Eric Caron has some really solid tips on job seeking in his Ignite presentation:
LinkUp is the site he mentions being affiliated with. I wasn’t previously familiar with the site, but really like what I see there. It’s a search engine that pulls together job postings from company websites. That may be a great way to find jobs that are competitive enough to not warrant posting to paid job sites since they’ll find enough qualified candidates without pushing them to Monster or other mega-sites.
Seth Godin has taken an interesting look at career fairs and comes to the conclusion that good jobs and the best employees won’t be found there. It’s a race to mediocrity:
By the time a job opening hits the career fair, it’s a job you don’t want. And by the time a job seeker is walking down the aisles, standardized resume in hand, it might be too late for her to find a job that’s worthy of her.
I don’t think this is Seth’s best advice. Sure, you may land a better job (or find a better employee) through different means, but there are many awesome prospective employees who simply are not aware of the opportunities that exist for them. If they take a job found through a job fair and really are awesome, they’ll likely move quickly into better jobs within the company that take advantage of their full set of skills.
Looking at Seth’s advice, he makes it sound like your first job will also be your last, which is absolutely not the case. I’m more disturbed by people who hold out for the perfect job than those who take a job and make the most of it. The latter benefit from experience, seniority, and an income. That’s not a bad position to be in.
So, I decided to dig deeper to see what’s going on over at Big Red.
To do this, I looked at the first 500 LinkedIn profiles that listed Carlson School of Management among their education background. The most recent employer for each was tallied. Below is a breakdown of those numbers by company based on concentration within this sample of 500 LinkedIn profiles:
I think what this is saying is that Target has the most LinkedIn using douchebags.
Marc Andreessen has written a fascinating essay on career planning where he breaks down choices one should make if they’re interested in doing revolutionary work post-graduation.
He makes an interesting point about kids who live very busy – yet highly programmed – lives. They certainly accomplish a lot in high school both in an dout of the classroom, but do they learn the types of skills necessary to be highly successful in the real world? Andreessen has his doubts:
The Pmarca Guide to Career Planning, part 2: Skills and education
What do I mean? It’s possible you got all the way through those first 22 or more years and are now entering the workforce without ever really challenging yourself. This sounds silly because you’ve been working hard your whole life, but working hard is not what I’m talking about. You’ve been continuously surrounded by a state of the art parental and educational support structure — a safety net — and you have yet to make tough decisions, by yourself, in the absence of good information, and to live with the consequences of screwing up.
In my opinion, it’s now critically important to get into the real world and really challenge yourself — expose yourself to risk — put yourself in situations where you will succeed or fail by your own decisions and actions, and where that success or failure will be highly visible.
I think Andreessen’s right. I’ve seen a lot of people who are VERY good as taking tests, so do very well in an academic situation. However, one big difference in the real world is that the tests aren’t defined for you. You have to decide for yourself what’s a appropriate test, then figure out how you’re going to ace it.
Being productive and good at following orders is valuable and is enough to land a job that makes car payments. However, interesting work with great rewards (and not just financial rewards) comes from being able to determine what problems need to be solved, then solving them.