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Recent Graduate Cartographic Specialist


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#1
DHissemGISCARTO

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As mentioned in my topic title, I am a recent Cartographic Specialist graduate out of Ontario, Canada, and finding it very hard to find a company willing to bypass the omni-present "2 years experience" catch 22.

Areas where my skills are built upon:

TECHNOLOGICAL SKILL SET
• Exceptional skills in graphic design: Adobe Design Suite CS3
• Database Development - MS Access and Oracle 10g
• Web Based GIS Applications: ArcGIS 9.x Server, Autodesk MapGuide 6.3
• Geospatial Software: ArcGIS 9.x, AutoCAD Map 3D 2009, Geomatica 10.1, Avenza MAPublisher 8.x
• Freelance Cartographic Developer for 3 months

GRAPHIC DESIGN
• Web Design – Adobe Dreamweaver, HTML; Limited JavaScript, Cold Fusion
• Freelance Developer for 3 years across Canada

Any help from the generous folks on CartoTalk would be greatly appreciated... I will consider continuing my Freelance title if that is needed.

Thanks to All,

Darryl Hissem

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Darryl Hissem
"The virtue of maps, they show what can be done!"

#2
s hubbard

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i was just saying to Dave M....this is why going back to school is not as worthwhile (unless wanting better skills) as going out into the workforce somewhere.
there's lots of entry level GIS/Mapping jobs that many of us can do.
just gotta move!
check this site: (you being canadian, must get work visa maybe)
USA Jobs
this is a good site too: GIS Jobs Clearinghouse
your maps look good. very clean and organized.
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#3
James Hines

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i was just saying to Dave M....this is why going back to school is not as worthwhile (unless wanting better skills) as going out into the workforce somewhere.
there's lots of entry level GIS/Mapping jobs that many of us can do.
just gotta move!
check this site: (you being canadian, must get work visa maybe)
USA Jobs
this is a good site too: GIS Jobs Clearinghouse
your maps look good. very clean and organized.


It's not as easy as you think it is to get a job as a Canadian down in the states. In Canada most GIS programs are based on certifications & diploma's rather then a degree. In Canada it's more of a hands on approach, & for GIS technicians that do not hold a degree that catch 22 is in effect, in other words those GIS technicians that do not hold a degree must have three years experience before crossing the border. And even then with the shape of the economy there's that buy American policy, (same thing is happening in Canada), which is also translating into hire an American first policy. That policy is a good policy, because citizens specifically those born into your country should come first.

Unfortunately those job sites for the most part are useless especially for Canadians where there are few jobs posted on them from this country. This is not saying that there isn't a lot of jobs in Canada but it can be frustrating. Unlike in the states we have two official national languages: English & French. And though there is an increasing movement specifically among hard lined conservatives to toss Quebec out of Canada the fact remains that this does limit job opportunities if you know only one language. For example to be an officer in the Canadian armed forces or RCMP you must know both English and French otherwise your not qualified. The same is true for the federal public service GIS positions although there are rumors or at least according to an organization claiming to stick up for language fairness of language discrimination directed at English speakers.


Ultimately it's in my opinion that the catch 22 does not seem fair but the fact remains that there's no law against it & there's nothing that we can do about it. To be honest with you the only experience I have had is through my freelance work, & it has nothing to do for the fact that I don't want to work for anyone. Fresh out of COGS I worked really hard to find that job & got no responses. Two years ago I started freelancing because I knew that the useless job I got was a very low paying position & to be truthful when I quit I had no regrets of it because I knew then that eventually it would pay off either as a successful business or a very good opportunity. And you know what a month ago though I didn't get to the interview stage I still got my first response back, it's a step in the right direction & to me this is a sign that more responses are coming once the jobs pick up again.

As I see your resume you have done three months of freelance work, count that as three months experience. And even if you don't get the job anytime soon keep at it if you love your work enough. Somebody likes you out there & before your done you will be laughing all the way at the bank. Anyways I strongly recommend Wow Jobs which is a great tool to look for multiple listings from most Canadian job sites. And keep away from government job placement agencies, their mandate is to simply make sure you have a job even if its minimum wage.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#4
DHissemGISCARTO

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i was just saying to Dave M....this is why going back to school is not as worthwhile (unless wanting better skills) as going out into the workforce somewhere.
there's lots of entry level GIS/Mapping jobs that many of us can do.
just gotta move!
check this site: (you being canadian, must get work visa maybe)
USA Jobs
this is a good site too: GIS Jobs Clearinghouse
your maps look good. very clean and organized.


It's not as easy as you think it is to get a job as a Canadian down in the states. In Canada most GIS programs are based on certifications & diploma's rather then a degree. In Canada it's more of a hands on approach, & for GIS technicians that do not hold a degree that catch 22 is in effect, in other words those GIS technicians that do not hold a degree must have three years experience before crossing the border. And even then with the shape of the economy there's that buy American policy, (same thing is happening in Canada), which is also translating into hire an American first policy. That policy is a good policy, because citizens specifically those born into your country should come first.

