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Ask HN: How did you organize your technical job search?
12 points by tuhins 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments
I've found the process quite cumbersome for a number of reasons:

- Parallelizing processes across recruiters and companies

- Email communication and scheduling is time consuming

- Simply clicking apply doesn't have a great conversion rate so I've spent lots of time finding connections in my network and generally coming with up ways to highlight myself.

I've seen things like Huntr and JobTrack and heard about many people using spreadsheets; how else do people manage this process?




I realised there is a lot of variance in the process and only a small amount of the variance is under my control. So much is outside factors due to random chance. Therefore, I decided that since I have little control over the outcome, then the more effort I put into an application, the more energy/time I waste. So instead I decided to optimise for quantity and not quality. The way I scale it up is to automatically apply to everything on who's hiring monthly posts that have an email address. I have a std email template that I have honed over the months. Otherwise I can apply on a website in under 45 seconds. Every month I'll spend 20 minutes get out at least 30 applications of which 80% will convert to recruiter calls of which about 95% will convert to tech screens of which %10 (I suck at coding puzzles under pressure) will convert to onsites of which 15% will convert to offers.

As long as you diligently use your calendar and keep notes for each company it's pretty easy to manage this.


Finding interesting work is difficult. Learning stuff is fun. Watch conference talks for every conference that represents your professional interests. For all speakers that you enjoy, track their company on site like `linkedin`. This allows you to have a quick list of interesting companies that will dynamically update as they change their names and are bought out. This should be done at all times, not just when looking for work.

Track Coverletters with git. Each company get's its own branch. Repository it private. Easy to make derivative coverletters for companies of overlapping disciplines.

Only one current resume. Resumes do not need to be fit to a company. That is what a coverletter is for.

Networking is more valuable than most believe. Contribute to your developer community and help others get hired as often as possible. Connect with people and discuss your projects at meetups. Cross-list job postings for different forums and slack channels of similar content.

Often high end recruiters represent many companies, they can increase your exposure quickly.

Set a fixed number of applications per week. Try to fill with interesting, but by the end of the week meet your quota. You don't always need cool work, random applications can fill the remaining quota, and can be surprisingly fruitful.

Do not waste time on overly complicated application processes, unless you are very passionate about the company subjecting you to that. They may never read it.

Help young programmers. They will grow your whiteboarding, puzzle solving, and communication skills. Remember that you are lucky to have young programmers as a resource.

Update resume every month. Any work someone has paid you for is valuable, you may forget some of it. You can always prune down later.

When possible, send follow up emails.


There's the searching itself, and then all the additional work. It can be quite cumbersome, especially with multiple tailored CVs, letters of application, multiple agencies and so on. I'm back on LinkedIn again and finding that helps ease the burden somewhat.


I just used a google doc to be honest. I'd write a section for each application that I would use to write the job title, requirements, cover letter, etc.

I hear you though, it can be really overwhelming when you're submitting through so many different platforms.


For me the best solution has always been connecting directly to recruiters in my linkedin network. It saved me a lot of time, typically they only ask you for the resume and no cover letter. Also, among different strategies I tried, it's been the one with most "yes".


If you do startups, find places with healthy engineering cultures.

Try this out website: https://www.keyvalues.com/

You can select multiple categories of what the company values, so you have a better fit before you ever walk in.




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