Any software developer, architect, dev ops or IT engineer that wants to get hired, normally tries some of these approaches:
- Job Sites
- Target Company Web Site
- Freelancing Sites
- Social Media
- Newspaper or Magazines Adds
All of them require you to register and enter you resumé in their preferred format. This is labor intensive and some of them try to let you upload a document to simplify the process.
All sites fail at correctly importing a resume, thus requiring manual edits.
Lets review what happens when you apply to some of them:
This includes Indeed, Google Jobs, Monster, Career Builder and others.
After the laborious registration and manual recreation of your resumé (since importing the resume always fails to parse), which is different in each site for no good reason, you are allowed to look around for jobs in your area (or the entire planet). You assume there are lots of jobs to choose from. Specially where you live.
Wrong: for some strange reason, when you search for software development jobs you see a lot of sales jobs, insurance agent jobs, drive my truck jobs, work from home scams or deliver a million heavy boxes without a bathroom break jobs.
Strange, you are sure you selected software development. How come you get all these junk jobs? Who programed their search engine?
You plow through the list until you find an actual software development job. Good!
You know the language, you have years of experience in it. But they require you to also be a program manager, project management, UI/UX expert, graphics designer, ten years of experience a tool you never heard off, and once I was asked if I was willing to also clean toilets. And the job was listed as entry level.
Many jobs require a high degree of concentration and contrary to what most managers believe, they do not lend themselves to multitasking. I will not be writing a real time controller for the stepper motor that lowers radioactive bars into the reactor while simultaneously cleaning the toilets.
How come that the site says the job was posted an hour ago, and there are already 100,000+ applicants?
Disheartened, you keep going through the list until you find a job where you meet nine of the ten requirements (you don’t speak fluent Swahili). Hoping that they won’t mind too much and that you can learn Swahili quickly, you apply.
You are fully expecting that the site will submit your resumé, the one you crafted carefully after reading all the good internet tips or even worse, paying an expert to write it. The one that you uploaded, or al least the one you struggled so much creating online. You expect you masterwork resume to be submitted.
Wrong again: you are sent to the hiring company’s website where you are presented with the the most grueling resumé building process that you have ever seen complete with a progress bar that does not seem to move forward! Ten pages and it has not reached 25%!!
After you finish you are entitled to take a very, very long psychological profile test that ask the same question ten different ways to disqualify you for trying to lie to get a good score.
Nobody can apply for a job without lying anymore!
Eventually, after disclosing more personal information than you are normally confortable with like: SSN, diver’s license number, salaries, credit score, traffic violations, arrest record, sexual proclivities etc, you finally are allowed to write a cover letter.
Not wanting to be disqualified for not writing a nice cover letter, you spend hours researching the company web site, its competition, strengths and weaknesses until you are happy you have written a masterpiece.
Then you upload the cover letter and hit apply for the job.
Your palms are sweaty because you had to lie a little, and at the end the page said that under penalty of the law, you hereby swear that every thing you have said, is the absolute truth. Nobody can apply for a job without lying anymore!
Before you can lean back on your seat your mobile pings with an email message. It is the company you applied to, telling you in a very polite way: “we got you resumé, don’t you dear contacting us!!”
Now the process starts: you expect them to contact you. They won’t.
Mid-tier companies never get back yo you. Several month later if you applied to a large company you get an email saying: “we decided to go in another direction.”
Target Company Web Site
Here the process is similar to the steps above. The exception is that you don’t have to enter the resumé twice. You just go though the process once, at the target company web site.
You have been greped!
On the back-end side however, the process is identical: almost all job application emails are sent straight to the junk folder by a grep algorithm. You have been greped!
I have been on LinedIn for about a decade now. I have hundreds of ‘connections.’ I have yet to hear of anyone getting a job from LinkedIn.
Once I saw a message from one of my connections saying: “I’ve been fired. Do you know of any jobs available?”
