I’m glad to see another posting at LifeSize and just sent my resume over again. I’m overqualified and I know that hurts my chances, but I know of the place to be a good company to work for and that’s important to me.

The holidays are always a weird/strange time to look for employment. But, I think that if employers can devote the time (around holiday office parties, of course) to conduct real interviews, they’ll feel a fresh sense of renewal with a new employee to start the new year.

Second Round

Good news: HR passed me on to the hiring supervisor. I met with him on today and it went quite well. It’s always nice to hear, “You nailed it,” after responding to one of the interview questions. 馃檪 I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out.

Specs on the gig:

  • Locally-owned credit union
  • Define ~2,000 technical terms for the industry software. Then, use them in another project. Then, return to the definitions for any necessary tweaking.
  • Report to a Data Architect
  • Work with Subject Matter Experts and a Sr. Systems Administrator
  • 4-month contract
  • 40-hour weeks
  • Late December or Early January through April

I’m Already Home

Earlier in the week, I got a phone call that I thought was probably a hoax. The unusual area code coupled with some other clues made me thing it was probably not real/worthy. But, when they called back, they seemed to be legit.

Like with many recruiters, they called, and we chatted. Then, we exchanged a fresh job description and updated resume by email. From the job-seeker perspective, it seems those two things help prove that I’m really who I say I am. In talking about the role, I wondered, “Could it be?”. I figured the odds were too astronomical and shifted to, “Naaaahhhh…”

I had a first/HR interview for a Technical Writing gig with a small/local company. Turns out, it’s a business where I am a new customer! Bonus: the HR office is about a “city block” from where I live.

I was told it would be a couple of days before I knew about a second interview, but it’s already on the books for next week. The location isn’t quite as close, but I still wouldn’t battle much/any traffic. Furthermore, it’s the location where I do most of my business.

It sure feels like I’m already home!

IT Can Happen

I’ve had a set of recruiter calls and emails this week for a Technical Writing contract with a local IT company. The phone interview was quite casual. After exchanging emails and phone calls, the recruiters put my application through for consideration.

A great thing about this opportunity is that it’s perfect timing. It also has some real opportunities to be creative. I have plenty of opportunities to do that with a camera or with design/layout, but this would stretch those boundaries and would also offer some unique experience as well.

Technical Trainer at LifeSize

I just applied for a job at LifeSize (a division of Logitech). If not for my husband’s coworker’s girlfriend, I might never have heard of them. Like most companies in this economy, they don’t have to spend money to advertise openings.

The Technical Trainer role looks interesting. I’d like the chance to work with hardware in addition to software.

One of the things I like best is the company’s open communication on their blog. It’s real and down-to-Earth. Most company blogs I see are just a series of advertisements in disguise. This one seemed genuine.

Most of all, however, I’ve heard good things about the company and really trust our friends who think I’d be a good fit for the company’s culture.

Easiest Applicaion Ever

Staffing agencies websites and big-name job boards have their advantages, but most of them seem to have missed a user-end evaluation. Many of them are (intentionally?) difficult to use and make applying for jobs tedious and time consuming. The worst ones have .pdf forms and expect you to recount your entire career history on their form. Better ones have online forms for the same information. Some really nice ones can pull a traditional resume and fill in all the job titles, date range, duties, etc. leaving the applicant to fill in the details. Since practically all of them also request/accept a resume, this is a lot of—yes, it bears repeating—tedious and time consuming work.

The more annoying—and vastly more time consuming—part is that there seems to be no industry standard. Fields for standardized information like dates and phone numbers could be one field or three. The really irritating ones are drop down lists. I understand they want accuracy, but those take so much more time and don’t allow for exceptions or ranges. And when they use a drop down for industry, that never fits me. Education on those things almost always means K-12 and pedagogy and not higher education and andragogy. Plus, for 4 years, I had two part-time salaried/professional jobs. I can’t demonstrate that on their forms. Each of these time-consuming applications can take up to an hour—-just to copy/paste resume blurbs into a form!

