Making Introductions for Job Interviews

(Cross-posting from http://osr.cs.fau.de.)

As a human being, as a pro­fes­sion­al, and more recent­ly as a pro­fes­sor, I’m hap­py to help peo­ple find jobs (time per­mit­ting). In fact, as a pro­fes­sor we have tagged HR pro­fes­sion­als in our CRM data­base so that we can reach out eas­i­ly to them. Still, intro­duc­tions for job inter­views require prepa­ra­tion on the side of the job seek­er. There are a cou­ple of things to con­sid­er.

The most com­mon mis­take that job seek­ers make is to ask me: Help me find a job in soft­ware engi­neer­ing or pro­duct man­age­ment or some­thing else. Even if accom­pa­nied by a resume, what am I sup­posed to make of this? Pass on the resume to every com­pa­ny in the world?

The job of job seek­ing starts with the job seek­er. They must find out where they want to go.

If they can’t, they should at least deter­mine some com­pa­nies of inter­est to them and provide them to me so that I can decide whether I can actu­al­ly be of help.

Once I have a set of com­pa­ny names, I may be of help, i.e. I could pos­si­bly for­ward the resume to friends there. I will most­ly like­ly get back the ques­tion: Which job is he or she apply­ing for? Ide­al­ly, the job seek­er searched the job offer­ings and pro­vid­ed that infor­ma­tion. Usu­al­ly, I will hear back that the job seek­er should apply offi­cial­ly through their web­site, so that we can take it from there.

With appli­ca­tion data­bas­es being flood­ed by peo­ple from pop­u­lous coun­tries, stand­ing out is dif­fi­cult. Career ser­vices advise you to spice up your resume with tech­ni­cal terms (Rust, Kuber­netes, React, Gulp, ran­dom frame­work du jour) but this is only a poor help for hir­ing man­agers to work with HR pro­fes­sion­als who don’t under­stand tech. Thus, an addi­tion­al rec­om­men­da­tion by me to look at one of the gazil­lion appli­cants may be help­ful.

Thus, the job seek­er must deter­mine their tar­get com­pa­nies and jobs them­selves, and only then can I make a rec­om­men­da­tion to friends that will make the seeker’s appli­ca­tion stand out. Please note that I will be rather hes­i­tant to do that if I don’t know the seek­er at all (friend of a friend of a friend) or if you are a stu­dent who flunked all my cours­es. Still, just being able to acti­vate con­nec­tions may speak in favor of the appli­cant.

So this is the best I can pos­si­bly and rea­son­ably do in the gen­er­al sit­u­a­tion: Shine a light on a par­tic­u­lar appli­ca­tion in the job appli­ca­tion data­base of some com­pa­ny. The job seek­er still needs to find the com­pa­nies and jobs of inter­est them­selves.

There is a spe­cial (but not too uncom­mon) sit­u­a­tion, which is that a com­pa­ny, in dire need of tal­ent, has a strong refer­ral bonus pro­gram in place. Then, and only then may I be able to for­ward a resume to a friend and my friend will do the job seeker’s work of putting it into the data­base. As a job seek­er, I wouldn’t bank on it, and in any case, even that friend will usu­al­ly ask which par­tic­u­lar job the seek­er is inter­est­ed in.

FAU stu­dents, you can find an aging list of com­pa­nies (needs urgent updat­ing) of indus­try part­ners here: https://osr.cs.fau.de/about/partners/

Hap­py hol­i­days, every­one!

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