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Old 08-05-2013, 04:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,094 times
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When I lived in Phoenix I was never unemployed for more than two months, since I've lived in Tucson I've been unemployed for six months. Resume consultants and even interviewers have mentioned how well put together my resume is and have been impressed by my level of experience - but I've remained unemployed. Any tips/suggestions/recommendations concerning what Tucson hiring managers are looking for? Also, has anyone else experienced difficulty understanding what skills Tucson hiring managers want and how those skills differ from hiring managers in Phoenix or other metropolitan areas?

Thanks
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6,830 posts, read 16,559,772 times
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This shouldn't vary much from city to city; what is your field and how much experience do you have?
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:13 PM
 
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Tucson's always been a weird black hole for jobs. Used to hire people to cover a sales territory in southern Arizona and had a hard time finding and/or keeping qualified people. When I moved back to Arizona last year I wanted to move to Tucson, but had the same issue as you. Started waving my resume around Phoenix and had a three job offers within a month.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:17 PM
 
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Service Consulting for a Fortune 500 company, educational copyright, and project management. And I'm in my early twenties so not a lot of experience but more than most people my age.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:23 PM
 
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Tucson seems to be dominated by 3-4 big employers (DM Air Force Base, Tucson Med. Center, U of A) and everything else is related to retail or service industries. Almost all of the people that I know in Tucson still work at the same type of jobs they did when we were in college. Only difference is that they now manage or own the coffee shop, bike shop or service company.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,869 posts, read 16,313,683 times
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When I moved to Tucson eight years ago, the economic downturn was not yet obvious and Pima County was growing rapidly. I was told by everyone I met prior to my move that I would "get a job in weeks." I had a great resume. I worked in jobs in my field even while in college. I had positions of increasing responsibility my entire work life, including 18 years as a key member in the support staff of a Fortune 100 company's headquarters. It took me a year to find a job and the position I finally took in desperation was a downgrade to something I had done decades previously. I earned40% of my previous salary. I worked at that job for two years — then the company declared bankruptcy and closed all its Arizona locations.

Even when the economy here was strong I had a hard time getting an interview — I was constantly told I was overqualified. Most of the people I did get interviews with were twenty years younger than I was. They were super-complimentary of my resume and my portfolio but it was obvious they had no intention of even calling my references. I suspect they had no desire to have an underling who was almost as old as their mother and/or they were afraid I wanted their job.

You don't say how old you are. Perhaps — even if you are still on the young side — your accomplishments are intimidating to the people you would be working with/for. I know it sounds crazy that an employer wouldn't want the most highly qualified candidate they could get, but sometimes that's the case. There are many candidates for most openings in Tucson and hiring managers often want the person who is most like them, not a person who might appear to have more desire to succeed.

I don't want to sound rude or mean, but honestly, I've met very few people in Tucson I would describe as "ambitious." They're often people who seem (and I include my own relatives and other people I truly like in this) to prioritize having a fun life over professional achievements and economic success. Is it possible you are too successful for your age or in your field? Are you bowling them over with your skills, your accomplishments, and your ambition? Maybe you aren't being overlooked because you LACK something as much as because you have too much of something.

I know it sounds crazy to dumb-down your resume, but perhaps you should consider giving that a chance if you really think you've tried everything else. Don't include everything you've ever done before. Instead of attempting to prove you would be The. Best. at a job, just try to show that you are capable and interested.

You're used to functioning in a competitive metropolitan city. Tucson proudly thinks of itself as "laid back" town. It's worth a shot. Try it the next time you interview for a one-off position, rather than with a company that might have other openings you would respond to later.

Best of luck to you. I feel your pain, as our former president used to say.

Last edited by Jukesgrrl; 08-06-2013 at 12:35 AM..
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:13 AM
 
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^^^^^^^What she said - One thing that always struck me when I lived in Tucson and would go back to visit friends is how people would introduce themselves or others. It would almost always be "this is Joe, he's a climber" or "this is JoAnne, she does ultra-marathons". People would tell you what they did in their free time, but not their occupation. To say that Tucson is a laid back town is an understatement.

About the only nice thing that I can say about my ex-spouse is that she made me hightail it out of Tucson as soon as I got my degree. She could see the writing on the wall, I was having too much fun working at a bike shop to be ambitious enough to pursue a professional job.

