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Ask HN: Are Indeed, LinkedIn the go-to places for exploring new jobs?
159 points by brayhite 54 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 136 comments
I've worked at my current company since my college internship in 2012, and have not sought a new gig in all of that time. The company was a travel tech startup that I joined as an early employee, and it was acquired a few years ago. The app is still active and supported, but it feels time to start exploring what else is out there.

In case it matters, my background is largely in various QA and product roles, most recently transitioning from project management to product management.

Are the traditional places like Linkedin and Indeed the best places to upload resumes, update skills, etc.? Do I need to fully dive into the job-hunting waters and network with recruiters to get a good idea of where I "stack" so to speak?

LinkedIn yes, Indeed no. Almost all recruiters (internal and external) are active on LinkedIn. It definitely doesn't hurt to have a good profile... people will reach out to you.

Recruiters get a lot of scorn, but I've had good experiences with them as long as you understand their incentives. They usually get some percentage of your starting salary, so let's say they make 15k if your offer is 100k (making up these numbers, but probably in the ballpark. Also, they only get paid if you stick around for at least a few months). If your offer is for 120k, they might make 3k more, so they have some incentive to get you a higher salary, but really, their incentive is to close as many deals as possible. Better to close two deals for 15k each then to drag out one deal for 18k.

As long as you understand that their incentives are somewhat aligned with yours but not completely, you might have a good experience with recruiters. I've found some who are great and many others who suck. But the good ones will get you in the door with the right people and guide you through the interview process.

I would say they mostly suck. Very slimy, unwilling to divulge basic information and will ghost you in a heartbeat.

From my experience there are 2 kinds of recruiters.

Those most likely operating out of the same boiler rooms as tech support scammers who have pitch terrible roles and employ a spray & pray approach where it's just a spam campaign with very little effort on their side. Those are a waste of time, the roles are terrible and are pretty much never matched to your profile, and when you go through anyway the recruiter will not provide any value (I had one insist on me writing a short resume of my profile... I mean you have my resume in front of you, why don't you do it?).

The rest which are typically alright. Again, quality varies, but I haven't had any outright "bad" experiences with any of this category. On the top-end of this category are those that understand the industry very well and what you're looking for and will only pitch you the right roles at the right time. The right recruiters can essentially be your sales team and are absolutely worth having on your side.

I suspect most people's interactions here would be exclusively those from the first category as they're the ones that typically send unsolicited spam. The second category will typically show much more restraint in reaching out out of the blue, so unless you explicitly seek them out you may not even be aware they exist.

The real two types of recruiters are experienced and inexperienced. Most recruiters have not made a successful placement. It's a sales job and many recruiting firms hire entry level. These are also the recruiters who send the most inmail spam because their "training" is learning on the job. The chances of interacting with a junior third party recruiter is very high.

A very small percentage of third party recruiters stay third party once they have a year or two of experience. If they are any good but don't love sales they go internal (recruiter for an actual company - less pay but far far less stress).

A tiny percentage of recruiters stay as third party recruiters and are actually good. They often built networks from their early inmail spam days when they did get lucky and place someone so they don't send as many inmails now.

You are almost always dealing with near entry level third party recruiters who are learning on the job. That is in large part why dealing with recruiters on average sucks.

This is never going to change but if you are looking for a new job or you are interested in a role a recruiter reaches out to you about you can absolutely ask to speak to a lead or a manager of their team instead of them.

"Hey I know the third party recruiting industry is tough. I am very interested in this position. Do you have a lead or a manager who I can speak with to learn more about this position and how to prepare for the interview?" That is how you get to the person who actually knows what they are doing. The immediate recruiter might make a stink but their manager likely wont. If you are actually a good fit for the job your chances of landing there do go up if they spend time to speak with you and help you prepare. They only get paid if you actually start there.

Can you share a bit about how to find the second type of recruiter? I've gotten a sense of the dynamic you're describing but have no real idea of how to find good recruiters. As you say, pretty much all of the inbound messages I get are very spammy.

That's a very good question I don't think I have a straightforward answer to. I built my network over time by using LinkedIn suggestions - the more recruiters you connect with the more it will recommend, and now I occasionally get new connection requests from recruiters which I approve if they're relevant to my industry/skills and aren't from the first category.

I guess I would just throw a few names out there and let you build from there. Disclaimer: I haven't worked with them enough to say they are truly exceptional, but at least they're not from the first category and actually have decent roles:

* La Fosse Associates

* Opus Recruitment Solutions

* Austin Fraser

* Gathered and Found (never heard of this one but got recommended it by someone just now)

Connect with a few people from each, have a few calls and go from there.

Former 3rd party recruiter here, I loved meeting with candidates and hearing about what matters most to them before "pitching" them any opportunities. A good recruiter should learn more about who you are and your career goals before making any suggestions. I would say that is a good benchmark of a recruiter who cares and is not going to try and put a square peg in a round hole, so to speak...

*While I have met some downright bad recruiters in my time, I have also met some really great ones, so if anyone wants a connection to one LMK!

Echoes my comment above. The guys I met from Aerotech took their time over a long lunch meeting to get to know me and what I valued in a company and where I wanted my career to go before looking for opportunities.

That said, I feel that recruiters work harder the farther along you are in your career. They make more as a percentage and they realized that experienced candidates likely have a larger network and will send them more referrals. It's a sales business, they're not stupid.

100%! Look for recruiters with longer tenure, bad sales people don't stick around...

