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How to find a job?

By shaunbed ·
Hi,
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?

Sincerely,
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 | shaunbed@swbell.net


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.


Certifications/Degrees
----------------------

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,
Prototyping


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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still needs a little touching up

by ITgirli In reply to New resume

I really hope that's not the way you hand/email/fax it to people. If you want, you can peer mail me and I'll send you my latest and you can see some of the differences.

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One observation

by maxwell edison In reply to New resume

Under your "intent".

Career Objective might be better.

Career Objective: I am seeking a position where I can apply my broad knowledge of software development to make an immediate contribution to the needs of the firm.

And never mention salary issues in a resume.

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Avoid the use of "I", "me", etc...

by OldMainframer In reply to One observation

Hard to do this without sounding stilted, but leave the "I am" off the front of the sentence.

It's assumed that *you* are the one seeking, looking, doing, etc.

So, never say "I developed..." just "Developed..."

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by pickleman In reply to New resume

As somebody has already pointed out to you, the best thing you could do is get professional help with your resume.

I don't know if it's just because you posted it here in plain text format, or if it actually looks like that even in your word processor, but basically it's a complete mess...it has no proper resume structure, and is full of grammatical errors.

First tip: in your "Intent" section, you have to completely rephrase it. When you say you're looking for "any potential opportunities" and you're "open to any salary", it basically makes you sound inexperienced, unprofessional, and a whiner. Nobody wants someone who's inexperienced. Nobody wants someone who's unprofessional, and certainly nobody wants a whiner. Are you REALLY willing to take "any" salary"? If they offered you $5.75 per hour, would you take it? What if they wanted to hire you on a six month contract and offered you $1000 for the whole thing? Would you take it? Only if you're a complete fool. So then if you truly wouldn't take "any" salary, why would you put that on your resume?

Second tip: use proper structure. When you say "2/05 - Present Designing an Access database", you've failed to separate the date from the venture. There should be a new line immediately after the date:
"2/05 - Present
Designing an Access database..."
This way the information comes across much more clearly, much easier to understand, and could easily make the difference between having your resume read from start to finish, versus having it put into the recycling bin after 5 seconds.

Third tip: Know your grammar and use it correctly, especially when it comes to hyphenating things that should be hyphenated:
"object-oriented"
"IIS-based"
"in-depth"
"Heavily-read"

Fourth tip: be consistent. If in one case you say "SQL", then you have to say "SQL" in all subsequent cases. It looks very sloppy when you say "SQL" on one line, and then "Sql" on another.

Fifth tip: when listing your phone number, don't say you're "almost" available. Nobody wants to know that they MIGHT reach you or they might not. They want to know that if they're going to call you for a job offer, that they're going to get through to you. If you want to list more than one phone number, that's fine, but list them as "home" and "cell", as opposed to "call me on my second number if you can't reach me on my first one because I might be out partying".

Sixth tip: know your profession. Are you a software engineer? An architect? A developer? You may think of yourself as all three, but a potential employer will read that portion of your resume and think to himself, "this guy can't even make up his mind on what he is..."
Pick one, and stick to it.

Seventh tip: put your experience before your certifications/education, especially when your work experience is more impressive than your certifications/education.

Eighth tip: get rid of the "not comprehensive" descriptor in your knowledge section. Nobody wants to know that you only know a little bit of this and a little bit of that. If your knowledge is not comprehensive, why are you making such a bif deal of it? An employer wants to know what you can do well, as opposed to what you can do half-assed.

Final tip: as was already mentioned, get professional help on how to compile an outstanding resume. You can either go to a resume service, or you can get yourself some resume software which has all kinds of tips, templates, and useful information.

The resume is (in most cases) the very first impression you make to a potential employer. If that first impression is a lousy one, you won't get a chance to make another.

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New Resume

by iseriesjunkie In reply to New resume

You get what you pay for...get help with the resume. It still reads like a salesman and not a tech.

If you insist on doing it yourself: Remove the titles and the MCAD for .NET after your name. Let them decide where they can use a person of your experience and talent. The titles say I'm only willing to do these jobs. The MCAD you have listed under Certificates/Degrees.

Get rid of the intent section. You intend to get a job. Tell them what kind of job you are looking for-Programmer, software engineer, DBA, etc. Tailor this to the company or industry you are targeting. Example: I am interested in exploring opportunities in software development with a Fortune 500 company.

Get rid of the GPA-after you're out of school, it doesn't matter as much.

Don't list dates or time served, just accomplishments & experience.

Don't list job titles, sales =>software engineer=>volunteer DBA sounds like BS.

Get rid of the professional vs non-professional-it's all experience whereever you got it.

Loose the reading list-experience is what counts. List the hardware and software you are familiar with-don't fudge, they will know.

