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Ask HN: What is your favorite place to find work?
334 points by mrburton on Nov 7, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 92 comments
Do you have a favorite job board?

The problem with job boards is that unless they are rather unknown, everyone is using them. Applying through boards is essentially like getting into the back of a line and hoping you get noticed.

When I coach job seekers on finding new work, I typically encourage them to be careful not to spend too much time on the boards, and instead rely on their networks/meetups or personal research.

Using LinkedIn to search for open jobs is similar to using any other site, but it's greatest value is as a research tool.

Say you're a Python programmer in a suburb somewhere and you're looking for a new gig. If you use LinkedIn to search "Python" and set a geographic preference, your results will likely be other Python programmers in the area. Where do they work? Where did they used to work? Sometimes LinkedIn will offer other profiles in the sidebar ("people also viewed") - click those and see where they worked. Now you've got a list of companies that have employed Python devs, so you can do a bit more research to see if they are the type of place you might want to work - and pay no attention to whether or not they have any jobs listed on their site.

Once you found some companies that interest you, use LinkedIn to figure out the best person to reach out to. Might be their CTO if it's a small shop, could be an internal recruiter or hiring manager for a larger firm. Make the approach, tell them why you're interested in the company, and make a soft close to try and get them to agree to a conversation.

Something I read a while ago that stuck with me - ‘When you are looking for a new opportunity, you are really just looking for a person.’

This reframing totally changed how I look for new jobs, and what suprised me more was how willing people were to refer me, even if they had never met me.

I agree. Instead of applying for a job, I do my best to figure out who's in charge of hiring and connect with them on LinkedIn. Once they accept I mention what I like about the company, that I can fill the role they have open, and that I'd like to talk further about it in the next day or two. I never let more than 4 days pass without a message between us as long as the position is still open and I'm still interested. This works a lot better than hoping I get an email back from their applicant management system that they'd like to setup a phone call. It puts a little more agency in my hands.

That is great advice, and to take it a step further I'd say not to focus on getting an interview but rather a conversation.

If people you haven't met are referring you, you are already doing something right.

I know LinkedIn isn't particularly popular here at HN, but I think the job adds I get shown there are quite good. Even if I am not looking for work I get a sense of what companies there are, and what kind of positions they are looking to fill.

Your mileage will vary on LinkedIn depending on the time you put into populating your profile.

I have written hundreds of profiles for clients this year - some clients are more concerned with branding (what does someone feel when they are directed to the profile or find it on their own) while others are much more concerned with just being discovered by recruiters, hiring managers, peers, etc. The approach is quite different, not unlike SEO techniques.

If you're getting good ads, chances are you put some time into your profile and added skills that help their recommendation algorithm.

Is linkedin's SEO approach documented anywhere? Something like SEO Site checkup for linkedin profiles would be pretty cool.

There was a great detailed article on it many years ago, but since they've changed the site I haven't seen a new one. This is about as good as I've seen, and it's written by them.


Do you have any profiles you can link to as examples? This sounds really interesting.

I know that hiring managers for high paying and high skill level niche markets also use Linkedin - in my line of work the skills are niche enough that we will look for people with certain backgrounds and initiate the conversation with them to see if they are possibly interested. It's one of the reasons that the only social network I am on currently is Linkedin, it certainly is a window for opportunities. In fact, I'm in my current position which I am quite happy with only because a recruiter reached out to me on Linkedin.

I’m in my current role because a recruiter found me on LinkedIn. I would’ve never gone looking for the particular role. Highly recommend LinkedIn regardless of what you might think of the platform.

Same story here. I never would have known about my company if their internal recruiter hadn't reached out to me on LinkedIn. I blew him off the first time he reached out, saying 'not now, check back next year' and when he called a year later I was ready for a move.

Would you mind elaborating on what you mean by a "soft close to try and get them to agree to a conversation"? Is this somewhat direct, along the lines of "I'd appreciate a few minutes of your time to talk about opportunities at your company", or something more general like "I'd love to take you to coffee to hear more about what you do"?

