Wednesday, November 26, 2008

an agile job hunter

I was recently laid off my gig. I knew it was coming so I tried to prepare myself as best I could. I spent loads of time on Monster tweaking my profile and resume. Brought my LinkedIn profile up to date. Asked all my friends and colleagues to recommend me.

The flood of calls from recruiters gave me a false sense of hope. I was getting calls, but no interviews. One little thing I did learn was; if you treat every conversation with a recruiter as an interview, you will be much better off when (if) they get in front of an actual potential employer. Think of it as a dry run.

It can be tough selling yourself. Having the confidence to say that you are great at what you do, and deserve to paid for it, can be a hard hill to climb. But climb one must. Here's a short list of things to keep in mind:

- Don't be afraid to talk about money. Your rate should roll of your tongue, no hesitation. If you get the sense it's too high (and of course it always is) the word 'negotiable' can go a long way. But stick to your guns.

- Know what you want from a job. Is it a good company? Do they deserve you? Wiil they let do what you want, what you think is important? It's a two way street.

- If you are dealing with recruiters, don't be afraid to hound them. They make money by finding you a gig. Make them do their jobs. It shows you care.

- Most important one: Call people you have worked with in past first. Use your network, no matter how small. When someone you respect and respects you recommends you for a gig, it holds a lot more weight.

I was able to turn my personal network into paying contracts. While I wait to hear back from the recruiters.


At 12:08 PM, Blogger Campbell said...

You forgot one:

- place links to your resume' and linkedin profile in your blog post about how your trying to find a job ;)

At 11:50 PM, Blogger Yaniv Pessach said...

Finding a job in this economy can suck.
One thing you can do is.. focus. Don't spend time chasing 100s of different tracks. Instead, focus on what you do best, and look for those jobs. Then modify your resume for them, hound the recruiters, whatever it takes.

Oh, and use specialized job boards. If you have specialized skills (embedded software developer, for example) you will find to have skim picking.
For agilists, I recommend the Agile Job Board from - if you are looking to build on your agile skills, not just another gig.

At 10:37 AM, Blogger Think Tank Dev said...

Good post Jason. So since you are in my personal network and we go a ways back, have you heard about any gigs?

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Here's a follow up...

I did find a *great* gig. I followed my own advise and held out for the one I really wanted. I even turned down a couple.

In the end, what sealed the deal, was just being myself. I talked a lot about goals and the future and less about the past.

Jason Goodwin, UX Director at Piehead Productions check us out


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