• How to really get in with Amtrak

  • General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.
General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.

Moderator: thebigc

  by jkell1234
 
Hey guys I think I have come to the realization that I will never get into Amtrak as a conductor engineer or pretty much any kind of Onboard job from the street as there is just too much competition with internal candidates and if you don't live down the street from the station your application won't even get looked at. Even with recommendations from people within Amtrak, the only attention i have gotten is through Philadelphia. I have taken all the qualification tests(passed) the physical tests(passed) and interviewed twice and the feedback i got from that was excellent and still just can't get into this organization. So besides being persistent because I have been i have been applying to almost all the assistant conductor positions in the NEC and beyond and all i ever get is thank you for your interest but but we welcome your applications to other positions when i have already did everything but interview with that specific station. I just keep getting rejected without any contact from recruiters and i guess my recruiter has moved on from the company because his linkedin has amtrak as previous now.

So my question is should i just start applying for janitor positions and other so called low positions and attempt to get in that way so i become an internal candidate for the positions that I so desire? I along with others are getting tired of being veterans of our armed forces and still can't get into an organization that claims to LOVE HIRING VETERANS. I call baloney to all that crap beyond amtrak and all your corporations that are just being politically correct in saying that.
  by trkspd
 
Have you ever considered that the problem is with YOU and not the company?

Amtrak does not OWE you a job simply because you are a veteran (Thank you by the way.), they just give you higher preference during the hiring process.

Maybe the company noticed your bad attitude, because just reading your post I can clearly notice it from here.

Keep trying, if you want to make it in railroading.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I think there's a balance here; I see more frustration than bad attitude. As a veteran, and someone who's crossed the "50-yard-line" (age), it's incredibly tough to find a job unless the company targets that demographic. My earning capacity is less than half what it was 10 years ago; I've had to settle for a foot in the door I thought I had long ago retracted. And some people (and/or companies) just don't relate to Vets. It can be extremely frustrating.

And of course thank you for your service.

After multiple applications, they may just know who you are, and for whatever reason just didn't take a liking. I've put in an application or two; it's just at my age, and with no experience or background other than moderating a railroad web-site and being a "foamer" :wink: they really don't have a use for me; they (correctly) assume I'll be a short-timer who'll retire pretty much as soon as eligible. Is it fair? From their perspective they want young people who are committed. From mine? It's not fair at all. But life isn't fair, as we've learned.

As for Amtrak, I know of a couple of people they've hired that have been head-scratchers, and some applicants they've passed on that are clearly qualified, even with a good word put in for them by current employees. Why they don't get a shot where others do? Got me.

Whether it's patronage, nepotism, sycophantic behavior, sexual favors, cheating, or just not giving a crap, hiring managers do what they do for whatever reasons suit them. Take a look at Metro North; their hiring practices have been scandalous. And once they're in the door, they can misbehave up to the point it's criminal and still get away with it because no one wants to take the effort to fix the situation.
  by jkell1234
 
Trkspd I was very professional to say the least and I got along well with my recruiter and interview panel thank you very much and after i didn't get selected the first time was given a 2nd interview immediately when they occured again so i don't think the problem is with me it is with Politics. Plus i have no idea why if they didn't like me would bring me back for a 2nd time just to deny me again. My main problem however lies with the fact that I am qualified for the job the tests I passed say so and yet I can't seem to garner a call for other conductor jobs along the NEC where i was told has a bigger need that Philadelphia in which i applied for but these jobs have been posted on the website for sometime now going on a few months and still nothing. In the application it asks you if I have taken the qualification test for this position and i select yes and then it asks if i have interviewed for Amtrak and I say yes and then give details there.

I am sorry that i am only frustrated that i feel my valuable time has been wasted on the 2nd interview because "why bring me back when there was never an intention to select since the panel was the same as the 1st time " or thats how i felt based on how the interview went. As for bad attitude no sir I am clearly just frustrated that I essentially wasted so much time showing them I was capable of performing the job when i could have been doing something else.

So no I don't feel I am the problem.
  by COEN77
 
Most of the time it's just luck getting hired. There are people on this site in which it took 3-4 years to get hired others have been trying that long or longer to get hired on the railroad. It's not personal. Railroads do hire Veterans it does give someone a step up. I know, I got hired on in 1977 because of being a Veteran. That was a tough one seeing in those days it was who you knew mine was Uncle Sam. Railroads like CSX have been recognized for hiring Veterans. In cases like Amtrak or any business internal applications should have priority. Maybe applying for other than jobs in transportation at Amtrak is the ticket to get in. In your post I understood things till you went off on " it's politics" or thinking that being a Veteran was a gold card to getting a job. You did something right to get a 2nd interview unfortunately you weren't selected at this time. The reality of it, it's just life sometimes you win other times you don't.
  by trkspd
 
Passing the pre hire testing doesn't make you truly qualified, if you had a engineer or conductors certification in your pocket yoh would really be qualified....but still not on Amtrak.

Just keep trying, I work for a Class I railroad in train service and still have had 40 plus applications denied by Amtrak, maybe it's me, my resume, or just my luck. I still keep trying, maybe I will get hired due to being an annoyance on every job posting.

If you want to work passenger, try to hire on with a passenger short line or commuter railroad first, then see if Amtrak picks you up.

