How did you "get" a full-time job? (A 2017 discussion)


Fully vaccinated are you?
Please be as specific as you feel comfortable writing in a public discussion forum:

  • How did you get your first full-time job?
  • How did you get your current (or your last) full-time job?
  • What is your personal advice to job seekers?
Just to help address some differences:

  • What specific field are you in?
  • Job requirements or job description.
  • Where are you located?


first full time job: sent in a resume to a company I was interested in while still an undergrad (I do not remember it being for a specific job - I was interested in the company so sent it to their HR dept - this was in the 1980's). I was hired for the summer, then hired full time when I graduated.

current job: pulled in by a friend who works at the company

advice: a mix of what I did - find companies you are interested in (do not worry if there are open positions being advertised or not), find people you know who work at those companies, have those people bring your resume in (or do the linkedin thing with them)

Other info you asked for:
Field - QA
job info - I had some experience with ISO from the 1990's (I took time off to do the at-home mom thing)
area - Boston MA


Quite Involved in Discussions
How did you get your first full-time job?
Through a job postings binder in the engineering department at college
How did you get your current (or your last) full-time job?
Started as a contractor, found through a recruiter
What is your personal advice to job seekers?
Always write unique cover letters for each application
I graduated in Industrial Engineering, and both my first jobs and this last job started off with those skills. I am now in Q&R, and plan to stay.


Involved In Discussions
In 1979 I was trying to get a job with General Motors. Back then GM’s hiring process was:
1. The interview
2. A physical
3. Orientation
4. Placement in the hiring pool

I made it into the hiring pool and was waiting to be called. A friend of mine offered to get me a job where he worked, a small family owned and operated business. I was up front and honest with them and told them this would only be temporary because I was waiting for GM to call. They hired me anyway. I started off as a machine operator and worked my way up the ladder to Inspector, then Quality Manager, then Quality Engineer for the company. I retired 3 years ago after working 35 years on that “temporary” job.


Trusted Information Resource
Great story, [LRE67].

How did you get your first full-time job?

Back in the previous century, posting on the EDD bulletin board, walked across town and applied - made artificial fireplace logs out of recycled text porn paperbacks and wax, drove forklift

How did you get your current (or your last) full-time job?

Layoff after twelve years as QE, picked up by competitor for QA Manager after a summer of free agency

What is your personal advice to job seekers?

Cast a broad net, use all the techniques, remain optimistic, be diplomatic but forthright in interviews

What specific field are you in?

Now? QA. Career arc goes like > General kid stuff > Construction > Auto mechanic > Manufacturing > asked too many questions = QC > QA

Job requirements or job description.

Problem prevention, problem solving, documenting whose problem it really is

Where are you located?

Left coast, southernmost


Fully vaccinated are you?
Thanks to those who have posted so far.

With me, I started working part-time in high school (as the US calls it) in a hospital as an EEG technician. My father was a doctor, and times were simpler then. Hospitals were not large corporations that most are today. Most were local community hospitals, just as most doctors had their own practices (a rarity these days). To make a long story short, my father got me the job. I worked doing EEGs, and repairing EEG "machines", at several hospitals for about 5 years after I got out of high school. That's when I went to college.

It was after I finally went to college and got out that I decided to find a different job. I didn't want to go to med school but I never really had a direction or particular desire to do anything specific. I liked electricity and all things electric, so I contacted some people I knew who were electricians. Problem was, the economy was "down" so there were no openings for apprentices. I had my pilot license but at the time all I could get were a few "odds and ends" jobs - Airlines, at the time, wanted ex-air force pilots.

I got into DoD work by seeing an advertisement in our local newspaper. The advertisement was for someone with experience with a specific DoD "mil spec". I had no idea what a "mil spec" was, but the job was at a nearby company, so I went to the Cincinnati library and looked it up. It was on microfilm, and it wasn't too long, so I copied each of the pages. I think it was something like 5¢ a page. I called the company and asked for the quality manager. They connected me and I told him - "I have no experience with the mil spec, but I got a copy at the library and it looks pretty simple to me". The company was a small company of (at the time) less than 50 people that was owned by some people in an investment group in California (HTCC, IIRC): (broken link removed) Anyway, the fellow invited me to come and "talk" with him. I went, I brought my copy of the mil spec, and we discussed it. No resume or anything like that. I probably took a copy of my college transcript. I impressed him enough that I was pretty much hired on the spot. My title was "QC Laboratory Manager". Most of what I did was QPL (qualified product list) planning, required testing, and submissions, to get their products on what these days is called the Approved Products List (DODIN APL) - Approved Products List (APL) Testing & Certification - It was a good entrance for me into the "business" world.

