Possibility and Probability

A Python programmer with a personality thinking about space exploration

1 April 2015

Hiring Hacks

by nickadmin

Recently I’ve found myself in the job market. In the past when faced with this situation I’ve simply thrown my resume out there and hoped that someone would see it. These days though, I tend to follow a better strategy to make sure more people get to learn about me. Here’s what I’m doing:

  1. Make sure your resume is on a public webpage somewhere.
  2. Use a link shorting service like bit.ly to create a link to your resume
    1. Optional: make the shortened url something unique like your name
  3. Post your shortened link in your various social media sites.
  4. Go to bit.ly and check the stats on your resume!

One version of a resume

In step #1 what you are doing is making a central copy of your resume. A big problem is that recruiters and hiring managers will get emailed a copy of your resume and will then put it into their system. Over time you might want to update your resume, but those old copies are still out there! By having a single copy that is publicly visible you can always point people to the “latest and greatest” version of your resume. And any changes you make get seen right away. Personally, I have my resume in a Google Drive Document. In addition to being a full document editor like Word, they allow you to share a document as read only (or editable, but I would not recommend that for an important document like your resume!). As a bonus, if someone looks at the document while you are looking at it too, you can see where their cursor is, and that might let you know what is the most important sections.

The link

bit.ly is an awesome little service. It lets you turn long web addresses into short little links which are perfect for instant messages or tweets. (The shorter the link, the less likely someone is to mess it up!) Sign up for a free account there, and then you can put the link to your resume in and create a shortened link. As a bonus you can specify what the shorted link looks like you can personalize it. I did this and it gave me the link: http://bit.ly/1EGdxOx which points to my resume hosted on google drive. That link looks much nicer than the normal google drive link (which ishttps://docs.google.com/document/d/17R6XoxhaUt5ywEKinZVSDYqQaJGRLJVEnOu5LaVkmzY/) If you don’t want to create an account on bit.ly there is still a way to check on your stats. Read on for more info!

Tell the world!

Every social media site claims that they are the hottest spot, but how do you really know? By sharing this shortened link on your various accounts at the same time you can find out exactly who is interested! I shared my link on Twitter and LinkedIn because those are the two spots where I’m most active. Both of these sites have the ability to tell you a little bit about your posts: Linked in can tell you how many people have looked at your profile, and twitter can tell you how many people clicked on links. But one thing they can’t tell you is how many people looked at the link and then shared it via email or instant message. This is where the bit.ly link comes into play.

Is anybody out there?

Once you’ve shared the link then you can visit your bit.ly account and view the stats for your link. Here’s a picture of what mine looked like: Screenshot I created the link and tested it out. I then waited until Monday morning and then posted it around 7:30am. That’s the huge spike there. As you can see there were over 30 views! This is great information to know because it lets me know how active my resume is. As the week goes on I can re-send out the link and I should see a new bump. This is important to know because if I just sent the link out again on Tuesday it might not have been seen by as many people. Further down the stats page is another important chunk of information, how the link was shared: Screenshot-1 This was very interesting to know. I have a similar number of followers on both LinkedIn and Twitter, but twitter was twice as much as LinkedIn! And the “Unknown” was huge! The “Unknown” was for referrers that didn’t identify themselves to the browser. So that could be email links, chat messages, or some other situation. (The “Who shared a bitlink” thing shows me because I’m the only one who posted this link to bit.ly which isn’t surprising: this type of link it going to be shared via copy-paste instead of someone retweeting it.)



If for some reason you don’t want to make an account on bit.ly (no judgements, I totally understand!) here’s a neat little hack you can do to find out some stats: Take any bit.ly link and put a  + at the end of it. This will tell bit.ly to take you to their stats page for that link. This works for pretty much any bit.ly link and it is really interesting to see how some links are spread across the internet. Thanks to Hilary Mason for this awesome tip!


Measuring the effect

The goal of all this is of course to get a new job. Normally I would just measure my progress by the number of phone calls and interviews that I’ve had. Now I have an additional data point of knowing where and when my resume has been read. Thanks for reading! If you’d like to talk be to check out my resume or hit me up on twitter.