Week #10: (3/23-27) Job Search, Intro to EMI

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Week #10: (3/23-27) Job Search, Intro to EMI

Post by rjagodowski » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:21 am

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: This assignment will also show up on our Blackboard area. Submit your recent resume (or first draft if you haven't created one yet) on or before noon on Friday, April 10, 2020. You will submit this via Blackboard.

Job Search/Resume Preparation

(To help with your search for employment, feel free to use some of the Job Title descriptions contained in this promotional sheet I created for the E.E.T. Department.
EET Careers, Companies & Skillsets - v20.1.pdf
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Your resume should be a continuous work in progress. That is, periodically you should review it and include current skillsets learned and assess previous content as to it's relative importance to your current position and the direction you wish to guide your career. Ideally, you should always have a version of your resume "ready to go". You never know when an opportunity will present itself and you want to be ready to jump on it.

There are generally three things you should have prepared when applying for a position. The most obvious is the resume. Without a doubt, it is probably the key aspect to summarizing your credentials for a potential position. The other two items you should have prepared are your cover letter and your "elevator pitch". The cover letter may be your first chance to make a favorable impression on potential employers. It should answer the employer's question: Why is this person the best candidate for this job? A great cover letter, along with a proper resume, will inspire a potential employer to move you to the top of the interview pile. The "elevator pitch" is a 30 second synopsis of your life and why you are the best candidate for this position based upon your experience and education.

I have had the opportunity to advise & prep many students as they prepare their resume's and go on interviews. I've also had the opportunity to serve on many "search committees" here on campus, as well as on several scholarship & awards committees. They are all similar in that people are trying to "sell themselves" as the best candidate for the position or award. You should be aware that there are numerous ways in which a person seeking a job may be introduced to a potential employer. In just a few paragraphs, here's what I've observed over the years.

First and foremost: BE HONEST!!!! Do not lie on your resume. It should go without saying that you should lie period. But definitely NOT on your resume. You should read this article on What Really Happens When You Lie On Your Resume from Monster.com.

Cold Call: If you just do a targeted search on Career sites such as Indeed.com or Monster.com, then it is likely you will have no "inside track" to this position.

By this I mean that there is no one within the organization to which you're applying that knows you personally. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does put more of a spotlight on whatever paperwork and documentation you provide. At this point, you are really nothing more than a bunch of words on paper or computer screen. Having the right words, or "buzz words" as they're often called, can make or break this type of application process. Larger organizations often make use of automated search software which pre-screens potential applicants for a position based largely upon the "match" of "buzz words" between the job description and your cover letter & resume.

Inside Contact: In this scenario, you either personally know someone associated with the company to which you're applying, or you know someone who knows someone within the company. That advantage here, over the "Cold Call" process above, is that your inside track often allows your resume to bypass the usual channels through HR (Human Resources) and get right to the person or department with which the position is listed. Another advantage can be that you are not a completely unknown quantity. Depending upon the relationship you have with the connections to the position, they will already have some sense as to your abilities, both technical and soft skills. Stated another way, this process is like having a "live reference" from your resume assist with the process. It can help break down barriers and delays can occur in a "cold call" process, facilitating a more likely pathway to success with the position.

Personal Contact: This one is probably the rarest of the three options, but it can and DOES happen with our students. In this scenario, you actually have personal contact with an employer of the company, who is either in the position to do the hiring, or knows the people who will be doing the hiring. At the Advanced Automation Project Presentations/Advisory Board Meeting, mid-May (May 10 at noon), there will also be representatives from several companies most likely looking for technicians. Attending Career Fairs in the area can often get you contacts within companies, though not always the technical side. Recent seniors & grads of our department have mentioned several times that when they have attended these Career Fairs, they see many companies such as banks, insurance, medical, biomedical, hospitality (hotels, motels, restaurants), etc., who are there to recruit business/IT/sales associates/lab techs/etc., but when they are made aware of the skills our students possess, they either give the student a contact card to the technical division, or accept the student's resume and agree to pass it along.

