Reddit and “productive” are two words that don’t often nuzzle up against each other in a sentence. The social news site, where anyone can share funny videos, bizarre GIFs, and (if you look hard enough) illuminating articles and discussion, has quickly become the internet’s foremost authority on vanishing my free time into thin air.
For the uninitiated: Reddit’s core feature is the ability for any user to establish a community around any topic they desire. These communities (or “subreddits” in Reddit parlance) are as diverse and unpredictably distributed as Reddit’s millions of inhabitants. Generally, if someone spends time thinking about it in real life, there’s a home for it on the site.
Which is why, after obsessing over my job search strategies in the midst of my move from San Francisco to Boston last August, the lightbulb flipped on with such intensity that I heard shards of glass explode in my brain. Reddit for my job search! Of course!
As it turns out, there are tons of job search resources and employment opportunities on Reddit – if you know where to look. Some are strategic hubs for refining your application materials, while other are direct lines of contact to real positions in your industry, location and even experience levels.
But before you dive in, take note of three things that make your Reddit job search unique:
- Demographics: Reddit is skewed toward a young, tech-inclined, male audience. That last part won’t matter, but the first two should give you a sense of what types of positions to expect in your search. Expect a heavy cross-section of IT positions at startups with young, tech-savvy company cultures.
- The Double-Edged Numbers Sword: The subscriber count on a specific subreddit will tell you know how active that community is. As it happens, these aren’t the most active job boards in the world (by a longshot), with just 2-3 posts turning over per day. That’s virtually nonexistent compared to the huge job boards – but on the other hand, so is your competition. Sparsely populated job boards can clear up noise in the application channel, giving your resume extra bandwidth to attract the screener’s attention.
- Reddit Solidarity: Generally, redditors really like other redditors. Despite its billions (!) of monthly pageviews, the Reddit of yesteryear felt like an exclusive club, back when it was the scrappy underdog lurking in Digg’s shadow. Some of us still hold on to that dynamic, even though everyone’s caught on to our “shave and a haircut” knock to get into the club by now. Demonstrating interest within a Reddit comment, or mentioning the Reddit listing in your introductory letter, might actually give you a small “solidarity bump” if the hiring manager on the other end is a lurker themselves. It’s less powerful than an internal reference, but might place your resume above blind applications from other job boards..
With that in mind, we’ve organized the best job search subreddits below. The number in parentheses is the subscriber counts for each subreddit – a general benchmark of its activity.
Job Search Advice
- jobs (27,700) – Job search discussion and advice.
- freelance (7700) – Discuss freelance work.
- Resumes (6400) – Post your resume for critique.
- GetEmployed (4100) – Motivation, advice and encouragement to take initiative. No job listings.
- freelanceWriters (2600) – Discuss freelance writing. No listings / resumes.
- work (2400) – Discuss life in the workplace.
Or join all these discussions in one handy link. (Just connect subreddit names in the URL with a + sign to read them all at once.)
Post Your Resume / See Job Listings
- Forhire (23,300) – For job listings and shared resumes, despite the name.
- Jobbit (2700) – Find job listings and post your resume for consideration.
- Jobopenings (1700) – Job listings only – no resume sharing.
- YoungJobs (1600) – Resumes from / listings for college kids and 20-somethings.
- internships (1000) – Post or find an unpaid internship.
- jobnetworking (800) – Connect with people in your industry to connect with opportunities through internal referrals.
Or, browse all listings. (Again, you can delete anything between + signs in the URL that doesn’t apply to you, e.g. “internships” if you need a paid position.)
Job Listings By Location
- Boston, MA. (900)
- Washington, D.C. (1000)
- Seattle, WA (1100)
- San Francisco, CA (2200)
- New York City, NY (2100)
- Chicago, IL (1400)
- Los Angeles, CA (1100)
- Houston, TX (600)
- Denver, CO (1000)
- Atlanta, GA (1000)
- Austin, TX (1300)
So does it work? As it turns out, I am my own testimonial. Smarterer hired me out of a Reddit post last August, and in turn, I’ve posted everything from internships up to full-time developer roles in the sections listed above. We come to the site because it’s where the techies dwell – and if you make it your home, soon enough it’ll find a way to feed you, too.
What do you want to get out of your career? Do you even know? As simple as the question sounds, many people cannot come up with an easy answer off the top of their head. It’s easy to go with the flow from job to job and take opportunities as they open up, but it’s also very important to set career goals for yourself to meet to keep yourself on track to achieving what you want.
