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March 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm #659
Greetings to all from a first time poster,
Having patiently waited for all the new job postings to be tossed up on the Rayjobs board, I am now left to ponder how those in the sifting department parse through multiple applications, from the same individual, for several positions.
Here’s the deal… With many more years of experience in construction and management than I care to count, and a master’s in architecture, there are several positions (Const. Super., Const. Admin., Carpenter Shop Foreman, Carpenter, ad nauseum) for which I am reasonably well or over qualified (a common situation among the masses from what I read). My question relates to whether or not the HR folks tie multiple apps. together internally via some sort of identifying address or phone number, or have I simply sent off all these little binary orphans into the ether, never to see one another again, lest they collide on someones desk in Centennial, CO? Is there some way of letting an actual person know that they are out there, and might want to be bundled for the sake of efficiency and warmth? Does submitting to multiple positions hurt or help ones chances of finding their way to the ice, or does it just irritate the system? I apologize if this might seem a bit naive, but given what I’ve read, and being a ‘newbie’ or ‘FNG’ or ‘wannabeast’ (choose your descriptor)there doesn’t seem to be any identifiable meter.
Any insight the more seasoned would care to offer would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks to all for a wonderfully informative (and often very funny) forum, and particular thanks to Glenn for the kind referral to it.
BillMarch 10, 2009 at 3:42 am #6332
Bill, I think the answer is going to have to be that nobody really knows. Last year the hiring process was taken over by HR. Probably a good thing as they were somewhat impartial when it came to determining if an applicant had prerequisite skills for the jobs. They still had a job fair, so you could meet the people doing the hiring and get permission to keep in touch. This year they did away with the job fair. It looks like everybody is in the same bowl of soup. My best guess is that whether or not the applications are linked. It is better to send in multiple applications for the different jobs, highlighting your skills for that job. Having an application that matches the position you are applying for seems to be the best way of getting through the first screening. Since I’m a returning person each year, I can apply through the internal postings, so I don’t really get a good feel anymore for what the fngees are going through. We have to rely on all of you to tell us what is going on.
MikeMarch 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm #6333
Thanks for the response Mike.
As for aspiring fngees keeping veteran ice people posted on changes or notable occurences in the process of finding the path southward, I’ll be happy to keep you all updated if I am fortunate enough to be contacted.
It seems that success takes a few parts skill, a whole lot more parts luck, and a bit of alchemy and incantation for good measure. Fortunately, I am a patient soul.
I appreciate the valuable input, and will follow the advice. After that, I guess it’s just switching on the ‘cruise control’, keeping current on the board topics, and hoping for a good word from the folks in CO while doing laps in the soup bowl.
Best to you,
BillMarch 18, 2009 at 4:34 pm #6334
Sounds like the hiring process is mostly voodoo. I put in an application for an IT position, but of course without a human contact its like throwing a message in a bottle out to sea.
I can’t even guess how many applicants submit for each slot.
Perhaps I’ll look at the shotgun method and send a tweaked resume in for each slot.
Any tips such as mentioning I have a stuffed animal penguin or know how to drive large trucks or even love scuba diving?
-PeterMarch 18, 2009 at 9:18 pm #6335
It’s semi voodoo. I think the answer is that you need to send a tweaked application for each job. The important thing to remember is that the first group of people screening your application is not necessarily somebody with intimate knowledge of the job. It an HR person, who is looking for keywords in your resume.
I’m a summer park ranger at a National Park and went through the same process with them. The first year I didn’t get picked in part because I used the wrong words. The other trouble with the Park and probably RPSC is that nobody really knows what words are being looked for in the applications. Best to make your resume very taylored to the job you are applying for.
IT covers a wide range of jobs on the ice from trainers to communications to radio repair and network engineers etc. A general resume won’t do well for that.
Have your applications ready to go now. It’s my understanding that the jobs get posted on the Rayjobs site until some small set number of applications are received. The posting comes off the site until that group is processed, if they don’t pick someone from that group, it goes up again.
For the most part, you have to think that if you see the listing for a job you want, it may be the last time you see it. You better apply then and there with a very good targeted resume.
