My Job Hunt - How I Ended Up At Apple

I started working for Apple in their iTunes Store division on December 14th 2009. It's been a great 6 weeks so far and I look forward to a long and interesting future here at Apple.

Considering the state of the economy and job market I consider myself blessed to have gotten such a great new job - but I worked hard in my hunt and thought it might be of use or interest to others what it took to find a new job.

So, my job hunt "by the numbers" ...

Time on Hunt

Job Boards Used

Cost (in money, not time)

Friends or Colleagues Notified

Cities I Looked At

*Jobs Applied or Responded To *

Outright Rejections

Companies Who Ignored Me

Advanced Interviews

Source of Leads (for those 6)

Number of Engineers that Interviewed Me at Those 6 Companies

Flights to Onsite Interviews

Offers Received

Rejections After Advanced Interviews

All in all it was a great experience. I learned a lot about myself, my worth, what I'm interested in and what opportunities are out there for me.

I had been at Etilize for 7 1/2 years and NEVER gotten a job via a resume before, so this was a significant experience for me to go "out of the blue" searching for a job and get one without having connections before hand.

A few things that I found significant in the process:

1) Get a Professional Resume

Paying for a professional resume writer to redo my resume made a HUGE difference. It made me feel much more confident about sending it off, but I also got much better feedback and callbacks once I began using it. It was completely worth the money and I'd recommend it to anybody serious about their job hunt.

As for the high cost -- don't go cheap is my opinion. Think about how long it takes to do a good job, the hourly rate you want to be paid and you'll see that it's impossible to have a proper job for $150 - which you'll see advertised. I paid $700 and it was deserved.

2) It Takes Time

Plan for it to take longer than you want or expect. It all takes time.

3) Study

The questions I was asked are things that NEVER get asked or come up in the "real world" and are things I'd typically Google.

Sometimes that's a valid answer ... "I'd Google that" ... but it won't get you far on most interviews.

I had to dust off my understanding on a lot of computer science theory, algorithms, data structures, and other such things. In fact, the one major set of interviews I went through and ultimately got rejected from was the first series I went through and I believe 3 things caused the rejection (not my lack of skill):

a) questions about things I hadn't studied (and studied thereafter and was prepared for in subsequent interviews)

b) I was over-dressed ... a suit and tie for an engineering position set the wrong tone

c) I was not myself and stressed (this was more to do with the fact that it was my first real interviews in a decade ... ok, ever...)

It was really frustrating at times and absolutely exhilarating at others ... a real roller-coaster all the way through. By the end though I had a better sense of value and who I am and an exciting new career path.

Good luck to anyone else reading this and doing their own search!