Conversation With An Android Developer… Should I Stay Away From Search Firms

“You were right. I updated my LinkedIn profile and a bunch of recruiting firms are contacting me non stop. I saw an article on and I think I should stay away from search firm recruiters. But you’re cool. What do you think?”

So I read 10 rules for working with recruiters and search firms on and had some immediate reaction.

I agree with many of the points and no much with others. Maybe I am being sensitive but there is a “tone” to this advice. It may be the same tone if I wrote “10 rules for working with career coaches” so I will give him a break.

Let’s get into the advice:


I agree with never pay a fee to someone for them to find you a job. That’s a recipe for disaster.

I disagree with:

“so proceed with extreme caution if using a contingency recruiter -- they're out to make a placement, any placement, regardless of fit.”

That’s absurd. Yes some contingent recruiters think/act this way. And they don’t last long in the industry. To make it sound as if contingent recruiters don’t care about candidates is silly. I call “BS” on this one.

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Presentation At MinneBar: Managing Your IT Career v7 - (Why do recruiters suck so bad?)

Minnesota Tech Conference 

MinneBar 10 is in two weeks, April 11th at Best Buy, and I will be doing my annual career maintenance presentation conversation.

You may be wondering about the title:

“Why do recruiters suck so bad?”

Two years ago we had a video malfunction and while that was being fixed and before I started talking about what was on my mind I asked:

“So whaddya want to know?”

First question:

“Why do recruiters suck so bad?”

And the room broke out in laughter. No really, everyone laughed.

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21 Ways To Not Quit A Job

I quit

Do you remember Steven Slater?

I didn’t think so.

He was the JetBlue flight attendant who in 2010 melted down at the end of a flight and quit in a rather theatrical way. A quick post from back then:

Now you remember him, right?

I just did a quick, simple Google search for him and I can’t find anything about him after his cyber celebrity status ended and he was sentenced to probation.

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Surveys: Top U.S. Jobs 2015

Top Jobs

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to be giving a few presentations at the University of Minnesota about job search, networking and how work… how we do it, when and where is changing.

Part of the presentation is what employers are looking for now and how that may change over the next few years. And in part how these jobs, the skills needed for them, may change.

In doing the research I’ll be posting some info here on the blog.

There are some obvious trends with “Top Jobs in the U.S.” surveys… I.T. and health care dominate most of the “top jobs” because of demand and salary. Next comes some marketing and sales. That’s a not surprise as companies are hyper focused on growing revenue. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are also highly ranked.

Note that the surveys use different data for their rankings but generally come to the same results.

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Woman Fired On Twitter After A Tweet

What seems like an annual post… someone said something on Twitter and was fired.

This time they were actually fired in a Twitter post.

Here’s how this one goes…

A girl in Mansfield, Texas posts this Tweet the night before her first day at a pizza joint:

Fired On Twitter

An employee sees it and lets the owner know who replies with:

Fired on Twitter

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Target Rescinds Offers


(Mar ’15)

(Feb ‘15)

(Jan ‘14)


Last week FOX 9 broke a story that late in December (2014) 40 people who had accepted job offers to work at Target Corporation starting in January (2015) were notified that their offer was being rescinded.

Their story and an interview with a local attorney is below.

I missed the story that night and was not aware of the situation until a couple of friends who had accepted offers at other companies were asking about the enforcement of their offer.

I finally asked why they were asking and learned of the story.

I’m not an attorney (so this is not legal opinion)… generally offer letters are a formality. They usually contain specifics like a start date, salary, vacation and benefit information, at will employment and other things.

In the FOX 9 story the attorney says that employers rescinding offers is a common thing.

That is not my experience.

I have had two offers rescinded in 16 years because of business reasons. If I remember correctly I have had four or five offers rescinded because of issues with a flagged background check or failed drug test.

I have had an equal number of candidates who have accepted an offer and then not shown up for the first day of work. Sometimes without notice.

So this does go both ways.

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LinkedIn Survey: Top 25 Skills Of 2014

LinkedIn crunched a bunch of data and came up with The 25 Hottest Skills That Got People Hired in 2014. It needs to be noted that this is comes from their users and what recruiters are searching for on their site. This explains why healthcare, retail and other skills are not listed.

I am not surprised that a majority of the skills listed below are technical in nature. With marketing related skills in second.

For my recruiter and workforce planning friends this may give you some idea of what demand and competition is like.

LinkedIn notes four trends: STEM, Data, a second language (although not in the U.S.) and technical marketing.

Here are the top 25 U.S. skills of 2014 (click the link above for a list from a few other countries):

  • Statistical Analysis and Data Mining

  • Middleware and Integration Software

  • Storage Systems and Management

  • Network and Information Security

  • SEO/SEM Marketing

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Job Search Tips: Should I Have LinkedIn Photo?

LinkedIn Photo

24 hours ago I met with a late 20 something .Net developer. She has skills. Is easy to talk. But she is having problems with finding new jobs.

(wait for it)

Yeah, seriously… a .Net developer is having issues with recruiters (not) finding/contacting her.

Mostly because like a lot of developers the only way to be found is on LinkedIn. So with a bare bones profile it is not shocking that she is not being contacted.

After giving her a bunch of profile/content advice she says:

“I don’t know, what do you think … (long pause) … should I … (long pause) … have a photo on my LinkedIn profile?”

I must have had a, “are you freaking kidding me? Of course you should have a photo on your LinkedIn profile” look on my face.

She says:

“I see a lot of developers on LinkedIn without photos”

My reply:

“Generally, they’re wrong. They should likely have one too”

She says:

“It feels weird”

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Job Search Advice Seminar: Be Your Own Headhunter

Be Your Own Headhunter, Job Search Advice, Job Search Tips 

After a number of presentations this spring (2014) including the alumni association at the University of St Thomas, two sessions at MinneBar 9 and an interview on WCCO AM (CBS) Radio about March jobs numbers and employment in Minnesota (see photos below)… I have had a lot of folks asking if they could talk with me about their job search.

With the improving economy many folks are taking a look around to see what is available and there are those impacted by layoffs nationally and locally (Target, Best Buy, Thomson Reuters, Cargill, etc) who are looking for some guidance.

I think the best way I can be of help is to bring back my job search presentation: Be Your Own Headhunter.

The first live session is May 6th at Noon (Central time, Minneapolis).

The session will run 2 to 2.5 hours including a lot of Q&A from those attending. Yes, if you ever wanted to ask a Headhunter about a job search this is the time to do it.

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Survey: 10 Best And Worst Jobs Of 2014

CareerCast has ranked 200 jobs from best to worst for 2014 based on Environment (emotional and physical), Income (growth potential), Outlook (employment growth and unemployment) and Stress.

Not surprising… STEM jobs rank high.

Note: Recruiter is #78

Here is what they came up with:

2014 Top 10 Jobs:

1 Mathematician

2 University Professor (Tenured)

3 Statistician

4 Actuary

5 Audiologist

6 Dental Hygienist

7 Software Engineer

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