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Always someone better than you?

by Ace128 (Hermit)
on Dec 01, 2006 at 01:23 UTC ( #587099=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hey Monks!

I'm in the middle of looking for a job now after my Computer Science study (which is almost done). Since I just love Perl, Open Source, Technology in general, and all that comes with it, I find really cool and interesting place... :) However, visiting this site, it seems like there is always someone brighter, smarter and more knowledgeable than you (me) - so, impossible to get a job. Now, honestly, I just email replies "for fun" - not really expecting I get it. Don't get me wrong, I'm interested, it's just that I have no expectations. Better that way I guess. No depression... :) Although, it would be nice if I got a reply at all... Anyway, I bet more feel the same way here and I just wanted to see what you guys here think about it all...

For me, a telecommuting job would be cool to try out (although, I already have, but not over a different country). I was planing of traveling later, so if I for instance got a job in US, it would be cool to go there and meet the folks there as well... I have never been there so... My god, having so much fun as a student with exchange students, it almost feel boring staying in the same country and have a "regular" jobb...

Ohwell, a regular job is all fine. It's not exactly final, and works well for a while... better than nothing I guess...

So, how many XP do one need here anyway to get a reply from ;)

One may also wonder who exactly is the BRIGHTEST here... ;) I know alot of people here are pretty clever (come on, we all do Perl here, and you gotta be pretty smart just by knowing that :) ).

/ Ace

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Always someone better than you?
by Fengor (Pilgrim) on Dec 01, 2006 at 11:20 UTC
    As the posters before me said: Attitude and Demeanour > XP

    Basically it's what in your application that decides a lot about your chances to get a job.

    First remember that at least here in germany an application for a job often first goes thorugh a secretary before one of the bosses even sees it (true for medium to big companies). So make sure its clean, well written not wrinkled. Or else it will go to the paper equivalent of /dev/null.

    Second if you get invited to a talk do some more research about the company. Preferably such things like workplace climates and dress rules. Choose your clothing for the interview accordingly. In regards to clothing choose something that fits but most important something you dont feel ridicoulus in. Chances are you wont be very good at hiding it if you feel it and that makes it so much harder to establish an impression of feeling secure about yourself and your abilities.

    Third during the interview always try to remain calm and secure. Some companies try to confuse or immitade an interviewee to see how he reacts under stress. Often used practises for this are setting the interviewers chairs up so that the interviewee cant see them all at once (wide half circle) and spewig questions at them without giving enough time to answer them. Just remain calm then and answer each question as good as you can and dont let them drag you in the speed question/answer game. Oh and of course always pay attention and look at the person you are talking to, but dont stare into their eyes all the time. Many people find that aggressive.

    Just some tips from me for applying. hope it wasnt too much bullshit to read ;)

    -- Terry Pratchett, "Reaper Man"

Re: Always someone better than you?
by Marza (Vicar) on Dec 01, 2006 at 05:47 UTC
    You shouldn't set yourself up for failure. Having no expectations?....

    Keep plugging away! Even if the job sounds too big for you, apply for it. Many managers ask for everything just to see what they get.

    My boss will tell you that attitude is everything! Skills can be taught, you can't teach attitude.

    Finally, the xp thing. Well? Grandfather says he got hired because of it. I think it's next to worthless. But, hey if it gets you a job.....

      Umm, actually I mentioned that another monk that I know of had his standing here used as a factor in his appointment when changing jobs a little while ago. The fact that other monks were involved in the appointment process possibly made a difference too.

      DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel
        Ooops. For some reason I thought it was you. Thanks for the clarification.
        The fact that other monks were involved in the appointment process possibly made a difference too

        Yay ... nepotism roolz !!!

Re: Always someone better than you?
by lima1 (Curate) on Dec 01, 2006 at 10:51 UTC
    Write a good application, not a quick email. Show that you are highly motivated and that you are able to do the job.

    I don't know how important reference letters are outside the science, but I had a good one ;). So maybe ask the professor of your master thesis.

    Don't focus your application on Perl. I would then think that this is the only thing you can.

    Don't be boring. No standard covering letter etc.

Re: Always someone better than you?
by geekphilosopher (Friar) on Dec 01, 2006 at 14:47 UTC

    There's always someone brighter, so there's no use worrying about it.

    When I was finishing my Computer Science degree, I started applying to jobs. I ended up getting a job as an intern at an all-Perl shop, even though I didn't know any Perl at the time. They were impressed with my enthusiasm and figured that I would be a quick learner, so I got hired.

    This Perl shop turned out to have a lot of really good Perl programmers - a former Pump King, several people with core perl patches, etc. While this was somewhat intimidating at first, I tried to view it as what it was - a great opportunity to learn Perl from those who are really good at it. I've been there for almost 2 years, and I'm still learning every day (not as an intern any more, of course).

    You don't have to work at a Perl-only shop to get to be able to code a lot of Perl at work. When I worked at a large video game company as an intern, all of the back ends were coded in C++ and the front ends in Flash, with the tools being written mostly in C#. However, there was a large body of glue code in the build system, source control system, etc., all written in Perl. Perl is such a versatile language - it's hard to find a company that wouldn't benefit from some Perl knowledge.

    Keep searching, keep sending out serious applications, try to come across as bright and eager, and you'll land something you like!

Re: Always someone better than you?
by davido (Archbishop) on Dec 01, 2006 at 18:31 UTC

    Don't assume that everyone with more XP than you is looking for a job. Many of us are already gainfully employed. Many of us are in other fields entirely, and only come here out of enjoyment... sure beats crossword puzzles. ;)

    Don't assume that everyone with more XP than you is a better programmer. That too is nowhere near accurate. XP means a person has a lot of posts that got positive reputation votes, and/or a person who votes frequently, and/or who is here frequently. XP doesn't mean someone's an excellent programmer... just a frequent PerlMonk.

