If you’re looking for jobs in tech, chances are good that you’re going to be recruited at some point. But as anyone who’s gone through it can tell you, the recruitment process is sometimes terrible. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help the process move in the right way.
First things first: bad recruitment is unavoidable; it can happen to even the strongest, best-prepared candidates. You can ask the right questions in order to stop a recruiter asking the wrong questions dead in their tracks, but negative instances will continue to happen nonetheless. (Often, we associate ‘bad’ recruitment with mass recruitment, but it doesn’t have to be that way.)
Recruiters are contracted to fill roles; they go out and get candidates. Most recruiters are paid when a candidate successfully navigates the interview and/or hiring process; sometimes they get paid based on how many candidates they can shove down a company’s throat.
In addition to our guide on best practices for being recruited, we’ve also pointed out that some recruiters simply don’t exert much effort from the jump. Again, they’re trying to find the needle in the haystack (i.e., an ideal candidate) as much as the company that needs the hire. Here’s how to help them feel confident in sending your résumé to a company – and how to make sure the hiring company sees you as a good fit from the outset.
Sorry, everyone; we don’t have style advice for you.
But digitally speaking, we can offer a few pointers. Your profiles on sites such as Dice or LinkedIn are critical first impressions. If yours haven’t been touched in a while, now’s a good time to check in on yourself.
LinkedIn is simple; make sure your work history is up-to-date. You may also want to ensure you’ve toggled all your details ‘on’; details of past jobs (and skills) can quickly help recruiters and companies understand your skill-set. This is also a good time to make sure your details are current.
Dice is built to land you a job you want, where you want. You can also spin up multiple profiles with your Dice account. If you’re proficient in Java and PHP, you can create separate profiles for each discipline, which helps recruiters find you. Similarly, you can decide if your profiles are searchable or not. Maybe you just don’t want a PHP job right now!
Clean Up Your Social Presence
Dice and LinkedIn both have an option to link to external social accounts. Social recruiting is important for companies; they want to know you’re a good cultural fit, and you won’t present any unexpected problems. Recently, the New York Times fired a reporter just ten hours after hiring her, after it came to light she’d used racist and homophobic language on Twitter.
Making your social profiles private is always an option, of course. You can also delete your tweet history with online tools, or comb through your Facebook feed and eliminate questionable content. This is also a good time to make sure your profile landing pages represent a professional human being on planet Earth, not a hard rockin’ Toby Keith fanboy.
Many in tech have personal blogs. Sometimes, it’s just where they post fixes to issues they’ve had, or discuss new tricks they’ve learned.
This is also where recruiters and companies get an idea of how you work. It shows them how you proceed through problems, and what solutions you find. In other words, the code is often at the forefront with tech pros’ blogs, but these sites can also show what kind of worker you’ll be. If your post describing an experience with Yarn is laced with expletives and snide commentary, a company might regard you as someone who doesn’t fit their easygoing culture (or you might be perfect for them!).
If you’re preparing to look for work, revisiting your blog (or starting one) is a good option. Contextual content helps recruiters and employers see that you’re up-to-date with your skill-set.
Specifically, it allows tech hiring managers to download your public repos. In turn, they get to see your code. This may seem trite, but it’s an employer’s first look at the code you feel is ready for distribution and maintenance. If you’re publishing spaghetti code, that might tell them you’re not thinking beyond getting a working product out the door.
We suggest putting up all projects or snippets you feel comfortable publishing. Anything works. Your goal is to showcase your skills and abilities. Even code snippets can be useful to employers who are looking for resourceful developers and engineers (hint: they’re all looking for resourceful people).
As you’re being recruited, you’ll likely answer the same questions again and again. And again.
We like this method for a few reasons. First, you don’t duplicate your efforts. Second, it helps you become more responsive; it’s easier to curate a thoughtful response when you’re not doing it again and again. And again.
Pre-fabricated responses can also provide more thorough context. A simple ‘Do you have code examples?’ can be met with a copy-paste response providing links to your GitHub profile and personal blog posts, as well as some friendly commentary from you. Once you have everything set up, it takes seconds!
This assists recruiters in pushing you through the process, which is everyone’s goal. They want to be paid, and you want to get through the interviews and everything else standing between you and a job.
All told, these steps help you put your best self forward for judgment. It’s what recruiters and employers do; everyone (yourself included) wants the right person for the right job.