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Five months into my job search as an RF Engineer... - RF Cafe Forums

Because of the high maintenance needed to monitor and filter spammers from the RF Cafe Forums, I decided that it would be best to just archive the pages to make all the good information posted in the past available for review. It is unfortunate that the scumbags of the world ruin an otherwise useful venue for people wanting to exchanged useful ideas and views. It seems that the more formal social media like Facebook pretty much dominate this kind of venue anymore anyway, so if you would like to post something on RF Cafe's Facebook page, please do.

Below are all of the forum threads, including all the responses to the original posts.


Leo
Post subject: Five months into my job search as an RF Engineer...Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:17 pm
Here's an example of a successful and experienced RF design engineer with US citizenship wanting to work, but unable to find anything.

Five months into my job search as an RF engineer and still nothing. I am a US citizen and have 5+ years of success in companies doing RF board design. I have gotten a handful of good job contacts with a few interviews. Some companies rejected me saying my skills weren't a good fit, others put me on hold. No offers, no success, despite searching nation wide and being open to relocation.

Lots of recruiters and head hunters have contacted me. Too many to count. But not a single one has managed to fit my skills to a position. All of my good job contacts come from being contacted directly by the hiring engineers. I guess it takes an engineer to understand an engineer's resume.

I don't even bother submitting my resume to companies any more. I have in the past, but stopped after learning that I never get contacted. I suspect human resource people just aren't technically trained enough to interpret my resume. I have more success speaking with employers at career fairs or just putting my resume online and letting hiring engineers come to me. Unfortunetly, the later approach opens the door to recruiters and headhunters who, like I said, have never had success placing me.

Overall, I am finding companies being very focused in their hiring efforts. I'm finding it very difficult to prepare for one company's interview in one technical area to turn around and prepare for another company's interview in a completely different technical area. Can I do the jobs? Of course. I have years of success in companies. But companies apparently want zero ramp up time. I know my ramp up time would be fast, but companies just don't seem to care. At one point, I offered to take a job for 30k just to see what kind of response I would get. The recruiter ignored me. I guess taking less money would cut into his commission.

Bottom line is, if I don't find a company soon, I'm out. Running out of money fast. A career change is probably in order. Maybe I can find an ocean faring boat looking to take on a few good men. We'll see.

Well that's my story. Can't say I ever thought I would be in this situation. Thanks for reading.


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Guest
Post subject: Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 4:20 pm
Hello Leo,

I truly understand and sympathize with your story, because I have seen that happen to me too. I have been aware to the fact that HR people in any organization are the scum and dirt of it. I have seen that they make the decision of whom to recruit and whom not based on the candidate's skills but on technicalities and shallow reasons.

Recruiters are another disease - their function is as "find" in the WORD. namely they compare the words in your CV with the requirements of the job. They have nothing to do with technical jobs, they simply don't have any technical background. For them an RF Engineer is the same as Digital Engineer, they don't know at all what is behind the jobs that they are recruiting for. A recruiter only thinks about his comission and has no responsibility/liability and many times not even ethics to the candidate he/she recruits. This is why the head-hunting field has gained such a negative impression. Yet companies turn to recruiters because they seem to think that it will save them time and money...

My advice to you is if you don't have barriers, try and find a job overseas. I am about to begin a new job in Europe soon. Have been looking for such a job for a long time now. Europe is more open-minded to successful people, they know how to recognize them.

Good luck to you!!


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Kirt Blattenberger
Post subject: A Forum Just for Engineers & Hiring Managers?Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:23 am

Site Admin


Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Erie, PA
Greetings Leo:

You have given me an idea. A while back I stopped posting job openings on the Jobs page on RF Cafe because I was innundated mainly by recruiters looking for a free ride. Maybe what I will try doing is creating a new Forum area where only engineers and engineering managers looking for good people can post. That might provide the kind of experience you and a lot of others are looking for that would provide a more direct exchange with the people who truly recognize talent. I would monitor the Forum to make certain no recruiters or HR people posted there. In fact, I think I can set up that forum to require that only registered users can post. What do you think about that idea?


- Kirt Blattenberger


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guest
Post subject: good ideaPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:13 pm
That is a great idea Kirt, but somehow you would have to filter those you didn't want to register and keep the posts clean from ads.


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Humm
Post subject: Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:54 pm
You can't be serious? I've recently started looking for a new RF Design job and have had so many offers and calls that I have turned several down. I don't deal with head hunters. My thought is by the time a company uses one, they're desperate anyway and the job probably isn't that good. Companies are looking for experienced RF designers, especially so if you don't mind relocating.


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Leo
Post subject: Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:37 pm
Nice idea Kirt. Not sure of the value of it though. You are already bypassing the whole headhunter recruiter thing by making resumes freely available to hiring engineers. But maybe the new forum will lead to some interesting discussions. Who knows.