I'll add Aerotech to that list. They were friendly, took the time to get to know me, including taking me to lunch at a pretty nice place. And really worked to focus on the type of work I wanted to do. Would definitely engage again.

Look at who was in charge of recruiting at the VC backed companies your friends joined.

And if your cell phone ends up in their list, woo-ee they will call you at 11pm on a Sunday if it means you're more likely to pick up. It would have panicked me to get a call at 11pm at one point in my life, but thanks to recruiters I just never answer the phone at all. Voicemail is my butler.

I once had a recruiter call my companies reception, tell them he was my friend and have the call forwarded to my desk phone. Talk about shameless :D

In the US, there are laws against calling after 9:00. And like you, I don't answer calls from unknown numbers any more, whether or not my phone identifies it as likely scam.

I get so many phone scams that I’ve set my phone to ignore all calls from unidentified contacts.

I would say they don't mostly suck, everyone of them who I have worked with has opened up doors that wouldn't be open otherwise. Made my salary go way up too!

Thanks recruiters you are mostly awesome!

I agree that they mostly suck. The sucky ones are just very easy to filter. So you either engage them because they have a specific role at a specific company you would like to work for... Or you ignore them.

If they work for a (recruitment) company, I'll look at vacancies on their web site. If I don't like them, I'll either tell them why (if I feel like they may be of use later), give them an annoyed reply (if they annoyed me) or ignore them.

Sometimes, I literally tell them to either give me more info up front, because I can't keep having phone calls just so you can tell me you have 10 vacancies that I might be a good fit. I'd be on the phone talking about Java jobs all day long (I don't have any Java experience). If they don't send me more info, that's fine. If they do, I'll give them some feedback and possibly schedule a call if I like it.

In short, this means I ignore most recruiters and the ones I've spoken to have mostly been pretty pleasant.

Add a code word or number to your profile like "If you are a recruiter and want to contact me about a position, please put this number in the email subject to confirm you saw this text and isn't a bot".

99% of the time a "recruiter" contacts me, it's a sweatshop spam recruiter who invariably says "Your profile looks interesting" and of course, has not seen the profile.

From the hiring side, I've seen some help the candidate cheat the interview.

In my experience on both ends, they don't care about good fit nor qualifications. It's a numbers game - throw almost any candidate at a position to hope it gets filled, or contact as many devs as possible to make them a client.

Recruiters that are actually part of the company tend to be better in my experience. I won't even talk to 3rd party recruiters.

Good recruiting/hiringstaff tends to be a decent signal for a good company in my experience.

When the recruiters treated me well, so did the company. When the recruiters or HR treat me poorly (e.g. after the offer was signed, the nature of my remote work & travel was trifled over with little guilt trips), the company inevitably ended up being what was being reflected.

I think recruiters are great, as long as they actually work at the company they are hiring for. My policy has always been to respond to their linkedin messages saying thanks for reaching out but i'm not interested right now. One of those ended up becoming my current job.

The outside recruiters, "I have a client in XYZ industry with 100M in funding!" type where they don't even tell you the name of the company, you should just ignore.

FWIW internal and external recruiters can have very different incentive structures. What you describe is typical for external (independent) recruiters, but our internal recruiting staff are salaried and don't operate on commission/bonus.

I second this. I switched jobs a few months ago after a recruiter reached out to me based on a crappy LinkedIn profile that hadn't been updated in at least 6 years.

I get a fair amount of interest from recruiters and I don't consider it spam: they're doing their jobs and it might benefit me at some point. It's easy enough to decline someone's invitation if you don't want to connect with them.

> but really, their incentive is to close as many deals as possible. Better to close two deals for 15k each then to drag out one deal for 18k.

Similar to how a Realtor doesn't really care to get you the highest offer for your house, or lowest price on the one you're buying.

> I've found some who are great and many others who suck.

Seconding this, and LinkedIn being more viable than Indeed. Serious recruiters, at the very least, have a clear incentive to find suitable candidates. On the contrary, though, so many offers coming directly from employers are just used to test waters: therefore, you need to send them a direct e-mail to stand out from the pile of applications.

> They usually get some percentage of your starting salary

Why they get a percentage instead of a flat per-head fee? Its not in companies' best interest to agree to a percentage, and recruiters have no leverage to push it.

I knew of a company that did a per head price. The problem is the higher the salary, the harder the role is to fill. They ended up going the percentage route eventually. I am sure there is a better price structure, but flat percent (20) seems to be the standard pricing these days.

Finding a Senior Dev is much harder than finding a Junior one, so maybe they charge a percentage for simplicity because the former simply has an higher salary and it would be too complex to charge different flat fees depending on the position category.

LinkedIn is pretty good, however I really do hate the photos. The main reason we don't have photos on resumes in the West, is because it opens you up to discrimination. My physical appearance should have nothing to do with my hireabilty

I also very much hate how people keep trying to turn it into Facebook. Stop it. Get your validation somewhere else.

Now with that said, I've found almost all of my recent jobs via LinkedIn. It's the first place I go when I look for work. Recruiters will hit you up once you have at least a few years of experience.

>My physical appearance should have nothing to do with my hireabilty

I don't necessarily agree. There are jobs where appearance is important, especially customer facing ones.

And I'm sure I'll catch flak for this but if you're obese, slovenly, or unhealthy looking that kinda has to factor in. I would certainly question how well you could handle a job if you can't even handle your personal life. Discrimination sucks but it's just a reality. Everyone does it, and sometimes it's a necessary "evil".