Unfortunately those job sites for the most part are useless especially for Canadians where there are few jobs posted on them from this country. This is not saying that there isn't a lot of jobs in Canada but it can be frustrating. Unlike in the states we have two official national languages: English & French. And though there is an increasing movement specifically among hard lined conservatives to toss Quebec out of Canada the fact remains that this does limit job opportunities if you know only one language. For example to be an officer in the Canadian armed forces or RCMP you must know both English and French otherwise your not qualified. The same is true for the federal public service GIS positions although there are rumors or at least according to an organization claiming to stick up for language fairness of language discrimination directed at English speakers.


Ultimately it's in my opinion that the catch 22 does not seem fair but the fact remains that there's no law against it & there's nothing that we can do about it. To be honest with you the only experience I have had is through my freelance work, & it has nothing to do for the fact that I don't want to work for anyone. Fresh out of COGS I worked really hard to find that job & got no responses. Two years ago I started freelancing because I knew that the useless job I got was a very low paying position & to be truthful when I quit I had no regrets of it because I knew then that eventually it would pay off either as a successful business or a very good opportunity. And you know what a month ago though I didn't get to the interview stage I still got my first response back, it's a step in the right direction & to me this is a sign that more responses are coming once the jobs pick up again.

As I see your resume you have done three months of freelance work, count that as three months experience. And even if you don't get the job anytime soon keep at it if you love your work enough. Somebody likes you out there & before your done you will be laughing all the way at the bank. Anyways I strongly recommend Wow Jobs which is a great tool to look for multiple listings from most Canadian job sites. And keep away from government job placement agencies, their mandate is to simply make sure you have a job even if its minimum wage.



Wow! thank you so much for the obviously well thought out response to my posting... I appreciate hearing the experiences of individuals doing the same work as myself and the struggles that will be part of it, not all graduates are lucky enough to have their dream jobs fall into their laps on the first try but it's good to know that there are folks out there, especially in the GIS community that understand the hardship (since most have experienced it i the past) and can relate to it in some way.

I have no doubts that eventually in time, I will find the "office job" that I am looking for, I just need to resolve myself that it will not be an easy road to follow... thank you Hasdrubal for your insight and direction...
Darryl Hissem
"The virtue of maps, they show what can be done!"

#5
rudy

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Being in a position where I've had to interview and hire people into a cartographer position here are my tips:
- make sure that you resume is simple, clean, easy to read and to the point and free of any spelling mistakes - get some one who has some experience writing or editing to have a look at it. The easiest way to weed people out is by looking at their resume or cover letter.
- get familiar with the company you are applying with and when writing a cover letter, customize it to the company. Keep it short and to the point. You've got a page to do it but you shouldn't have to use the whole page.
- make it clear in the cover letter and the resume what you can offer the company. Most companies are not interested in helping you find a full time job in your field.
- be enthusiatic, particularly in the interview. First impressions are made in the first 10 seconds. Of the 20 or so people I've interviewed only once did someone change the idea I had of them after that initial 10 seconds.
- make sure the work you show is the best it can be. Do not show anything with instructor's marks and comments (yes, that has happened).
- keep being involved in freelance opportunities wherever they arise - it shows you have a genuine interest in what you do and it provides you with some experience

Sorry I can't offer you an interview right now. But keep at it and good luck.

#6
DHissemGISCARTO

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Being in a position where I've had to interview and hire people into a cartographer position here are my tips:
- make sure that you resume is simple, clean, easy to read and to the point and free of any spelling mistakes - get some one who has some experience writing or editing to have a look at it. The easiest way to weed people out is by looking at their resume or cover letter.
- get familiar with the company you are applying with and when writing a cover letter, customize it to the company. Keep it short and to the point. You've got a page to do it but you shouldn't have to use the whole page.
- make it clear in the cover letter and the resume what you can offer the company. Most companies are not interested in helping you find a full time job in your field.
- be enthusiatic, particularly in the interview. First impressions are made in the first 10 seconds. Of the 20 or so people I've interviewed only once did someone change the idea I had of them after that initial 10 seconds.
- make sure the work you show is the best it can be. Do not show anything with instructor's marks and comments (yes, that has happened).
- keep being involved in freelance opportunities wherever they arise - it shows you have a genuine interest in what you do and it provides you with some experience

Sorry I can't offer you an interview right now. But keep at it and good luck.


No problems Rudy, all the information you have provided is a great help, I have already implemented the majority of the points, need to work on the "I'm so special it would kill your business if you don't hire me..." personality. I will take all you mentioned to heart and maybe see you in the future.
Darryl Hissem
"The virtue of maps, they show what can be done!"




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