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Author Archives: Dave Fecak

Dave Fecak
Dave Fecak has been recruiting software engineers for start-ups since 1998 and he has served as the founder and president of the Philadelphia Area Java Users’ Group since 2000. Dave is often cited and published on career topics for technology professionals, and he blogs at JobTipsForGeeks.com.

Career Stagnation – Early Detection and Treatment

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Have you ever been on LinkedIn and stumbled on one of their work anniversary announcements? In case you haven’t, they look something like this: The announcements are generated by LinkedIn and typically followed by a predictable handful of likes, congratulatory words, and positive sentiments. I’m yet to see a comment that generally reflects my knee-jerk reaction to at least some of these posts. Longevity ...

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Why Technical Resumes Need a Profile (because we’re dumb)

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There is significant variation in résumé format across candidates. Name and contact information is always on top, but on any given day a recruiter might see the next section as Education, Skills, Experience, or even (gasp) an Objective. Career length influences which section comes first. Entry-level candidates usually choose Education, while veteran candidates gravitate towards experience and accomplishments. Unfortunately, going from a glance at contact information to dissecting intimate ...

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Using the “Do You Have Any Questions?” Question

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During most interviews, an interviewer provides the candidate the opportunity to ask questions. In most cases the highly-anticipated “Do you have any questions?” question falls towards the end of the session, though some companies today throw candidates a curveball and start the interview this way (consider yourself warned). Many candidates use this invitation to gather information that will be helpful in making a decision on any ...

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Independent Contracting: How to Get There

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The concept of self-employment is appealing for many technologists, but the path to getting there isn’t always clear. Independent contractors may cite several attributes of their work that they find preferable to traditional employer/employee relationships. The allure of money is obvious, but independents may also be drawn to project variety, an emphasis on new development over maintaining existing projects, and additional control over work/life balance. Independent contracting has ...

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Exploding Job Offers and Multiple Offer Synchronization

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A recent post by Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, Exploding Offers Suck, detailed his distaste for accelerators and venture capitalists who pressure entrepreneurs into critical decisions on investment offers before they have a chance to shop. The article outlines Y Combinator’s policy of allowing offer acceptance up until the beginning of the program. An exploding offer is as any offer that lists a date for the offer to expire, with the ...

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How To Get a Job in a Different City

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There are subtle nuances to job searches outside of the local area. Unless a candidate is considered superlative, non-local applicants are not always given the same level of attention as locals when employers have healthy candidate pools with local applicants. Why might remoteness impact interview decisions (even in a tight market), and how can the potential for negative bias be minimized? We’ll get to that ...

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Who Needs Side Projects?

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The topic of side projects or personal projects for software professionals (commonly in the form of mobile apps, websites, various GitHub repos, and even technical blogs) has been fairly well-documented in the past few years. The concept of side projects as hiring barometer is still a relatively nascent industry phenomenon that emerged in parallel with the rising popularity and eventual ubiquity of open source ...

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But I’m negotiable

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I review many emailed job applications each week that include a salary expectation, usually in the form of “seeking $X,000 per year“. Some continue with a phrase that has become trite, not to mention quite costly to job seekers everywhere. “but I’m negotiable” What these candidates are telling us is “I have a target number, but I want you to know in advance that I’m willing to accept less.“ This phrase is ...

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How to Evaluate Job Offers

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At some point in a career, many will be in a position to decide between multiple job offers from different companies – or at worst having to decide between accepting a new job or staying put. When starting to compare offers, it is common for the recipient to focus on the known quantities (i.e. salary, bonus, etc.) and perhaps a couple additional details that are generally ...

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So You Want to Use a Recruiter Part III – Warnings

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This is the final installment in a three-part series to inform job seekers about working with a recruiter. Part I was “Recruit Your Recruiter” and Part II was “Establishing Boundaries”  In Part II, I alluded to systemic conditions inherent to contingency recruiting that can incentivize bad behavior. Before proceeding with warnings about recruiters, let’s provide some context as to why some recruiters behave the way they ...

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