Now for the disclaimer, I’m a 10 year returning employee and get hired through a different process. Mostly what I’ve told you is hearsay, so pay attention to what the rest of the people that are new are saying. They will have the most up to date ideas on the processes.
MikeMarch 18, 2009 at 11:20 pm #6336
Let me second some of Mike’s observations, and add some of my own very limited experience and observations thus far in the same breath.
I am finding Mike’s comments absolutely spot on re: tailoring the resume to the specific job posting. I’ve applied using a very concise and detailed resume that also lists several other diverse and complimentary skill sets, that could be considered enhancements to the specific qualifications sought. In addition, each cover letter is written specificly for the job being sought. In one case, I was informed via the “submission status” column on the “your submittals” page that I was “no longer in consideration.”
In fairness to “The Great and Powerful Oz,” I was missing one minor bit of qualification that in a normal review (read that; far less stringent and competitive) would probably have been waived. It was also a rather old posting at the time I applied. That noted, I accept abject rejection well, and move on…
In a few (ok, …four) other cases, I am being told that the application status is “received.”
Beyond that, the links for two of those four have been disabled, with a note that “no further applications are being accepted at this time” for those positions. Not coincidentally, the original postings have been removed from the main listings. My hope is that the remaining two, as well as the first two, will move to the “maybe this guy is worth a call” pile. I am only optimistically guessing here. ( hmmm….note to self to contact the guy trolling for new Antarctica based members of the optimists club…optimistically assuming I make the cut, and get to the ice, that is…)
Would be happy to hear from any aspiring fngee who has actually received an e-mail or an actual phone call to confirm any of the above. Anyone?….Anyone?…Buehler?
Oh, and thanks Peter for the heads up on the whole Voodoo thing. I’ll be online later researching the tenets of Santeria, just in case…
Happy and safe rest of the week to all,
BillMarch 19, 2009 at 1:38 am #6337
Thanks for the quick feedback guys, thats pretty impressive.
So I somehow have contracted this bug thats says I need to go work in the middle of nowhere where its really really cold.
I’ve been busy trolling the net for anything I can find about Antarctica and McMurdo (thanks Atlas for steering me to this site).
I’m an odd sort of IT guy, I have often carried the nomenclature of MacBoy as in Apple and OS X. That probably comes from starting out in the printing/advertising/publishing industry where they are pretty much a neccessity. I managed all the Macs and related technologies for Newsweek and Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel though even with those connections I didn’t make it onto the ice. I guess its not a budget destination. But in dealing with the red headed stepchild of the computing industry, I often had to learn many of the concepts of Windows and Unix better than most. Just so I could make everything work together. Even did a bit of that during my stint in the Army and the Persian Gulf.
So, are Macs pretty popular there? and what sort of extra skills make sense to emphasize? Driving M1 Abrahms tanks, oil trucks, and humvees in the gulf; rewiring the electrical system in my old ’77 Fiat Spyder, or being a mediocre scuba and skiing buff?
That HR keyword thing is a doozy. Might have to look into finding an HR person to help me tweak that, I feel stupid just padding an already too long resume with buzzwords.
Thanks for your help guys!
-PeterMarch 19, 2009 at 4:55 am #6338
Aggg- I lost a long response. Oh well.
Peter It sounds like you have plenty of IT skills for the ice. Just apply for the jobs you know.
Macs are heavy in the science side of the program. PCs everywhere else. I don’t know the underlying systems. ScienceTech or Atlas would be better to help you with that.
That said, the old website sent a synopsis of posts to everyone each day. It was easy for everyone to keep up. It no longer does it automatically. It may be a while before you get specific answers.
MikeMarch 19, 2009 at 5:11 am #6339SciencetechKeymaster
I’d let Atlas answer the IT questions but I think he’s in Hawaii. (The dog.)
Macs are used on the “science side” but it’s mostly ancillary support. Windows is the predominant platform, with some Unix and Windows servers (I’m generalizing, it will vary by station/ship, but I think that’s a fair assessment). Highlight your Windows and Unix experience in your resume.
