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How to find a job?

By shaunbed ·
My name is Shaun Bedingfield and I have been programming nonprofessionally
for over 16 years (I am 26 now). I know a myriad of technologies and feel
that I am very qualified to do almost any software development related task.
However, I can't find work because of a lack of industry experience.
I have been applying for jobs for a couple years now (yes, really) and I
am always turned down with the response that I don't have enough work
experience. I would hate to leave an industry that I have been in love with
most of my life but I just can't get work. I have tried everything and
anything all the way to begging and pleading.
I am sure that I am not alone with this problem and I was wondering how
others with little or none (I technically have 4 years) of industry
experience go about finding work. It seems to me like a chicken and the egg
problem with no solution.
What am I doing wrong?

Shaun Bedingfield

Below is my resume (updated 7/11)

Shaun Bedingfield MCAD for .NET
19606 Cottage Park Circle, Houston, TX 77094 | 281-579-3549 | 832-483-7858 |

Software Engineer/Architect/Developer

Strong programmer, software analyst and designer possessing a lifelong passion for making software and IT work. Skilled designer and analyst who designs software using an incremental approach which manages risk while ensuring a stable and workable product throughout development. Responsive developer who uses frequent user feedback and requirements gathering skills to ensure that the right software is developed and delivered. Experienced trainer who can work with staff to ensure that the full benefit of the software package can be materialized and mentor other programmers to help improve developer productivity and quality. Technically knowledgeable developer who can help insure that products are secure and utilize current technology to maximize business advantage.


B.S. Computer Science (University of Texas at Dallas)
GPA 3.667

MCAD For .NET (Windows and Internet w/ SQL Server focus)

Industry Experience

2/05 - Present Designing an Access database for Southwest Memorial Hermann Hospital
(Personal contract)
Description: Designed and implemented a system to Analyze Stroke Treatment in Access.
This system was designed as part of an initiative to improve stroke treatment at the
hospital. The system was designed to allow easy entry of stroke data and flexible
analysis. Training was provided to assure that the staff could fully utilize and
benefit from the program.

Skills used: SQL, VBA, Access, ActiveX Controls, Staff training, Risk Management,
Incremental Development, Prototyping, User Interface Design, Testing, ADO

1/05 - Present Ben Taub General Hospital - Volunteer DBA
Description: Provided reporting and maintenance for the volunteer database

Skills used: Access, Data cleaning, SQL, Data analysis, SQL Training

7/02 - 11/02 Neovox - Software Engineer
Description: Helping to deliver data access over cellular and voice connections

Skills used: SQL, SQL Server 2000, MySQL, PHP, Java, .NET, C#, IIS, HTML, ASP.NET, ADO.NET,
Nuance, Telephony Hardware, VoiceXML, XML

1/02 - 3/04 Officemax - Sales
Description: Selling products to customer

Skills used: Customer Service, In-depth knowledge of hardware and software products

5/00 - 7/01 University of Texas at Dallas - Research Assistant
Description: Mentoring Computer Science Students and later helping to test a program
for collecting telecommunications metrics.

Skills used: Regular Expressions, Java, VBA, Excel, Student mentoring

1/98 - 3/00 Texas Instruments - Student Employee
Description: Building a UI for a program used for automatic test code generation.

Skills used: Regular Expressions, Incremental Development, Constant User Involvement
and Feedback, C/C++, Solaris, Language Parsing Skills, TCL/TK, Network Deployment,

Additional Skills

VB.NET, UML, Object Oriented Analysis And Design, Design Patterns, SOAP, WSDL, COM,
.NET COM Interoperability, COM+, XSLT, Windows Internals, x86 Assembly, Windows Security,
Visual Basic, Requirements Gathering, Active Directory, Penetration Testing,
Common Security Vulnerabilities, Reflection

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All Comments

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Get yourself some help with the resume

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to How to find a job?

I suppose there are stylistic differences between the US and the UK. But a few of points strike me straight off.

You seem to have far more content on what you've read than what you've done.

Draw a clear line between your experience in work and previous.

Be a bit more 'business' oriented in describing what you achieved, and then mention then technologies you used to achieve the 'business' requirement. I understand what you are saying, but that level of technical detail is stratospheric as far as HR and recruiters go.
You sound a lot like me in my youth a coder's coder, but in the current business environment that can be hard to sell. Save the technospeak for the interview with people who understand it and couch your experience in what it did for the end users of your code.
Best O' luck.