Sure. Soft close is a vague way of saying "don't go begging for a job". When you make this approach somewhat cold or perhaps slightly warm, your objective is to get a conversation started - that doesn't need to be a formal interview.

Of the examples you provide, I'd think the latter might be more effective (possibly including "or a quick call" to make it even less of a commitment).

Do you have any suggestions on how to find the right people when they aren't using social media like LinkedIn or Facebook? I know a number of managers at a local Fortune 150 company that don't use those tools and I've always wondered how I would find their contact information if I didn't already know them.

One trick that I’ve learned is most people at larger companies have standardized email addresses, so all you need to find is one person in the company’s email, and you can guess anyone else’s based on their name.

Probably referrals from others inside the company (who you could find on LinkedIn). No real good answer to that.

Yes. I've spent a lot of time looking at job boards and here are my favorite ones.

# Design

Authentic Jobs - https://authenticjobs.com/

Dribbble - https://dribbble.com/jobs

# Nonprofit

GIIN - https://jobs.thegiin.org/

Idealist - https://www.idealist.org/

Next Billion - https://nextbillion.net/jobs/

# Remote

NODESK - https://nodesk.co/remote-jobs/

RemoteOK - https://remoteok.io/

WeWorkRemotely - https://weworkremotely.com/

# Startups/Tech

AngelList - https://angel.co/jobs

Hacker News - https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=whoishiring

WorkinTech.io - https://workintech.io/

If you own one of those job boards, you should be up front about that when linking to it.

I agree, but as that's not the case there was no need for a disclaimer in my original comment. I just felt like I could contribute to the discussion which is not often the case here on HN. Hope that's ok.

Hall monitors everywhere.

https://whoishiring.io which is basically an agregator.

I also like the concept around https://www.honeypot.io (I think it's only available in Berlin though). Once you sign up and add your CV, you get a list of quite detailed offers almost every day, including company name (wow, I know, crazy) and salary range. You can accept or reject them through the UI, by just clicking a button. No endless chain of messages to figure out what company or position you're actually applying for, no horrid misspelling of your name, no waiting for the recruiter to contact the company and check if they're actually interested in your skill set - your CV is presented to the company beforehand so you've already passed their vetting. The one time I tried, I didn't find a job through Honeypot, but I definitely appreciated the experience.

Honeypot is pushing for lowest possible salaries; they outright reject you for wanting 100k EUR jobs even if you held such positions before. They are more like agency for startups wanting cheap labor to quickly burn through. Mind you, German startups rarely give you equity, bypass labor laws (small sizes), pay low and expect insane dedication.

They are also guilty of posting fake job offers to work at Honeypot, just to let you know later that "we already have candidates at an advanced stage of our hiring process." (one day after the offer being published)

"However, you know, Honeypot is a tech focused career platform and we currently have a number of positions that match your profile."

I'd avoid them

Besides the equity, that sounds like every other startup around the world.

Yes, but regular German companies have a very hard time getting rid of any employees, whereas for small-sized companies there is much more flexibility. So you get all drawbacks of US startups, but 0 shot at becoming rich.

I am certainly biased, but I built a job platform because I felt all the existing job boards were lacking, called Limbo.


The long and short of the problem is that great folks are often employed and finding your next ideal role is too time consuming and emotionally taxing, and that great folks with diverse backgrounds are unfairly discriminated against at resume review time. Limbo attempts to solve those problems with an anonymous job platform.

More on the concepts behind it here: https://medium.com/@chrisdary/introducing-limbo-ddb97a67ff63

For someone who is considering posting there, it might be of interest to get an idea about the likely payoff:

- How many "reveals" do an average profile get? How many profiles get no reveals?

- What kind of businesses typically use your service, and what countries are they from?

Good questions.

- In the past month and a half or so since we’ve launched, about 20% of published profiles have had a reveal request. That varies heavily based on profile quality, some have gotten 4 in a row.

That said, even though it’ll be pretty low volume it should be very high signal. Our accept rate is around 70% right now. This is primarily because people have to pay outright to contact you (excepting the first free one), so only folks with pretty good matches should be reaching out.