Everybody on the Ice skis, scuba dives, drives tracked vehicles, has built their own house in Alaska, repairs Unimogs, is a great photographer and all-around renaissance man/woman, so that won’t impress anyone. Military service, however, is a good advantage (shows you can function in a… uh… quasi-military acronym-laden environment).
glennMarch 19, 2009 at 3:32 pm #6340silentsportsMember
But how many people there can actually produce pictures of their UNIMOG 1300L expedition vehicles that they are building without the benefit of photoshop?[attachment=0:37a65knf]unimog camper 043 (Small).jpg[/attachment:37a65knf][attachment=1:37a65knf]unimog camper 040 (Small).jpg[/attachment:37a65knf]
RogerMarch 19, 2009 at 4:32 pm #6341
So I put in my resume an now the painful waiting game begins……At least its been recieved.
I couldn’t bring myself to go too keyword happy but did try to make sure it said mac, pc, windows, os x, unix, server, network a bit throughout the doc.
Nice truck there, but I could build it a lot faster in Photoshop, though it would be hard to take out for a ride.
So lets keep our fingers crossed and see if a trip to the ice is in my cards.
-PeterMarch 19, 2009 at 5:24 pm #6342
Isn’t this WAY more than Dr. Seuss had in mind when writing “Oh, the places you’ll go”?…
Seriously, very nice work. I’m impressed. Now I feel like the kid at ‘show and tell’ with the lopsided birdhouse.
BillMarch 20, 2009 at 3:24 am #6343docMember
There’s some info on the stations’ internal IT setup in the post “What’s IT Like in Antarctica?” a little ways down the collection (http://antarcticmemories.thruhere.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=610). I wouldn’t skip on the buzz words though. It may seem like a path not to travel down (or a watering/dumbing down of your resume) but HR is an unruly beast at Raytheon Polar Services. In the last couple of years they have become a gatekeeper to all of the hiring managers, often times for good reasons, but in practice it has made applying difficult.
More often than not, HR looks at the resumes without the benefit of experience in the field that they are hiring in, instead having to compare resumes to lists of items and job descriptions. If you build your resume with their position description in mind, you stand a better chance of getting through HR. Once you get by them, they pass you on to the hiring manager (the actual person in the department you are applying to) to look over. They are the ones to decide on the applicants but they only see what HR lets them. It’s convoluted and leaves some very good candidates unable to get through for bizarre reasons.
Don’t underestimate the power of the buzzwords with RPSC HR. They ease the jump over the first hurdle.
Once you get a call from a hiring manager, then you can skip the buzzwords and dig into your skills.
Best of luck,
-docMarch 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm #6344silentsportsMember
I also applied for several jobs. Initially they all showed “received”, but recently the light vehicle mechanic position shows “not in consideration”. Although I’ve built or re-built cars and trucks as a advocation all my life. As you can see from the UNIMOG, as well as being a mechanic in the USCG should have at least got me an interview. I worked in management as a career, so I guess that eliminated me from consideration. They were probably looking for a dealership mechanic. One down, three more chances to go!March 20, 2009 at 12:32 pm #6345
Thanks for the input Doc. Doubt there is much more I can do now though unless I switch around the name of this thread to “HR and several applications to a job.”
Certainly much of my resume includes many terms and keywords, and if someone who understands English reads it, they can tell I’ve done a lot of work with computers and will find plenty of words like repair, server, unix, windows, os x, installed over 1000 computers, trained staff on …, supported, blah blah blah.
Perhaps I should fly to one of the upcoming trade shows in Denver and see if I can schmooze one of the HR people in the booth to walk me through my own resume and show me what keywords I have and that I am missing. I have a sister in Boulder so the flight wouldn’t just be for an hour or two at the fair.
Be nice to know what the level of competition is, such as how many applicants are usual, what skill level they usually hold, what got the previous winners through. And of course how long does it take to hear something back.
Well for now I guess I will start thinking more positive thoughts like how and what to pack for your first venture South. Clean underwear and a toothbrush is probably a good start, but after that, how many laptops and iPods does it make sense to bring, how much of your own cold weather gear will you need, and what types of things are at the store versus make sure you don’t forget x.
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