Sell Yourself Better (What we learned in 12 months of recruitment)
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Sell Yourself Better (What we learned in 12 months of recruitment)

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We've been recruiting to hire web application developers for over 12 months - and only hired two. What we learned from the candidates. ...

We've been recruiting to hire web application developers for over 12 months - and only hired two. What we learned from the candidates.

Presented at Bar Camp Bradford #bcbradford November 2009

Awesome Verlag font of win has been replaced due to failure embedding that beautiful typeface *kiss*

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    Sell Yourself Better (What we learned in 12 months of recruitment) Sell Yourself Better (What we learned in 12 months of recruitment) Presentation Transcript

    • Sell Yourself Better! Adam Hepton November 2009
    • Who the hell are you?
      • Adam Hepton (@proxymoron)
      • 29 years and two days old
      • Husband and Father
      • Senior Developer at Frogtrade
        • A growing company of 60-70 in Halifax
        • 9 Developers (Mainly LAMP / Javascript)
        • Hosted solutions primarily sold to education
        • They’s the ones paying for the beer. Yee ha!
      • Massive in the figurative sense, although I have piled on a bit of weight lately Geek
    • So why are you here?
      • 120+ applicants for “Web Applications Developer” in last 12 months
      • ~60 interviews in same period
      • Two hired
      • Why?
        • We’re too picky
        • The applicants aren’t good enough
      • Recession means even happy people might be looking for work soon
    • Too Picky? WHAT DO YOU WANT?
      • Highly Experienced with PHP and SQL
      • Some experience with Javascript and CSS
      • Problem solving skills
      • A good attitude
      • The ability to communicate
      • Anything else we might find interesting
    • So why the low numbers?
    • UNIMPRESSIVE CVs RECRUITMENT AGENT FAIL
    • TERRIBLE INTERVIEWS CREATIVE CV WRITING WIN
    • CV No-Nos
      • If the earliest mentioned project on your CV is 3 years ago, it is not right to put 8 years’ experience on your CV
      • A six-page CV when the most advanced thing you have done is plot some points with Google Maps API is overkill
      • Brochure sites (no matter how many) do not accurately display the skills required to develop web applications
    • Making your CV better
      • Get past the recruitment consultants
        • Key Skills: DOM / CSS === HTML? If it’s not written down, the recruitment consultant won’t tick it off their list.
      • Only put relevant stuff on there
        • Going for a job in PHP? Got an MCSE? So?
      • Gauge the position you’re after
        • If you’re after a senior role, you need to have done something to warrant it
        • This means something people have used
        • Who aren’t related to you
    • I get nervous at interviews!
      • We know. We take it into account. Especially for programmers
      • Sometimes, though, we’re a bit naughty
        • If you’re asked a question that gets you worked up, we’re trying to see if you’re going to blow your top under stress
        • If we ask you something ridiculously easy, it’s not because we’re stupid – we’re trying to see how you explain things
      Why bother with Accessibility if you don’t have any disabled users? No, I’ve never heard of Smarty. What is it?
    • So, what SHOULD I do/say?
      • Know your stuff, and let us know you know your stuff
        • There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance
      • Answer honestly
      • Show your passion!
    • And what not to do/say?
      • Don’t feel challenged by us asking you questions. It’s why you’re here
      • Don’t present yourself as something you’re not. You’ll be caught out sooner or later
      • “ I use Dreamweaver"
    • This is really unprofessional, isn’t it?
      • Specifically, which technical area do you feel you’re best at? Web Development
      • Of all the new things coming to the web, which excites you the most? REST, and AJAX
      • Can you explain this section of code? Hmmm. I’m not sure what “function” means
      These are real answers given by applicants for Senior Development roles in 2009
    • We’re still hiring!
      • frogtrade.com/vacancies
      • Adam Hepton
      • @proxymoron