    Don't assume that better programmers will interview better than you, or be able to provide better resumes than you.

    Don't disqualify yourself.


Re: Always someone better than you?
by Ace128 (Hermit) on Dec 01, 2006 at 14:19 UTC
    First off, thanks for your nice replies. Seems I need to be little more aggresive and almost exagurate about what I can... Although I must say that some techonlogies arent really "hard" since I have the understanding - I just need to look at the API for the knowledge :)

    Also, speaking of applying, I haven't really send a personal letter to those at, only my CV (where I just briefly present myself). Maybe that was dumb, but they didnt really seemed to want one. Just a resume... And some jobs don't even have more to go on, so its hard to know what to write in that resume.
      Well dont exagurate too much. i think it will backfire on you if you do so.

      Normally when i wrote an application (mind you i mostly do this type of stuff on good old paper) it consisted of an application letter (where i found the ad, why i'm apllying for the job and why i think i might be the right one for them), my curriculum vitae, andadditional documents (like training certifications, references and such).

      The magic normally is in the application letter itself. it is hte central partof your application. the better you understand what the company where you are apllying wants the better you can answer the question why you are exactly what they seek. Important here is to be honest. dont make claims you cant follow through instead list your strengths that apply and back them up with certificates or references if you have some. And dont try to get the application letter longer than max 2 pages. Most people wont read too long application letters. The font size schouldnt be to small either it should be easily readable. Letting a friend or realtive proofreadin git is always a good idea too.

      And now good luck on the hunt :)

      -- Terry Pratchett, "Reaper Man"

      It may be useful to read up on general job application skills - resumes without cover letters will be thrown out without a glance at a lot of companies. There are a lot of good tips out there for job hunters that apply to almost all situations, even if they're not written specifically with tech in mind.
Re: Always someone better than you?
by ides (Deacon) on Dec 01, 2006 at 18:34 UTC

    I wouldn't worry too much about the "brightest" among us always taking the jobs you apply for. I would wager that most of us have jobs we're very happy with and don't go jumping around just because a post comes across the jobs list.

    Frank Wiles <>

Re: Always someone better than you?
by Ace128 (Hermit) on Dec 02, 2006 at 15:08 UTC
    Thanks once more for the intelligent feedback (I knew you were smart here ;) ) Actually, if anyone here feel up to give me feedback on my CV, please do:

    Seems I may have to resend to all those again with a nice cover letter now, although I do have some brief info about myself in the CV aswell... I didn't do that the first time as I explained and described my interest in the email.

      A few more tidbits. Sweden may have different laws on the subject, but in Canada, an employer is not even permitted to ask marital status in an interview. Thus, an applicant should not give it until they are employed (and only then so that benefits can apply to one's spouse/children - at least to HR, not necessarily anyone else).

      Remember - you're trying to tell an employer why they should hire you. Or at least interview you. Social activities are important to some as they provide evidence of a "well-rounded" applicant. So, I'd suggest switching from "I party with..." to "I socialise with ..." - or just remove it. I can't think of a positive spin for this.

      s/Good social ability/Good social skills/

      s/projekts/projects/ # a good English spell-checker can help with many typos, though not all.

      s/Some Courses:/Course Highlights:/

      You have under "Projects" a "2005 - ?" - change ? to "Present".

      s/Swedish: Mother tongue.*?$/Swedish: Primary language. Fluent in both speaking and writing/

      s/English: Fluently in both speech and writing/English: Fluent in both speaking and writing/ # ;-)

      s/Polish: Understand speech/Polish: Understand spoken only./

      I'll also echo dimwit's comment: remove the picture. Unless this is a Swedish custom, it seems distracting to me.

        Alrighty! Thanks goes to you too! I didn't really think anyone would reply... Gonna fix those regexes there! :) Can almost do a copy paste, since I use LaTeX and edit the file in vim hehe.

        What I heard, the picture is supposed to be a nice touch. If you have a good one. But how do you define a "good" picture?

        I actually used gmail's spelling for the spelling part... funny eh? ;)

        Also, interesting fact about that marital status... gonna remove it.

      I took a look at your CV and thought it was very impressive. I am not going to give you a line-by-line critique but I will say a couple of things about it. Please remember that these are my personal opinions.

      First I think you need another picture, something a bit more formal. Most of the companies you apply to will have a dress code and I doubt that the way you are dressed in the photo will meet very many of those dress codes.

      Since you wrote a version of your CV in english you must be applying or thinking of applying to British or American companies. Be careful in the assumptions you make about what they know about Sweden. For instance under Military you listed radar observator (observer?) and Green duty. What is Green duty? You also do not state what your rank was in the military.

      And last, be careful of your wording in english. The dictionary definition of the word 'Corporative' suggests that it does not mean what you think it does. Cooperative skills or attitude might be better phrasing.

      Your CV is excellent and your skill list is substantial. I really doubt you will have trouble getting the kind of job you want. I wish you good luck.

      xenchu the dim (ie. dimwit)

      Well, 'splain it to me!

        Thanks for replying! Yea, ususally I let a friend of mine examine the spelling and sentences, so it sounds better. Unfortunately, he hasn't had any time to check it out yet. So, that's why it may be a little bad that way :) He's a perfectionist when it comes to these things, and that is really good! So, I did a more or less direct Swedish -> English translation myself...

        Love my design on it though ;)
        "Green duty" is the name of the introductory "basic training" section. But since everyone does it at the beginning of their military service, I think it's somewhat redundant to mention it.

        Radar Operator ("observator" sounds corny) on the other hand may impress some people.


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