Humm...what area in RF are you working? And how many years have you been working in this area? In my experience, the longer you have been working in certain technical areas, the more you get "labeled." Companies become less willing to consider you for different technical tracts. I have been contacted by many many companies for various areas of RF outside of my focus. I am very open to these opportunities but when companies learn that it's a bit outside my area, they pass me over. They "label" me. If I had known companies were going to be this picky when I was still in school, I would have never chosen engineering as a career choice.


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Sandra Lachs
Post subject: Leo's inability to find an RF engineering positionPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:01 pm
Leo:
I'm recruiting for a firm in Florida.
I'm the HR Consultant for the firm.
They seek an RF/Microwave engineer.
” Radio Frequency and Microwave (RF/MW) measurements and electronic design automation (EDA) software models, has an opening for an electrical engineer. Modelithics produces measurement data sets and software models for RF/MW components, subsystems, and system blocks, such as: semiconductor devices, integrated circuits, discrete and monolithic inductors, capacitors, resistors, amplifiers, mixers, and filters.

If you feel like you're a good fit, (This is a permanent position with benes.)
please email your resume, as a Word doc, to me with salary requirements range.
Cordially
slachs@tampabay.rr.com

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kanling
Post subject: Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:50 pm

Colonel


Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:31 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Baltimore, MD
Leo, I recommend you take a look at your interviewing style. You really have to be a salesman at the interview. I went through a patch like this after I graduated. Finally, I looked at my interviewing style rather than trusting the interviewers to let experience speak for itself. My new interviewing style really turned things around. A book that really helped was "knock 'em dead" by Martin Yate. It's probably still around. It gives answers to interview questions like other books, but this one explains the meaning of the questions and what techniques you can use to sell yourself. It really got me thinking and helped me turn into an engineer and salesman. (Selling myself, that is.)


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RF engineer_27
Post subject: Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:18 am
hi Leo,
i am very much surprised by your story. it is as if i am reading my own story. really people around doesnt know what an RF engineer means, i came across such situation many a times. i have 3 yrs of exp in this field and now from the past 6 months i am working for a good MNC org. they have recruited me as RF engineer but i am not getting work satisfaction if i want to work on other fields apart from RF they are looking me as if i am an illiterate in that field instead of training and helping me.
tese days i used to think that only i am the victim of this situation but now i came to that there are many in this world who are the sufferers but still i am proud to be an RF engineer.
bye,


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guest HR recruiter
Post subject: Just some food for thoughtPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:58 pm
I read your posting today and wanted to share some information with you from a different perspective. (as one of those evil HR people, and a former recruiter)

First you have two separate issues as I see it.....the first issue is getting in front of the hiring manager and the second issue is closing the deal.

You are correct in that many HR people do not have the knowledge to accurately source resumes. However most high tech companies have technical recruiters that do understand the needs of their hiring managers. Your resume is a critical part of being sourced for the right opportunity. Most sourcing is done on key words and if you don't include them, then you will surely get passed over. A recruiter HR person spends roughly two minutes looking at a resume for a reasonable match. If they don't see one they move on. That is the reality of reviewing 200 resumes a day. Make sure you get the right words in your resume. Some job seekers that utilize the job boards such as Monster will even add a section at the bottom labeled key words and put every single technology, product, software etc., that they have worked with so they will be picked up in a search. It's not a bad idea. Don't give up and don't underestimate every HR person based on a handful of experiences. They can be a valuable tool to get in the door. Once you are in the door then it is really up to you. Which brings me to the second topic. It sounds as if you have gotten in front of a few people but have been unsuccessful in getting the right opportunity. Perhaps it might be useful to critique your performance in interviewing. Like it or not, people hire people that they like and so even if your technical is pure, if your not someone they can see themselves working with for the long haul then you will not get an offer. Period. On the subject of recruiters - Although some recruiters only care about a fee, that is not the case for all. Again, I think you might be shooting yourself in the foot based on a broad generalization about people. Regarding the recruiter not wanting to take a reduction in salary, let me tell you that the last time I checked, half of something was still more than half of nothing. I can assure you that had nothing to do with it. Any company would be reluctant to hire someone willing to take a ridiculous salary because you have to wonder why they would do it and also why wouldn't they leave the moment a better offer was made. Companies pay big money to get someonefor training and invested time to get someone up and running only to have them leave. If your hard skills are good though, I would suggest you looking at your overall presentation or yourself.
A good rule of thumb also is for every 10K in salary you are looking for, plan on a month for your job search. So you may be doing everything right and its just taking time.


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kpainter
Post subject: Re: Just some food for thoughtPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 5:10 pm

Colonel


Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:47 am
Posts: 47
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
guest HR recruiter wrote:
A good rule of thumb also is for every 10K in salary you are looking for, plan on a month for your job search. So you may be doing everything right and its just taking time.


That is ridiculous. Where did you hear that?

I think your "2 minutes with each resume" is a problem. That is exactly the sort of crap that gets you guys the "Evil" moniker. From your own words, it is one that is deserved.