I think if you've got good resume showing your aptitude most places are going to care less about your appearance. Besides, they're going to see your face in the interview anyway. So, if you think your appearance is causing companies to avoid you they're not going to suddenly change when you show up for the interview and you're probably just wasting your time.

Obesity and income are related. Curly hair can be considered unkempt.

Discrimination (hopefully) is a small percentage of most of our lives, but it is real. Black hands holding a product in a craigslist ad gets fewer hits. If you're a racist and buy a bicycle, get there and the guy is black, you'd probably still buy it, because you're already there

LinkedIn as Facebook: OMG yes. I’d love to have a filter that removes all posts containing: proud, excited, thrilled, humbled, awesome. Also, anything related to politics on either side.

There's a new setting rolling out to let you choose to filter political content out of your linkedin feed, if you want. https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/134715

Sounds like a business opportunity ;)

I fear any upstart LinkedIn competitor sans social would just become another LinkedIn over time. Just don’t see the incentives for entering the professional networking space.

Was thinking more of something like an extension that hides certain activities or filters it out.

Good browser addon idea

>LinkedIn is pretty good, however I really do hate the photos. The main reason we don't have photos on resumes in the West, is because it opens you up to discrimination. My physical appearance should have nothing to do with my hireabilty

I think this can go both ways. As a black person, I honestly prefer when people reach out to me via Linkedin because I at least know they are aware of my race ahead of time. I've had plenty of interviews where, because I have a white name and sound and act white over the phone, people have treated me completely differently after meeting in person. I'd rather just be able to be up front about it.

The social media aspects of the platform ruin it for me. I left Facebook years ago, so going to LinkedIn and getting that same experience is sort of awful. Its all adversity porn posts or reaction-bait.

You can completely ignore the feed. Even can hide it with uBlock if you're so inclined. I use LinkedIn just as a messaging platform for recruiters to contact me.

>The main reason we don't have photos on resumes in the West

In the US, UK etc. yes, but in Germany and DACH region, employers still expect a photo in the traditional resume, especially for non-tech/skilled positions or in more traditional companies (Audi, BMW, etc.). Heard it's the same in southern Europe.

Still irks me that they haven't outlawed this yet.

But I don't think things would improve much if they did though, as if an employer wants to not hire you because of your race/gender/nationality etc, it can do it anyway in a later stage, with some cookie-cutter excuse, regardless of photo/no-photo in your resume.

"if an employer wants to not hire you because of your race/gender/nationality etc, it can do it anyway in a later stage"

First, you're increasing the probability of discrimination by making it possible earlier on. The number of people that could exclude you goes up; e.g. the initial, possibly external, recruiter (who is screening hundreds of candidates) who would never otherwise have seen your face, can now discriminate on appearance.

Secondly, people are less discriminatory to people they've actually met and gotten to know somewhat. A picture of an anonymous person, with very little other information to go off of, may affect someone's judgement quite strongly; whereas, when you actually meet and talk with someone, have a lot of other information about them, and they are no longer anonymous, physical appearance will have less influence.

France tried the complete opposite (making resumes completely anonymous) and considered making that the law everywhere. When they tried it, it had the opposite effect of what they expected (hires became less diverse).


"They also found that participating firms attached less importance to interrupted work histories or other negative signals for minority candidates. This suggests that anonymizing resumes may have made it more difficult for employers that were originally more favorable to minority candidates, to identify these candidates, and to assess their application in light of the adverse employment conditions many of them face."

That makes sense. It's sort of like how I wouldn't expect someone from Kentucky to have the same internship opportunities as someone from the bay area, but if I cant see their location then all I have to go off of is the listed experience.

> I also very much hate how people keep trying to turn it into Facebook. Stop it. Get your validation somewhere else.

> It's the first place I go when I look for work. Recruiters will hit you up once you have at least a few years of experience.

I have the exact same experience. I try to ignore the news feed as much as possible because it became a Covid flame war. To me, it is no longer a 'Business oriented social network', I now use it as a glorified job board with resume profiles.

You can use LinkedIn as purely a profile/online resume and as a way to message potential opportunities. Do not look at the news feed, do not "engage" with anything else beyond your profile, connection requests and inbox.

If the photos are a big concern then why not use an avatar? They seem to be somewhat popular these days.

I will play devil for lulz:

>My physical appearance should have nothing to do with my hireabilty

but actually why?

you know - if you have two equally skilled people...

and one of them has tattoos on 90% of his/her body and your company works for banking industry, then is it pros or con?

> you know - if you have two equally skilled people... and one of them has tattoos on 90% of his/her body and your company works for banking industry, then is it pros or con?

It's a huge pro.

"Wow, they hired him despite the stigma around his looks in our hugely conservative business, he's that good."

Same thing with hiring a non-minority candidate from a school that's known to do a lot of affirmative action, you know he's there for the right reasons.

You haven't really played devils advocate, you've just suggested a completely straightforward example that demonstrates why we'd rather not have the pictures as part of the hiring process.

Are you suggesting the employer never sees your face? This response makes no sense. They will see you at some point in the process regardless of whether it's on linkedin or in person at the interview. Physical appearance is part of life, it's no more discriminatory than refusing to hire stupid or mentally deficient people.

