How to find a job

Well finding a job is not something that depends solely on yourself so there is no miracle algorithm that actually gets you one but this post aims at increasing the probabilities to get a vacancy that you desire.

Finding the vacancy in my opinion is not a big issue. There are plenty of sites that post positions, plenty of companies that you can track and lately many social networks help you get informed.

  1. Select target: I believe that applying in anything that moves is not the best strategy. You better apply to some of the positions (five to ten sounds a reasonable amount of applications) but each time you apply you need to make it right.
  2. Matchmaking: Don’t expect to be called for an interview if your CV is not looking right. Building a right CV is whole book of work to describe but a few tips are here:
    • Check what the job needs. make sure that you cover these needs clearly in your CV. You don’t need to lie (if you do you probably shouldn’t apply) but you can highlight skills and expertise that may not be your best assets.
    • Don’t fill in details. Long text is rarely read these days. Make short descriptive sentences and lists.This should do the trick.
    • Along with the CV you better write a cover letter that fits the vacancy.
    • This is also the reason you don’t want many interviews in the same time. If you need to study different things you don’t want to end up doing half – jobs for each one of them…
    • Being unemployed doesn’t mean that you don’t work. Keep a daily routine and fill your spare time enhancing those skills and features in your CV of yours.
  3. Prepare for interview: Before getting too an interview prepare your self. Do a quick study on the weak points and refresh your strong points (you don’t want to be asked something that you claim that you know and not remember it). In the interview you should have taken into account the following:
    • You are in need for a job but they also are in need for an employee so this is a two way dependency. If you have additional information you can know exactly why there is the particular opening and sell your self in the interview.
    • What are the skills that they really need from the new employee? If you lack experience you can always claim that it might not be needed. This applies to people who work for many years in the same position doing the same thing over and over. In that case 10 years of experience means 10 years the first year of experience.
    • Read carefully both the CV and the letter you have sent and the job offer. You should be able to talk about everything in these three.
    • They picked you for an interview which means that they liked what they saw in you CV or they have limited selection of people – both are good news for you!
  4. Know your self: This is something that one should do anyway. You should know your self. None of the above steps are applicable if you don’t really know what you want to do. So ask yourself, what do you want to do? What do you offer? Why you want the particular job vacancy?

You first need to convince yourself why you should be hired in order to convince other people to hire you! If you have enough knowledge of yourself on these matters then picking the right openings and answering the typical questions would be no big deal.

The above hints and tips are a way to build the self confidence that is needed to increase the acceptance probability when looking for a job. By no means there is any guarantee!

Hope these help.

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Moderncv LaTeX package. A really easy way to create a modern CV

As far as the options are concerned these are the following:

I had created my CV many months ago and I put it in good use, I found a PhD position. However I was still meddling with my girlfriend’s CV as she is looking for a job. So I came up with moderncv package that provides a way to easily create a really nice proffesional CV.

You can install the moderncv package manually after downloading it from CTAN directory or if you use MiKTeK like I do, you can go to the package manager search for moderncv package and install it. However I pretty sure that by default MiKTeK prompts you to download any missing packages.

To use moderncv you simply use:

\documentclass[11pt,a4paper]{moderncv}

and you set the CV theme that you want to create:

 
\moderncvtheme[options]{theme}  

Where theme you can have casual, classic and empty:

Casual is a resume created with a simple header on the first page with the name and a picture. Information of the address, telephone number and email is placed in the bottom of each page of the CV.

Classic creates a full header with name, information and passport image on the first page. There is no information on the footer of each page. I recommend this on for most professional uses.

Empty creates a very simple moderncv resume without headers and footers.

As far as the options are concerned these are the following: blue, orange, green, red, purple, grey (which are to choose the color of the cv lines and roman to use roman fonts instead of sans serif fonts.
Then you continue writing down your personal data using:

\firstname {name}    % Your name
\lastname {Last name} % Your last name
\title {Title}              % Your title (optional)
\address{street and number}{post code and city} % Your current address
\mobile {number}    % Your mobile phone number
\phone {number}    % Your phone number
\email {email}          % Your email address
\homepage {link}    % Your website
\extrainfo {information} % Possible extra information e.g. website
\photo[64pt][0.4pt]{picture}  % Your photo (optional)
\quote {quote} % Life motto or something like that (optional)

These are used with the \maketitle command. Further more the moderncv had some structures that can be used to enter your skills and qualities. Some of these are:

\cventry{year--year}{Degree}{Institution}{City}{\textit{Grade}}{Description}
\cvlanguage{Language 1}{Skill level}{Comment}
\cvcomputer{category 1}{XXX, YYY, ZZZ}{category 4}{XXX, YYY, ZZZ}
\cvline{hobby 1}{\small Description}

cventry is used to enter education and work experience entries. cvlanguage to enter linguistic skills, cvcomputer computer skills. Finally cvline is used to enter generic information. More structures and information can be found in the templates code in the CTAN directory found here.

The results are the following:
Using [green]{classic}: pdf, tex
Using [blue]{casual}: pdf, tex
Using classic with photo: pdf

Curriculum Vitae in LaTeX

Now that I started looking for a PhD it was good to have my curriculum vitae updated. Apart from the content I wanted it to be more professional so this time I wanted it to be in LaTeX. Searching through the net it was easy to find quite a lot of templates bus I decided to use the one found here. the result of the CV I prepared for my PhD search is the following CV.pdf.

Some tips for making the content of the CV could be that there is no need to have a single CV but always adjust for the needs of every situation. Mentioning every little thing you have done just to make it look filled up is not a good idea at all. People who will read the CV won’t probably have any time to read past the first sentence of each section so the best way to go is to place there the more important information there to make sure it won’t be overlooked. The more minimal the better.

In the CV you can find in the link above there is an appendix with grades which I may eventually remove as I think that it is not a good idea to have such a long CV.

That’s all for now.