As an aside, it was in DoD work that I discovered what was the precursor to what is now the internet - It has come a long way since those days...


Starting to get Involved
New here, and new to QC.

How did I get my first job?
I walked into the local pizza place in my small home town and said that I could work during school hours when a lot of their usual employees were not able to. Got hired basically on the spot.

How did I get my current job?
I was placed at my current company about 6 years ago by a staffing agency. I was a assembly line operator, then bid into a machine operator spot, and then into QC.

As for job seeking advice, I don't know that I am qualified. I took what I could to keep a roof over my wife and I (and now my son) and have just moved up in company since then.

Specifically, I work in quality control at a dry van trailer manufacturer, and the primary requirements for my job seem to be showing up and doing what I am told to do. Which seems to be a problem for a lot of people...


Quality Manager
  • How did you get your first full-time job? First ever? Friend of a friend in a convenience store a few decades ago :).
  • How did you get your current (or your last) full-time job? A machine shop owner needed a quality department and a QMS. At the time I had been a machinist and a sheet metal fabricator and had moved into aerospace inspection. He knew me from other areas and pursued me.
  • What is your personal advice to job seekers? Learn to work with all types of people and in all kinds of conditions (it's not always enough to be right). Some of the most challenging personalities and environments actually helped me and if I had just walked away from them I wouldn't be able to do what I do now. And if you want to work in quality learn if you have a quality mindset or a production mindset, but be sure you aren't too much of one or the other.
Just to help address some differences:
  • What specific field are you in? Machining for aerospace, defense, oil field, and natural gas.
  • Job requirements or job description. Quality Assurance Manager, so many hats.
  • Where are you located? Southern Oklahoma.
I've been able to work my way from the ground up as an operator in different shops. Having a quality mindset caught the attention of people in QA departments and I moved from production into quality eventually. I wouldn't be able to get a call back from most companies' HR departments to do what I do since I don't have a degree. I've been very fortunate to grow where I have.
Last edited:


Trusted Information Resource
How did you get your first full-time job? First ever? A local manufacturing company came to the high school and asked the machine shop teacher if he had anyone who would be willing to 'apprentice' part time. 3 years later, after graduation, they hired me full time.

How did you get your current (or your last) full-time job? I had just gotten laid-off (disagreement with supervisor) and my current company heard I was looking (did not submit an application) and hired me to be swing shift supervisor.

What is your personal advice to job seekers? I don't really have any, I have not 'looked' for a job. The jobs always seem to just find me (lucky I guess).

What specific field are you in? Machining for aerospace and comercial. Started off as a machinist.
Job requirements or job description. Quality Manager, and anything else they need me to do.
Where are you located? Northern Nevada.


How did you get your first full-time job?
Graduated with distinctions, but took my nearly a year to land my first job. A counselor of at the Career's Service spent a great deal of time looking through my CV and cover letter (so grateful!). One interview later, I was hired. Most probably because my boss mistook my desperation for dedication!

How did you get your current (or your last) full-time job?
My research grant was not approved and out of sheer desperation and joblessness I applied for any and every job. My boss hired during the interview, solely because I spoke good English. Fast forward one year and one "Employee of the Year" award later, totally committed to quality and regulatory work.

What is your personal advice to job seekers?
Nothing is beneath you. Take any opportunity to get your foot in the door and learn as much as possible. With so much technology at your fingertips, there is really NO EXCUSE!

What specific field are you in?
Infection Prevention and Medical Devices

Job requirements or job description.
Regulatory Affairs and Quality Management

Where are you located?
  • Like
Reactions: Jen
Top Bottom