Here are the must haves for your resume, and the must knows for interviewing…
As we enter the final trimester of the year, we are reminded how nauseating the first two trimesters were. We can only hope that this last trimester will deliver jobs timely, bringing many families a new bundle of joy, a JOB!
One quick side note…congratulations to Andrew and gang at Apache on the acquisition of Sequence. This is exactly the kind of energy that will help EDA in the long run; hopefully more of the startups will follow a similar ideology.
While we all hear how hiring will lag the recovery, we must remember that unemployment in the high tech sector is much lower than the unemployment numbers we constantly hear. In fact, unemployment for those with a Bachelor degree or above was at 4.7% for August, considerably lower than the general numbers, but clearly numbers do not matter if you cannot find employment.
More important, most economists clearly agree that absolute signs of a rebound are buzzing all around us, and that the recession is over. Unfortunately, all say jobs will lag the recovery. What we do know is that as capacity increases, so will hiring, and much of the news says that is clearly happening. In fact, we are already seeing some new hiring, and I expect that the next few months will actually bring a steady increase in job requisitions, as most of these company's cannot run forever with the crews now in place. It is one thing for folks to say "I am happy just to have a job", and quite another for management to realize they can only ask so much before their overstretched staff hinders future growth and progress; most company's now (or real soon) will NEED some fresh new people to help manage new and increased business.
The one shining thing that has been stated in several panels and blogs is that those technical professionals who have EDA experience, should have a strong future, and that there is little need to be concerned. EDA is an evolving and changing industry, and as the technology changes and evolves, new engineers will be needed to develop code, and support, market, and sell the new or improved products.
So read the following and lock it in your thoughts…
Those currently out of work (or working and wanting to change) need to be ready at a moments notice. It is amazing how happy (and gratifying for me) folks are when I call to discuss new opportunities, but I must say that I am SHOCKED when they say, "let me do some work on my resume and get back to you". I want to say, "What the heck have you been doing these past many months"? You need to be as ready as possible on a moments notice because you never know when you might get that call. The following is the must have ready's…
I have said so many times before, to make absolutely sure that your resume is ready to go the minute you need it. Be sure it shows what you did in "technical, non-technical" terms, meaning write it so an HR person gets it or the CEO easily. One real important thing to know, especially in EDA: DO NOT just write the name of the "tool", write the name, AND a few words about what that tool is and/or does. For example, rather than write DC, write Synopsys Design Compiler the leading… Do not assume everyone knows every tool name, and what it does, even when it is a direct competitor. Many do not and your resume will lose sizzle. Pepper your words with the strength of your domain, i.e. simulation, synthesis, formal verification. If you leave what you do out, how will anyone know what you do?
Another important point, if you led a team, or accomplished certain specific tasks, write short sentences about what you did, and be focused and specific. A sharp well-done resume gets you noticed. (See previous "Careers Corner" columns for more specific help).
Let's talk about interviewing for a minute. The single biggest mistake that candidates make, is thinking they know enough for their first phone screen. The best of candidates never get a second interview because they did not deliver enough on the first. Being as prepared as conceivably possible to interview, is such a critical component, and sadly it is the one factor most easily overlooked. Preparation, being prepared is Interviewing 101. Here are a few strong tips…
Before the first phone screen, and then again after, (should you make it past the first phone screen), study the company website thoroughly. Look up whatever you can about the company, read some white papers. Next, know their competition, and the nuance differences. Check with people you know in that space, but NEVER take as gospel what they tell you. Just let what you hear be an informational guide.
Be prepared to talk about what you did, what you accomplished in your previous positions. Do not boast, or sound like a know- it- all, just speak slowly clearly and emphasize what you and the team you worked with accomplished. Do not ramble; short poignant answers work the best, especially on the first phone screen.
Always have a good confident positive attitude, look directly at the person addressing you, and never say anything negative about your former company or boss. Tread delicately when explaining the circumstances of why you are no longer at your previous company. Make the person you are talking to like you, and see you as a good addition to the team, because if he does not, you are probably done.
Another basic Interviewing 101 must know…The biggest mistake an applicant can make is not convincing the interviewer how much you want the job. This is not necessarily done by saying the words, but by impressing them with what you know, and what you know about the company. Allow your confidence to shine through, never crossing that line of being mistaken for arrogance. Talk about how you liked working with your team, always taking to task your piece of the project and managing it to a successful completion.
This is the time to stay in touch with your favorite recruiter, and remind them you are still looking. This is the time to call them and ask about companies and jobs requisitions you saw or heard about. Remember a strong knowledgeable professional recruiter will not only help you to get the interview, but they will make sure you are as prepared as possible so you maximize your possibilities of securing the position. Let's all hope that this last trimester, quarter, are the start of the good things to come as our industry and the job market starts its' long awaited recovery.