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My website could be my resume. Would you hire me?

I am interested in setting up a website for the sole purpose of getting people to interview and hire me.

What would you like to see on an internet site for a potential employee?

Since I have been an "Internet Developer" for the past 6 years, the sky really is the limit.

I know this is super boring as a general internet page, but I am hoping that some webmedia can help sell my resume...

Code? Working software with source code ala freshmeat or sourceforge? Comments about projects?

I will not duplicate this page that I found ( http://www.brettscott.com/ )  Scary. Mine will be better. (How could it be worse...)

eclectic_echidna
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

I wouldn't hire you if you paid me.  Keep this crap off this forum.

Go away.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Don't be so harsh.  I'd hire him if he paid me to work for me.

Mike
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Whenever I've linked to my page where people can download my resume in ez2print formats, I've never seen anyone stray off and look around the rest of my site.  Not even the cool ones, using linux to browse.  (Which is fine, as I didn't put much to look at.)

However, if people have used your work and chance upon hearing that you're in their city and interested in a new company, they might agitate to bring you aboard.

Where the website can come in handy is during an interview.  If you don't have a notebook, they'll almost invariably have a decent net connection.  Though you can't assume their net will be working that particular day.

.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

By the way, that site's far better than you think.

.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

> I am interested in setting up a website for the sole purpose of getting people to interview and hire me.

There are 2 parts here:

1) website --> get an interview
2) interview --> get hired

The only purpose of a resume  (or website in your case) is to get an interview. Don't think that someone will hire you becuase of your web site. However, you could probably get an interview.

What I'd put on the web-site is
1) working program with its source code
and/or
2) your thoughts on program design / testing / programming methodology / language / whatever

raindog
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Actually, you should consider preparing the web site you want, because a lot of people/companies/agencies are searching the web for resumes, and your page can score big time!!!

It's crap when you're talking about it. Just do it, and tweak it for search engines etc.

A resume hosted on your site, has the sure benefits of being in control of style too (as oposed to job-broker's), and you can always link to it.

You can also use your site to promote yourself, give some free programs/scripts/articles.

Good luck.

_@``@_
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

You should be asking Robert Scooble about this:-)

Prakash S
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

For starters,  if you're selling yourself as a software/web professional don't use FrontPage and clipart to create your website (see source code for http://www.brettscott.com/ ).

Chi Lambda
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Yo 'ee'

A couple of thoughts. Very few potential employers will 'stumble' on a website like brettscott's. There is no content.  There is absolutely no reason for anyone to link to the site.

Best case scenario, he will have the url on a business card, and someone might go off and browse the site. Personally, I did not, and would not stay long on the site.

My advice, is
1. Build a website if you must
2. Have content on the site ... (articles/code/software/forums)
3. Do it on something you enjoy
4. Have content on your site ...
5. Somewhere on the site "hire me section", let folk know where you are, and whether you are available, and how to get in touch with you.
6. Have content on the site ...

In this case, the website can be the little bit extra that you cannot put in the resume. I might be considered old fashioned, but I still think a 1 or 2 page resume is the way to go. You can have a longer (more detailed) resume on your site, but the site should just remain a showcase of your work, and not just a shrine to yourself.

You are killing two birds with one stone.
1. Because of the content, folk are more likely to wander to your site via google or other links. Some of them will turn out to be business prospects. Make it easy for them to get hold of you.
2. When you talk to potential business partners, or indeed on your resume, or calling card, you can say, "check out my website for an example of my work!".  This is a much better come-on than "check out my online shrine to myself aka multi-page-website-resume".

Just my £0.02 worth

tapiwa
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

> http://www.brettscott.com

Omigod! *barf*


Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Well, I think that Scott's site is pretty good. Everything is well organized and easy to read in most browsers, and since he's not a designer,  I find right that it's not pretty.

Ros
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Six Sigma. There's something I haven't heard in a while.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Sometimes packaging is everything. You wouldn't wear sneakers to a job interview, would you? A slick, professional looking website would say a lot about you.

Nobody's gonna stumble on to your website (except by visiting forums like this one where you post this stuff), but it does make a nice calling card if you have one.