- Tech only right now and also heavily biased towards US, probably 95% US. Startups and Agencies have been the primary target and market. You’re less likely to find a Facebook on Limbo and more likely to find a small team that is a pretty precise match for you. There are a couple larger companies on there though, like Mozilla.

Not to fanboy, but the "Who is Hiring" thread posted here on hacker news on the first of each month. In my experience, the rate and speed of responses from that thread is dramatically higher than anywhere else.

Obviously it's not the UX that makes it shine, but when you're looking for work, you care about the results. I recommend that thread to anyone who mentions looking for a tech job.

I like that thread because you can load the entire thing and look for keywords relevant to your skillset - comes quite in handy when you work in a more niche market. I am not currently interested in new work but I always like to see what is out there to keep a finger on the market movements to see what is gaining popularity.

The last Who Is Hiring went on for something like 5 pages, so it was a bit clunky to search for, in-browser, but the API makes it pretty easy to scrape/search whatever you like: https://github.com/HackerNews/API

As chrisked mentioned - definitely my previous clients and friends.

The best long-term contracts I received was through a former colleague, classmate or a friend. Recently, linkedin provided a steady source of leads (not talking about recruiters) via niche groups, 2nd/3rd connections etc.

One great site is https://whoishiring.io - an amazing job aggregator that parses (in my opinion) the best sites for work. This eliminates my need to go hunt for jobs on job boards.

Avoid freelance marketplaces like upwork, freelancer and others.

> One great site is https://whoishiring.io - an amazing job aggregator that parses (in my opinion) the best sites for work.

It seems to be just for developer jobs, or a I doing something wrong? Will they go into other fields as well, or is there someone else who is already doing that?

You can filter using the category filter. Link bellow is for design jobs.


Disclaimer: I wrote whoishiring.io, and I'm not doing too good job to present that other categories ar available (the filter is missing on the index page). But yes my main focus in the beginning were dev jobs.

> You can filter using the category filter. Link bellow is for design jobs.

Right, "developer jobs" wasn't an accurate description. There still seems to be a narrow focus, though. I mean, what about finance, medicine, chemistry, carpentry, etc? Is that outside the scope or is it coming?

I wasn't planning to go that broad, extending this outside IT would need serious research in HR mechanism for each of those categories. I'm not calming that that I know HR in IT but this project kind of evolved from my needs.

To be honest, the most effective way to get a job is through friends referral.

The 2nd most effective way is to be part of networking event of the company that you want to work for.

The 3rd best place to get a job is through relevant tech meet up in your area.

Nothing beats direct human connections when it comes to getting a job.

You can also check out tech associations and their job boards. Some of them are behind a membership/paywall though, but at least then you know they aren't being bombarded by the masses.

My secret strategy is to find out what company is responsible for distributing the tech grants from the state. There is almost always some list of all of the companies that got money from the state and how much. Find interesting companies with a fresh budget to build something in your domain and hit their CTO/whoever with a few line email and a resume. You may get on their radar before they even finished writing their hiring budget.

Smart. I know what I'll be doing the rest of the day

I am running https://coderfit.com, a tech recruiting agency doing tech-video interviews, so I am obviously biased in my suggestion:

A possible way is to go through a recruiter. Recruiting agencies add value in two ways:

1) They prevent that you or the firm fuck up things. This happens more often than you think, read my draft: "Why software engineers don’t get jobs: Three horror stories": https://medium.com/@iwaninzurich/why-software-engineers-dont...

2) At every given point in time recruiting agencies know which companies in your city are hiring, which are firing, and which are good places to work.

I just recorded a short video about "how to identify a good tech recruiter with whom you want to work with" for the HN audience: https://youtu.be/z_CC9kHvoIw

The recording is a bit unstructured, so here a summary; A good recruiter will...

1) at least understand the tech a little bit

2) find out your needs (e.g., do you want to work in an agency or in a startup? Do you want to work in a big or small firm?)

