So yes, I am currently unemployed and looking for work. The plan for the last few years has been to create enough iOS games and apps to build up a steady and significant income to supplement and add some financial stability to the fact that I was working at a small and risky startup business. Unfortunately they ran out of money before I had enough coming in.
I have been spending the last two weeks about evenly split between looking for work and working on some upcoming iOS games. With the increased time I have to spend on my games now, progress has been a bit quicker than usual and I’m getting close to launching another game.
My job search has been going fairly well. I’m talking with several recruiters and sending out resumes to lots of local Calgary businesses. With my skills I don’t think it should be too difficult to find work in this city.
One thing I’m doing differently this time around is that I’m putting together a serious marketing package to go with my resume and physically mailing it out. This is due to the fact that I don’t like being categorized as a set of checkboxes of skills. It’s very frustrating coming out as a Computer Scientist professional and being put into a category of a “Java2EE” programmer rather than someone who can be competent on any language. If I read just two books on Ruby on Rails it would probably put me ahead of 70-80% of professional developers with more than a year’s experience.
By sending out physical mail it also helps bypass the perhaps 100+ electronic resumes that get submitted through job posting sites. As you can imagine as a HR person, 100 resumes is too many to go through for a job so they read just enough of them to find the first 5-10 worth calling for an interview and the rest never get looked at. Since no body applies for jobs by snail mail anymore you immediately stand out from the crowd and pretty much guarantee that your resume will be read. Each package that I’m sending out costs me roughly $10 for high quality color printing on really good paper.
Sending physical mail also makes you think about ways to get noticed. Like what would happen if I couriered a watermelon to the HR department with my resume taped to it? Guaranteed phone call – if only to ask why a watermelon? What if I designed and printed a custom t-shirt, or had pizza delivered to the development team? If you think about it, as a potential employee attempting to get a $100K/year job spending $20 on an application is just smart if that’s all it takes to get noticed. If you were in sales and trying to close a $100K deal, you’d go out of your way to spend perhaps $1000+ to get it. People selling themselves as employees for the most part won’t spend more than 5 minutes to send an email.
We’ll see how it goes, but with a kid on the way there’s a lot of pressure to get back into the workforce as quickly as possible.