Tag Archive: jobs

(Part zero of… probably ∞)

Note: As I have current co-workers who read this blog on occasion it behooves me to note that just because I am receiving mail from recruiters or for that matter reading them and commenting them, this should NOT be taken as an indicator that I am currently looking for jobs or “on the hunt.”

I receive approximately 3-5 emails a day and close to 20-30 in a given week specifically with “Job opportunities.” Now to be honest; I fulfill a niche career of which there isn’t a lot of competition. I specialise in writing software for Apple’s computing platforms. This would include: Macintoshes running OS X, and OS X Server, and devices that one can program that use iOS (the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad). Unlike the average iPhone App developer, I have about 4 times as many years developing with the development tools software kits. If I’m willing to move, I could theoretically pick up and have a new job fairly easily.

So, it should not come as a surprise that as iOS grows there are more and more companies searching for a way to get an app on the iThings. And since companies have NO experience with iOS development, iOS Engineering, or iOS Engineers (Yes, these are three VERY different beasts) they call a recruiter who is an expert in these things.

That’s not entirely accurate. Companies have a pool of recruiters when they have an opening and the recruiter tries to then become an expert at what their clients need to have filled. This falls into 3 primary categories regardless of job.

  1. Bob left and we need a new “Bob”
    • This is called the ‘Replacement’ listing
  2. Bob is going to quit if we keep piling stuff on him; we need to get him help.
    • This is called the ‘Junior’ listing
  3. We found a new potential for revenue, and not even Bob knows how to do it. We need something NEW.
    • This is called the ‘New’ listing.

For the sake of this posting I am skipping two things: Middle and Upper management. Let me visit each briefly to explain why I’m not going to address them.

Middle management is never an external position. In general middle management is posted externally because the law requires it. Inevitably, middle management is created from within a company. Usually as a result of Managerial Mitosis or worse, a need for an internal Junior listing because the group is getting horribly under-managed due to its weight and size.

Then there is upper management. Apart from my own small freelance company of 1 I have never been upper management. It’s somewhat a beast unto itself that follows it’s own set of rules. Most Upper management jobs fall into two grim and opposing versions of the “Replacement” Listing. Either it is “Crap, Bob left. We really require another Bob IMMEDIATELY” or the scarier form, “Okay, we’ve convinced Bob to get the hell out of our company, now we need to find someone who is exactly not like Bob.”

But let us steer back to the recruiters who are the real targets of this post’s ire. In my career I typically see “New” listings but have seen a growing number of “Junior” listings. In all cases the exchange between company and recruiter comes down to “What do you need?” At which point the hiring manager (usually 2-3 levels up) will list off the technologies they think they need. In the case of “Replacement” listings this becomes an exercise in describing how long Bob was at the company (or the experience Bob had, and listing every responsibility Bob had his hands in. In most cases the company will ask the recruiter for guidance complimenting it with the requirements their company uses.

The recruiter with requirements in hand reformats it (often poorly) into a job description turns to the mighty Internet. Usually about this point all goes wrong.

The online employment world now dates back nearly two decades. Companies like Monster (dc) started in 1994 Yahoo’s HotJobs (Originally HotJobs, Inc) goes back to 1996. Career Builder (originally Job Opening Web Site software company NetStart, Inc) started in 1995. Odds are that if you’ve been online for more than five years there is likely an out of date resume out there somewhere for you. I know this because I received an email yesterday to my maiden name at my 5 year unused yahoo email account.

If you do not believe that recruiters use buzzword scanning techniques, now’s the time to finally jump on the faith train. The buzzword scanning is so bad that if you have the phrase “I don’t do windows” on your resume, you will receive recruitment email for jobs at Microsoft. This will occur if you truly are a maid service. (Yes, I was relayed this story by a maid)

Suffice this to demonstrate, at this point, if you want your resume to be seen by several recruiters, I strongly recommend a “Buzzword” section. I even can suggest calling it the “Buzzword” section. As in “Experience, Education, Buzzwords” Just list them off in a neat fashion. This will set off recruiter’s scans/search algorithms and then you too can siphon thru mail from someone who contacted you before actually reading your resume.

I don’t want to finger point the entire industry for being bad. Honestly there are a still a good percentage of recruiters who do due diligence in the process. Personally, I think they can all still learn something from this series. This may be because I’ve both hired and worked in my niche.

