– But if you get into any of those areas, I don't care if it's
NETCONF YANG with Python or the Vitela Software-defined WAN or Cisco DNAC or software-defined access, you're distinguishing yourself from the rest of the pack. The more the better, the more
you can get your hands on, the better. – Yes, very good point. I mean, I think it's exactly right. You've gotta market yourself, because the way that you
stand out is to be different and learn this new stuff. – I look at a lot of resumes. (tense music) ♪ Wanna shake the ground ♪ ♪ Wanna break through and let loose ♪ ♪ I'm tired of waiting ♪ ♪ Gonna make that move ♪ – I look at a lot of resumes.
– Yeah well, let's switch to that, then. – Okay. – Because you, I'm glad you said that, so
you look at a lot of resumes, so what advice would you give to someone who, on their resume, and then let's turn this
into, like, a job thing. So if I want a job with you, how can I make my prospects better? – The very first piece of
advice I would give anybody is proofread your resume. I cannot tell you how many I get that have misspellings, grammatical errors. The one that kills me is when people are inconsistently wrong. If you're gonna be wrong,
be wrong consistent.
You shouldn't be wrong at all, but, so they'll put a period after a after a word, or, excuse me, a space after a word when a period follows it, and then the next time,
they won't do that. Or they'll have a bullet list,
and they'll have a period on three of the items at
the end and not on two. Like, for me especially,
working in marketing, even if it is technical marketing, if you can't market yourself, if you don't have a clean resume, if you haven't edited it, if
you haven't taken the time to present something
to me that's readable, then forget it, I mean, that's gonna go in the garbage right away.
That's number one. The second thing, you definitely have to, I used to have just one
resume and I'd go hand it out. Sometimes you have to do
that, you go to a job fair or something, but as much as you can, tailor it to the job you're applying to. If I get a generic resume
of a network engineer for a technical marketing engineer job, okay, they may be good, I may consider it, but if somebody presents me with a resume that maybe they've never
done technical marketing in their life, but they gave
a presentation somewhere, so they add it in there,
because we do presentations.
Find out about the job
you're applying for. Try to figure out what
they're looking for. I mean, if you have a job opportunity and they want a network engineer
who knows about automation, put in the Python course that you did. Make sure that it's tailored
to what you're doing. – That's interesting, so you're tailoring, you're making a tailored
copy of your resume for that position. – Right. If you're serious about
it, if you're serious. I mean, again, if you're
blanketing a large number of opportunities, you may
not be able to do that. But if you find something
you're interested in, you should. When I applied for this job, I came in as a technical
marketing engineer from quite a diverse background, but I made sure to highlight
the different things that I did that were marketing-oriented and that helped a lot.
Other things I think I mentioned, having a good, something
that distinguishes you. Just think about what makes me different. I actually heard people,
I used to hate this term, and now I've kind of grown to adopt it. Developing a personal brand. (chuckles) You know, we're gear heads, right? We're technical people,
we don't like to do that. We always feel probably a
little dirty selling ourselves, like this is, you gotta do it. You've gotta figure out, just
think about it for a minute. What is it about me
that makes me different from someone else? Am I a good writer and speaker? Do I have great communication skills? Am I just a really
highly technical person? Do I know how to program? What is it that is my brand? Like, what is it that I
want people to see about me? Figure that out, first,
and then build your resume and your LinkedIn profile based on that.
I'm sure I could go on longer on that one. – No, that's great, I
mean, I was just thinking, as you were saying that, it's sometimes, it sounds like people invest too much in their technical skill, but like, if you say you know BGP, I mean, everyone, all
the network engineers are gonna say they know BGP, but if you can differentiate
yourself some other way, it's worth spending more time on that. – Yeah, there's always what
I call the alphabet soup at the top of the resume
where we see BGP, OSPF, EIGRP, and that's another one. Don't put anything in
there that you don't know, at least not if you're
gonna interview at Cisco, because we will figure it out.