I'm suggesting that if our goal is to hire people based on their merits we should limit the extent that well understood bias influences the process.

as a software developer? It shouldn't matter. People shouldn't be discriminated for something like tattoos. Especially when software related stuff isn't as customer-facing as an actual bank teller

On the photos, LinkedIn is a way to discover jobs/people/companies. You aren't submitting your photo when applying for a job.

When recruiters search for candidates they definitely see photos. Photos which should have absolutely nothing to with finding a job

I think you're overestimating it. Recruiters usually use LinkedIn's tools to send automated messages to people based on some criteria (years of experience, current job title, location etc). They aren't sifting through profiles and judging people, least of all based on their profile pictures. And the way you look affects hiring anyway - at some point you'll have to talk to someone over video or in person.

> And the way you look affects hiring anyway - at some point you'll have to talk to someone over video or in person.

The problem is that you probably won't get that far if an employer doesn't like the color of your skin, your gender, that you're in a wheelchair, etc. Your resume will probably go in the trash as soon as they see your photo.

But if you can at least get into an interview, you have an opportunity to sell yourself as a candidate.

I really doubt that anyone's interviewing skills are so good that they can cure the interviewer's racism.

The problem itself is real of course, I just don't think that having or not having a profile picture will make any difference. And there's other factors too - do I need to hide my name so I don't give away that I'm from a foreign country or that I'm a woman?

I don't want to pretend that I have a solution for racism/sexism/etc. in hiring but I really don't think that tiptoeing around people's prejudices is the way to do it.

> I really doubt that anyone's interviewing skills are so good that they can cure the interviewer's racism.

Racism can be very subtle and insidious, though.

You don't always need to talk them out of beliefs like "we are going to take your country away from you," it's more about dispelling unexamined gut beliefs like "the best candidate will probably visually resemble the people who have been good in that role before." The latter is less difficult to overcome if you can get yourself into the face-to-face stage.

The same thing probably applies to ageism. Sure, you can tap dance around putting a lot of specific dates on your resume. But generally it's pretty obvious within a decade or so. And, if you really go whole hog and don't even put any durations, you probably don't want to look like you're maybe just out of school if you've just had a couple long duration jobs--and the company's application form will probably make you fill in dates anyway.

To each their own, but my mom who is nearly 60 and still enjoys working, had good experience with just removing the years from her college and like her first 4 jobs.

I'm not sure what that proves though. I got my last job well into my 50s and my approximate age was certainly no secret to the people hiring me given that I knew them personally. I guess my feeling is that there's generally not a good reason to hide things that are going to be obvious the minute someone lays eyes on you, especially if doing so might itself raise a flag in someone's mind.

Sorry, I should have added: until she did that she wasn't getting any responses.

I suppose it's possible for people without much of a public presence to hide their appearance on the web. Though many of us have photos plastered all over the place--and I'm not talking Facebook/Instagram but also conference presentations, etc. But, as you say, they're eventually going to be meeting live--whether virtually or physically.

Everything matters. Given two more or less skilled candidates, I guess if one looks like Brad Pitt, well, that's something no? Or if someone has a really nice voice, that has to count for something. Perhaps the company is thinking in terms "oh, candidate 2 has a magnificent voice! If we ever present tech conferences, he will do great!"

This is not a world where "only your brain" matters. If you have brain and a decent surface (i.e., face, body, voice, manners) then you'll beat the ones who "only" have brain.

That's an issue. I am so in favor of not providing a birthdate or picture in job applications. But then I like LinkedIn as recruiting tool, which has a picture and more often than not a birthdate... Not sure what to make of it.

The short answer is: yes. Especially LinkedIn.

The longer answer is somewhat unrelated. If you never really interviewed or applied after college, it's going to be crappy if you take all the resume/application/interview classes seriously.

On the resume part, fill up your resume/LinkedIn profile. If you've done 'various QA and product roles' and 'project management to product management', make sure to write them all down as separate experiences within the same company. With every experience, add a start and end date, doesn't matter if they overlap or if you don't know exactly, it doesn't matter. Also, add the technologies, skills and other relevant info per experience. This way, you show growth and broad knowledge.

On the application part, I have noticed that a warm entry is the best. E-mail a recruiter with a question about a role anything is fine. Their response will tell you a lot about the company. Sometimes they ask you to just send your resume and set up a call. These calls are a much better way to introduce yourself than a cover letter. Sometimes a cover letter is necessary though, if it is, at least write something honest. You can also just pick up the phone and call a recruiter, that also works sometimes.

On the interview part, my most important advice is that it's a two way street. Not just the interaction, that's what they teach you at school. It's a two way street in the fact that the company should also be somewhat trying to convince you to work there. Especially because you have skills that are sought after. So don't feel like you have to impress the company too much, be yourself, be honest (of you can't answer a question, say that, don't make something up) and think of it as a conversation, not an interview. That can really help with the nerves too.

Finally, don't get discouraged. There are many shitty HR departments, shitty manager, shitty companies and of course, shitty interviews. If that's the case, just realize it's them not you. You've dodged a bullet by seeing that and you can continue to the next interview. I once rejected an offer because the interview process gave me such a bad vibe, that I couldn't see myself working there. And beyond shitty interviews, sometimes you're just not a good fit for a roll or company and that's fine too.

Appreciate the thoughtful reply!

Lots of what you said resonates and is what I've done, so I'm happy to see some of that validation.

Having been on the interview end of things a handful of times, I 100% agree on the two-way street analogy. I've somewhat prided myself for at least trying to make interviews conversational, both because it seems to organically bring about more interesting (and relevant) parts about their job history, but also because it's a way for myself and the interviewee to get a feel for the professional culture.

