Need some Advice, please

Hi all,

Question : Is my qualifications (see below) enough to find a job to begin with? or i need something more to know? it have been almost 1and

1/2 year that i am looking for job in Canada and recently in US. All the job's adds are requiring 5 + years of experience and bunch of things to know : PCI-express, Ethernet, TCP/IP protocol...etc. This is very scary. What is your opinnions or advices to me guys. The most of the jobs on the net for canada are putten by consulting firm : Intelligent technology solustions, who are seems to be monopolising the market, I called them at ottawa, they advices me not to count at all on recruiting agency because i am a new graduat, but they got all the jobs i am looking for..!? what to do? Any ideas? any one knows the how to find a list of Compagnys that are working in this field of interest so i can send directly a resume to them?

Thanks a lot for anybody how take a minute of his precious time to write me something back.

Here are my qualifications : ===================

  • MSEE with emphasis on Telecom & FPGA design (oct 2004)
  • Xilinx Vertex II FPGA experience
  • Xilinx ISE tool for Synthesis and P&R
  • Mentor Graphics tools : Modelsim, ModelDesigner and HDL designer.
  • Matlab & Simulink with Xilinx System Generator toolbox for HW Co-Simulation
  • Good at VHDL coding
  • Beginner level in C programming
  • Beginner level in TCL/TK programming

Let's rise this issu of unemployment among us as for now the industry it impoving and the job offers are slightly increasing.

Thanks again

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I think the employment picture is improving, and companies actually like to hire New College Grads. You are a notch above that, with an MSEE. Good luck! One advice: Make sure that your resume is free of typos. You had nine of them in your short posting, and you better be more careful in a real application. Which I am sure you will be. To many potential employers, a typo indicates lack of seriousness or attention to detail. Whether that is justified or not is irrelevant. Just avoid the potential problem... Peter Alfke

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Peter Alfke

My first job out of school was a with a tiny company run by the brother of a friend, nearly six months after I graduated. I have no idea how long it would have been if I didn't have that personal 'in'. It was also the first job that I left after getting into a shouting match with my employer, but that was much later. I was severely overqualified, wrenching on PC's with a MSEE. But it got me the experience to look credible for job #2.

My second job was with another tiny company. No shouting matches, but they did run out of money in exactly the way I predicted to my boss. Jobs #1 and #2 nearly added up to the magic 5 years.

My third job was with a moderate sized company. I was there for nearly ten years, not counting job number four.

Job #4 was with Intel. Don't work for Intel, at least not permanently. It's just weird. No shouting (I guess that's for odd-numbered companies).

Job #5 was back to company #3, after some management issues were taken care of. When the management issues came back I left again.

Now I consult, and number among my customers companies number 1 and 3-5.

My point in this is that you should expect to have it rough for a while before you get that first job, and you shouldn't hesitate to take one that is 'beneath' you -- many many new college hires can't turn theory into practice, so employers are often leery of taking them on.

I have some suggestions:

  1. It's already been said, but pay attention to spelling and grammar. If you won't bother to use a spell checker how can I trust you to do design rule checks, or otherwise test your code?

  1. Get a copy of "What Color is Your Parachute". It's really for career changers, not new college grads, but it helped me.

2a. WCIYP will tell you that answering ads in the paper or sending resumes randomly is a waste of time. I got job #2 answering an ad in the paper and job #3 from sending random resumes to keep my unemployment checks flowing. You have to send _lots_ of resumes, but it may help.

  1. Don't just apply for the jobs in the paper. Use the paper as a resource to see who's hiring in general, then send in applications for your entry-level position as if you never read their add. If there is a high-tech group in your area get a list of member companies and send resumes to them all.

3a. Don't expect anything other than an entry-level job. I've said it elsewhere, but 90% of new college hires are useless. That gives you a 90% chance of needing to learn more before you'll make money for someone. If you're in that magic 10% of immediately useful people you have a 100% chance of being taken for useless -- unless you have something impressive to put on your resume, or can otherwise impress folks with your usefulness.

3b. If you _are_ in that magic 10%, and you promote yourself well you'll find yourself advancing fast.

  1. See what IEEE groups are meeting in your area, and start going to the meetings of any groups that relate to your skills or interests. Ask questions in the technical sessions. If they're good ones you will get positive attention. If there's something you can present, for heavens sake do it! If there are any chances to introduce yourself make sure to say you're looking.

  1. If there are any local universities in your area that have night classes for working engineers think of how you want to expand your education and _go_. Make sure people there know that you're looking for a job.

  2. DO SOMETHING REAL. If you made something work for your senior project make sure it's featured in your resume. If you didn't then invest a couple of hundred bucks in an eval board and make some gizmo. It would be best if it's something that you can write up and publish in Circuit Cellar or QST, but even something that you can show off on a web page will be a GOOD THING.
Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Tim Wescott


I live in Toronto in Canada and am doing my BSEE, if you have not found a job then I should start to panic.

I've always heard about people heading down south to the US (particularly Silicon Valley) for employment in the tech industry. One of my uncle's did that and is happily employed. You may want to consider that as an option.

Reply to
Isaac Bosompem

Thanks Peter Alfke for taking time to answer. Yes for the real application, i do check and double check the spelling. But i think that the fact of being new grad doesn't help me.

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Thank you very much Mr. Tim Wescott, I really appreciate your time. Your advices are very helpful, some ideas that you did bring I had them in mind but wasn't sure like I do now after reading you answer to my posting. But still the new grad person should start somewhere to be an experienced employee. They don't born experienced like that. I only hope that companies are conscious about it. Thank you again. Thomas.

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In a start-up company, being a new grad would often be a disadvantage. The small company needs to succeed fast, so they rather hire somebody with a proven track record. (When Xilinx was very small (10 or 20 years experience) In a larger company, it is much easier to "absorb and train" neg grads, whereas it may be more difficult to fit very experienced engineers into the existing structure.

These are gross oversimplifications, but I think you would be best off looking for an established company with multiple hundred employees. You also might be able to learn more different things there, for a while, whereas in a small company you have to pull your weight from day

  1. Do not get discouraged. This is still an exciting field in which you can become very successful. Peter Alfke
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Peter Alfke

Hi Isaac Bosompem and thank you for your participation in this posting. My self I am from Montreal and as i was looking for job for more then year, I can tell that in general, in Canada the jobs are mainly in Toronto and Ottawa areas, some in Vancouver BC and then a few in Quebec. So you're lucky you live already in Toronto and the employment picture is improving so don't be discouraged. Currently I am in California next to Silicon Valley looking for job. Down here you need a sponsorship from the employer to get TN visa so you can work in the US if you are Canadian. So if you are new grad there is no much employer that will be ready to do that for you. My question is : was your uncle experienced when he applied for job here? Thank you. Thomas.

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