In my next installment (Which I will post over the weekend) I will take a REALLY bad recruiter’s email, post the listing and then explain everything that is wrong with it. Please note: if I were to post everything right with this listing it would barely fit a twitter posting. I will not out the company or the recruiter, but the job listing alone will hopefully serve as an embarrassment to someone.

Finally, in the near future, I will comment on my own niche industry and how a recruiter can make the postings much clearer and more importantly far more effective in filling your talent pool with the best candidates.

So, I went to a temporary clearing site. Basically, they will email your resume to all the temp agencies in the area. They charged me $25 to send my resume to 140 sites. I then received 40 bounce mails telling me the address was wrong or that I’d spammed them. I followed up with an email asking if they’d pro-rate back my payment.

In the mean time I was contacted by Kelly support services. They asked for my resume (which was supposed to be sent with the mass emailing) I noted that while I was enclosing my resume, I was willing to look at work outside my professional path (translation: I’ll take anything for the love of g-d)

I got back just now an email which said (and I kid you not):
We appreciate your interest in Kelly Services, but need to have your resume
in a Word format in order to read it.

I made the mistake of sending the resume in text format. Let me make that statement again, they were unable to read my resume because it was in text format and need to have it in Word format in order to run it thru their filtering program read it.

On the upside, I’m back to prescreen with the 4-coloured pane of wall glass. At least they move quickly in their decisions. So… we’ll hope to have more on that by the time the week closes.

I played Poker today. Some online and then some with shimmeringjemmy for what it’s worth… I played really well. The gods of luck have decided that I am their b*%$h at the moment. Never have I had suffered decks that were not merely cold but out and out frigid. I watched my stack whittle down as I threw away 58o 74o K4o. I watched as my calls got eaten on A9s KQs. I watched the table fold to my raises on KK. It was like there was no way that anything was going to work. I played shimmeringjemmy 4 rounds only to watch her have the nuts each time I went all in. The final hand against her with my stack to the breaking point, I went All in with A10s, she had AJs and nothing hit until the river… a J.

So, I really feel like the gods of fortune, luck, and chance have basically decided to see what kind of a workout they get for their steel-toed-boots on my karmic groin. Trying to maintain a sense of focus and optimism. Other good news maybe coming in to put off hard times… But it’s still scary. About 8 applications out today (not counting the bevy of temp agency stuff).. Something’s gotta give soon. And I really don’t want it to be me.

Dear Mr. President,

I hope you’re not getting tired of me writing. It’s been a very hard week here at home. Several job interviews that have seemed to go swimmingly have resulted in last minute confessions from recruiters that I’m ‘just not quite the right fit.’ Of course to prevent litigation in case I’m being discriminated against for some ridiculous reasons, the companies are legally protected from actually telling me what I might have said incorrectly in the interview, in order to enable me to improve my interview skills.

I’d have to say, there are countless companies out there that are convinced they can help me get my next job. After my last layoff, I had one company charge me nearly $5,000 to ‘fix’ my resume and get me the phone numbers of about 500 company’s CEOs. They believed that if I went to the top decision makers that all I had to do was sell myself and they’d create the position for me. The company also told me that when an offer was made; they’d help me negotiate the offer.

The phone list yielded 25 out of 25 companies telling me to go through HR like everyone else. To be honest it was 23 out of 25 because 2 were out and out insulted that I’d taken up their time. When I finally did receive a job offer, the company that had charged me its exorbitant fee told me that contract negotiation was in fact an added feature that I’d also have to pay for.

You may wonder, why I’m even bothering to tell you this Mr. President. You see, people have decided to turn the business of getting a job into a business. No promises of work, no promises of results, just promises of willingness for them to take your time and money. The reason I’m writing you is because after this week, again… my unemployment runs out. My unemployment is my income now. And unemployment doesn’t pay for $5,000 spin services.

My next step will be after 14 years of success as a good worker and a trained professional to turn to Welfare. Welfare will provide me with enough for my wife and I to eat in an unhealthy manner. It certainly will not maintain the rent of the house I live in and I’m certain to lose that within 90 days. (I believe eviction takes 90 days). Further, I will run the risk of having my car repossessed if I can not meet those payments. I will therefore no longer be able to get to the job interviews that I need to. This in turn will shape my outlook and sharpness in the interviews I can get to. I may not be able to launder my clothes because that is not considered a necessity in welfare payments.


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