That said, having not interviewed for a job in nearly a decade, I have little idea if that's the norm. Especially given how much "resume" and "interview" training from school was centered around spinning negatives into positives and glowing up a job history, both conflicting with the organic, and maybe too transparent style or resume and interviewing I gravitate towards.

Thanks for the reply and the assurance I'm not too far off track :)

> I have little idea if that's the norm.

> style or resume and interviewing I gravitate towards.

If that's what you gravitate towards, to me that seems like an incredibly good benchmark for your cultural fit from your side.

> spinning negatives into positives and glowing up a job history, both conflicting

Don't confuse 'glowing up your job history' with lying about your experience though. Many people under sell their job history, because things you do every day become normal to you. So people often actually need to 'glow up' their job history in order to not under sell themselves.

> On the resume part, fill up your resume/LinkedIn profile.

I've been told the opposite -- in the recruiter view on LinkedIn, they can only see your 3 most-recent positions, and they almost never expand the fold to see the rest. Thus, it's critical to curate those.

For example, let's say you previously worked at BigCorp, but left to pursue your startup idea (Startup A). In the meantime, you've consulted at another startup (Startup B), and you're working at SmallCorp to make the ends meet until your idea takes off.

You'd be better off listing StartupA, SmallCorp, and BigCorp (or StartupA, StartupB, and BigCorp) as compared with StartupA, StartupB, and SmallCorp, since only the most recent three jobs will be shown, and recruiters tend to more heavily weight BigCorp signals.

I can't speak to recruiters, but as a hiring manager I see padding as a yellow flag. I don't really want to see the same company listed three times consecutively unless you've spent 1+ year in substantially different roles.

> unless you've spent 1+ year in substantially different roles

That's exactly what I meant. I've seen people with a single entry for their current job at am employer they've worked at for 10 years. That means they've either been stuck in the same role and learned nothing... Or their profile doesn't show what they've actually done.

I've also seen 10 entries of 3 months at client X. That's not what I meant.

A few HN people reached out to me about finding a job in the last few months. Here's what I normally tell them:

- Yes LinkedIn is useful, but not in the way that you think. The job application function in particular seems to be a black hole. I've never heard of anyone even hearing back from any employer, and I did try it a few times myself as well. What it does do is it tells you who to get in touch with to try to get a job. Certain recruiters have the current vacancies, and you can see who they are. Talk to them directly, either by chat or by phone, and get your USPs in there immediately.

- Indeed, monster, etc I don't know much about, most of the financial jobs I look at aren't going to be there. I did use efinancial, but there the strategy is the same. Don't submit your CV, find the person who is listing the role, get a hold of them.

- Generally independent recruiters seem to be the best source of leads. They get paid for placements, so they're always calling with suggestions. It's frustrating if you aren't the right profile, because they want an immediate sellable candidate, but if you are the right person, they can open doors that normally are just total blanks.

- LinkedIn is where you find all those recruiters. Whatever your specialty is, there's a recruiter for you. Go and find them, talk to them, see what they have. Don't forget to cater for the buzzword bingo, the recs will search for common tech terms.

- I also cultivate longer relationships with recruiters. A coffee now and again is not such a bad time sink, and you hear a lot about who is doing what through the recruitment people. Sometimes they phone me and ask actual technical questions, like "how does this trade work", and they feed it back to their network.

You should be OK since you have experience. Just make sure your interviewing skills are dusted off, review the STAR method, etc.

My anecdata as a PhD engineer: my first job out of college came from putting my info into a faceless corporate careers website. I also got a competing offer through LinkedIn. My current job at a little <100 employee company was obtained through a recruiter on LinkedIn. When looking a few months ago I got another offer from a corporate careers website.

I felt pretty useless fresh out of college, but once I got my first job, I started getting messages from recruiters on LinkedIn fairly regularly. I'd be interested in how people do their due diligence in checking the authenticity of LinkedIn recruiters!

As for indeed, when I used it 5 years ago to get my first job out of school, it didn't impress me. I didn't get any leads from it. Zip Recruiter I think is an actual scam.

STAR, Situation, Task, Action, Result, is such a powerful tool. It works for FAANG (at Amazon it is a basic prerequisite), it is even more powerful when used at recruiters and interviewers who don't know STAR. Those people are just blown away by the concise way STAR helps a candidate to present himself during an interview.

It is kinda sad that every facet of an interview has become a formula.

It is. STAR so, as a principle, helps a lot to sort your thoughts and make them easier to understand for other people.

Try Google for Jobs: https://www.google.com/search?q=wfh&uact=5&oq=wfh&sclient=gw...

It's creation pushed me out of niche job boards. I imagine it will do the same to Indeed, and LinkedIn. All the major job boards syndicate jobs there.

> Oops, your browser, device and/or location is not yet supported.

Google made it:

they managed to signal how little they care about me even more clearly than the "Sadly we cannot show you this information since we are not allowed to use all our 900 trackers on you."

To be a little constructive: just about anything would be better. I guess old Google would have said something like:

- "This page is not adapted for your region yet, but you are free to look." or

- "This page is not adapted for your browser yet, but you are free to look." or

- "Sadly our lawyers won't let you see this yet, but we are planning to open it for everyone early next year." or something similar.

Which browser are you on? It works for me in Firefox.

Then it is probably because of my location.

