of the responsability of puting my first degree to use, before september.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:18 am

Ok, finally problems different than buying new house with minimal debt or new car living in top5 most prosperious countries in the world being 10% earner...

Hmmm.
Maybe just lie?

Would it be to possible to make up 8 year gap with following excuse: as working a dead end job and taking care of somebody of family?

Coloring up this story with grandpa from Northern Italy or Southern France? (not in every country compulsory education/location of your country gives you ability learn world's major languages like: German, French, Italian, English).

Have you tried to lower you expectations to work as a cashier in supermarket? Or is market here saturated with immigrants? I know, I know. You didn't spend so much time in education to earn so little...

But take immigrant perspective... I watched video made by lady from my home country... She was astonished that somebody can survive on 1500-2000 PLN in Fatherland... [don't ask for my salary and how long I was in education...] So she emigrated to Switzerland. She was very happy with 2500-3000 CHF pay as cashier or something in this direction, with this salary "she was able to fulfill her all desires". Writing this I feel pain in my stomach, because I'm mentally unstable and I can't do this "one simple trick to live in better World" :evil: :evil: :evil: [Yep, I'm aware of probably high cost of living].


How about getting momentum in black/grey market? I think you're far away from discipline needed to sustain "Real world job TM".

Seasonal jobs in Southern France/Northern Italy?

How about tutoring kids in Math/Science? There are suckers out there all the time...

How about social net? Is there something in direction of universal basic income (http://earlyretirementextreme.com/guest ... rmany.html ; in case of questions, yep I see difference between letters typed into Germany and Switzerland... but I heard there can be some similarities in systems) [for all concerned folks: Nope, they don't teach during classes of foreign language how to leech welfare as emigrant... You need it to learn it by yourself! )(*)]. Or just something what would enable you to reenter job market? At least free calories during seminars would be given to you...


(*) Fellow folks who worked in the West Europe, after coming back to my country says that The West is spoiled... So they came back to home and are working harder just for "to cut off your nose to spite your face"... Of course, try to call German supplier after 1 P.M. on Friday...

Jean
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:37 am

It's not about the money, it's about understanding what I did wrong. To me, it's like the market knows I'm wrong, but doesn't wan't to tell me why.

If I'll get into politic, my party's goal will be to make the country poor.

She shouldn't tell poles that she can fill all her desires with 3000.- a month, she sould tell the swiss...

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:37 pm

One of the fundamental skills in the wage slave economy is sales.

Being able to sell yourself, whether it's through the attractiveness of your CV on paper, your ability to interview well, or just simply talk up your value/passions/and problems you solve for an organization is paramount.

I've interviewed and received offers for jobs that I am not even qualified for simply based on the ability to sell myself to a prospective employer.

Where are you located?

Jean
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:40 pm

Switzerland.
I'm not good at sales I must say.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:47 pm

Have you asked the companies you applied with why you weren't selected? If so, what did they say? If not, contact some of them (if it hasn't been too long) and ask.

Augustus
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Augustus » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:54 pm

I tend to think in terms of: "If they can do it I can too." Do you know someone who has a job that you would want to have? If so, ask if you can have a copy of their resume, and make your resume look like theirs as much as possible. I'd identify a few people that have what you want, and then mimic them. I think of it like camouflage, or blending in. It's a tactic. Some people might think of it as assimilation, and resist it. I don't really see a point, whatever works, works. All you're trying to do is get past the gatekeeper or the bouncer.

So get a haircut, change your clothes, change your resume, change your mannerisms, change your vocabulary, change your outward behavior.

That said, the gap in your resume is going to look bad. So you need to figure out how to remedy that. It's important to know what you can't handle, and don't try to take jobs that you aren't qualified for, that will never end well. But that said, I would fix your resume gap with something like, "I had to take care of an ill family member + I did some freelance work." That said, you need to get some experience. Experience is key, no one will want to hire you if you don't have some successful projects under your belt. So find some relevant experience any way you can, if you have to volunteer, intern, offer yourself up for temporary slavery, help a professor, whatever, just get some real world experience and a reference.

If you can look the part, act the part, have some references, and have some real world experience, you should be fine.

