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matchmaking




Hey all,

Thanks to everyone who responded to my job-hunting post, either
privately or here on the list. I've learned a lot, and it seems like
people really want to talk about this, so I thought I'd sumamrize a
bit and maybe take it a little further..

The story I keep hearing is basically one of signal to noise. There's
so many people looking for jobs, that it's very easy for recruiters
and employers to find someone to meet their technical needs.. If one
applicant doesn't match the technical requirements exactly, the next
person will, so why should a recruiter or employer bother?

There's got to be something extra reason there for them to want to
give you a chance. The two solutions that keep coming up are:


A) networking - having someone "on the inside", to vouch for 
   you, or at least pass your name along...

B) "cold calling" - approaching companies directly..


But.. supposing that a job hunter does have an edge like this, there's
still the problem of not matching a particular set of requirements.

A few years ago, I was helping an organization define a basic set of
requirements for a quality assurance analyst. I convinced them that
the position they really wanted to create was more than just a tester,
but someone who could participate in critiquing the project at all
phases, from clarifying use cases to facilitating reuse between
separate projects. I wrote out a job description and sat in on the
interviews.  Finally one of the business analysts said they ought to
offer the job to me... I pointed out that they couldn't hire me,
because I didn't fit the requirements.

That particular organization received federal money and had strict
rules about how they could hire people. Once they posted a job with
certain requirements, they couldn't hire someone without those exact
requirements without giving up their funding... But I think the
mindset is the same in a lot of places.

So now what I'm wondering is.. Whether we have a foot in the door, or
just decide to knock, what's the best way to present ourselves knowing
that we're good, but that we might not fit the exact requirements
they're looking for?

Cheers,

- Michal
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