3) prepare you to avoid pitfalls that are common with the hiring firm

4) repare you to avoid pitfalls that are prevalent with "geeks like you (e.g., female programmers often undersell themselves and open source contributors often don't know the engineering salares in the city.)

5) walk and handhold you to the end and ideally ping you after 3, 6, 12 months and ask how it is going.

Recruiters often get bad press and that's unfair, there's usually a few unscrupulous people who taint the profession for the rest of us. We're in the same boat as yourself and find we get loads of positive feedback from candidates we place.

we like to give something back to our community and clients to through our tech specialist podcasts. you can listen below


I pay the premium fee to LinkedIn and get a small number of lucrative job offers in my inbox every year, doubled my salary a few months ago!

How does paying the premium help you get job offers?

Your profile is emphasised to recruiters during searches, kind of like a premium profile in a dating site.

The job ads on StackOverflow are quite good. You can search for keywords and location.

For freelance developers, there's this list:


I reference this repo frequently https://github.com/lukasz-madon/awesome-remote-job

I find that unless you're an entry-level worker, your best means for finding work will be through the generation of leads.

Generating leads just means putting yourself out there and letting the opportunities come to you.

There are many, many people who are qualified to perform a job that is posted on a job board. But if you can enable a company to skip posting to a board at all, then you and the company in question both win.

When I most recently looked for a job, I got most of my leads through linkedin (from recruiters reaching out to me), and from seek.com.au (which is similar to indeed, I think). I actually got my current role from a recruiter who reached out to me via seek, since recruiters can search candidates on the platform.

Seek is also making a new platform called Onploy, which is an inverse job search platform, where you put your profile on, and companies apply to you. I wasn't on it long enough to really determine how good it was, but it was a fairly novel concept.

I think the best way to get to the front of the queue is to actually ring the recruiters/hiring managers, often there's a phone number on the job listing, by ringing them, you force them to put your CV at the front of the queue and look at it.

Maybe it's location though, but I found that I didn't even really have to look for a job, I was getting contacted by at least one recruiter per day just by signing up on seek, and from setting linkedin to looking for opportunities.

No. Been a couple years but I usually just toss my resume on Dice, wait for a flood of calls/emails and filter through the trash. I guess I have a "network" because they certainly contact me when in need but personally I don't feel comfortable reaching out to people I haven't talked to in a couple of years just for leads.

My last job came from the Who is Hiring post here. We've hired people off of here, referral, Reddit (x2), and LinkedIn. I will always suggest reaching out to people and having a conversation with a place that you want to work and have a conversation or speak with them directly. All the better if you can get a referral to them.

I work through Toptal. Once you get through their interview process (takes 1 month plus) I've found their team to be very helpful in connecting me to great clients. I'm in NYC and can live quite comfortably, set my own rates, and get plenty of full time work.

after wasting the time to write the sample application, my interviewer refused to even look at at it. I have seen similar stories posted here. would not recommend.

Whenever I read a similar story, there always seems to be a piece of information missing.

Like I'm pretty sure the interviewer wasn't just out to get you and simply refused to look at your application because that's just how they do things.

I have no idea what the interviewers motive was. I'm certain he has a different story. From my perspective he asked me to show certain functionality and then shouted over me every time I tried. After 30 minutes I hung up.

edit: obviously it wasn't personal, there is no way we had ever crossed paths before. personally I think had no idea how to conduct a technical interview and thought he was being tough on me. anyways, its just one experience. obviously people make it through the procces. I do think they could try to be a little more responsible given that they just asked for a week of your time

I can't speak for others but it's been a real pleasure to use them. The interview was a tad tedious and the project ambiguous. But after that, smooth sailing.

Just gonna throw our name into the pot, Venturi Ltd recruits for positions in London, NYC and Germany.

We're IT specialists recruitment agency that specialises in Big Data, Network & Security, Development and cloud & Infrastructure. http://www.venturi-group.com/

As some of you might have seen to we also produce tech industry podcasts, we thought it was a great way to give something back to our great candidates and clients.


Craigslist is fantastic for Bay Area tech jobs.

No idea why this was down-voted. I suppose the person disagrees. I have found a lot of work for many great companies including names that we all know and respect through Craigslist.