Now this is how it's done:

http://www.kottke.org/portfolio/index.html

he provides specific examples of work he's done (rather than your vague ones).

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

A simple CV site will work ok if you have 'interesting' niche skills and the search engines pick you up. Try typing "Summit Api" into google... and my page managed to sneak its way there with no active web placement work at all. However, if you have more standard skills it doesn't work as well.

Since I started consulting I've gone for more of a 'here's a load of things I've done' kind of approach. See: http://www.jetbyte.com

The CV is still there, but most of the time it's the articles and code that get me the work - which is good, because it's the work I want... I also 'cross post' the articles on places like CodeProject or MSDNAA etc, with links to my site and contact details. This draws more people in.

And now I've started a blog, http://www.lenholgate.com which contains less 'official' company views. I just ramble about how I do things and perhaps eventually people who like the way I do thinks will want me to do some work for them.

I'd suggest that you get a simple cv up on the web in a nice clean format with a proper domain name. Once that's done you can start to experiment with other things. A site containing examples of things you can do is useful, as long as you've either expressly retained the IP rights or develop the stuff especially for the showcase site.

Oh, and something else, remember that the web has a memory. The wayback machine can make cv sites interesting to watch ;)

Len Holgate
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

It doesn't even have to be as clever as Kottke's. Simplicity, professionalism and elegance are always in style:

http://www.kare.com/portfolio.html

Chi Lambda
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Mark,

Your too modest.  Your own website is another very good example of slick presentation.

However, I think that a resume website would need to be a just a little less controversial with the content :)

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

You can forget about ever designing a website that will get you hired. If you don't know what to put on the site you don't get the job. and if you knew what to put on the site you wouldn't need a job.
To put up a website that is nothing more than a 'Shrine to Yourself' is the worst thing anyone can do. Nobody cares about you. Well, maybe your immediate family but even they will probably not visit your site more than once or twice.
People want to know what you can do for them. That is what you put on your web site, nothing less.
The site must be captivating, contain multimedia, and be interactive. The graphics have to be awsome and the copy flawless.
When demonstrating software, you don't fill static pages with screen shots and boring copy that few can understand. You put on a live animated interactive demonstration showing how to use the software and what it can do for me.
What should you put on it? Show me something I haven't seen before. Show me something that I would like you to do for me and am willing to pay you to do. If you do, I'll hire you.
Forget about the two page resume unless you are not serious about getting work. With a two page resume you are just another number. The best you can hope to do is prove that you can write a resume.

Kent Designs4Effect
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

During my last job-hunt, I had a very minimal web site with my resume available in PDF and as a Word doc. I got called for one interview when someone found it through Google. I didn't get the job, but getting an interview was worth the time I put into setting up the site.

When preparing to interview someone for a job, I will always look at their web site if they include the URL on their resume. If I notice any spelling errors, layout mistakes (like DHTML menus that don't quite work) or other signs of carelessness then the candidate starts the interview at a disadvantage compared to a candidate with no web site. If you've demonstrated that you don't take the time to fix your mistakes, and I let my employers hire you, then I'll have only myself to blame when I'm stuck fixing your mistakes.

So, my advice is either keep it simple and flawless or don't bother.

Beth Linker
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

"The site must be captivating, contain multimedia, and be interactive. The graphics have to be awsome and the copy flawless."

Couldn't disagree more.  Listen to the previous posters stressing "content content content".  I find most uses of  multimedia on the web distracting and annoying.  Although, your decision to put a multimedia interview of yourself is an interesting idea (if anyone gets as far as looking at it).

And no one has stated the obvious yet:  the best example of a website that can help you get hired/sell software is joelonsoftware.com :).

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

The "." above is not the other dot, who wouldn't otherwise waste time on this thread.

The problem with anonymous names
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

2nd the opion, that Mark Taw's site is quite awesome.  But that would require thought and energy.  I'd rather sit here on JoS and cough up brain dead one-liners.  Takes alot less effort.

As for BrettScott...  bozos_r_us.

