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The slides for my presentation at Kansas City Developer's Conference on April 27th 2012

The slides for my presentation at Kansas City Developer's Conference on April 27th 2012

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  • \n
  • To start out this conversation we’re about to have, I need to know a bit about everyone.\n\nFor starters...who’s looking for a job currently?\n
  • Is there anyone who currently works for a company who has open positions?\n
  • Since not everyone rose their hand, who here is in their dream job? How long have you been in that position?\n
  • For those who aren’t in their dream job, what’s keeping you at the job if it’s not your dream job?\n
  • Let’s look at this a bit differently. What are some of the things you would consider attributes of your dream job? Is pay important to you in your dream job? Is flexibility of time? Company values? What about coworkers or the manager?\n
  • Lastly, how do you plan on finding your dream job? \n
  • Are job sites a good way of finding your dream job? Personally, I think that they have limited use. They provide a decent way to identify what skills are being sought after by a number of companies that are looking for talent. However, how do you know if they are looking for the right skills or if the companies are any good? \n
  • What about recruiters? Personally, I adamantly dislike them. I have never had a good experience with recruiters as a job seeker or a person looking for talent. As a job seeker, I have been cussed out by recruiters because I did not like the position they said I was perfect in. I also have been yelled at them because they modified my resume without telling me, making me look as if I lied on my resume (which in some states, is considered fraud). As a talent hunter, I’ve seen recruiters send candidates my way that don’t qualify while also asking me to make the interview process shorter or easier. Lastly, I know of a number of recruiters who have scraped my resume that I posted 10 years ago on Monster and still try to recruit me...saying they can’t remove me from their database. The thing about recruiters is that they get paid a finder’s fee. Look at any human who sets a goal with a delightful reward, they will try and find ways to hit that goal for that reward. Is it ways the intended way? No.\n
  • What about LinkedIn? LinkedIn is decent when Recruiters aren’t in hunting season. It provides a service that allows you to post your cv in the cloud, accumulate references, and build out your network. There’s other services too as well as job boards so it’s decent but it’s only slightly better than a job site in my opinion and worse if recruiters are on the prowl.\n
  • So that leaves the possibility of networking with others in the community. But Why is it the best?\n
  • Networking allows you to actually talk to people who work for companies that are hiring. You can chat with them and get to know them before you become part of the team. Do you want to work on the same team as someone you can’t stand to talk to after 2 minutes? Also, from networking, you can get a sense if a company is good or not. Do they demand a lot of hours? Are they flexible if your kids get sick? Do they send and encourage employees to attend conferences or do they wonder why you aren’t working on the weekends? How does it compare to your criteria for your dream job? Lastly, it can help build up your credibility with others in the community. \n
  • Networking allows you to actually talk to people who work for companies that are hiring. You can chat with them and get to know them before you become part of the team. Do you want to work on the same team as someone you can’t stand to talk to after 2 minutes? Also, from networking, you can get a sense if a company is good or not. Do they demand a lot of hours? Are they flexible if your kids get sick? Do they send and encourage employees to attend conferences or do they wonder why you aren’t working on the weekends? How does it compare to your criteria for your dream job? Lastly, it can help build up your credibility with others in the community. \n
  • Networking allows you to actually talk to people who work for companies that are hiring. You can chat with them and get to know them before you become part of the team. Do you want to work on the same team as someone you can’t stand to talk to after 2 minutes? Also, from networking, you can get a sense if a company is good or not. Do they demand a lot of hours? Are they flexible if your kids get sick? Do they send and encourage employees to attend conferences or do they wonder why you aren’t working on the weekends? How does it compare to your criteria for your dream job? Lastly, it can help build up your credibility with others in the community. \n
  • While networking is a great way to find out about jobs and companies and even potential coworkers, the door swings both ways. People you talk to will also be evaluating you in some form. Like I said before, if you don’t want to work with someone you can’t talk to for 2 minutes, people won’t want to refer you informally if they can’t do the same with you. You have to build your own brand. So where can you start?\n
  • For starters...you should blog. I’ve been blogging for about 6 years across 2 blogs. I had one that was very technical, very .Net heavy and a newer one that I’m working adding more, better content too. Why did I start blogging, though? There were a couple reasons.\n
  • The first reason can be summed up the best by something Scott Hanselman said while speaking at this past March’s Nebraska Code Camp. To paraphrase, “You only have a finite number of words left to speak before you die.” While it was a bit sobering, his point made sense. He was also discussing the value of blogging and him saying this was his way of saying, you can write something down and point others to it instead of reiterating what you say. It’s one thing to learn something, but being able to point others to what you learn (and they can see when you talked about it) you become more effective.\n