Know a couple of people in my current industry that were based in Tucson but had to relocate up to Phoenix in order to have enough business to generate a paycheck. Good luck in finding a good, professional level job in Tucson. If I could find one I would join you down there.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:50 PM
 
38 posts, read 69,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
Even when the economy here was strong I had a hard time getting an interview — I was constantly told I was overqualified. Most of the people I did get interviews with were twenty years younger than I was. They were super-complimentary of my resume and my portfolio but it was obvious they had no intention of even calling my references. I suspect they had no desire to have an underling who was almost as old as their mother and/or they were afraid I wanted their job.

You don't say how old you are. Perhaps — even if you are still on the young side — your accomplishments are intimidating to the people you would be working with/for. I know it sounds crazy that an employer wouldn't want the most highly qualified candidate they could get, but sometimes that's the case. There are many candidates for most openings in Tucson and hiring managers often want the person who is most like them, not a person who might appear to have more desire to succeed.

.....I know it sounds crazy to dumb-down your resume, but perhaps you should consider giving that a chance if you really think you've tried everything else. Don't include everything you've ever done before. Instead of attempting to prove you would be The. Best. at a job, just try to show that you are capable and interested.
Wise words above.

In certain regions people have a hard time getting a job because of what jukes wrote above.

When I lived in DC, Seattle, and Los Angeles I was interviewed by people who had more experience than me and they hired me.

In my my hometown, having a BA can hurt you. Being interviewed by a 25 year old on many occasions. I have thought of taking the BA off and other things and just stating I am a high school grad.

In some/many cases if an interviewer/manager/or company thinks you are over-qualified they think you will not be around long, and it is not worth hiring you.

And yes, there are definitely those that think you could threaten their position, so they will not hire you.

A friend of mine was in dire need to hire someone and I mentioned a mutual acquaintance of ours who had a steller reputation. He alwys blew it off without giving a reason and I finally asked him why he wouldn't interview him. He told me, "Dave is too good. He could take me job."

I am plannig to move to Tucson on November. It is 95%.

I will do what I can do get work. I will temp, do anything to make it work.

I am single, no kids, no debts, and live a simple lifestyle.

But still.....feeling a bit nervous.

Good luck, OP
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Tucson
205 posts, read 729,598 times
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Resumes and job applications, while a necessary evil, are pretty much worthless in landing a job in our "new" economy. First, everyone should have a "perfect" resume - well written, no typos, formatted professionally. It should be biased towards the job for which you are applying which is easy enough to do with today's word processing software.

Ultimately, all a resume does, AT BEST, is get your application into the "don't throw it in the trash pile" which is controlled solely by HR. Then that pile gets filtered down to what HR considers the top five or six applicants and those are the ones chosen to interview with the person who will actually be doing the hiring. And one of HR's criteria may well be over qualification is an eliminator because their history has proven that over qualified applicants continue looking for the right job even after they are hired.

If you really want to land a good job that will actually use your skills, you need to network, do volunteer work, ask to do an internship even if it's non-paid. One of the best people I ever hired when I was in banking said she would work for me for three months free and if I didn't think she was the best loan officer on staff, let her go. I hired her, with salary of course, and yes, she was the best loan officer I ever hired and I met her through a Chamber of Commerce function, not through a resume that would have likely never made it to my desk.

Go to Chamber meetings, join civic groups, do volunteer work, play golf and try to complete a foursome of executives. Let every person you meet know you are in search of a particular type of job and give them a simple business card with you name, phone number and a very brief, self-imposed job title like "communications consultant". If you like to hike or bike ride, talk to everyone in the group and see who they might know in your industry.

We've been here right at a year and without looking for work, my wife has been offered three jobs, I've been offered two. Purely from networking and people asking what we did before retirement and then they mention someone who is in that industry (education) and soon people are asking you to submit a resume and come to work for them.

If you can't network, intern or volunteer because of other obligations, then at the very least, partially bypass HR (you can't bypass them altogether). Find out who the actual hiring manager is and send a letter directly to them referencing the package you sent to HR and BRIEFLY tell them why your the best candidate for the job and would they please ask HR to share your packet with him/her.

You've got to be aggressive in today's world, laid back town or not. When there are literally dozens of qualified people applying for every career opening out there, you must stand out from the crowd or have developed and inside track.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:47 PM
 
38 posts, read 69,092 times
Reputation: 53
^ I agree with you about resumes and "playing golf."

If we can network, then all of this awful resume & interview game can be avoided. As you noted, we are living in a "new normal" and I don't expect it to change soon.

All of us in the region need to constantly network.
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