Tyler9000
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Tyler9000 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:02 pm

Jean wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:54 am
I choosed material Engineering, because to me, materials are the key to every technological progress. We don't name ages with materials just randomly. I didn't wan't to specialize, that's why I choosed materials (lot of physics, chemistry, simulation, maths, everything). I hate specialization, because then, you become useless on your own. My projects where mostly on concretes and metals, and then I worked on wood for 2.5 years.
...
If it was to redo, I would study medicine. I registered to study medicine next september. I'll start if I don't find a job, and I'll finish it if I manage to clear myself of the responsability of puting my first degree to use, before september.
Not a diagnosis but a career tip: Based on your background and interests you should look into companies that do medical device design. I've worked a bit in that field and know materials are particularly important not only in implantables but also in surgical tools and even testing. One test lab I visited had an entire room full of a particular type of wood because it's the best bone analog they've found to date.

Even if the experience gap is too large to overcome on its own, getting a new degree or perhaps even the right certificate may help reset the clock in the eyes of employers. And I imagine someone with qualifications in both medicine and materials engineering would be really popular at a medical device company. So think of your next step not as starting over but as building on what you already have.

Jean
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:10 pm

They all say I don't have enough experience, or that they found a more matching profile, despite mine being very interesting blablabla. If I ask more precisions, I don't get any. I tried many ways of asking.

...That's true. I see no one in a position I wan't to be into. The person I would like my life to look like his situation the most is probably Varg Vikernes.

Thank Tyler, that's helpfull!

Riggerjack
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:12 pm

First, job hunting is about persistence and rejection. Understand this going in. You will be rejected, and you should be looking to reject some offers.

I remember you posted at one point that your father had only 3 interviews in his life, or maybe 3 applications, I don't remember. Either way, that's hardly applicable today.

Employers are looking to fill an opening. From an HR perspective, entry level positions are most likely to fail, so those positions tend to filter for a "type" of person. Don't hire introverts for call centers, don't hire soft, weak people for concrete work, etc.so you could be running into a soft HR obstacle, where you don't seem to fit. You have a gap, and no work experience, big red flags to the HR folks looking to fit a peg to a hole.

You have been doing something for 8 years. Gather all your pics, make up a story, and fill in that gap. Graduated, then went hiking? Add an out of date defunked website, and you tried to be a hunting guide. Worked on customer service and marketing, but there just aren't enough (X's and Y's, whatever gets hunted in Switzerland) to keep that going. A story of "tried and failed" needs to be recast into tried and failed, adjusted ,and failed, adjusted again, etc. The point being to convince the company you were learning and growing in ways they can use, rather than developing your Zelda game.

Also key is what the company is looking for. Best explained in story form. I was working in cabling, when a co-worker talked about hiring on with GTE (old telecom giant). He talked me into applying. I was called in to interview, but the job I interviewed for was a customer premise switch tech. I had no switch tech experience, but enough key words were similar that I was called for an interview. These were hour long, panel judged structured interviews. I did 3 of them before one of the hiring supervisors had me stay late and talk about what I did know and where I was trying to get to. He suggested some changes to help HR get me into the right openings, at least. Eventually, I interviewed in the right group. And still didn't get hired. I had over 3 years working in this field, I knew more about the work than everyone at the table, and not hired. And again, I get an interview, wrong group, not hired. All this time, I am working in cabling. Over a year and a half I have been through 5 interviews with this company. I get a call for another. I'm working swing shift, so I'm interviewing while I should be sleeping, with the same panel that didn't hire me two interviews prior. I am... Not in a good mood....

Now, for some things I hadn't learned until I hired on, and worked here for a while. HR guidelines are very strict about hiring from within. The only way they allow an outside hire is if they can't provide an insider who is qualified. So jobs get listed for fully qualified lead technician inside, then outside. The only positions that hired from outside require that you assert that one can walk into the company, and grab a work order, and some people, and make money for the company. If you need training, or orientation, or hand holding in any form, well, we can get that hiring from inside...

Can you do the job? Irrelevant. Do you check all the boxes? Tech, Check. Leadership experience, check. Pass the tests, check. Pass the interview, check. Accept the hiring terms, check. Any box unchecked means someone else gets the job. When asked if I was ready to come be a foreman, or if I was more comfortable as a tech, I said I would prefer to work for a while to get a feel for the company before taking on a leadership role. This was what disqualified me on the 4th interview.

