How hiring works now

Thursday June 7, 2012

The problem with the job market is not that there aren't enough jobs, it's that the jobs there are can't be done by enough people. What unites them is not even that they are technology jobs; many are visual design jobs that happen to use technology. I think what really unites them is that they are habits-of-mind jobs. They are jobs for people who spontaneously do and make things - not to fill up a resume, but because they are naturally active, productive people.

Anyway, a lot of people are hiring these days. Here's a bit from a notice I saw on an email list, with my comments:

1. Do not send us a resume. Please. Don't. We won't read it.
I'm so glad other people are starting to agree with me about this. Resumes are awful.

2. Email us at ////// at /////////////.
I remember a time when teachers told me I had to go buy resume paper to print my resume on. Now most people are understanding that email is how people communicate. I'd like for companies to be required to disclose whether they have a fax machine - so I know which companies not to invest in.

3. Tell us about yourself; your hopes, dreams, desires or, better yet, how you like to code.
I like all of these, but especially the response to that last bit would tell you a lot about whether a person actually knows anything.

4. Send us examples or your work: code snippets, urls, github, etc.
This is the main point, I think: What matters is what you've done. I don't care if you aced every course at Harvard and MIT and have a recommendation from Obama. Show me what you do. I don't know that portfolios are always appropriate at every stage in education, especially because it's at least as bad as resume-focus when people focus on portfolio-stuffing.

5. Be prepared to Skype with us!

This post was originally hosted elsewhere.