HOW TO GET A JOB FROM ME
Everybody has to hire employees eventually. Everybody hates it. I hire very smart technical specialists and you probably don't want an actual job from me, but I think a lot of employers work this way.
- •Get inside the mind of the killer.Well, I mean, the employer. What do I want? What do I want to avoid? How can you make me happy?
- •Make my life easier.Hiring people sucks. Whatever you can do to make it easier for me, do that thing. I will associate the idea of you in my mind with stress relief. Everyone likes stress relief.
- •Know my business.You should know the names of jobs in my industry and you should know what they do. Know what kinds of metrics I want to hit, like revenue growth or user growth. Read some books and blogs that you think I might like.
- •Get over yourself.I am not hiring for a job because I want to hear about your hopes and dreams and major achievements in horseback riding. I'm hiring because I have an awesome company. You are not the star; we are the stars. Fanboy or -girl out on us.
- •Volunteer.This is by far the smartest way to get my attention. You can get a position of leadership in most volunteer organizations surprisingly fast -- becoming a trusted lieutenant on an Open Source software project, or Vice President of a local users group, or writer for a blog, or admin for an online community. Don't be overcommitted for time (I don't want you taking too many days off to deal with your side projects), but have some position of leadership.
- •Be the right person at the wrong time.If I think you're a good fit for a job that I wasn't going to hire for for 6-12 months, I'd rather get you now and get ahead on that project. I'm going to feel really smart for finding you, and I'll be more likely to bend the budget to accommodate you.
- •Get introduced by someone I trust.Find someone I know and trust, and meet them. Ask for an introduction to me. I am way more likely to spend a lot of time with you.
- •Don't wait until I have a job opening.If I am searching for someone, things have already gone wrong. I wasn't able to identify someone to help me before things came to a crisis point, so now I'm knee-deep in resumes, frustrated and stressed. You should catch me when talking about the job you want is more fun for me.
- •Meet me more than halfway.If I'm using some hiring management software, go through the trouble of filling out all the forms, even if it's all in your resume already. If I ask you for code samples or recommendations, get them. I do not care enough about hiring any one person to ask twice or bend the rules.
- •Don't be a prima donna.Don't be exciting, ambitious and dramatic. I want someone who will do above-average work without too much management from me, and who won't steal from the other employees or leave a mess in the lunch room. I don't want razzle-dazzle; I want peace of mind.
- •Concentrate on what matters.There is no font so good that it will trick me into hiring an unqualified person. No suits or high heels. Wear comfortable, clean, stylish clothes. Save the effort of doing superficial things and channel that energy into learning about my industry, my professional network, and me personally.
- •Don't try to get a foot in the door and work toward another job.This is irritating. If I am hiring a marketing assistant, I want a marketing assistant, not an animation art director or a carpenter or whatever. Don't try to join my company under false pretenses and then build some unrelated company inside it. Especially don't tell me that the job I'm hiring for is trivial. That is not making my life easier.
- •Don't tell me about your true passion if it's not working for my company.If you're coming to me for a job as a QA engineer but you really want to be an actor, I don't want to know. That's on your time. If I think you have a burning passion in an unrelated area, that suggests to me that you'll be pursuing your dream on company time, that you won't concentrate on the work at hand, and that you'll leave at the worst possible time and I will have to hire someone else.
- •Short-circuit my hiring process.I hate formal hiring processes. Find a way to let me stop. The best one is to offer to do an unpaid internship in the job for 1-3 months. It will let me suspend my hiring process and focus on you. If you are not terrible I will almost definitely hire you at the end of the internship.
- •Don't make me haggle with you.Be ready to ask for what you need in terms of salary, equity, title, vacation time and work-from-home time. Don't ask for things you don't need. Realize that negotiations are trade-offs; if you need to work from home more often, offer to give up some equity or vacation time. If we're at this point the job is yours to lose; don't make me regret making an offer to you.
- •If I don't hire you, stay in my network.Connect on social networks. Provide value to me, by connecting me to communities you're in, or just keeping me informed. Invite me to cool coffee places or lunch spots once every 3-6 months. Don't be a stalker, but be at the top of my mind. When I do decide to hire an Android developer, or whatever, I'll look in my networks before I start a dreaded formal process. Be there when I do!