There's nothing that looks worse, when we ask you, okay, you put
NETCONF YANG on your resume, and you're sitting in a
room with someone like me who happens to know a lot about it. I've caught quite a few on that one. It looks bad, it's better
just not to put it. But, you know, we have the
alphabet soup on the top and we feel as engineers,
that's all we need to put. You know, as I said,
everybody has different skills and you have to figure
out what your skill is and what to highlight. The one thing I would
say to your viewers is, work on developing your soft skills, in addition to your engineering skills.
They both matter, and when you have a sea of engineers, I don't care, not just
for a marketing job. I mean, if you're an
in-house network engineer, if you can explain yourself clearly, you're not afraid to get
up in front of a room in a big meeting and present, that sets you above the
pack more than anything. If you can teach, you can
train other engineers, that distinguishes you. – That's brilliant, I
mean, so, that's like CV, or sorry, a resume, as
you say in the States. Interview day, tips, tricks? – That's right, interview day? – Say I'm coming for the interview, so let's say you've seen my resume and now you say, okay, you
can come for an interview. How can I do it better, or
what tips would you give me for interview day? – All right, I'll switch to CV, too, so we can each– – Yeah, sorry! (laughs) – I know we all have our– – English words, two nations separated
by a common language.
– That's right, I was in
Australia for the first time a couple of months ago and
I had to re-learn English. It was very interesting. – It's funny, I mean,
South African English, British English, American
English, all I am now is confused. – Well, for interview day, this is interesting,
I actually have a blog and I'm writing, I just
started a series of articles on interviewing, technical interviewing. – So I'll get Jeff's blogs,
so you must give me the link so I'll put them below this video. – All right, and I have a lot
of thoughts on the subject. Part of the problem is, when
you walk in for an interview, the person you're interviewing with may not have any training or knowledge on how to actually interview someone.
So what network engineers
will typically do when they interview, is they will ask you questions like, tell me all of the LSA types for OSPF and what they do. And I actually, I used to
ask questions like that, once upon a time, and I've decided that
they're not very effective, because it's just book knowledge, and I mean, maybe if I were hiring someone to a routing protocols team at TAC I might get into some of that.
I tend to ask more
scenario based questions. So tell me something
you actually did at work that will highlight your skills, and we might get into technical
weeds as you explain it. I'm seeing the thing you worked on, do you really know? – Yes. – So that said most people
don't interview like I do. So you have to be ready for a barrage of technical questions. I don't think that's the
best way to interview, but you need to study for it a bit like you're studying for your CCNA.
At least have that stuff ready. One thing I think people need to realize, is that interview is a two-way street, you can assert yourself
and take charge of it in the interview. Don't be a jerk about it, but you can steer it the
way you want it to go. So if you get asked the LSA
type question you can say, I'll tell you the LSA
types by the way let me tell you about a project I did with OSPF. So you can start to use it to show, what you have beyond just book knowledge. So you're not really
falling into that trap that's one suggestion. Here at Cisco I don't
know about other places, we often make people get
up on a whiteboard and describe a particular technology. One thing I always tell
people about that is that you have to think about it
like you're explaining it to somebody, a kid who
doesn't know about networking.
People tend to start too deep. A lot of times Ill let someone pick, pick something on your
resume and they'll inevitably pick the most complicated
things, maybe they want to impress me and they'll
start down in the weeds. Sometimes it's something
I've never worked on. I interviewed someone who worked on 5G. I don't know anything about
5G and I couldn't follow what he's saying. Which immediately, so if you get into that
scenario pick something easy. It's okay to pick HSRP, I'm looking at that point
not to see whether you know HSRP, I wanna see if
you know how to explain something clearly. I don't know if that's
just a marketing thing, but we used to do that in TAC even. I think that's a common one. – So let me, I was just
thinking about this while you were talking about this, talk about Cisco. So if I wanna work at
cisco what do I need to do? We need tips or tricks or, I don't wanna make like tips and tricks, but how can I be better prepared? – It varies quite a bit by the type of job that you're applying for.
