Job hunting is a massive industry, but unfortunately it’s one that that always leaves job hunters feeling unsatisfied. Monster and Dice are painful to use. The hierarchy trees of job categories are often incorrect and confusing to someone who is looking for a job. There are a few places that are doing something different:
LinkedIn – resume and networking tools to keep in contact with ex-coworkers. The best way to find a job is often through people who know you. You get a job, they often get a referral bonus — win/win.
Peter’s New Jobs – regional tech job searches in Ottawa and Toronto, worth the yearly subscription even if you have a job because it’s a great way to stay current with the job market and how companies are doing.
Working With Rails – job listings based on people working with a common technology.
There are a few things I’d like to see in a job search site.
LinkedIn has taken over as the business contacts networking tool and it has a robust resume feature, yet we’re still forced to manually enter our resume into most job sites.
No Job Categories
Job sites like Dice and Monster all suffer from bad usability with elements like the job category navigation that takes several minutes to fill out. It’s so much simpler to have saved search agents for keywords in resumes and job postings.
I’d really like to see all of the job locations on a Google Map centered around my home address with different colours based on how the fresh the listing is. Job decision is often based on locality and I’ve yet to see a job search site that lets me easily list.
For publicly trade companies there is no reason not to integrate a stock ticker widget so that job applicants can quickly see how a company is performing.
ComputerWorld has an article about how recruiters use web anonymity to find more information out about job applicants.
In a 2006 survey by executive search firm ExecuNet in Norwalk, Conn., 77 of 100 recruiters said they use search engines to check out job candidates. In a CareerBuilder.com survey of 1,150 hiring managers last year, one in four said they use Internet search engines to research potential employees. One in 10 said they also use social networking sites to screen candidates. In fact, according to Search Engine Watch, there are 25 million to 50 million proper-name searches performed each day.
They go on to list some tips like starting a blog, joining open source communities, building a web page, creating web profiles. Andy pads it out with some more helpful suggestions like getting a domain name, tips for getting the number one spot for your name and controlling what appears in search results for your name.
I’ve written about privacy, internet usage and real name searches a few times with my Facebook tips, guide to pseudonyms/identity hiding and tips on hiding your LinkedIn profile from searches outside of your LinkedIn network. When I started this blog a year ago it was with the idea that it could help with the job hunt, but then the slew of articles I read about people losing their jobs because of blogging convinced me otherwise.
Joel has another great post on phone interviews. He focuses on asking questions on programming skills and office politics, with an emphasis on putting forth incorrect assertions and seeing if the interviewee pipes up. “Smart programmers have a certain affinity for the truth, and they’ll call you on it.” He also gives a list of good interview questions like design a program for playing Monopoly. This isn’t his first time talking about interviewing, he also gave some good tips for being on the other side of the chair in his Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing.
It happens all the time: we get a resume that everyone thinks is really exciting. Terrific grades. All kinds of powerful-sounding jobs. Lots of experience. Speaks seventeen languages. And saved over 10,000 kittens!
And then I call them up, and I can’t stand talking to them.
TechCrunch, a notable blog about start-ups, has created a forum for high tech job postings. It’s targetted towards software / web2.0 start-ups, as you can see from the categories: Admin/Office, Design, Executive, Other, Product, Programming, Sales/Marketing, Venture Capital.
They’re charging companies $200 to post a job listing. It’ll be interesting to see if this takes off, as it is missing key features like sorting by location, search inside postings, etc. The $200 fee to post should guarantee quality posts. Being part of the “CrunchNetwork” should guarantee it enough page views to be worth the posting fee.
At the moment there is only one non-California job posted by a company in New Zealand.
I think perhaps they launched the announcement too soon. It is functional but it is missing many key features to even get listed with the competition, not to mention differentiate itself from them. As one of the commenters on the TechCrunch announcement said: “It’s 2006!”.
It looks like there’s a pretty slick web app on the market at emurse.com.
The blog looks like it’s under active development and the feature list looks complete:
- Create resumes using expert advice and an easy to use builder
- Style your resumes and download in DOC, PDF, RTF, ODT, HTML or Text
- Manage multiple resumes.
- Make changes simply and easily.
- Send your resume out via email, fax or ground.
- Track where you’ve sent each resume, online or off.
- Stay on top with reminders, updates and thank you notes.
- Create a resume webpage, http://yourname.emurse.com
- Create resume sharing groups with friends and co-workers
There’s no indication of a usage fee, so enjoy it while the enjoying is good. This is a market space where even a piss poor application seems to turn a buck.
This is an interesting article on blogs from the point of view of people who are interviewing candidates. They talk about how blogs can be easily found by doing a search on the candidates name and how some candidates clearly mention their blog in their resume.
While the article doesn’t go into any true detail, it does cover some salient points like:
- how blogging gives interviewers more information of a personal nature then they would normally have during a job interview
- how the focus of the blog may skew their opinion of the candidates’ experience and/or interests
- how even if the blog is sanitary when talking about previous workplaces, co-workers and dirty laundry that there is the implied risk that may not always be the case
- how there is an underlying suspicion that time will be wasted maintaining their blog instead of working
The overall gist is that interviewers feel that having a blog at all is a negative on a candidate’s application.
Chronicle Careers: 7/8/2005: Bloggers Need Not Apply
- Posts tagged with Dooced
- Dooced: To get fired because of blogging about your company
When going on job interviews, keep in mind that if it is on your resume, then they will ask you questions about it. Have a friend with a similar technical background take a superficial glance at your resume and say what stands out. During the interview process you will most likely have someone who is only glancing at it and will only ask the questions that most readily jump out.
The corollary to this is that if you are listing your achievements based on perceived importance rather than chronological order, then they you will get asked questions about something that was not fresh in your mind. Either be prepared by reviewing these older achievements, or by gracefully redirecting the question to a more recent projects (which might be unlikely to happen in a nervous situation).
Another common theme is that they are going to ask you questions from 10,000 feet. On large projects where you may know the specifics of one area very well, they will ask you overall questions where you had better be prepared to say something to explain the general and work the way down to the narrow features you are comfortable with. Keep in mind that when you are being interviewed by someone, the focus of their interview will most likely be on the areas THEY are comfortable with, not the areas that you are comfortable with.
If you are going through a cyclical interview process you may start with a technical interview with someone in a similar position and then work your way up the hierarchy of command. As you move up each level, the questions will be more general and you have to be prepared to discuss things at a higher level than what may be specifically required for your job position.
Some questions for ASIC Verification positions that have thrown me for a loop because I wasn't prepared:
- Describe the interfaces on project X? Have to explain it from a systems point of view.
- What process geometry did you use with your last project? Have to understand the big picture and the general flow of semiconductor manufacturing.
- What fab did your company use with your last project?
- If the company is a start up, be prepared to answer some questions about why you want to work for them.