In fact, setting career goals go a long way in reaching satisfaction and productivity in one’s job. “People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine, says Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and author. So what can you do to set your own career goals and maximize your workflow? We’ve got some tips below.
It’s Time to Get S.M.A.R.T.
It’s great to set goals, but you won’t get very far in achieving them if they aren’t realistic and specific. Thankfully, George T. Doran, a professor of management, created a simple and memorable framework to set all of one’s goals by called the S.M.A.R.T. framework. (We here at Smarterer are a fan of the name!) Let’s break it down:
Specific - The more defined and specific a goal is, the more likelihood you’ll have a good idea of the progress you’re making. Ask yourself the six W Questions: Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why? Instead of setting the goal of learning how to cook, which is too vague, turn it into something like “I want to learn how to cook Spanish food.”
Measurable - You can’t manage something unless you can manage it. There has to be a measurable element to each goal one sets in order to track the progress towards this goal. Instead of saying, “I want to learn how to cook Spanish food,” change it to “I want to learn how to cook five Spanish recipes.”
Attainable - Is it safe to assume that you can actually attain the end result you’re looking for? Sure, it’s easy to learn five recipes, but it would be much less realistic to assume you’ll learn fifty and remember them.
Realistic - It is important to ask yourself the question of whether or not you are willing and able to achieve this goal. Set a goal that will force you to reach and draws upon more motivational power than an easy goal.
Timely - Give yourself a reasonable deadline to stay on track. Improve your original goal by setting a date by which you want to complete it. “I want to learn how to cook five Spanish recipes by February 15.”
Don’t Let Your Goals Backfire
While the importance of setting goals has become very apparent in the workplace, don’t take them too far. According to Susan Adams of Forbes, pursuing these ambitious career goals “can encourage both excessive risk-taking and unethical behavior.” Sure, if you’re managing an account for a client, you may want to double their revenue in two years, but don’t compromise on your values or the values of your company by doing something shady or illegal.
How can one avoid making this mistake? As Adams notes in her article, “A few ideas: Create… ‘locks’ for ethical behavior. For instance, employees could sign an honor code of conduct. Another idea: Bosses should define and demonstrate ethical behavior and the boundaries of risk-taking.”
So, I’ll ask again: What do you want to get out of your career? Do you now have a better idea after being armed with this framework? Let us know what your S.M.A.R.T. goals are in the comments below.
The internet is aflutter with reactions to the new Facebook Graph Search, rolled out this month at Facebook headquarters (if you haven’t yet, get in line for a Graph Search beta invite). Graph Search takes all the information Facebook users have supplied to their public profile, and allows you to filter by interest, work history, location and so on. You can set up some pretty hyper-targeted queries – “friends of my friends who like surfing and road trips in Oregon” – and while that makes the feature tremendously powerful, it also opens the door for some scary privacy implications. (Entrenched citizens of Facebook, stop me if you’ve heard this one before.)
It’s a nifty, versatile tool that leverages Facebook’s uniquely massive database of user information to unearth new connections. While there’s lots of talk that Graph Search will disrupt the online dating industry (with good reason), we think it will make similar waves in the job search space.
Let’s look at it from both sides – how it will help companies source new candidates, and how it can expedite your job search. We’ll also help you tweak your privacy settings to broadcast your employment credentials while hiding sensitive information.
How Recruiters Will Source Candidates With Graph Search
Graph Search opened up a rabbit hole for candidate sourcing that is as deep as recruiters are clever. Currently, LinkedIn is every recruiter’s stomping grounds: it hosts the work history of 200 million professionals, and the advanced search capabilities to pick through them with ease. Facebook doesn’t have the professional focus, but it does have a whopping 1 billion users. Recruiters will be forced to add Graph Search to the arsenal (at least the smart ones will), because they won’t find those candidates anywhere else.
Here’s how a recruiter might use Graph Search to hunt down local graphic designer candidates.
Let’s look at a more targeted example. Say we need a developer, and we want the cream of the crop. We’ll tell Facebook to search for “friends of Google employees” – because that demographic probably hangs out with other talented, motivated, like-minded people. We include two more filters: the keyword “developer,” and the employment year 2008 (to set a 5 year experience threshold). Here we go:
If you’re a recruiter looking for candidates, you see the value in mining these results. If you’re a jobseeker looking for work, you probably see the value of showing up in these results. On the other hand, most recruiters already screen candidates through Google and LinkedIn, and you can bet the same critical eye will turn toward Graph Search results.
What this all means: it’s time for another pass on your privacy settings, to publicly broadcast your employment history, while protecting sensitive information. We’ll walk you through the necessary changes.