When you have a resume that says you are a professional, contact the U of Texas job recruiter and see if they can help you to break into the biz. The hard part is getting them to look past the first few lines. Keep in mind that a job doing only programming is almost non-existent (and boring) in today's market. A person who is well rounded and can cover a lot of different IT areas is more desirable, cost effective, and easier to sell to the CFO.

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What?!

by admin17 In reply to New Resume

I agree with the first two sections (removing titles and intent) but the next three are a bit more questionable to me. With a GPA as good as 3.66 and only being out of college a few years, I would say leave it in. As to dates, it goes to show continuity in work and is a testament to the fact that you have been able to get and keep a job and not **** your managers off along the way. Titles are a good, quick way to describe what you do. I would say, though, that I would revisit what you call the position (Non-professional Volunteer Snow Cone Maker Half-Assistant doesn't sound as good as Assistant Snow Cone Developer). I know the example's far fetched, but you get the idea. I have another post in this thread about how to present your experience on your resume.

Also, feel free to visit mine at www.seanjohn.org/resume.pdf to get ideas to whatever. Feel free to contact me, too.

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Points

by vltiii In reply to New Resume

I would recommend leaving the GPA. 3.66 is respectable and worthy of special mention. If his GPA were under 3.0 then I would say don't mention it unless asked.
Dates, I think are crucial on a resume. Employers want to be able to guage some degree of loyalty based on how long a candidate has stayed in a particular position. If they've changed jobs often, it should generally indicate upward mobility.
Titles are an indicator of experiences and generally should be part of the resume.

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re: New Resume

by vltiii In reply to New resume

OK, here are some of my thoughts:

-You don't need to list MCAD in the contact section. It's listed under education. This is redundant and a waste of the reviewers time.

-For contact numbers, list as primary and alternate. You may also want to list your home address. You also may want to consider dummying that information out before posting in public forums, unless you expect to get some nibbles. Not bad from a networking perspective, but not good from a privacy concerns perspective. It's up to you.

Your intent is too broad. You need to zero in on specifically what it is you want to do. If you have an interest in more than one area, write more than one resume, one for each area of interest and taylor the resume for that position.
-Change the heading from "Intent" to Objective.
-Under Objective, state what you can do for the organization.
-Drop any mention of salary. Salary should not come up until you've been identified as a candidate for a position, generally in the form of a job offer. When you do get to the point that you're discussing salary you should have already done research to identify what the position pays (or at least a budgeted range) in contrast to your experience level. You don't want to be absurd about what you ask for, but you don't want to get short changed either just because you're in need of work.

You don't want to come off as desperate, regardless how badly you need the work. Hiring managers will take advantage of this. Remember that businesses are in business to make money. Managers are evaluated on how well they manage money or how much they save the organization. If a manager can hire you for $30K when the position is budgeted for $45K he/she has done well in the eyes of his/her superiors.

-Under industry experience drop the number of years of experience. You probably can list the number of years experience in the objective section. "I will use my four plus years experience to..." or some wording to that effect. (this is subjective on my part)
-Quantify the outcome of what you've done, i.e. improved stroke treatment (response) 25% above what state law requires or improved stroke treatment resulted in fiscal savings of...

I'm sure others will have quite a few recommendations as well. Go with what you feel most adequately represents you to the potential employer.

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Resume 7/6

by shaunbed In reply to How to find a job?

Sorry, I am a beginner at resume writing and I have been told a lot of conflicting things about resume writing. I think this is some of the best feedback I have received. One resume writer I went to knocked everything off my resume except my name, contact information, and last job (seriously) and others have told me to include more technical information.

I have constantly struggled between providing too much and too little information.

Many recruiters in this country are also starting to refuse cover letters. The times are interesting.

------------------

Shaun Bedingfield
Software Engineer/Architect/Developer
MCAD for .NET

Home - 281-579-3549
Cell Phone - 832-483-7858

shaunbed@swbell.net


Certifications/Degrees
----------------------

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

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

Skill Summary
-------------

C#, C/C++, VB.NET, UML, Object Oriented Analysis And Design, Design Patterns, SQL,
SQL Server 2000, XML, SOAP, WSDL, Java, HTML, COM, .NET COM Interop, COM+, Access, VBA,
XSLT, Windows Internals, x86 Assembly, Windows Security, ActiveX, Visual Basic

Industry Experience - 4 years
----------

2/05 - Present Designing an Access database for Southwest Memorial Hermann Hospital
Description: Building a system to store and analyze stroke treatment as part of
an initiative to improve stroke treatment at Southwest Memorial Hermann Hospital.

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

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

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 telecomunication 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

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Better

by ITgirli In reply to Resume 7/6

But if you have a "skill summary", why do you need to list skills under each thing. You need the most information possible in as few words without redundancy. You have a lot to offer a company, but they're not going to look at you without proper presentation. Oh, and don't go back more than 4 years unless you really think you need to. If you have been at one company longer than that, then it would be acceptable.

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