On job hunts and recruiters

Job hunting for a software developer is a full time job. One polishes and hones one's skills and CV, scours the placement advertising sites and goes out to the world to seek one's next challenge. Ever since the late '90s of the previous century some things have changed and some have not when it comes to looking for a new job. TL;DR tech recruiters have changed.

Online presence and you

Towards the end of the last century all we had was CVs and not so polished web sites to send our CVs to. Placement companies did their best to make their sites shiny and down the road they even had job posts online with an appropriate submit button to post your CV for a position. In time they also made agents for you to set your job preferences and have the agent send you a notification when a relevant search came up with results.

And then somewhere in the second decade of the new century something changed. Your online presence became much more important, not only when looking for a job.Your professional profile on LinkedIn became significant. Not only as an online CV but also on what you comment or even post. Your picture on that profile became important. Should you have a professional picture or a casual one? It all came down to what you want to communicate to any one interested in you. Some recruiters or potential employers would look into your public profile. Some of them would be so bold as to look in your Facebook profile as well (this is why you should have your privacy settings well considered on Facebook by the way).

Fast forward on the years and LinkedIn headhunting became a thing. And some recruiters became "sourcers" (as opposed to sorcerers ;) ), which if I understand correctly aim to scour social media in general and hunt for candidates for that exclusive position they have to offer. There are also mobile applications where you have to create a profile similar to LinkedIn so that recruiters can approach you. Such applications are popping up like mushrooms. They promise to be the next best thing in job placement. 

At the end of the day though it all comes down to you. Are your skills properly set and defined (both in your CV and online presence), do you participate in open source projects, do you have a public GitHub repository, do you have a blog, do you update your open source projects, blog or repositories often enough? These  forms of online presence can get you a long way towards finding a job. A lot more than a mere landing page with your CV pasted on it. Some recruiters or employers will like the fact that you code outside working hours. Some will not. It is up to you to choose which employer is good for you. Today's developers have to have a stronger online presence beyond a professional profile in order to get a job. It is not only about honing your skills and having fun. It is more than that; like it or not you are responsible for the marketing of the product of you (and if you are a freelancer this is twice as important). 


Recruiters and you 

Recruiters are not tech people. They know nothing about multithreading or servers. ASP.NET or ES6. They mostly get a list of buzzwords and ask you over the phone (or scan your CV) for them. Few are those who  make the effort to understand which buzzwords are client or server related, which technologies mean server or web and I can't blame those who don't. But in the end of the day they are but people like you and me. Be communicative, be nice. They are trying to get you a job. Work with them and not against them. And be communicative. Did I mentioned be communicative? Be it then. 

Never do a no show in interviews without  proper notice well in advance. You may be late for an interview due to reasons beyond your control but an un-notified no show reflects bad on you and the recruiter. Your marketing representative cannot market the product of you if you do not show up on the "shelf" promptly or at all. Your rep looses credibility and so do you.

Be polite to potential employers on the phone. No matter how they sound over the phone or what they say, go with the flow. You can and have to give feedback about them to the recruiter but never ever to a potential employer. Doing so will burn you bridges. Both with the employer and the recruiter.

Be culture aware. If this a relocation job or you have relocated and seek for a job in a country not your own be aware of the cultural differences in recruiting. This will get you a long way. And what is acceptable back home may very well be bad form elsewhere.

Be clear of your intentions and the positions you seek. If you have met (mostly over the phone) recruiters that you connect better with, add them to your professional contacts in the platform of your choice. They are keepers. You will want to work with them again and again.

Conclusion

If you are a frequent reader of this blog you know I don't usually do conclusions, but I feel the need to do one in this case. So to conclude when job hunting:
  • Have a solid online presence. This is built over time and not for job hunting only. If it is as such it shows.
  • Be communicative to recruiters.
  • Be polite to potential employers.
  • Be specific and precise on what you seek. 



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