12/12/2006: "jobhunting at Christmas - and I'm thrilled!"
Just before you start having heart palpitations, I am NOT out of work. I am still working on contract, and will be doing so into 2007. I am, however, looking for new work during this time. I've made what feel like tremendous strides in terms of preparing to re-align my career (all thanks to my absolute favourite career counselor), and as of yesterday have applied to two non-engineering positions, with a 3rd to follow shortly.
I have had many, many opportunities to rework my resume, and I thought I had a really good one. I guess I did, but it turns out it could have been even better. I had been using a reverse-chronological resume format, which unfortunately really highlighted the choppy nature of my job history. I have had thoughts of using a different format before, but honestly didn't want to sit down and once again hack around at my resume.
[As a side note, I was wondering how old my resume actually is. Due to the nature of such a document, it's not something you'd sit down a start from scratch each time, you'd simply add to it and interate it. Thus, I'm wondering if this resume doesn't actually have its roots in the first resume I ever made up for my first co-op term back in 1992. That would easily qualify it as the oldest electronic document I have. The only other contenders might be some text files of addresses I might still have, but I'd have to poke around quite a bit to see if they still indeed exist anymore. What you're oldest electronic document?]
A couple of weeks ago, I finally decided to sit down and just re-do it. My uncle had very kindly provided some reference material and a sample of a skills-based resume from a co-worker. Based entirely on that, I sat down and started hacking. After just over a week of vigorous shaking, I had a rough draft to take with me to my most recent career counselor appointment. As usual, she had some excellent feedback on it, requiring more refinement and some changes. Now having meticulously preened it for over a week, it's ready for action. Thus, I sent it off to two companies yesterday morning.
Both jobs are pretty much the same - green/sustainable building specialist. One is with a pretty big company in Toronto, the other with their smaller, local competitor. I'd be equally thrilled to work at either one; both have their high points. Hopefully my reworked resume will do its job and at least get me in front of someone.
The third job that I'll be applying to shortly (possibly tonight - I think my resume for that position is ready) is again local, and much along the same lines as the first two, but with a much tighter focus; energy analyst. The position entails determining where energy is being wasted in commercial buildings, recommending retrofits, and tracking the results. I wouldn't get to deal with new construction like I would with the other two, and my focus would entirely be on energy efficiency. I probably wouldn't get the exposure of other sustainable technologies like daylighting and stormwater management and the like, but it's the same kind of industry, and that's what matters to me.
Will I actually get a call before Christmas for an interview? As much as I'd like to say "Yes, I sure will!", I'm not that naive. I know that December is pretty much entirely a wind-down time for business. Unless my resume is incredibly persuasive and really sets a fire under HR, I'll be pleasantly surprised if I get a call this month, and will hope for a call come January.
Meanwhile, I'll do the same rework to my engineering resume, and see what happens with that. I won't be applying for any engineering jobs this month; I'd rather concentrate my energy on the green building jobs. We'll see what happens come January.