That was part of why this message was unusually bad: they didn't even care to tell us if it was our device, our browser or where we connected from.

That is new for me! Do you know for how long it has been on the air? Yeah I think it will push Indeed harder than LinkedIn, tbh. On LinkedIn the most valuable interactions it has been directly with the recruiters, besides the usual crap, and it has been mostly a positive net for me.

At least two years now. This time last year 99% of my job board traffic was direct from Google for Jobs.

I’ve actually found it mildly useful because I can use all the search engine operators to cut down all the shit and actually get a moderately specific query. It’s not perfect of course, but still way better than most sites.

In my opinion, LinkedIn's most valuable assets are the ability to get discovered by recruiters/hiring managers and as a way to conduct outreach. I would not recommend posting resumes on Indeed, as that may cheapen your brand a bit.

Let the recruiters come to you. Optimize your LinkedIn profile so you get incoming traffic. Make sure keywords that a recruiter would search for are on the profile, in the body and skills section. As an example, a recruiter is less likely to search "software engineer" (too many hits), but rather might search "Python" to get a narrower result, or even something more narrow like "Numpy" to reduce the noise. Also be sure you have a fair amount of connections, which expands your ability to be found. There are additional settings.

Working with a couple recruiters can be useful if they are good at what they do and aren't just looking for a quick buck. You should be able to tell the difference (are they asking what YOU want, or are they just pitching every job to you and hoping you agree to be presented?).

Also use LinkedIn for outreach. Did you see a job posted somewhere that interests you? Write a short message to a recruiter at the company on Linkedin (instead of applying) to find out how to get some dialogue going.

Source: Former tech recruiter that now writes resumes and gives job search advice with a focus on tech.

Absolutely agree on the key words thing. When I left Amazon, I thought that alone would generate quite some interest. I didn't, until I exchanged all the AMZN specific words for more general terms (I'm in supply chain / logistics). Then it started to work much better. Even better to use the specific terms recruiters are looking for.

> As an example, a recruiter is less likely to search "software engineer" (too many hits), but rather might search "Python"

Also, some recruiters are so bone-headed that you can list 5 programming languages in your work experience, and they will drop you because you don't have any 'development experience' or whatever term they received from their client.

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the HN "who is hiring" threads. I've used them a couple times, and like the format. There are a few ways to search old threads, here's one: https://hnhiring.com/

I think linkedin is another good resource, yes. I know that when I interview people, I always check their linkedin profiles for their previous employment, skills, recommendations, etc.

2 of my last 3 jobs were found in "Who Is Hiring".

It depends where you want to work. You need to go where the companies you'd like to work for look for staff. If you're looking for a role somewhere big and well known then Google, Indeed, etc are a good bet. If you want something more start-up oriented then sites like workatastartup are good. If you want something a bit more niche and unusual then using your LinkedIn network works well.

The last few times I've looked for a role I've just googled for companies I'd like to work at and browsed their careers pages. If you have specific things you're looking for (eg more "I want to work for one of these companies" rather than "I want to join any company within these criteria") then going direct can work very well. Companies seem to like candidates who approach them too because it saves them a fortune in recruiter fees...

> The last few times I've looked for a role I've just googled for companies I'd like to work at and browsed their careers pages.

This is my current practice. If I get a bite, it's one I'm excited for since it's a company I already know I'm interested in joining.

On the flipside, I do this rarely and it seems like exploring jobs to the extent of seeing what the job market thinks I'm qualified for is a volume game. Based on what's been posted here thus far, sounds like balancing between one of the known recruiting sites and still cherry-picking careers pages is the way to go.


> The last few times I've looked for a role I've just googled for companies I'd like to work at and browsed their careers pages.

I'm surprised so many people are not mentioning this. I have applied to 7 companies directly on their websites recently and only 1 hasn't reached back out to me about interviewing.

It's very easy to get attention by recruiters on LinkedIn, but my experience has been that, even if I am angling for a product development position, the vast majority of the interview requests will be for support work. I sampled the 48 recruiters who reached out to me from October 1 through the 31 and 45 of them either explicitly listed the role as an SRE, or a more vague 'DevOps' that resolved into support work after some inquiry.

I didn't understand what these job classes meant three years ago when I was getting frustrated, and was surprised that I could find a job within a week. Panic really hit me when it dawned on me that I had given up a pure developer job for a pure on-call pager rotation job. I learned a lot very quickly from that screw up.

I got my current job via Hired - basically just type up my profile and wait for someone to reach out.

It was a pretty smooth and quick process but that was about a year ago - I heard rumours they ran out of money and turned into a Linkedin clone since so YMMV (would be interested in peoples’ recent experiences in case I need to look again).

I do get quite a few messages from recruiters on Linkedin but I get a feeling they don’t read my profile closely before messaging. Some are clearly automated (catch these by including an emoji in my profile name).

Same. I actually had like 20 recruiters on LinkedIn I talked to, and a few of those got to late stage interviews, but Hired has the advantage that those reaching out to me already sort of agreed to the compensation I posted, instead of me having to ask and recruiters being elusive on LinkedIn.

Also almost everyone on LinkedIn had ~20% lower salary ranges they were offering than what I asking for on Hired, which was just a little higher than what Hired recommended after I took their short skills survey, so I think LinkedIn just has a bunch of recruiters stuck with offering low salaries for their clients and trying their damnedest for you not to notice.

The weird part about Hired is that you seem to be required to set up calls before you even know what the job is. As an introvert, I hate that.