  • Also, don’t be afraid of blogging things you think are trivial, that no one will want to read. If you learn or do something you should write it down...even if it feels like a major edge case. For example, my old .Net blog has 1 post that gets consistent top hits on my blog. When I wrote it, I hoped that I would never have to visit it again and also hope that no poor sole would have to as either. In 2008, Ajax wasn’t anything new; however, I found myself supporting a gnarly classic ASP app and was asked to add some stuff to it. Instead of doing everything in Classic ASP, I decided to use a more JavaScript solution instead and then recorded what I did.\n
  • And going back to the point of pointing others to what you’ve said/written - I don’t know any developer that’s not on Stackoverflow these days. This particular blog post of mine started when I heard about MEF in .Net 4 and wanted to learn it. I recorded what I learned every step of the way as a tutorial series. There is no shortage of content to be written. If you get into writer’s block, look at your last question (or answer) on stackoverflow and go from there.\n
  • If you don’t have a blog and worried that it’s difficult to get started, I’m here to tell you it’s not. Two platforms that I’ve used in the past that are excellent to get started with are Blogger (aka blogspot) and Wordpress. Both are free and take minutes to setup. You can add themes and customize them afterwards but in a very short time, you can have your own website from which you blog. There really isn’t any excuse not to do this. You can pay a hosting provider and setup domains and what not if you want; however, in the big picture, you don’t need it. Once you have a URL you can start pointing people to, you can add it to your Resume and LinkedIn profile. Instantly, you have a presence that may distinguish you from others in addition to actually being useful. You can even start posting a portfolio and your CV on your site if you so desire. Having a presence is huge.\n
  • Once you have a blog, you need a place to store the code that you’re talking about. Having snippets in a blog post works for simple stuff but being able to point people to code they can download and tinker with is a lot more valuable. Github is one of the best places on the web to store your code these days. If you aren’t familiar with source control systems at all, it gives you true practice in using such. Also it allows you share code with others, get feedback/issues about such and also create documentation wikis for what you’re creating. In addition to all of those benefits, Github allows you to watch/monitor other projects that you may be using or are interested in. Again, it’s a free service and provides a huge amount of benefits. \n
  • But what about people seeing how pathetic my code is? To quote Claude Hopkins, a pioneer in the world of Advertising in the early 1900s, “The results of research should be recorded.” (My Life In Advertising, Hopkins, 1917). This is a person who created some of the original, methodical practices for measuring and recording advertising. He was about results and about constant learning. He believed that whenever he tried something, to record everything so that he knows what works and what doesn’t. In development, being able to guide someone through a story of your self-education can enchant people and cause others to want to talk to you and to learn from you.\n
  • Which brings me to another tool you can add to your toolbox for getting noticed and selling yourself. You’ve done the researched. You’ve documented what you’ve learned...now, you can fairly easily present your findings to people. Circling back to networking, being able to discuss what you’ve learned with others increases your own knowledge of the subject as well as may help others learn as well. One thing many people don’t know about talking about what you’ve learned is that you can get a true sense of how much you know by attempting to teach it.\n
  • When I bring up teaching and public speaking, people usually freak out and close down...they are afraid of public speaking. Here’s the secret though. Mark Twain was right (quote grabbed from: http://www.pivotalpublicspeaking.com/quotes_list.htm). Those of us who do these speaking engagements are always nervous. The difference between a good presentation and a bad presentation is how much the person prepared. The most prepared speaker can get in front of a crowd and have people listen to them. But that’s the beauty part about talking to others what you know...you already know it since you’ve done the researched and have written about it on your blog. But what about the slides? \n
  • The secret about public speaking is that we all do it whenever we’re talking to someone face to face. Find someone local at the company you’re interested in, from Twitter, or find local events like user groups or Geek Nights (like the KC GeekNight here in town). Talking to people about your passions and projects require no slides nor a podium. The goal is to interact with someone and teach them something or get them to just have a discussion about stuff. People love to help other people out and also provide their opinions on things. We love to be critics because we think opinions matter to those who ask for it (and many times don’t ask for it). Start small and then look at volunteering/submitting talks to user groups and events such as these when you’re ready.\n
  • When you’re ready to look into creating presentations and get in front of people like I am now, I HIGHLY recommend these two books - Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds and Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte\n
  • And once you create a presentation, blog about it and share the slides on sites like SlideShare or SpeakerDeck. If there’s a recording, link to the posted video as well.\n