I can tell you what I look for. I've already told you a bit, I'm looking for an external hire. So it's actually interesting for TME's, technical marketing engineers. We do a lot of internal hires partly because we're working
with the latest and greatest stuff, and someone at
engineering may know that. We're actually looking
to change that a bit, because the nice thing
about people who come from customer side, is they
bring customer perspective, which we need in developing our products.
That's very valuable to us. The main thing is, what makes your resume rise out of the pack,
is how well it's written and presented. Don't go crazy. I've seen some people
who go absolutely crazy with graphic design and
it looks ridiculous. Well laid out, it's clear. I look at that resume, I get
a picture of who you are, I wanna see for a TME again
some communication skills. Have you done any presentations, have you been involved in
any groups outside of work? Maybe you joined the IEEE, even if you're just sitting
on a committee reviewing, whatever maybe you have a meetup group for network engineers, and
you presented something.
That kinda stuff I look for, have they done anything outbound? We wanna see the technology. I'm not saying don't
put the alphabet soup, keep it very focused on
your area of expertise. Don't lie, don't put anything in there that you don't actually know. Read the job description too. I had to wreck open for
someone who knew API's specifically, and I got a lot of generic network engineer resumes. I wanted someone with API's. – What do you think about doing blogs or YouTube videos or LinkedIn posts, is that valuable? – Yes you're a social media guy, of course you bring that up, that's actually very valuable. In fact my blog helped me to get this job. – Interesting. – A lot of people in this group that I've been working in have been technical marketing
engineers for 15 years. I have not. I was coming from an IT role, I worked for the CIO of a company, I was the director of network architecture a high level role.
I had my blog and I had explained a number of interesting technical concepts there in clear language, I know that my boss when he
was hiring me read the blog. And felt that it showed what I was doing. Blogs, YouTube, that's a great point. Anything outside of just yeah I know the BGP state machine is valuable. Or certifications which are good. That helps you get a
sense of the person right? You know an half an hour interview, you have a very short window,
the person is nervous. You don't always get the best picture, but then you say I have
a YouTube channel and they start watching the videos. Now I've got a sense they know
what they're talking about. Or they have a blog,
oh wow they write well they explain things clearly. That would help here, that
would help for any job. If you have like a portfolio, like artists need to have a portfolio. You need to have a portfolio something that you can
show a potential employer. – In my job, in my sort of situation if I want to employ a graphic designer I don't care what degree you've got, show me your work.
– Exactly. – Does that still apply though? Cause it's difficult to
do that as a network guy. – It's difficult. I would say in this case it's beneficial. – Sorry Jeffery got cut off again. I was saying, if I wanna hire a graphics guy, I say I don't care what degree you've got, what certifications show me your work. It's difficult to do
that as a network guy. – Yeah, I don't wanna
steer people the wrong way. Like, I should go make a
bunch of YouTube videos and not study the technology. I mean fundamentally we
wanna know that you're technologically sound for
the area that you're looking or applying for. Do get your certifications, do study, do work on projects that are relevant. Beyond that, it's about
distinguishing yourself and it's about us getting a sense of you as a person. A portfolio of work outside of
your job and certifications, this is all part of your portfolio right.
Something else beyond that
helps us get a sense of you is very valuable. – I'm gonna ask you the
elephant in the room question. Are you ready? – I'm ready. – This is the U.S. I don't live in the U.S,
but this is the U.S. People in the U.S tell me
that this is a problem. Degrees or certs? If I wanna job do I
have to get a degree or, is a cert enough or, what's your opinion? Should I go for a degree? A four year degree, or
should I get a certification like go for CCIE. Putting you on the spot,
but just your opinion. – My opinion, not official CISCO policy. I have both, I have a masters degree and a bachelors degree. My bachelors degree is
in political science.
– So that's kind of related to networking? (chuckles) – Absolutely not at all, my masters degree is
telecommunications management. Which is somewhat relevant and it was technical and business,
but the technical stuff was all, I graduated from that in 2000. So it's not relevant anymore. My own feeling is that the
value of a university degree is overstated a bit. It is. So first of all there
aren't that many programs that have specifically a networking major. There are some out there. Most universities just have
general computer science. That's valuable, especially
moving into a programming world. But if you come to me with
just a computer science degree and no networking background.