Optimize Your Facebook Profile for Graph Search
Facebook allows you to fill out your Work History, but it’s a little bit buried with the recent design changes. Click “Update Info” just underneath your cover photo on the right side of the page. Your work history may be outdated, or maybe it’s blank:
To remedy that, visit your LinkedIn profile. (Don’t have one? We’ve got a fantastic guide to get you set up.)
Copy there. Paste here:
Assuming your LinkedIn profile is keyword-optimized to show up in search results, you should receive similar benefits in Graph Search. Tinker with your descriptions all you like, but there are two insanely important things you need to do or else all the previous work is for naught.
1. Make sure your Work and Education section is public. Graph Search respects privacy settings, and if your entire profile is friends-only due to previous privacy scares (which mine was), you won’t show up in search results until you make this section public. So go ahead and click that world icon and choose “Public.”
2. Click “Done Editing.” (Before you do, marvel at my amazing MS Paint arrow.)
Great! Now anyone can search your work credentials through Graph Search. The last step is to make sure they don’t find anything else you want them to find.
The Extra Mile
Now that you’ve copied your resume over to Facebook, it’s time to strip your profile of potentially incriminating material, so you don’t lose an offer before it ever graces your inbox. We recommend reading up on the red flags recruiters look for on your profiles. (Total shock to me, by the way: poor spelling and grammar is more damning than your infamous college drinking pics. Who knew?)
Then, click the gear icon under your cover photo and select “View As…”
…and make sure you’re viewing your profile as Public, so you can review which information you’re making available to Graph Search. From here, go over all your information with a fine-toothed comb, and pull down anything (pictures, NSFW status updates, embarassing old Likes) you don’t want leaking into your professional life. In addition, you can supplement your profile with extra skills or qualities that might give you a leg up – list foreign languages you know, or declare an interest in the field you want to break into.
Once again, when you have everything sorted out, make sure you click “Done Editing.” As soon as you do, you’re totally Graph Search optimized – your work history and special talents are broadcast for all to see, while your private interactions are on lockdown.
From here, just leave it to work its magic while you focus your job search efforts elsewhere. Once recruiters find Facebook Graph Search, they’ll start finding you as well.
Let’s be honest, Craigslist is hardly the most reputable of job boards. While it might have some sweet deals on old vinyl collections, endless amounts of free (yet questionable) furniture, or openings for those minimum wage jobs that paid for the ‘extra-curricular’ aspects of our college years, it doesn’t often spring to mind as a useful tool for a serious career search.
While it may not be ideal, its enormous presence (over 40 million classifieds added each month,) can’t easily be overlooked. Craigslist serves as a great tool that offers legitimate career opportunities and if you’re willing to formulate a solid game plan, pinpoint some common red flags, and put in the effort to set yourself apart from the masses, we’re confident some hidden gems will start to show their faces.
One of Craigslist’s greatest strengths, the no-cost postings, is also one of its greatest weaknesses. The free service is a draw for the typical jaded job seeker, but it also opens the door for unchecked scams and garbage postings. Luckily, there are some dead giveaways to help weed out the rotten eggs.
Red Flags to Avoid
Jobs lacking a company name, or with an anonymous, randomized email, are rarely used by respected employers and should raise up one those red flags. Postings with vague or overly broad qualifications should get the flags up too, as these are often just ‘phishing’ tricks made to acquire as many replies as possible for dubious ends. In the same vein, postings asking for too much personal information are phishy (pun intended) too. Most personal information can be saved until after first contact is made, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and withhold that information.
Lastly, the most important and perhaps most obvious red flag: never, ever entertain a posting asking for monetary exchanges. You want a job to make money, not to lose it. Craigslist offers a pretty strong search system, so with some smart key word utilization and the diligence to avoid the red flags listed above, the good jobs will start to pop up.
Do Your Research
After sifting through the noise and pinpointing some appealing job prospects, you won’t be out of the woods just yet. Be sure to research the company making the posting, to confirm it is legitimate and that you’ll feel comfortable joining their workforce. With Facebook’s new Graph Search feature finally reaching the public, a whole new avenue of company research has opened up and it would behoove anyone in need of work to take advantage of it.
Also make sure to cross-reference the company with your LinkedIn network for potential connections. Job seekers with in-house references are 14 times more likely to be hired than those without. Just an extra half hour of work will put you heads and shoulders above others on the Craigslist job hunt. Don’t be lazy!
Do you believe Craigslist can be a viable resource in the search for sound employment? Have any Craigslist success (or horror) stories to share? Drop us a line in the comments.