  • After all of that, hopefully we can starting saying “Congratulations!...you got an interview” But now what?\n
  • After all of that, hopefully we can starting saying “Congratulations!...you got an interview” But now what?\n
  • The very first thing to do is research the company more. You should have researched the company a bit prior to submitting an interview but if you’re liking me, you don’t just send out a single resume and then wait. So refresh yourself on the company. What do they do again?\n
  • Next, try and find out who already works for the company. LinkedIn works well for this. If there’s a company blog, that can usually give you names as well. Find out who these people are. Do you know them from networking? Do they have a blog? The more you know about the company and some of the people that work there,the more informed you’ll be when you go to your interview.\n
  • It also doesn’t hurt to review the job posting again as well. Knowing what technologies and expectations come with the position is great. Also knowing this will help you prepare a different way.\n
  • Something else you need to make sure to review is your own goals for changing jobs. If I had to choose between 2 jobs, the winner should be which one will ensure that I’m happiest the longest and completes the most goals I’m striving to complete with a transition.\n
  • It’s an interview but the best interviews that I have ever had are discussions. Sure the company will have a number of questions to ask you. Answer them as honestly as possible. One thing that most people don’t realize though is that Interviewees should have questions to ask the company as well.\n
  • How do you know you want to work with these people if you don’t ask questions? If the position is using older technologies or practices, inquire about the change process or how new tech is evaluated. Are they stuck using TFS? Have they looked into using Git? You have experience with Git thanks to Github right? :-) How do their projects normally go? What are some of the technologies they use? Just because something’s on a job post doesn’t mean it’s 100% up to date. \n
  • \n
  • So the Interview day comes. You have researched the company. You have questions to ask them. You have your own goals in mind.\n
  • For starters don’t panic and think about what is an interview. \n
  • You have your blog. You have your Github account. You have done presentations on a number of topics to 20+ people and have lunch with people semi-regularly. Talking to 1-3 people about a topic you should be an expert on should be easy. There is no reason to panic.\n
  • Something that is often overlooked and the #1 thing that got me yelled out the most the last time I attempted a recruiter was dealing with the company. I was escorted to a small meeting closet midway through the company. As we walked, I saw a lot of employees...NONE of them were smiling. There was very little natural light. The walls were blank, bland, and lifeless. Looking around enroute to the closet as well as on the way out, I decided that I had 0 desire to work in a position like that.\n
  • Here’s some tips I have\n
  • Listen to things the interviewers say and ask of you and take notes of things you like and don’t like. Being able to do a recap at the end of the interview is a nice way to reaffirm what transpired and also provide the interviewers concerns you may have both in areas you see yourself needing to ramp up on as well as just areas of the company in general. Vocalizing such brings them up and usually puts the interviewer on a way to ease them.\n
  • Answer all questions honestly.\n
  • Know what you don’t know and acknowledge such. If you get asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, don’t make something up. People have really good bullshit detectors. So be honest that you don’t know something; however, if you DO know how to find the answer (HINT: Google It!) provide that information as a follow up.\n
  • For example...”I don’t know about SisoDB; however, I’m sure I can do a little research and get up to speed fairly quickly. Is it something that you are using or evaluating currently?”\n
  • Depending on the position, you may be asked to do some form for exercise or presentation. Many times these questions are without warning. Make sure to try them. If you refuse to try, what do you think that communicates to the company you’re interviewing? Many times, the content or answer isn’t as important as the meta skills of logical processing, comprehension of material, or basic fundamentals.\n
  • Again...people can smell bullshit pretty good and being witty usually comes off as such. Be friendly, honest, and professional. Going back to what I said about networking, make sure you can stand them and they can stand to talk to you.\n
  • Know the difference between performing skills and performing a role with the new position. Roles change and with them skills change. Knowing what type of roles you’ll be filling with the position can help you identify additional questions to ask and how you may be able to contribute better than being just a person focusing on skills. Many job-related skills can be taught.\n
  • Ask they about a challenge or problem the may recently have had. Listen to their story, ask how they resolved, and if something is interesting in their approach that you either didn’t know or may have done differently, speak to such. This shows that you can help them with solutions and not just fill a seat.\n
  • Lastly, make sure to ask questions that are important to your future. Speak to your career goals and ask questions about how this position may fulfill those goals and how the company as a greater whole may become a part of your personal successes as well.\n
  • Interview is done. You’ve talked to everyone. You have your notes. Time to breathe a bit. Here are a few tips to finish everything off.\n
