Picture a job search that unfolds like this:
Week 1: You’ve just graduated or you’re looking for your next opportunity. You finally made some time to sit down and look for jobs. Mission accomplished: You applied for 20 jobs you would like!
Week 2: You actually spent time polishing your phone-screening skills and researching technical problem-solving questions.
Weeks 3 – 5: You’re thinking, “Hmm… Shouldn’t someone be calling or emailing me by now? C’mon, I applied to 20 jobs!”
Week 6: Why aren’t those recruiters calling me? What am I doing wrong? There must be another way those recruiters look for people!
It happens every year, every season, everywhere. People nominally apply for jobs—and wait passively for the magic to happen.
Here’s how it really works: Most likely, recruiters are going to use several channels to seek candidates and start a relationship with them. You might be surprised by how many places they look. To get noticed, you want to understand the answers to these questions:
- Where do recruiters search every day?
- What sites do they typically look at online?
- How far do they dig into someone’s background?
Here are some ways to take charge, and some channels you can use to influence recruiters:
LinkedIn is your unofficial resume. We do spend a lot of time here. But even more, we are looking for domain experts: people who speak about technical challenges they are having at work and the people who offer advice to help resolve them.
Quora and Twitter are key places to ask and answer questions in specific fields of expertise. My favorite topics are Distributed Systems and Engineering Recruiting. We love to see the questions you ask. And through your answers, we can see your sense of humor and the depth of your knowledge. Other signs: Who are you following? What kind of Tweet chats are you attending? What kind of content do you put out there? If you’re brave enough to perform a search for recruiters—we love new followers—we’ll follow you too. ; )
Reddit: Are you doing your own AMA (Ask Me Anything) or contributing questions to the next one on coding? Reddit is definitely a little more casual than Quora. However, it’s a great place to observe very specific content generation/queries.
Online general search:
- Things that are made public through the course of your work help us put together a clearer picture of who you are, what your expertise is in, and where you come from (scale, team size, technical challenges). Here are some things we look for:
- If you wrote a public deck or published a white paper on an area of focus where we’re hiring, we review and determine the depth of what you presented.
- Work team pictures? Yes, we look at those too.
Meetups/associations? If you’re spending time outside of work to evangelize or learn about a technology we’re scouting for, we’ll try to attend.
Surprised by the length we’ll go to find great talent? As I mentioned, having a robust, resume-like LinkedIn profile will take you far. But also consider showcasing your expertise on some of these sites. Help others with their questions, perhaps do your own AMA, and by sharing your know-how, you’ll be helping yourself get noticed.