It’s been a few years since I’ve done the job market thing. Since leaving college, I’ve pretty much lived there. That’s brought back some things that used to annoy me about job searches. Admittedly this isn’t most employers–and so far, I’ve not seen it from any of the supposedly average to good employers, but for the ones who I’ve seen it from, I’ve put together a few things I strongly recommend you don’t do if you expect me to actually do more than toss your job advertisement in the trash before I get past the second line. And because it’s what I do, have a thing in list format–because 3:00 AM is not the time for an essay.
- Gmail. Don’t bother. No, seriously. You are a professional employer, presumedly. This means you have something that vaguely resembles a professional working environment. If you can afford to pay me to do your IT work, you can afford $10 for web hosting. Most of that web hosting comes with at least one @companyname.com email address. There’s no excuse for firstname.lastname@example.org on a job ad.
Know the language. Or, if nothing else, hire someone to proofread you that knows the language–if you need suggestions, I’ve got a few. I’m not suggesting you suddenly develop a university level degree in English. But if I need to read your ad to get the point, then read it again to make sure, you’re doing it wrong.
- If you’re using Hotmail (now outlook.com) instead, just don’t bother posting your job ad. Seriously, you need more help than I can provide.
Be specific. “IT Help Wanted” is an awesome title for a job ad. It’s also very probably the most generalized request you are ever going to see in the history of ever. What kind of IT help do you want? Tech support? Someone to handle your sysadmin stuff? Or do you just need a guy what knows what a gigabyte is so you don’t go buying an external hard drive when what you actually need is a better machine? Seriously, the possibilities are endless and I’m qualified to do most of them, but I’m not going to apply without a bit more info.
Stay off of Kijiji. Not kidding. Qualified IT people, if that’s what you’re looking for, don’t hang out on Kijiji. The reasons may or may not have something to do with the first two points above. I lived on Kijiji before I started college, and most of what I’ve seen are people who know just enough to know they want to pay someone. which is awesome. But you’re looking for me. I’m not looking for you. And you won’t find me on Kijiji because see points 1 and 2 above.
wording is everything. You’re not looking for a rock star, or you wouldn’t be posting to a job site. I’m not looking to become a rock star, or I wouldn’t be looking on a job site. Remember my “It Help Wanted” example from earlier? Use that. It’s not perfect, but I’ll read that before I’ll read your “Rock Stars Wanted!” posting. Especially if you have no idea–or, at least, you don’t give me the impression you have an idea–exactly what you’re expecting me to bring to the table.
Know your market. Okay, so you want someone who can handle all the Linux things because holy scary as hell and the guy you had left on no notice. I get that. I’m qualified to do that. Call me. Unless, that is, you’re offering minimum wage. Then, I’m sorry, I’d love to help, but I’m just too gosh darned busy. I’m a believer in the often proven theory that you get what you pay for. If you can find someone who’ll do the things for you at minimum wage, congratulations. I’m happy for you. And if it breaks, you get to keep both pieces.
Lastly, please, please, please for the love of all things holy, get a website. At least get a domain name. It’s 2017. You’re looking for people who presumedly know how to do a few things online. I can’t speak for John Q. Techy, but if I need to show up at your door with resume in hand, I’m probably going to slide you down to the bottom of the list after the half dozen other jobs I need to review and possibly apply to who’ll let me do that online. And then I’ll very probably get busy with something and you’ll be forgotten. That’s just how I roll–because, to borrow a phrase from everyone’s favourite Prime Minister, it’s 2017.
- This becomes significantly more important when one of your requirements is that your IT geek know the language. I’m your IT geek. I’m not your editor. If you need an editor, I’ve got names.
since exiting from the college scene, I’ve fired off a lot of applications. If a few more people had done some of these things here, I’d have very likely sent off a couple more. What it boils down to is my impression of you and your reputation. If my impression of you is you haven’t put a whole lot of thought into your advertising, I’m not putting a whole lot of thought into letting you know I’m here. And if you’ve developed a frequent history of doing this thing, I’m very likely to skip over your job ads. Since that doesn’t do either side of the equasion a whole lot of good, someone had best make sure their HR person has a look at this. In the meantime, I think I hear another job ad calling.