But by my 6th, I had already decided there wouldn't be a 7th. So I went in with a bit of attitude. And got hired. It turns out, after working with those same people for years, none of them knew anything about the job, and being office people, thought attitude and confidence were synonymous.

In short, I went through 6 interviews with the same company, 4 times I was competing against specialists with decades more experience for coveted jobs within the company, because my resume wasn't tuned properly, and one time I gave the wrong answer to a key question. After that, the rest of the interview was wasted time.

None of this is visible from the outside. None of this was rejection of me as a competent tech or foreman. It was just a mismatch.

So far, you have had mismatches. You don't know why. We can all guess, but only persistence and experience will allow you to find the why. Which sucks. But it's not personal. It's just a mismatch. The only fix to to try making more matches until something fits.

Good luck!

Jean
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:23 pm

Thank you riggerjack!
Yes persistence...

LarryW
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by LarryW » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:25 pm

One thing I should have mentioned earlier--you always need to have a reason ready for why you want a particular job at a particular company. You seem like you're all over the place in what you're applying to, so that may be an issue that's affecting you.

For instance, if you were working looking at a materials subject matter expert type job at a big company (say, a medical device conglomerate) you could say how you like studying many different classes of materials and why you like that industry. Or if you were looking at, say, a concrete company you'd say something about the impact of your work and how you'd wanted to study different things before deciding on what to do in your career. I know that some places train technically educated people in IT--you could say how you see computing as the biggest technical transformation of our age. Point being, regardless of how interested or disinterested you are you need to make it clear that you see the job you're applying to as your #1 pick, rather than just any old job. This is something that took me a while to figure out, unfortunately...

trailblazer
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by trailblazer » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:19 pm

Have you met with a career counselor/coach, or had an in-depth discussion with a recruiter/headhunter in your field? Some aren't that great, but it's worth trying several. A good one will provide brutally honest feedback about how to position yourself.

Personally I've lost job offers in the past because I couldn't clearly state "I want this job at this company because x, y, z" and "I would do well at this job at this company because of x, y, z." The reasons just need to be plausible and stated in a believable and neutral/positive manner. I pretty much agree with your overall view about specialization, but unfortunately you are probably applying for something fairly specific so best to keep things fairly concrete in the interview. Employer doesn't care about your view on the meaning of life/work/etc., even if they ask a general question that makes it sound like they do.

I can't diagnose your personal "affect" based only on internet postings, but I would also make sure you are always coming across as positive and upbeat with the employer. Hard to do when discouraged by the process or not that interested in the job. Doesn't have to be bright or sunny, but it should be positive. Ask a career coach or trusted friends for honest feedback about your communication style. Having been on both sides of the hiring table quite a few times now, I can say that the positive, upbeat candidate that can specifically say why they want the job will win. An employer that turns you down isn't going to give open feedback about this.

JuliusFC
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by JuliusFC » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:51 pm

I worked at a recruiter/placement agency for a couple of years. I would suggest the following:

1. Record a video of yourself doing a practice interview with someone. I've done this and it can be very enlightening. Work on anything you notice that is off or weak and keep practicing and recording yourself until you see improvement.

2. You seem to be getting interviews, so perhaps the resume isn't the problem, but you might want to find someone who can help you rewrite your resume to more effectively express what you've done for the last eight years in a way that will be appealing to HR. Then tweak this resume for each job you apply for, as required.

3. It's not really about what you want from the employer. It's about what you can offer the employer. Yes, you definitely have to express genuine interest and enthusiasm for the job and the company (and you have to have good reasons that show you've researched the company and position beforehand, not just, "I need the money or I like working with X"). But you also have to drive home why you are the best candidate for the job. What are you offering them that no one else can? (And sometimes at a junior level it's not a skill but a personality trait that makes you the better candidate: curious, problem solver, customer focused, whatever it may be, and then be ready with examples, for example from a project at school, that demonstrate this trait) What can you do for them that will solve their problems that have led them to recruit for this position? What have you done successfully in the past that relates to what they need (you can ask what some of the initial objectives in the role will be and then be ready to say how you can help achieve such objectives)? Not everyone is comfortable speaking about their accomplishments and strengths. If you aren't, keep practicing until you are.

BRUTE
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by BRUTE » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:41 pm

so is brute understanding this correctly: Jean began interviewing for jobs right out of college, and started getting concerned he might be unemployable around 8 years into the process?

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