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Get yourself a whole new approach

by amcol In reply to Get yourself some help wi ...

As a hiring manager I would only read about one quarter of this resume before chucking it. You wouldn't stand a chance of getting an interview with me.

That's one of the big things you're missing. Your resume says it have no idea what your goal is.

Listen carefully...YOUR GOAL IS TO GET A JOB. What your resume shows is that you have far more interest in displaying your knowledge and the type of person you are. NO ONE CARES. I'm sure you come across in person the same way you come across in this resume, and you need to change that fast.

No one can conduct a resume or job search clinic in a forum like this but here's just a few constructive thoughts. You put your experience down at the bottom...put it where it belongs, up front. You talk about a few of the things you did and give no clue what value those accomplishments provide, plus you use a lot of passive words like "designed" and "participated" and "provided". What exactly did you personally do, and how did it provide BUSINESS value? Delete the entire section labeled "Knowledge" as well as the one labeled "Character"...we're all sure you're very knowledgeable and quite a character but no one hires you for that.

Think of a job interview as a sales call. You're the product, and your goal is to make the sale (get the job). How does talking about what you know or what you're like accomplish your goal? That's doesn't.

You're being told you don't have enough experience. That's a kind way of brushing you off. It's all about the way you're coming across. My son got a job right out of college with an academic background and level of accomplishment similar to yours after taking just one interview. He recently changed jobs after two years...took two interviews in one week and was hired. I could quote hundreds more success stories just like that, people no different in terms of knowledge and ability from you. It's all about your approach.

Spend some money on a resume service and a career counselor. You need a little hands on professional help with this, more than you can get in a forum like this one.

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Not too familiar with US practice

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Get yourself a whole new ...

What was with the character section, in the UK it would put you in the floor level file cabinet in my experience.
Agree with you with in the main the though, resume came across as well read amateur.

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It must be taught at MBA

by Nomen Nescio In reply to Get yourself a whole new ...

Now I know why I work in the office full of people whose primary skill is to sell themselves and spend most of the time selling themselves rather than working.
It is something you managers actually require.
Must be the same course HR is giving to all of you IT managers.

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=new management skill

by pivert In reply to It must be taught at MBA

I know what you mean. They hire someone to assist you and before you know it they are selling themselves and networking/sliming all the levels above them. And before you know it, they are too busy with their own agenda instead of the project they were hired to do. It's the consultant-approach: it's no longer important what you know or do but how much wind you make. Just give me a lousy resume of someone who's interested in the job over a clean(ed) cv with lots of hot air. HR should go over these resumes with someone who's technically skilled. The standard tech-geek is still a nerd so they spend more time talking bits and bytes and they are basically not interested in the whole "sell yourself"-process.

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Change your Nationality to Middle Eastern

by DrumIT In reply to =new management skill

Let's get real here folks. Fortune 500s are no longer hiring American programmers or training their staff in new technologies. All but management positions in IT are now taken by foreign consulting firms. The bottom line is if you're American, look for a job in a different industry. Good luck.

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by vltiii In reply to Change your Nationality t ...

Listen to this advice and ensure there are opening for those that know better. Yes some companies outsource, but, there are still many job opportunities right here. Not all jobs are outsourceable.

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by vltiii In reply to =new management skill

Anyone who understands the job search process would try to find out who the hiring manager is prior to dealing with HR. In general, once the hiring manager decide that they want you for the job, HR's job is to make it happen and not to decide how qualified an individual is. HR knows HR, but are clueless about anything outside of HR.

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Office full of "team players"

by Too Old For IT In reply to It must be taught at MBA

"Now I know why I work in the office full of people whose primary skill is to sell themselves and spend most of the time selling themselves rather than working."

Kinda like trying to work in a frat house on Friday night, isn't it?

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Re: Skills

by vltiii In reply to It must be taught at MBA

Anyone who understands the job market and the hiring process understands that selling yourself is one of the most valuable skills you can have. In reality if you can't sell yourself, what is supposed to motivate a potential employer to even consider you? Soft skills are a major plus in many industries. If one wants to work in isolation they may not be so important, but most have some level of ambition to excel.

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