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Jamie Hartling
Post subject: Job SearchPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:43 pm
A very interesting topic. I have been running Internet job boards for almost 10 years, everything from regionally specific sites to ultra niche ones. Your complaints are not unique, however there is a simple, though not elegant, solution.

Industry specific job boards, such as the one on RF Cafe, are a great start to narrow the field to your industry preference. One of the big problems with the Mega Mall Job Boards are that they cater to everyone. A recruiter innudated with resumes from "wannabees" can make your get lost in the shuffle.

Having said this, any job board is only a cog in your search process. You have to capture the attention of the recruiter enough to read your resume, then entice them with enough content to make them pick up the phone or email you. In progressive organizations, recruiters are primarily concerned with the "fit" of the candidate to the enviroment they will be put into. Think of your resume as the bait that you will use to catch the fish. Different fish require different types of bait. It is up to you to do your homework on the company, its culture, and the position to see if you will fit. In many cases simply being able to do the job is no longer enough.

Use the job boards as a portal to start your investigation. Visit the careers section on the corporate websites to get more information on the company. Also look to see what other positions are being advertised. learn everything you can about the organization and then CRAFT your resume and cover letter to reflect this knowledge.

There are other factors to consider with your resume, depending on whether it is being sent to a real person or to a resume manaagement system, but that can be for another post.

Jamie Hartling
Vice President, Partner Development
The Defense Talent Network
www.defensetalent.com

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Benson Evans
Post subject: LeoPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:03 pm
Leo,
You didn't mention the type of technical experience you have. And, are you open to relocation? There are so many facets to finding a job. Sometimes it's very easy and sometimes not. I have been an RF Staffing Consultant for over twenty years. Call me and you'll understand the difference. Ben Evans, RF Staffing Consultant, CVI, 800.983.0405


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angel
Post subject: Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:36 am

Captain


Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Canada
I'm on month #4

I'm a Canadian new grad (just got my MSc in EE) and it's taking so much longer than I thought. I think I've given up on HR.

*sigh*


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Leo
Post subject: Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 8:26 pm
Thanks for all of your responses. I thought I should repost here to let you all know how things turned out for me. I did end up landing a job at my six month mark. They say most people take six months to land a job in this field so I guess I present some credibility to that argument. But I think I will be prepared for a 12 month job search if I'm forced into this situation again. Things turned out well for me. I didn't settle for a job no one else wanted. In fact, it's better than any other position I interviewed for over the last six months. It's as if some mystical being was watching out for me. It was the hiring manager who contacted me. No HR. No recruiters. No headhunters (sorry HR/recruiter people who posted). I also didn't follow any of the "this is how you should sell yourself" advice. Things like sitting up straight, brushing your teeth before hand and not drinking beer when they take you out for lunch is common sense to me. I prepared for this interview by doing one thing: reading through an entire text book covering the technology this company was working on. I studied for a week. I went into the interview with sharpened engineering skills focused on this company. That is what's most important in an engineering interview in my opinion (once again, sorry to all recruiters posting here with your interviewing advice).


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Nikki
Post subject: Re: Five months into my job search as an RF Engineer...Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:01 pm
Leo wrote:
Here's an example of a successful and experienced RF design engineer with US citizenship wanting to work, but unable to find anything.

Five months into my job search as an RF engineer and still nothing. I am a US citizen and have 5+ years of success in companies doing RF board design. I have gotten a handful of good job contacts with a few interviews. Some companies rejected me saying my skills weren't a good fit, others put me on hold. No offers, no success, despite searching nation wide and being open to relocation.

Lots of recruiters and head hunters have contacted me. Too many to count. But not a single one has managed to fit my skills to a position. All of my good job contacts come from being contacted directly by the hiring engineers. I guess it takes an engineer to understand an engineer's resume.

I don't even bother submitting my resume to companies any more. I have in the past, but stopped after learning that I never get contacted. I suspect human resource people just aren't technically trained enough to interpret my resume. I have more success speaking with employers at career fairs or just putting my resume online and letting hiring engineers come to me. Unfortunetly, the later approach opens the door to recruiters and headhunters who, like I said, have never had success placing me.

Overall, I am finding companies being very focused in their hiring efforts. I'm finding it very difficult to prepare for one company's interview in one technical area to turn around and prepare for another company's interview in a completely different technical area. Can I do the jobs? Of course. I have years of success in companies. But companies apparently want zero ramp up time. I know my ramp up time would be fast, but companies just don't seem to care. At one point, I offered to take a job for 30k just to see what kind of response I would get. The recruiter ignored me. I guess taking less money would cut into his commission.

Bottom line is, if I don't find a company soon, I'm out. Running out of money fast. A career change is probably in order. Maybe I can find an ocean faring boat looking to take on a few good men. We'll see.

Well that's my story. Can't say I ever thought I would be in this situation. Thanks for reading.


Top

angel
Post subject: Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:10 pm

Captain


Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:40 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Canada
Congrats Leo! And thanks for the tips.

Hopefully a mystical being is watching me LOL








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