The problem with all intermediaries is that they want to manage your attention. The more of your finite time they can use with their pitches, the less time you can spend considering alternatives. At least with Hired you're also using up the time of someone directly at the employer.

I'm not really a developer and am very senior. I do get (mostly internal) recruiters reaching out to me via LinkedIn periodically in spite of having a fairly bare and unmaintained profile. (Which may be a good thing as it means I don't really turn up on any keyword searches by random recruiters.) They're occasionally interesting though I've never done anything beyond an initial get to know you call.

That said, as an experienced person with a large informal network, every job (only a few) since a long tenure one straight out of grad school has been through people I've known--in the majority of cases someone very senior at the company.

I consider LinkedIn full of crap and marketing stuff. I hate the newsfeed and all the fake stuff that people post there. Messages are bloated with random recruiters, search is a pain and the algorithm is totally unclear.

Indeed or similar are so basic that if you're lucky you will get an email reply from the company. Is less noisy than LinkedIn.

I hope one day the process will be simple and without recruiters in the middle. Nothing against them, but are mostly 0 technical and you have to take calls where they read you a company presentation but they don't know nothing really about the company and nothing about you. So what is their utility?

I prefer to speak directly with the company. And I don't like unwanted calls, and I don't like being ghosted (especially if I invested more than 20 mins on your company).

I read this article few days ago, 100% correct https://batsov.com/articles/2021/11/03/a-note-about-recruite...

I got my last two jobs at angellist and a local job board respectively.

I was active on LinkedIn for years but it got me in touch with so many bullshitters I felt I was being dragged down and becoming a bullshitter.

For ultraspecific, low cost of living Arkansas, this site may be helpful:


I prefer to walk in to a building and shake hands with CEO/CIO without prior invitation. This has landed me my last 2 (serious) jobs, both of which have been fantastic.

> I prefer to walk in to a building and shake hands with CEO/CIO without prior invitation.

Interesting to see how different people can be. I prefer to never meet or see a coworker in person or step foot in an office, which is why the pandemic has been the best time of my life. Even better if the company is so large I'll never meet the CEO or CIO.

Yes, I don't suspect my approach would work at a company beyond a certain size.

I think I've gotten exactly one worthwhile recruiter DM on LinkedIn in my life in terms of the actual role they were reaching out about, though I generally reply to them and will occasionally schedule a phone call and I could see those relationships being valuable at some point. I've gotten my last two jobs from HN hiring threads, and I also used Hired.com during my last job search and had pretty decent results.

I actually just got out of a period where I was looking for a new job. 66% of the offers I got originated from a message I passively received from a recruiter in LinkedIn, including the offer I accepted.

So I would say using LinkedIn in this way seems to be working well: setting up your profile as well as you can, that should make it so you receive endless messages from recruiters. Then when you're looking for a job, just respond to the last messages you got.

LinkedIn is mostly crap for finding work. Recruiters spam the bajeezus out of anyone accepting InMail and messages from recruiters based on shallow keyword matching. Tons of low quality, low pay, bad interview process gigs await you there. Your only saving grace on LinkedIn are actual connections you know (not randoms that want to add you) posting jobs for places they work at. Recommendations from known actors are always worth a look.

I've had a lot of luck on AngelList personally. I find more creative interview processes and often you'll get to speak with the C-Suite very early on. Because, you know, startups.

I have several friends who have had luck on hired.com, but I haven't tried it.

Generally speaking, in nearly twenty years, I've had exactly two gigs that weren't based on a reference from someone I knew working at a place. The two that weren't a reference was 1) An actual quality recruiter got through the noise on LinkedIn and offered a lucrative one year contract, and 2) was contact directly (did not apply) on AngelList by a startup CEO. Cold-applying from the ether is a tough way to get a gig.

Don’t look for a job. Instead, look for the individual you can best help.

Next, hop on LinkedIn. Sort for individual profiles. Try different keywords, industries/verticals/markets. Use titles, ex: CTO, VP or Director of Engineering, etc…

Very quickly you should have a hit list of interesting potential employers.

Now— Reach out to them direct for an exploratory conversation.

I’m about to start a job search and the stackoverflow jobs board seems to have a decent number of positions… most even advertise salary band, which is nice.

Depending on the industry - for some niche areas, like focused on green tech, sustainability, etc I would look for some green jobs oriented job boards, quite hard to filter and find them on LinkedIn. But for strictly IT oriented, LinkedIn and glassdoor are the best places

I've used Hired to find my last 3 jobs. Other than that, job listings on LinkedIn and Glassdoor are useful.

I used Glassdoor to find my posting.

Part of their schtick is you have to leave an employee review of your company to access their resources. You can see a lot of comments about different companies there.

I think keeping LinkedIn current is almost a must, even if you don’t plan on using it as a job search engine. People look at it all the time for different reasons. You’ll probably hear from a lot of recruiters if you do so. Watch out as some are scammers, and many are consulting agencies.

I’m surprised not to see a plug here for WorkAtAStartup.com, YC’s job site. It’s pretty great and usually you get interviews with founders.

Since 2012 the whole recruiting and HR world have adopted applicant tracking systems (ATS) which heavily rely upon resume parsing and keywords. You’ll need to basically do some SEO on your actual resume PDF or .docx to ensure that your skills are visible to those systems. Much has been written about it but I’ll say that vanilla formatting and listing specific skills goes a long way to better visibility.

