2 Replies - 985 Views - Last Post: 20 June 2012 - 01:57 PM

#1 Hamdemon  Icon User is offline

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Resume Padding/Job Finding Help

Posted 20 June 2012 - 01:41 PM

Hey guys, apologies if this is in the wrong place but I couldn't figure out where to put it...

Anyway I'm a CS student on my summer break with about 2 months left before I go into my final year, and I'm trying to stay productive over the summer and actually do things that are going to get me hired when I graduate in May. Basically, all of my work experience has either been working as a DJ or doing some sort of retail work, and I don't think that's going to cut it for getting hired out of college. I made my best effort at applying for pretty much every internship I could find in my area including a few out of the area, and it didn't pan out, so now I'm looking into alternatives of what I can constructively do to increase my chances of being employed.

I am not sure what I should really do, either to attempt to find a project I can work on or even just a job that would likely look good. I've spent the last couple days applying for IT and tech support jobs, but my struggle with those is that I will be going to school Monday-Thursday between 9 AM and 4 PM, which is kind of peak hours for that kind of job. I'm not even sure if a PC tech or call center job would even help much in finding a programming job as experience on my resume. So my next idea is just to try to find an open source project or something that needs worked on I can do, but I don't even know where to begin there. As far as languages go I know mainly C and Java with a bit of HTML/CSS/JS, some SQL stuff and a bit of C++, Python and Objective-C. I've considered just picking up maybe PHP or more SQL, but I always run into the problem of finding my own project I actually want to do.

Does anyone have any advice? Especially if you are working in the CS industry, what is your experience like from out of college hiring? I'm so nervous that I'm going to end up buried under my student loans right now that I feel like I'm burning away my summer fretting over it.

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Replies To: Resume Padding/Job Finding Help

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Resume Padding/Job Finding Help

Posted 20 June 2012 - 01:44 PM

Since you can't work during working hours, you're kinda boned.

Take a look at sites like vWorker and see if you have the skills to take on any of the contracts being offered. You can do those from home at any hour of the day.

If you have the skills, then you can get some experience and make a few bucks.

If you don't have the skills for any of the contracts, then you've just learned you shouldn't be applying for work in this field yet.
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#3 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: Resume Padding/Job Finding Help

Posted 20 June 2012 - 01:57 PM

First thing is to stop fretting. Trust me it will get you nowhere.

Not being able to work during the week is a bit of a bummer, but by no means does it mean you are impossibly screwed so far as to not being able to find any work after college.

You have a few possibilities. You could search online for small jobs as tlhIn`toq suggested.

If that doesn't work out, which it might not (they are sometimes hard to get into with no experience), then don't just bum about worrying. Do something. Anything.

Having something to show for yourself with no work experience is better than having none of both. As you already said you could either search for an existing open source project, there are loads of places to search (Github, Sourceforge, Google code etc etc etc). However again don't give up if you don't get into anything, but at least try. Sometimes owners of projects want specific people working on their stuff. It's fair enough.

In the eventuality that you find nothing existing, then you must work on something yourself. You say that you find it hard to find a project to work on, well you will need to get over that I'm afraid.

When you do start something off by yourself however, make sure you follow it through and make sure that its big enough. There is no point in making a little tic tac toe game on the command line and give up after a couple of weeks. Pick something that you can really follow through and make bigger and better. Then when it's big enough you may consider making it open source yourself.

In a nutshell in this situation you need to make a portfolio for yourself. In my opinion it's best to have one or two big things it rather than a whole load of little things. Some companies (although not many) will value personal portfolio's a lot more than others. It's just your luck.

But as I say, make sure you don't bum about for 2 months. Try and find a proper job, if that doesn't work try something yourself. Show them that you are a decent programmer. The only way to do that with no work experience is to show them something that you have done.

Good luck!
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