Nat Ersoz
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

[By the way, that site's far better than you think]


If you say so.

trollbooth
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Here's why I think that's a good website.  For one thing, it's really aimed at Arizona-area recruiters (or whatever they call those agencies that abstract away billing & stuff).  The clipart is slightly self-deprecating, so doesn't come across as cold.  He takes pains to explain his telecommuting environment, how he wants his business relationships, and even has a mailinglist saying when he's available for a new project.

Joelonsoftware and Marktaw.com are very attractive and appeal to a certain demographic.  Brettscott.com isn't aimed at that demographic, and if his website is not his bottleneck, it doesn't need to be "improved."

.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

. - Brett Scott is a guy hawking his skills at making websites, so one would expect his website to be nice.

Sure there are highly functional but not too good looking websites out there, but his isn't one of them. If he's made a few in the past - with truly national/international rollout to hundreds of thousands of people, then why not link to it at least?

I didn't go past the first page on this site, and for all I know he has a technology that rivals Amazon.com hidden under one of the links, but he really has to impress me in the first few seconds or, as another poster pointed out, I'm no going to do more than look at the resume and leave.

What I gleaned was that he has a good understanding of technology, but doesn't mention which ones. He has some serious websites under his belt, but also falls short with the particulars.

His website looks like the height of design from 1996, and he mentions that he fell in love with the Internet back then. How do I know that he's learned anything beyond 1996?

I'm not being mean here, I'm just not sugar coating my words. Better he hear it from me now.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

eclectic_echidna - wow, I totally missed the last sentance where you said your page would be *better* than the one you were showing us... I guess I was criticizing for no reason. I guess I'd better stop scanning these posts before replying to them.

I think employers are mostly interested in past results. They're not so impressed by you posting code on your pages (though it may earn you some brownie points), as they are by you being able to give them a track record of successful projects. That's one of the reasons I pointed to Kottke's site, he's very good at showing you the projects he worked on, and what issues he struggled with on each.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

... and most importantly, why he was successful.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Jason Kottke's web site has got horizontal scroll bars.

Is it just me that considers them so horrible that I leave any site that has them?

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

>Jason Kottke's web site has got horizontal scroll bars.
>
>Is it just me that considers them so horrible that I leave
>any site that has them?

It depends.. here it's obviously a stylistic choice. If you think of the Web as just a replacement for paper (8.5 x 11, books, etc.), then horizontal scrollbars aren't needed.

But if you think of the web as a medium for conveying information... timelines make sense horizontal, artwork can be longer than it is high, etc.

Here's another site for you to not visit:

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~umnavoa/translucentspaces/

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

"Brett Scott is a guy hawking his skills at making websites"

You didn't read past the front page, so you don't know how wrong you are.  Deign to glance at this one page to see how serious he is:  ( http://www.brettscott.com/HomeOffice.htm )  He's made enough relationships that his site is just a quick informational service, and he doesn't need to spend time making a pretty website in hopes that someone will hire him based on how much he likes Matrix 2.  He doesn't work on websites, he works on programs that send information, some of which is incidentally in html formats.  This is silly.

.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

"You didn't read past the front page, so you don't know how wrong you are."

I saw the website in the context of 'would you hire me.'

Would most people screening resume`s go past the first page?

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Ok "." fair enough. Now allow me to retort. Here is why I think it stinks. Because I get an IE activex warning. This might be in my settings but he should have accounted for this and chose another method. I would have.

But your point was made. He is not a web developer but instead a programmer specializing in other fields. But one's web page is  your public face. If you put your name on it and drive potential clients to it make sure everything is squared away.

