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Jimbo99999
Jimbo99999 used Ask the Experts™
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Hello Experts

I recently had a question open about web hosting. One of my replies to an expert that commented included my current employment situation.  I am at a crossroads with my IT career.   I have 20yrs of experience in IT.  Unfortunately most of the yrs are of very narrow/specific experiences.  I most recently went to a Full Stack Developer boot camp with hopes of it aiding in my job search. I have not found a match yet. So, I am in "survival" mode.  I created a LLC and am doing my own landscaping and courier work just to pay the bills.

David Favor suggested I open a new question and ask for help.  I have attached my resume.  Can you take a look at it and offer feedback/suggestions on where to go with my career?  Perhaps there is a hole that needs filled with online coursework or self-paced learning.  I am open to branching out of the development arena into a different area of IT.

Thank you,
jimbo99999
EdDobiasResume.doc
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Commented:
What do you WANT to do?
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
OK you can write queries but can you design an optimal database? optimize a database?
My thinking on a resume is that you should have a paragraph that lets the potential employer know what you can provide to them. Only if you pique their interest will they go further down the work experience.  They need something they can glance at and within 5 seconds decide which pile to put your resume in. Think the TL:DR approach.
I've hired a lot of developers over the years and I'd say your issue isn't really with the resume.  That's fine in the sense that it shows what you've done.  But you need a cover letter to explain what you're looking to do and more than that you need a way "into" the industry you wish to join.

The job you should be looking for is an entry-level web development position.

So the cover letter should spell out what you're looking to do and what you think makes you a better than average candidate for that position.  You're going up against folks who are mostly going to be in their 20s with no experience.  You have a ton of work experience (just different focus) and you're older.  How can you turn that to your advantage?  Describe (in a single sentence ideally) how that makes you better than your competition.  E.g. Maybe you're used to working with deadlines and thinking ahead to what users will need before they are aware they need it - that's not something most 20yr olds will be doing.

Then the "in".  You don't really want to be just putting your resume up and hoping for hits.  That's because it's not a "typical" resume for a full-stack web developer.  Most hiring managers are looking for reasons to reject a resume - they find reasons to winnow down the pool of resumes they are looking at - and yours offers a simple reason to winnow it out - most of your experience is in a different area.

So you want a way to skip that process.  I'd suggest signing up for internships or "speed dating" hiring (depends where you live but this is where employers and potential employees get together in a room and each spend ~10 mins talking before moving to the next mini-interview).  You should do well in those sorts of situations because now your experience working with other people and your general maturity should make you stand out - they're no longer a potential weakness.

Also work your network.  That's another advantage you have.  You know a lot of people and some of those people either work in software development positions or know other people who do so.   Most of your competition (the 20yr olds) don't have an industry network yet.  Ask them to connect you.  The goal here is just setting up meetings to "learn about the industry" with other developers.  Don't ask your friends to set you up for actual job interviews.  They mostly can't do that.  But they can set up lunch meetings with other people they know - and somebody in that circle may actually have a job opening that you'd fit.  It's low pressure on all sides and will give you more information and maybe a a job offer.

Good luck!  It's mostly just about persistence.

Doug
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Eduard GherguArchitect - Coder - Mentor
Commented:
Hi,
I would suggest to do a market search for your area and see what positions the employers are looking to fill in and their requirements.
Based on that, workout a checklist and see what gaps you’ll need to fill in. Start with some tutorials and build some small projects to have a clue what is all about. In parallel, search for interview questions regarding the topic that you’re interested in. Try to contact directly the employers, not via recruiting agencies. Search for the companies on LinkedIn and connect with some of their employees. You can mention that you’re looking for a job in their company, mentioning the very specific position that you’re interested in and ask them to help.
Very important: be honest regarding your skills and knowledge and emphasize your commitment regarding knowledge improvement and the company.
Good luck!
Commented:
I see people offering advice but I have to reiterate my initial question. Just because you have experience heading in one general direction doesn't always mean that it's something you want to do.

For example, I see quite a bit of desktop development in your work history, but then there's a boot camp for web technologies. While I personally love engaging in both of those worlds, I also know of several people who have strong preferences, who would hate being web developers and others who hate desktop development.

Some people love frontend development (UI) and others hate it and prefer building web services.

So I would generally say to focus first on what you enjoy doing, then tailor your resume to focus on those skills. If a work history entry doesn't specifically use those skills, then abbreviate it down to something relevant. Concise resumes are usually preferred over lengthy ones, so cut out the stuff that isn't likely to be relevant (e.g. business transactions are probably irrelevant to a general web development career).

Author

Commented:
Hello Experts

Thank you for your responses.  They have all made me stop and think.

My most recent desktop development position was at a smaller company.  Upon leaving and getting back into job search mode, I was running into issues with the nice to have list.  When I would talk to recruiters or interview my lack of web development experience appeared to be a problem.  That is what led me to enroll in the boot camp.  It turns out I really enjoyed it.

Whether it is desktop development, web development, data analyst/reporting, I would be happy doing any of those.  I enjoy problem solving and learning new technologies.  

In a way, I always thought the variety of experiences and willingness to learn as being a positive.  But,  I could see it being a negative since I don't have that solid mid to senior level focus in one area.  

Ed
Commented:
I would classify it as a positive. Wide range is typically the foundation for a technical architect. It takes longer to develop but it usually means you have a better understanding of the entirety of technical projects.
Eduard GherguArchitect - Coder - Mentor
Commented:
Hi,
It’s not bad to have a broader area of knowledge. All you learn is not for a job, it’s for you. What I have suggested is a plan to get a job asap. As long as you’ll get in a company and have a stable cashflow, you can start thinking about doing what you really like. Always keep up to date, in the area of your interest.
Ryan ChongSoftware Team Lead
Commented:
For me, the presentation and outline of Resume is crucial. I do agreed with dpearson that a cover page is needed to have a short brief of your background and your experience gained our these years. Since you have claimed that you got 20 years of working experience, for me, a page and a half resume isn't good enough to show your technical knowledge and what you are capable with.

hence, you probably can:

* outline your resume in table form to make it easier to read, try put some light color to make your resume "alive".
* try put your photo and "experience in" section into the resume, so to make you different from others
* try build professional site, such as LinkedIn, Experts-Exchange, etc, and share the profile page in your resume
* highlight the issues you have been resolved (tend to make yourself a problem solver) or the positive impact you have brought to the company, like cost/time saving, etc.

for the selection of your next career, you know yourself best : ) so try to involve into something you're interested with, which you got passion into it and willing to share and implement your knowledge during your working hours. if you would like to challenge yourself, try look for the job that you can directly contributed 80% of it, and the rest 20% for yourself to learn and familiar with during your career path.

the interview would be the 2nd phase if you have passed the first interview scanning, but think we not going to discuss that here.

good luck and all the best.

Author

Commented:
Thank you everyone for your insightful replies. I will study all of them and put a game plan together.

Ed

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