I analyze how the current awful market alters one’s current job hunt.

I won’t repeat or run over anything the excellent material already out there, emphasize actionabllity, and stay specific to my situation (title, tech stack, age, history, etc.)

Experience shows most “roles” are just resume collections. Don’t do them. One employer even bragged she got 400 candidates for a mere internship. Find out if a recruiter’s doing mere resume collection by asking bluntly. Big hint: if they say there’s no work sponorship, it used to mean they only wanted non-H1B folks. Now-a-days, competition is so bad that it can also mean they’re collecting US citizen’s resumes so their attornies build the case to file for H1-B, specifically that no US citizen can do such work, thus why they’ll always reply “client went in a different direction” (such sort-of-obvious wording) or “they’re declining advancing” (because they’ve pre-selected offshore).

Only contract work exists. Contract-to-hire mostly won’t convert. Consider all contract. Employers do themselves, so the honesty is real. Only WorldTravel was hiring straight to full time, but too much didn’t add up like how travel industry’s gone and they’re claiming better candidates by feigning full time which is largely untrue. They’d get better candidates by having better recruiters doing better recruitment for a better employer.

Recruiters are ever more from non-tech backgrounds. Last June, many existing ones changed firms and many new ones entered. Recruitment firms can pay by commissions instead of base pay thus can run and justify payroll. In my upcoming series of exemplary (sarastic) job descriptions, note how the recruiter’s LinkedIn profiles show most were formerly baritas, yoga instructors, secretaries or administrative assistants, literature majors, etc. These folks won’t be able to represent your career. Do what benefits your career, don’t give them your time, energy, and mental space. You don’t have to reply. They won’t when the submission goes dark in a resume collection.

Non-tech readers such as the aforementioned recruiters, their account managers (a.k.a. another same-level recruiter, disregarding the title which only means they were the assigned point of contact for a client), client’s screeners (often HR, no longer a hiring manager as rapidly evaporated), non-tech hiring managers (more stooges especially at big banks), et al. mean you’ve got to edit your resume to be readable by such people. That means eye-stopping design which stops the usual readers’ conscience, catering to their manual mental keyword scanning more than ever before. Former technique was simple keyword loading, now it’s not icons, not easier formatting, rather extreme low-IQ approaches for clueless people. Ignoring this ensures low response rate.

More remote work hasn’t changed how companies perceive home life, so don’t bother getting too comfortable, continue hiding any and all personal life details. I give zero hints about my personal life so they are forcibly left wondering which is right as they’ve no need to know the such. Setup all the video services (Google Meet, Google Hangout, Zoom, Teams, GoToMeeting, because you never know what an employer current or prospective will suddenly want without warning) a virtual background so they stop snooping and wonder even more, empowering you. You’re not a public figure earning room rater points. Next article, I’ll expand on this privacy point.

ESOP, equity, etc. means they don’t have the money to pay payroll. Be warned. It was a problem before and economic problems increase that abusive route. If they’re that inconfident about payroll, expect layoffs.

Lastly, economic uncertainity means other global competition will be more competitive so do consider moving abroad to Thailand or such (see Go nomad. Enjoy remote while it’s a thing before offices return.