Hell I stopped worrying about my own pretty website a long time ago so who am I to complain.

trollbooth
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

oh btw, I'd give three of my toes to get two t-1's in my house like he has. That says to me he means business.

trollbooth
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I have a website, once created with the purpose of finding a better job:

http://www.alexlechuck.com

Once I intended to add some personal content to the site, but never did it (actually I'm going to do it tomorrow :). Here are a few search strings I've got from search engines:

biztalk server cv mcsd
intitle:resume | inurl:resume gis mapobjects esri
arcims xsp
biztalk resume (nj or pa or delaware) -job*
htc component gis resume
htc component tomcat linux
intext:resume|inurl:resume commerce server biztalk iis project
map vectorizationalgorithm
car reservation system php
dollar rent a car acms
exporting text file tsql
how to use rational rose with arcobjects
htc controls
java and atl and uml and dom and resume
jboss arcims
jserv arcims
laplassian
microsoft project like linux
php css caas
soap access oracle erwin frameworks life cycle resume
vector map sofia bulgaria

As you can see some are totally useless, and others match my skills pretty closely, especially where I have skills in two different areas.
I've also had a few phone calls (I have changed my phone numbers and haven't updated the website ... what a shame ... one more reason to do an update), emails with proposals to participate in projects, etc. I still haven't gotten a proposal for a 150K job in Hawaii through the website, but making a website is definitely a good idea. Place your portfolio, projects, resume ... Put a link to it in the resume and in all emails. Sometimes people notice.

Alexander Chalucov (www.alexlechuck.com)
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Lose the ActiveX download and generic clip art.

The online interviews are cheesy. Not a horrible idea, but way too long winded.

http://www.brettscott.com/Interview.htm

runtime
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

There have been various threads lately from unemployed coders, especially students fresh out of school, asking how to get a job (or complaining they can't get a job).  In general, the advice on those threads was "If you don't have a job, do some coding projects on your own and post the code/product on a web page for prospective employers to look at".

But in this thread, people seem to be discounting the worth of the web site, saying it's the resume that gets you hired.  Seems like a contradiction to me.  Unless people are saying, coders with experience don't need websites, but students do?

(Note I'm talking about coders here, not web site designers.)

Biotech coder
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I think those who give  to job seekers on this forum fall inot two camps.

The "Christians", headed by that shining example of the true faith, Bored Bystander, who think that their job is to be nice to the poor guy who is already suffering enough, and who keep coming up with suggestions to keep him from falling into the slough of despond and giving up altogether and becoming a crack dealer or an EFL teacher, and the "Romans", headed by Bella, who believe that if the guy leaves a couple of nails sticking out from his torn ego then it's their job to knock them well back in, and after all being nasty brings immediate gratification, whereas being nice means you have to wait until the next life, which you probably don't believe in anyway.

The truth is of course that most people are unemployed because there aren't enough jobs to go round, and that they will become employable without lifiting a finger when the job market picks up. So as they say here in Saudi, the greatest virtue in the desert is patience.

I can't see the advantage off hand of actually putting code up on the website; somebody will probably nick it and put it up on another website as their own anyway, and, more importantly, if your code gets as far as anybody who understands it, then you would probably have got the interview sewn up well before.

One last comment is that a good website is only a small help in getting an interivew but can be a huge factor in losing one. I don't even hire IT people but I have trashed a couple of resumes on the grounds that anybody who things a website like this looks cool should be kept at least a few hundred kilometers away from my staffroom.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Talking about horizontal scrollbars... Take a look at http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/comics.html , I think it's a quite creative use of web.

Ros
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Ros,
        Site looks great, but where are the horizontal scroll bars. I'm viewing in 1280 x 1024 but it seems to me you have to go to 800 x 600 before the scroll bars kick in.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Hello Everyone,
    Since you have offered such excellent critical advice related to my web site, I thought I would chime in.  I am a programmer, not a designer.  I believe that programmers could never be good designers and vice-versa.  The thought process is completely different.
  My target audience is not random individuals.  It is people who are within my industry and are looking for the skills I offer.  My target audience reports to me that my site is the best one they have seen.  I receive more offers in a single day than I could ever handle.  Life is good.
  I am glad someone brought up the ActiveX control.  I placed this there as an illustration of why people should not ask me to build them for the web medium.  The main issue is compatibility.
  I use clipart and other plain graphic forms because I am not selling design.  I am selling the content.  Therefore, people do not distract themselves with flashy junk.  Just me and my skills.  Frankly, it works.
    I wish to thank you again for your great criticisim.  I will take your helpful advice and continue to improve my site wherever possible.  Please feel free to make further comments here or to me directly.

Brett

Brett L. Scott
Thursday, April 29, 2004

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