Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Getting hired through Linked In

I read this piece on hiring through Linked In and a little light went on in my head. See, I used to work for Deutsche Telekom with a job title of Senior UI Designer. Vague, and not actually descriptive of what i did. What that actually meant was that I was the front end guy who knew about making HTML, CSS and JavaScript work on mobile phones. "Designer" here means technical designer  (one step below architect) not a Photoshop jockey. 

And I had a Linked In profile. Despite developing a quite absurd level of expertise in my field I think I had one approach from a recruiter via Linked Ln who wanted to know if I could do Photoshop ("designer" ambiguity at work) in the four years I was there.

Then I started at Vibrant Media. My job title is now Senior JavaScript Engineer and I now get two or three direct approaches from recruiters a week. I'm happy at Vibrant, so this flattering but not actionable. (You can breathe out now, Sash).

What this means is that no matter how you dress up your skills and aspirations it’s your job title that hooks them in. Simple SEO works wonders. Recruiters are busy people and Linked In search is a blunt instrument. This also suggests two ways of gaming the system.

One is that you should massage your Linked In job title to match the job you want, not the one you have. The other is that if you're an employer and you want to keep your ninja/rockstar devs you should contractually oblige them to refer to themselves as PL/1 programmers or Mainframe Tape Operators.

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