I built https://www.stackpair.com because I was over reading job listings to get an idea of what I'd be working with. It puts as much info as possible up front about the languages, stack, and tools used in the position. The search makes finding relevant positions easy, the query "go remote sf" returns what you'd expect, for instance. I also do a lot to feature quality opportunities, which traditional job boards can struggle with.

Not a job board. But I love using my phone and calling folks :)

My favorite place is at local Meetups of interest.

Job boards usually sucks.

Your best job will be when you are passively hired ( saw that you are a software engineer ). This, you can achieve with spending some time to build a physical ( go to events ) or virtual network ( LinkedIn ) surrounded by people that would hire a person like you.

LinkedIn is very good place, and hack news' whoshiring is very good place for remote job.

Current gig was found on Stack Overflow. I'm very happy with it and glad to get it done without a MITM.

SO is not my favourite necessarily but I definitely checked it regularly. I found the jobs tended to be slightly lower paid but this was the exception.

Stackoverflow careers[1] is my favorite. Lots of interesting jobs there!

[1] https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/remote-developer-jobs

Hired.com. Love the fact that employers are applying to you. Love the fact that they're mostly open about their compensation from the get go. And the extra $2K bonus from Hired doesn't hurt either.

Not a job board, but I've found a great place to find work is at a conference/event for something you're passionate about.

This could be a technology, language, stack, anything that's cool to you!

I just let recruiters reach out to me on LinkedIn or ask my network.

I've tried to brand myself online so work finds me.

How's that working out for you?

It's actually working out pretty well. I would say I get about 1-5 inbound weekly requests from companies like Facebook, Snapchat, AirBnB, Apple, etc. The best part is that recruiters have already done their research for the most part and my inbound is strictly about iOS development positions. I don't really get inbound for backend jobs, or anything else that I'm not interested in.

I would say that it did take me 5+ years to get to this point but anyone can do it with enough effort.

Disclaimer, I work at SymbaSync!

http://SymbaSync.com is a platform for developers to anonymously find their ideal jobs. We match your skills, workplace culture, salary, location preferences and more with jobs on our system, to ensure that you only see highly relevant opportunities for you (and you don't have to submit a new CV/Resume for every job you apply to!).

Currently we have a focus on jobs in the UK as we're based here, but will hopefully be expanding to other locations soon!

At least here in Canada, indeed.com (actually .ca) has noticeably better selection than LinkedIn and Monster, the sites I've used before.

Social media, HN, and tech related Slack communities. It's how I got a great job in less than a month.

> tech related Slack communities

Any particular ones? So far, Reactiflux is the only one I've found that seems to have a reasonably active and quality job channel.

Don't you get spammed?

I just stop ignoring recruiters or let some of my friends/network know I'm looking.

It's ejobs.ro when in Romania.

In the uk www.unicornhunt.io is very popular with startups.

I found both my current and previous job via indeed.com.

If you are in London or New York yunojuno.com is good.

There is only one for finance-related jobs: efinancialcareers.com

Not as good as knowing people, but if you want to work in finance and don't know anyone, that's a goodbye place to start

LinkedIn seems to work well in London

LinkedIn InMail

If you are on a Work Visa like H1B or EU Blue Card, most of the job boards here don't work. That's why I created http://www.visaok.in to help techies find Work Visa sponsored Jobs.

Also researched a ton and created Visa Guides for over 25 different countries including Germany, Mexico, Singapore, United Arab Emirates etc.

You can find these Visa Guides here => http://www.visaok.in/work-permit/blog/

Wouldn't people with the most experience in "finding" work... also be the people who have "found" work they didn't like--requiring many job changes?

My job was never listed anywhere. It was purely word-of-mouth that mentioned the job, and got me hired.

Do you have a favorite job board?


For my job as a snowboard instructor: Burton Process 157 Off-Axis Purepop Camber.

For my other jobs: Linkedin Easy Apply. It delivered.

Very droll

https://codefor.cash is a search engine I built that searches remote, freelance programming job boards.

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