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Javva The Hutt December 2009

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Back to newsletter 109 contents | All Javva's articles

A couple of you have asked about how my job searching is going. Apparently my experience is typical, but even so I shall tell you in detail so that I can vent a bit.

27 applications for jobs so far. Of those 27, a full 17 got me no reply at all. I mean apart from some automated email replies all of which more or less said "this email tells you that your application has been received, and if you do not hear any further from us then we decided your application was too pathetic to even merit a single bit of effort to contact you. Actually, your application was looked at in detail by a keyword searching utility that is so stupid that if you wrote JEE (which would be correct) instead of J2EE (which is out of date but still far more common) then we ignored you for being too up to date. Oh, and including JSP but not J2EE means you don't do J2EE according to our keyword searching piece of crap. Also, you had better have all the right technologies and versions too, because despite having years of experience and fantastic successes behind you, we don't believe you could learn 1.3.4 if you have 1.3.3 or even if you have 1.3.5 in your details. So nyaahh, phooey to yooey"

Is that normal, or have my emails contracted some hideously disfiguring diseases that means they go straight into the 'delete immediately' folder? I don't know, cos I DIDN'T GET ANY FEEDBACK from those 17 job applications.

On the other hand, the other 10 applications got me feedback. Three agents said they were very impressed with my resume. And then never contacted me again. Another four said the role had gone (at least two of these were for job applications posted on the board within the previous two days!), but they had several other roles they thought I was suitable for. Yes, I don't believe the jobs existed either. And of course every one of these alternate roles was entirely unsuitable. Two of these agents even paid for a drink/sandwich after meeting me in some sad cafe. To probe me about my experience, apparently they like to hear you speak what you wrote. Do these guys have too much free time or something?

Of the remaining three applications, one said he spoke to the manager who decided I was too expert for the role (despite it being advertised precisely for my expertise and little else); a second said I was too senior; a third said I looked perfect for the job, but alas their budget had subsequently been frozen and the opening was indefinitely on hold.

Too expert? Too senior? Am I living in some bizarre world where "you look like you can do the job fairly easily" translates into "we don't want you"? I mean why would you not even interview someone who looks perfect for the job? At the very least it gives you something to compare against, even if, for some strange reason, you decided you didn't want them.

27 job applications and not one actual interview. Are times bad? This is something that never happened to me before. I would guess that in the past I've had an interview from every three job applications, and about a third of my interviews have lead to a job. This is probably because I only apply for things that suit me, and for which I'm well suited. So at my past rate, I'd now be looking at nine job offers. Instead, I've given up for now and am staying here where I am. Not entirely because of the lack of any progress in my job applications, though that definitely made my current position more appealing. But actually because my role here has suddenly become a touch more interesting - I'll tell you all about that next month. Meanwhile, I sympathise with those of you who are looking for a job right now - it's a suckfest out there.

BCNU - Javva The Hutt. (LinkedIn profile feel free to connect me, my email as javva@ this java performance domain).

Back to newsletter 109 contents

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