STCC does offer Career Support under the direction of Pam White in Bldg. 19 Rm. 141A, 413-755-4464 or careerservices@stcc.edu . These services are not only for CURRENT students but also for ALL STCC ALUMNI as well. So if you find yourself needing assistance after graduation, or even after your first, second or third job, you are still welcome to take advantage of these services. This opportunity will ALWAYS be available to you as an STCC graduate. You are encouraged to apply for an account for the STCC-Careernet portal via the link above. I am usually directly notified by Pam White if a related position for our students is posted there, but it's a good idea if you included that as part of your regular search process. I just looked at STCC-Careernet with a search word of "Technician" and see only 2 applicable "technician" postings, both in Massachusetts, but not local. I believe this low number is due to the current COVID-19 situation. I would still advise you to create an account and check this resource frequently. Last year at this time there were 6 relevant and local postings.

Here is one company, Resume Now which can assist you with writing your resume, cover letter and elevator pitch. They have a "free" service once you register. They also offer a paid service. I have no affiliation or experience with this company, and there are others out there, but these are an option available to you.

Some other reading from Monster.com while preparing your documentation for your job search:

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter

Four Secrets of Writing A Short, Successful Resume

Four Unexpected Ways to Shine on your Resume

Resume Critique Checklist

Top Skills to List on your Resume

Buzzwords to Include and Avoid on your Resume

Four Things Rectruiters are Tired of Seeing on Resumes

Four Real Life, Ridiculous Resume Blunders

Transfer Options:
There are options for those looking to pursue a bachelor's degree. Those students considering transferring to a 4 year institution should have already contacted that institution, including their Admissions Office and the Department Chair of the program you are planning to transfer into. As pointed out in the "Careers, Companies & Skillsets" pdf posted above, most schools offering a B.S. in Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technology will accept the majority of our course as either core coursework or technical elective course work. Schools which offer a calculus based, traditional engineering program of study are far less likely to accept any of our EET courses as core courses, and only a slight possibility of them accepting some as electives. The advice for most of our EET graduates is to pursue a B.S. degree at a school which offers a B.S. in Engineering Technology, such as Central Connecticut State University, Wentworth Institute of Technology or University of Hartford. Even better is to seek employment upon graduation from our EET AS program with a company who will pay for you to take courses for your Bachelor's Degree. In that way you will be earning an income and hopefully building up a sizable savings account, gaining valuable experience, and have little or no college debt. Upon graduation, you will not only have acquired the Bachelor's Degree to pursue those positions, but you will also have between 3-5 years of experience. Something most of your fellow B.S. graduates will not have.

Introduction to Interference:

A common problem in electrical, electronic and telecommunication circuits and systems is RFI and EMI.

Here's the lead paragraph from the Wikipedia link below which summarizes EMI:

"Electromagnetic interference (EMI), also called radio-frequency interference (RFI) when in the radio frequency spectrum, is a disturbance generated by an external source that affects an electrical circuit by electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction.[1] The disturbance may degrade the performance of the circuit or even stop it from functioning. In the case of a data path, these effects can range from an increase in error rate to a total loss of the data.[2] Both man-made and natural sources generate changing electrical currents and voltages that can cause EMI: ignition systems, cellular network of mobile phones, lightning, solar flares, and auroras (Northern/Southern Lights). EMI frequently affects AM radios. It can also affect mobile phones, FM radios, and televisions, as well as observations for radio astronomy.

EMI can be used intentionally for radio jamming, as in electronic warfare."

Wikipedia's Description of EMI & RFI.

FCC Defines Interference.

Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal which shows the FCC enforcing radio interference rules. GE Whitepaper on EMI from Electronic Ballasts for Fluorescent Lighting.

Popular Mechanics - How to Fight RFI with your Gadgets.

RF Interference Hunting Techniques (more advanced than we need to worry about, but FYI):
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Re: Week #10: (3/23-27) Job Search, Intro to EMI

Post by rwcyr » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:45 am

A nifty trick I use is that I have what I call by "General" resume. This thing lists every job and every school I've gone to since I was fifteen - along with a list of responsibilities, skills, and accomplishments. I also try to keep it up to date with what I'm doing with my current employer.
The power in this is that if I read a job listing I like, I can go through and cherry pick the bullet points and skills that are applicable and have a customized resume ready in about 5 minutes.
You never know what skills are going to be useful in your next step forward - but if you already have everything ready to go you can pull out what you need when you need it.

Rob, this is good idea. It's always easier to "delete" things then figure out what one should add. I can see where having that "General" resume can really make a "quick response" possible in a very short period of time. Except for any possible reformatting that might need to be done, it should be a rather quick process. Great Tip!!! Thanks for sharing!

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