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computer science fresh Ph.D job hunting experience

by oldcat, published: 2008-07-31 21:49 viewed: 175 times
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The following is some job search/interview experience mentioned by a friend.

I am such a CS fresh PhD, from a tierN (N>=3) university (well, proudly speaking, the ranking of our school is escalating very fast recently, bringing it from out of 100 into < 100), 0 industry experience (well, only a summer internship experience long time ago).

I started to seriously look for an industry job this year. I just simply posted my resume on Monster, then got several phone calls, phone screens, and 6 on-site interviews. In 2 months, I landed a job offer from a good company, and started to work. So far so good.

My experience:

1. Good resume. My resume is simple and concise (1 page), but having many keyword that the industry is interested in. So it can catch recruiters' eyes first, and finally get the chance to Hiring Managers. Well, a recruiter even told me that the hiring manager thought my resume is impressive.

2. One of the most critical reasons that people get their offer, is how urgent the hiring manager needs new hires. If he is desperate, he will speed up the process and make the decision very quick. For my offer, say one Friday the manager called me, scheduled a phone screen on next Tuesday, after it brought me in on that Friday, made decision in the following week. The total turnaround time is just about 2 weeks.

3. You must be the one they like to get the offer. For example, startups want people with hands-on experience and can be the kind of plug-and-play senior engineers; while big companies may want someone who is easy-going, good personality, having the potential to be a good team player, etc, because they tend to believe anyone can be trained to do the job, so the point is to pick up the one who they are comfortable to work with.

4. Interview skills. Because in short time you can't change your background, such as whether you are from a famous school, whether you have industry experience...But surely you can pay attention to some others, like manners, English communication, etc, and improve them in a short time.

5. Interviewing is a warm-up process. Most people don't do well in their first one or two. Don't worry, it is normal. Just keep trying. Finally, after 4-6 on-sites, you will find you are quite in the interviewing mood, and have the feeling that the offer will come to you.
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