Today, I found a job that is a really good fit for what I do. It came through Kforce and is a “Technical Writer / Trainer” position. Kforce had me at “hello”.

Then, they went on to impress me further. Here is a screen shot of the application.

Kforce Application Screen

See, they get all the goodies they really need and don’t ask for my mother’s maiden name, date of birth, social security number, and current mailing address. I don’t have to worry that they are going to either reject my application for a few blanks or steal my identity.

So, here’s hoping they are as impressed by me as I am by them!

Interview for Education Coordinator

Today, I was booked for an interview to be an Education Coordinator for Girling (.com) Healthcare.

Because of the lag between applying and then the holiday season and then being selected for an interview, I’m going to have to go back to my job search notes and database to study the job description and prepare for the interview. I’m glad to see that they have a good website with a decent amount of information on it. They have kept things simple/elegant in the design, so information is easy to locate.

I like what I know so far about the team with whom I’d be working. They are organized and communicative. When they called to schedule the interview and got my voice mail, they followed up with an immediate email. When I returned their call, the system wouldn’t put my call through, so the follow-up email was an important communication tool. I replied to the email with my availability within their interview days. By return email, I got an electronic calendar appointment that was easy to accept and add to my own calendar.

I’m looking forward to studying the company and prepping for the interview.

Possible Interview

It’s that time of year. Business have realized that they missed the mark on some of their goals for 2009. So, some of the postings out right now need someone, like, NOW. It’s funny, I’ve been part of three other searches—and eventually got the jobs—that were in this mode at this time of the year.

For someone willing to accept contract work, this is good news. The job may start in just a few days. For someone looking for a more permanent position, this may not be a good fit. The first few days of work will be during the hectic holiday season, making it hard to establish a good initial fit with the company.

The recruiting representative said I was a good fit for the Technical Writing position and that they are conducting interviews tomorrow. He just needed an updated copy of my resume to give to his boss and said they should be calling back for the interview for tomorrow.

The pay isn’t great, but the job is close-by, so that’s a lot less important. Interviews are tomorrow and the job starts on Monday (short week for New Year’s) and then runs through February. Now that I’m not longer caring for someone at home, this might be a good role to get me through the winter months when things naturally slow down.

Another “Written for Me”

As usual at this time of year, job postings have dwindled. If a company can get a job posted, they probably have a hard time getting the search committee together and an even harder time scheduling interviews. So, my job search each morning has gone a little more quickly than in other times of the year. The good news about this is that there are a lot more quality jobs. I also suspect less of them will come back with “thank you for applying, but we have canceled the position” followed all too closely by a new wave of spam.

This one seems to be a wonderful fit to my skills and talents:

Technical Customer Service Training Specialist
Required Skills / Qualifications:
路 Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience
路 Experience working with sever applications and network products
路 Experience delivering both on-site and on-line presentations
路 Proficient user of MS PowerPoint, MS Word, and MS Excel
路 Experience developing interactive software content for training purposes
路 Ability to define assessment tools along with content development
路 Strong interpersonal skills 路 Strong comprehension skills for understanding products and applying knowledge to presentation
路 Detail-oriented and have excellent critical thinking skills
路 Ability to interface comfortably with all levels of management
路 Excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills are essential
路 Experience creating learning content from information gleaned from subject matter experts and user documentation
路 Ability to set up technical equipment for student demonstrations or labs

Keeping my fingers crossed…

Another Wave

One thing I always find about job searching is that postings and opportunities come in waves.

Last week, there were practically no jobs for me apply for. This week, there have been several. So, I spent a good portion of my Wednesday morning applying for some of the newly posted positions.

By 11am, I had a phone call about a position. After a few business hours of playing phone tag, I was finally able to talk to the representative who posted the job. It was just a vetting phone call—“The salary is maxed out at $[this]. Is that ok?…Do you have any felonies?…Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?”—that might not mean an interview. Still, it was nice to get a call so quickly.

More importantly, it was nice to hear about a job that sounded like a good fit for me.