Posts Tagged ‘job hunting’

Google for Job Search

July 14, 2008

According to Doug Berg, people ran more than 100 million job related searches on Google in June. The average month has 124 million searches.

Let’s have fun with math.  If each search took 30 seconds, that means on average, people spend more than one million hours a month job searching with Google. Ouch!  Talk about a tough way to spend your time.  When you do the kinds of searches he describes, like “Nursing Jobs New York,” you unlikely to get a job that’s even close to what you want. Yet 14,800 people ran that exact search. 

Are these people really job hunting? I think so.  33,100 people searched for “Construction jobs California,” but only 390 people searched for “construction jobs America.” If some people were looking for economic statistics, the America searches would be more common.  As it is, you’d think California is also too big to get the right results. But people don’t get that.

What this tells me is that a whole lot of people don’t really know how to use search tools like Google, and don’t really know how to job search.  Or maybe, they’re just so used to really crummy results when they search, that they’re happy with the kind things Google comes up with. 

Either way, a million hours seems like a lot of time to spend being disappointed.


The Job Hunting News Cycle

June 25, 2008

Is there a word in the news business for those inane stories that get run year after year? For Thanksgiving, send a crew to film the crowd at the airport.  First snow? Cameras to the pass, and advice about carrying chains.  This time of year there are hundreds of articles with advice for new grads seeking their first jobs.  

Some of the advice is likely good stuff.  People say you should write a cover letter, proof read your resume, and my favorite: pick a mature ring tone.  

Are these tips necessary?  Are the people who don’t spell check their resumes out there reading career advice columns?  Is telling someone to pick the right ring tone missing the opportunity to tell them to turn off the phone for the job interview? 

More importantly, if the advice given to people with big red flags is “hide the big red flag,” doesn’t that make it harder for employers to identify the non-idiots?  “Be yourself” is a perennial tip for job hunters, but it’s always number 5 after “take out the nose ring” or “don’t make sex jokes.”  Maybe we’d all be better off if the advice was just be yourself, and don’t show up on time if you don’t feel like it. 

Boolean Search Tips

April 29, 2008

Today, the ERE Exchange ran an article giving some tips on how to use Boolean search.  To me, it was just a great reminder of how bad Boolean search really is.

For example, if you want to see somone with a bachelor’s degree in science, you type:
           ((bachelor* AND science) OR bs* OR “b.s.”)
Sadly, that won’t find anyone from MIT or other schools that call the degrees “SB.”  And Stanford awards ABs instead of BAs. As clever as the Boolean string is, it doesn’t really get the job done.

Of course, if you’re a recruiter and want to see a resume of someone who went to a top school, has 5 to 8 years work experience, and has enterprise software experience, Boolean can’t do a thing for you. 

Boolean search for job seekers is an even worse idea. Think about looking for a sales manager job.  You might also search for area manager, sales representative, sales associate, business development and a dozen other titles. And you’ll still get back jobs selling cell phones, cars, software and life insurance. 

The good news is that the feedback we’re getting from job seekers and recruiters is that with our search, they don’t need to worry about Boolean any more.