People are ashamed to say at LinkedIn that they are out of a job. The record is permanent. Future employers will look at it searching for red flags.
The most that can happen at LinkedIn is that a connection asks you if you know any good candidate for a given job. You may give a name or two, but this is risky. The people you recommend better be good. But, if they are good, they don’t need a job!
Notice that in this case someone reaches out to you. You don’t search for jobs at LinkedIn. The few jobs at LinkedIn are of the same quality than those at Indeed. The only difference is that they are more targeted: you see less driver jobs when looking for software development. The outcome is the same.
Free Lancing Sites
There are sites like UpWork, Fiverr, Task Rabbit, ThumbTac and Freelancer.
The assumption here is that you will not get a permanent job anywhere, so you might as well make some money freelancing.
Take building Web sites for example. Or creating WordPress sites. Yes, if you search around you will see that about ten people have been able to make a full time living and even created successful companies after starting as a one person freelancing operation. Unfortunately this statistic is incomplete until you add that as of the year 2020, 450 million people tried this.
Less than a dozen succeeded. In the entire planet. I don’t like this as the ONLY source of income. You can go for it to supplement your unemployment income, but be careful: don’t send money to get ‘tools’ or ‘training’ needed for the new job.
Do not start work until the site tells you that there is money in escrow.
And do not under any circumstance do more work than is needed to reach a payment milestone.
Read the requirements carefully before you apply: if you can create, for example, a simple four page website to your customers requirements for $200, please notice that is not an hourly rate, it is the full price. It will be paid ONLY if the customer is happy. And if you don’t know how to write a contract, let me asure you that he WILL change his mind and will NOT BE HAPPY, so he will not pay.
This is where you really don’t want to search for a job.
Here you also don’t read the news, or find about the weather on buy things. There are other better sites for all that.
Contrary to what the crazies at Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, and others would have you believe, the only purpose of social media is to get back at your classmates and acquaintances by presenting a fictitiously successful life, or by showing up pictures of beautiful things that you were able to acquire, but constantly wonder if you will ever be able to pay off. Here you want to look good.
You don’t look good saying I got fired and are looking for a job!
Newspaper or Magazines Adds
If you even though about this option I can tell how old you are.
Nobody reads printed Newspapers or Magazines anymore. With the Internet we are really saving the forest.
Well, not really: all those trees have gone to produce toilet paper for five billion people. If it was not for the internet we would not have enough toilet paper!
If the add you found on the printed newspaper, has an email or link to a website where you can apply, then you are are back to the first option: Job Sites.
So how do you get hired?
The normal and classical way is by knowing someone who knows someone. Friends prefer to work with friends. A good friend may let you know about a job that just opened at his/her company. That can be a good opportunity.
By now you must know that, when there is a new job in a company, it first gets posted internally so that only company employees can apply. Then, for compliance with some regulations, audits, and or to be able to receive assistance funds, some companies will post it after a couple of weeks to the outside world (after turning on the grep filters).
If a friend gives you a job lead, he will probably make sure that HR actually sees your resumé.
There is another way to get hired but it is a bit more desperate: locate candidate companies close to you, and actually show up as if you were going to an interview (well dressed!). Tell the receptionist that you want to apply for a job, preferable personally.
Have your resumés ready. Attach contact cards if possible. Hand out resume copies to anyone you see exiting that is not a delivery or repair person. Prepare an elevator pitch if there is an elevator you are allowed to access. Pitch. Pitch personally. Pitch often.
Give it a week and if they don’t call you, show up at the same companies and repeat the process.
If you have some luck, you’ll come across the same people. Once they see you again, you have a high chance that they will consider you. Your attitude conveys persistence and determination. You tell each company (after researching of course) why you want to work there. You become familiar, and people appreciate courageous effort.
Do this with pride, for you are not doing tricks or selling dugs.
And by all means let me know of any unusual way that you got hired that involved actual human interaction.
Post! Don’t be afraid, nobody will recognize you with that handle.