Do prep for coding interviews, especially with a guide like Cracking the Coding Interview. It’s just one of those skills that is another obligation of being a developer in 2021 like knowing git and containers.

Looking for tech jobs in 2021 is a somewhat brutal and dehumanizing process, but on the plus side compensation is unbelievable right now, demand is high, and remote work is amazingly common. It’s a great time to be a nerd. Good luck to you!

LinkedIn I've found a bit of success with. Be careful with job sites though. I uploaded my resume on monster dot com and have gotten so much spam that it became difficult to pick out anything worth my time. I was contacted for job roles that were way above my experience level or even outside my field of work. I maybe got one call I even considered.

I prefer LinkedIn.

On a somewhat related note, if you think that LinkedIn is abused by managers, do check out https://www.shlinkedin.com/ and give it a go. It literally made me laugh out loud.

Are there recruiting agencies that people recommend? I'm having a hard time finding a new gig.

If you're looking for work in Europe, we should be able to help: https://www.toughbyte.com/ - just hit Apply, specify your preferences and the web app will suggest relevant positions. Have a few remote roles in the US as well.

If you're in India then Instahyre is pretty good. If you're OK with remote jobs then check out the job board at WWR (https://weworkremotely.com/)

does WWR work in India also? seems to be US based.

Many of the jobs allow remote anywhere in the world. I'd applied at a couple of places and got a positive response, though I couldn't follow through all the way for various reasons.

I like theladders.com because of the transparent salary ranges.

My current employer is so a company like indeed, indeed works for industries outside of tech were is a buyer's market.

Tech is a seller's market and LinkedIn is s better shopping window for this kind of market, so all your future jobs are listed in LinkedIn.

Don't know at the executive level, I'm pretty sure that market move trough private channels and in limited times trough a public one.

Yes to LinkedIn, but also reach out to people you know. If you've been with the same company for nearly 10 years there must be a number of people you worked with who have moved on to other companies that you could consider applying to. They can get you into the hiring pipeline the fastest and also give it to you straight about what it's like to work there.

I’ve found LinkedIn better those others have had better luck with Indeed, especially for junior roles.

With LinkedIn, the most effective strategy I’ve found is finding someone who is connected to the hiring manager of a posted open position, and crafting an intro note for them to send on my behalf. Just applying to jobs or waiting to be found hasn’t worked.

In my recent search using mostly Linkedin, I'm getting around 60% completely ignored and 25% automatated decline emails.

Make sure you consult the total compensation data on:



Do not use numbers from GlassDoor. They are utterly outdated and misleading for our industry.

I would guess you are probably underpaid by 2-5x at this point.

I've had a lot of success with Dice.com

I was recently doing research on Job Boards and found their revenue surprising despite having such an old looking website. edit Oh, it appears they have updated it within the last month or so.

I got my current job by just checking the careers pages at companies I knew I liked. It worked!

I found my current job via passive presence on linkedin . Can recommend

I recently switched companies. The answer for me was “Anywhere that has the jobs you’re looking for.” I was finding roles that I wanted across a bunch of different places.

My last two jobs (previous and current) I got via recruiters who contacted me via LinkedIn. That said, about 90% of the recruiter messages I get are crap :)

Generally speaking, if you want to search for a job, Indeed is the better tool. If, however, you'd rather have recruiters hit you up then use LinkedIn.

It's LinkedIn over all others

Unfortunately, LinkedIn is the only game in town. It's pretty worthless though. In 2019 I received 6,000+ contacts from headhunters, maybe 25 were relevant and 3 were actually worth responding to.

LinkedIn's bread and butter seems to be spammers in India with addresses from New Jersey.

You will probably not find a good job on LinkedIn. Find niche-specific slack job boards and network with people. LinkedIn is mostly a waste of time. It was shit before Microsoft, now it's diarhea.

I'm glad I will be retiring soon and will never remove a connection for re-posting an Oleg Vishnepolsky post.

Fuck LinkedIn.

> LinkedIn's bread and butter seems to be spammers in India with addresses from New Jersey.

I've had to deal with those. The answer is to ruthlessly block/reject anyone you have doubts about. Thankfully most of these put up a very poor show and just a quick look at the quality of their website will tell you whether they're telling the truth. Frankly, you don't even need to dig that far - even just the quality/suitability of the roles they pitch will be a good enough indicator.

At least in the UK however there are decent local recruitment agencies that are worth having on your side. They don't proactively reach out (at least not as much as the aforementioned spammers) so you may need to seek them out yourself but if you get in touch and explain them your situation they will be helpful either now or in the future.

Whether this applies to the US is a different story however. When searching for jobs in my niche I often see tons of US-based positions posted by the aforementioned spammers, so it may very well be that US-focused recruitment has been completely overtaken by them.

I've heard that the headhunters in the UK are the polar opposite of the spammers, I mean, recruiters we have in the states. 99% of the contract headhunters out there are basically functional illiterates when it comes to the tech spear (some of them aren't even that).

LinkedIn feels a lot like Myspace at the end, when it had been completely overrun by spammers and the company itself stopped caring.

LinkedIn sucks until it doesn't. That is, when someone other than a recruiter -- say someone who is connected to you through your broader social network, reaches out to you. That's when it's useful.

The "news feed" -- insipid at best. The farms of recruiters -- not super useful, I already have a job at a FAANG and I'm not looking to switch to a different flavour.

But the social network, which has been there for 15 years and kept me in touch with all sorts of professional contacts? Gold.

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