  • Business cards, email addresses, Twitter handles. Get any type of contact information that you can IF you like chatting with them. This also allows you to do a follow up “thank you” if you so desire (I’ve never received one in years of doing interviews) but also allow you to check in over time if you haven’t heard anything. In addition, having contact information allows you to increase your network should you not get the job. Nothing says you can’t ask for a follow up lunch after NOT getting the job to talk shop. Who knows, you may rise to the top of the list the next time a position opens this way.\n
  • Hiring processes in companies can take a LONG time. When you factor in the time to just get approval for the position and prioritize the position in terms of a business need, the hiring manager could be looking at 1-3 months. If you NEED a position, make sure to ask about how quickly they are looking to fill the position...if it’s an immediate need because someone left or a lot of work came in or if it’s natural growth. This can usually help you in gauging how long it may be until you actually start.\n
  • Was the interview good? Was the interview bad? Talk to your friends about it. If you have friends that you want to work with and are also looking...being able to refer them to a company you just evaluated helps build your network and clout. Yes...they may get the job if they apply for the same position; however, most companies that are hiring love referrals so if 1 person gets hired and knows of someone else, it may be a better in all around.\n
  • Lastly...make sure to review the notes that you took. This will give you things to watch for and possibly research before the next interview. Some interview processes are multiple interviews before any form of offer is made. Researching stuff between is a good way to score points. If there was a tool they used that you didn’t know the first time, research it and come up with a question or two about it for your next interview. \n
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  • So again, who in the room is hiring? If you’re looking for a job, these are the people you should be talking to throughout the day. \n
  • \n

Get a job Get a job Presentation Transcript

  • Get A Job!Advice for finding and landing your next Job @JamesEggers
  • Who’s Looking? @JamesEggers
  • Who’s Hiring? @JamesEggers
  • Who is in their Dream Job? @JamesEggers
  • Why are you not in your dream job? @JamesEggers
  • What would youconsider to be your dream job? @JamesEggers
  • How do you plan onfinding your dream job? @JamesEggers
  • Job Sites? @JamesEggers
  • Recruiters? @JamesEggers
  • LinkedIn? @JamesEggers
  • Networking @JamesEggers
  • Networking @JamesEggers
  • Networking• Work with people you want to work with. @JamesEggers
  • Networking• Work with people you want to work with.• Verify if a company is good or not @JamesEggers
  • Networking• Work with people you want to work with.• Verify if a company is good or not• Build your own credibility @JamesEggers
  • Building the Brand of You @JamesEggers
  • Building the Brand of You @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggershttp://blog.hubspot.com/Portals/249/images/blogging%20image.jpg
  • “You have a finite number of words left to speak before you die.” - Scott Hanselman (paraphrased) @JamesEggers http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7050/6773151896_7e7a6664ca_o.jpg
  • @JamesEggershttp://randomactsofcoding.blogspot.com/2008/10/jquery-ajax-and-classic-asp.html
  • @JamesEggershttp://stackoverflow.com/questions/2057994/where-can-i-learn-about-mef/2097862#2097862
  • http://www.tipsblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/blogger-logo.png @JamesEggershttp://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/wplogo-blue-xl.png?w=250&h=250
  • @JamesEggers
  • The results of research should be recorded. - Claude Hopkins @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggershttp://www.webvideoforbusinesses.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/presentation.jpeg
  • “There are two typesof speakers in theworld. 1. The Nervousand 2. The Liars.” - Mark Twain @JamesEggers
  • No Slides Required @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggers
  • Congratulations! @JamesEggers
  • Congratulations! You got an Interview! @JamesEggers
  • Congratulations! You got an Interview! Now What? @JamesEggers
  • Which Company Again? @JamesEggers
  • Who works there? @JamesEggers
  • What Position Again? @JamesEggers
  • Review Your Own Goals @JamesEggers
  • Write Down Questions to Ask @JamesEggers
  • How do you know you wantto work with these people if you don’t ask questions? @JamesEggers
  • If you don’t askquestions, you may take a step backwards. @JamesEggers
  • Interview Day @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggers
  • Interviews are SpeakingEngagements about the topic of You. @JamesEggers
  • Take note of your surroundings @JamesEggers
  • Interview Tips @JamesEggers
  • Take Notes @JamesEggers
  • Answer all questions honestly. @JamesEggers
  • Know what you don’t know. @JamesEggers
  • For Example:“I don’t know about that Sisodb; however, I’m sure I can research it and get up to speed fairly quickly. Is itsomething that you are using or evaluating currently?” @JamesEggers
  • Try @JamesEggers
  • Be friendly...not witty. @JamesEggers
  • Skills vs Roles @JamesEggers
  • Ask about a recentchallenge of their’s. @JamesEggers
  • You are interviewingfor your Future, not your Past. @JamesEggers
  • Post-Interview Tips @JamesEggers
  • Get ContactInformation @JamesEggers
  • Hiring Processes are Long @JamesEggers
  • Tell your friends about the company @JamesEggers
  • Review Your Notes @JamesEggers
  • Recommended Reading @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggers
  • @JamesEggers
  • So again, who is Hiring? @JamesEggers
  • Thank YouEmail: james.r.eggers@gmail.comTwitter: @JamesEggers @JamesEggers