If not, try freight....it's a damn good job too and you don't need customer service skills.
jkell1234 wrote:Trkspd I was very professional to say the least and I got along well with my recruiter and interview panel thank you very much and after i didn't get selected the first time was given a 2nd interview immediately when they occured again so i don't think the problem is with me it is with Politics. Plus i have no idea why if they didn't like me would bring me back for a 2nd time just to deny me again. My main problem however lies with the fact that I am qualified for the job the tests I passed say so and yet I can't seem to garner a call for other conductor jobs along the NEC where i was told has a bigger need that Philadelphia in which i applied for but these jobs have been posted on the website for sometime now going on a few months and still nothing. In the application it asks you if I have taken the qualification test for this position and i select yes and then it asks if i have interviewed for Amtrak and I say yes and then give details there.

I am sorry that i am only frustrated that i feel my valuable time has been wasted on the 2nd interview because "why bring me back when there was never an intention to select since the panel was the same as the 1st time " or thats how i felt based on how the interview went. As for bad attitude no sir I am clearly just frustrated that I essentially wasted so much time showing them I was capable of performing the job when i could have been doing something else.

So no I don't feel I am the problem.
  by jkell1234
 
COEN77 wrote:Most of the time it's just luck getting hired. There are people on this site in which it took 3-4 years to get hired others have been trying that long or longer to get hired on the railroad. It's not personal. Railroads do hire Veterans it does give someone a step up. I know, I got hired on in 1977 because of being a Veteran. That was a tough one seeing in those days it was who you knew mine was Uncle Sam. Railroads like CSX have been recognized for hiring Veterans. In cases like Amtrak or any business internal applications should have priority. Maybe applying for other than jobs in transportation at Amtrak is the ticket to get in. In your post I understood things till you went off on " it's politics" or thinking that being a Veteran was a gold card to getting a job. You did something right to get a 2nd interview unfortunately you weren't selected at this time. The reality of it, it's just life sometimes you win other times you don't.
The reason i used politics was because the 2nd interview felt really political and at least to me wasn't really an interview it was more of hey we just wanted to follow up with you real quick. Literally took 5 minutes and could have just been done over conference call instead of me taking off the entire day of work. When i walked into the room and recognized 2 of the 3 and the 3rd was a recruiter trainee sent red flags up but still pressed on with a smile and confidence.
  by BlendedBreak
 
I along with others are getting tired of being veterans of our armed forces and still can't get into an organization that claims to LOVE HIRING VETERANS.
You can't be serious...
There are thousands of veterans out there and only a handful of jobs.
This sense of entitlement to jobs, promotions, and treatment among most current veterans is disgusting. Maybe a career in law enforcement would better suit your needs?
No one owes you a railroad job. No one owes you anything especially since you are a veteran. You made the choice to sign up and now you have to make some more choices.
Also as far as hiring veterans goes, I am sure officers would get priority over enlisted men. Anyone can enlist and push a mop and end up a veteran.

Get in somewhere like the rest of us, and work your way into the job. Stop whining :wink:
  by Marnos
 
BlendedBreak wrote:
I along with others are getting tired of being veterans of our armed forces and still can't get into an organization that claims to LOVE HIRING VETERANS.
You can't be serious...
There are thousands of veterans out there and only a handful of jobs.
This sense of entitlement to jobs, promotions, and treatment among most current veterans is disgusting. Maybe a career in law enforcement would better suit your needs?
No one owes you a railroad job. No one owes you anything especially since you are a veteran. You made the choice to sign up and now you have to make some more choices.
Also as far as hiring veterans goes, I am sure officers would get priority over enlisted men. Anyone can enlist and push a mop and end up a veteran.

Get in somewhere like the rest of us, and work your way into the job. Stop whining :wink:
WOW !!! Where to begin.

In response to the orignial poster:
From one vet to another, I completely understand your frustration and particularly in light of your follow-up posts, I do not interpret you as having a sense entitlement.

I simply ask that you not claim to speak on behalf of all veterans. As a demographic, we are as diverse as the general U.S. population.

In response to Blended Beak. Contrary to what you may think, it is actually MUCH harder to get into the military than it is college and not just anyone can enlist. Less than .5% of our Country's population has served in the Armed Forces, so it is a fairly select group.

I'm just hoping your coments were intended as sarcasm.
  by Jeff Smith
 
When administering the site, it is my general policy to conduct such moderation behind the scenes. However, this is one where I feel compelled to respond publicly where someone's veteran status has been impugned.

Blended Break: as a veteran, your post shows just how ignorant the general populace can be about what it takes to serve our country. You're going to begrudge veterans like myself some assistance in a society which provides hiring preferences and job protections to so many other protected classes?

I'm retired from the military, and served in the Gulf in the first Gulf War, I served in Germany during the Cold War, and I served in the NYC area in security after 9/11. "Anyone can push a mop and end up a Veteran"? You've got to be kidding. Yeah, I mopped and buffed a few floors, and peeled a few potatoes, and "GI'd" a few latrines. But while that's part of the veteran experience, it certainly isn't most of it. I'm on a Army post a few times a week, and the vast majority of those I see in uniform wear combat patches on their right sleeves. Given the extended war we've been in since 2001, I expect that majority of service members with combat time (boots on the ground in a combat zone) to continue.

You haven't broken any specific rules with this post, and your post is on-topic. But it is patently offensive, and you've shown yourself to be quite ignorant about the meaning of being a veteran. As the primary administrator of this site, I have wide latitude to police obnoxious behavior. I don't expect an apology from you; I'm glad to protect your rights to state your opinion. However, your free speech rights end on a privately administered forum like this, and I won't subject my members, particularly veteran's, to such insults.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I'm going to lock this thread before this nonsense goes any further.