It could be hard to get hired, whereas if someone came to
me with no bachelors degree and some certifications, that gives me an idea of a baseline of what knowledge they have. Now that said, a number of jobs including many of the ones that we have
require a bachelors degree. Possibly even a masters. I wouldn't mind changing that. I think we might, I think there are parts of
CISCO that have changed that. Because I'm mostly
interested in do you know do you know your stuff? That said I was a liberal arts major.
I do think that there's great
value in the liberal arts. Because you learn how to write and speak. If you don't have the BA
or the BS that forces you to do that. You should hopefully have
acquired those skills somewhere else, I do think
that could show through again in the interview,
in YouTube work, and blogs and other ways. I think that's the world
we should move towards.
You know you don't have
the bachelors degree, but show me that you have at least decent communication skills. – It seems to be, a lot
of guys, my U.S viewers will say, look David it's
all very good and well to get certs, but I have to get a degree to get through the door. Like you said CISCO has these requirements you have to get a degree. It's nice to hear that may change, cause I think I agree with you, for me
I studied accountancy, and information systems. I'm not regretting it like you, those kind of skills are
very valuable in business. But it's got nothing
to do with networking. – Right. You know ultimately,
it's about who you are and again just making
it clear that you have what a particular job needs. Every job is gonna require some level of communication skills. In technical marketing,
having business knowledge is good, it's valuable. Because we're steering the business. In my opinion if you go watch Khan academy videos on YouTube
and learn that material. Fine, why does it have to
come from a university? – So if I applied for a
position in your team, if I don't have a degree I'm
not even gonna get looked at is that right, or is there
a way to get around that? – I think currently we require it.
I do think we require it, but again I'm one of the more vocal ones that I don't think we should, so I
can't make any promises there. I think its something we should change. – It seems like from someone
in Europe living in Europe looking at the U.S it
looks like this whole, we won't get into the
political side of this, but this whole like
debt that people take on for their degrees in the U.S seems from my point of view crazy. It seems that guys have to,
to get through the door. So it'll be good to see
that change at some point. – Yeah, again that's a good point. You start off in a bad place
when you begin your career, with a mountain of debt that's a problem too.
Plenty to say on that, but probably a different YouTube video. – Definitely. So tell me about dress code. I'm dressed in jeans and a golf shirt, if I come for a technical
interview at CISCO in your experience interviewing people, is that okay in the U.S? Or do I need to come in a suit? – My first, so this is my second time at CISCO. My first time, I went to interview at TAC I think I wore a sport coat, no tie. But I came for my first day of work I was just wearing my usual lace up shoes and I think I was wearing
a collared shirt like this.
One of the TAC guys looked at me and said, you're dressing up for the job? Leather shoes, you're not wearing sneakers or runners or whatever you call them. CISCO for the most part is very casual, especially for engineers. I think no one is gonna
look down on you if you show up for your interview in a suit, but nobody's gonna require you and frankly most people don't
show up in a coat and tie. I think it's good to look presentable. I mean it's your interview day, you wanna show that you care a little bit. I would say you don't need to wear a tie. But if you're not wearing
a sport coat for men, I mean obviously women that's actually another subject.
If you wanna talk about diversity I can talk about that quite a bit. I think that looking professional, clean professional, if
you're wearing jeans I don't think you're gonna
get thrown out the door. I don't think anyone's even gonna notice. – Jeff I know we are probably
running out of time now. I really wanna thank you so
much for sharing your knowledge. Originally we were gonna talk about like CCIE versus, well
SDN is like killing CCIE. But I'm really glad we spoke about jobs, cause that's something
that a lot of people really want to know about. Thanks so much for sharing
your experience and knowledge. – Yeah and thanks for your time. – I appreciate it, thanks. – Great. – Brilliant, thank you very much. – Thanks. ♪ Wanna shake the ground ♪ ♪ Wanna break away let loose ♪ ♪ I'm tired of waiting ♪ ♪ Gotta make that move ♪.