.NET Developer needed for social networking site

Company Info:

My client is an entrepreneurially driven, independent venture that is launching a new, web-centric model for the distribution of all manner of entertainment products — DVDs, CDs, videogames and books, both in shrink-wrapped and digital form. It is being architected on a rich Internet application software platform and is expected to offer a million-title deep library of product as well as a range of exclusive products from A-level talent. The site combines commerce and social networking elements to support a model that feeds into people’s natural behaviors to talk and proselytize about the artists, films, games and books about which they are most passionate. Our client is advised by the brightest and most influential minds in the technology and entertainment space including former employees of Creative Artists, Idealab!, AOL, Gap and many others.

Job Description: Work as the lead developer of the core engineering team to design and develop new applications and features from the ground up. Primarily responsible for developing within a .NET environment and developing code given product design and user interaction specifications.

Qualifications:

  • 6-8 years experience as a developer
  • Strong knowledge of C#, ASP.NET, Visual Studio
  • Solid foundation in n-tier, Business Objects, Design Patterns and OOP
  • Experience with Agile Software Developer (including Extreme Programming)
  • Experience with Biztalk, Commerce Server and IIS6 highly desired
  • Strong knowledge of web service (SOA, WSDL, SOAP)
  • Must be a driven self-starter that is comfortable working in a start-up environment and seeing the “BIG” picture
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills
  • Quick learner and can-do attitude
  • Comfortable working in a casual fun environment desiring a competitive salary and great benefits!

Candidates MUST have hands-on expertise in architecting, prioritizing, analyzing, and developing a technical roadmap for a large consumer Internet company. Must have prior experience in a major ecommerce, search, social network, and community building Internet site in a hands-on technical role. My client is led by veteran Internet and Entertainment entrepreneurs and is backed by a leading venture capitalist.

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60 seconds and your hired

“Shut up, already?” That might be what some hiring managers are thinking when they conduct job interviews, according to a new survey of executive recruiters.

Thirty-six percent of the recruiters said the most common mistake job applicants make is talking too much, according to a survey of 212 of its recruiters worldwide by Korn/Ferry International, a global executive-search firm based in Los Angeles.

But being a big talker often indicates a different problem, said Scott Kingdom, managing director of industrial markets at Korn/Ferry International.

“Talking too much is, in some ways, code for not listening very well,” he said.

“Most people, particularly if they’ve been a successful executive somewhere … they want to tell you how good they are and what they’ve done and how they’ve done it, instead of listening to the issues at hand, what does the client want, and relating that to what skills they have,” Kingdom said.

“You always do yourself a service by listening more than you talk. Listen thoughtfully, and when you talk have something meaningful to say on topic, on point,” Kingdom said.

Kingdom said recruiters are in prime position to know: Some sit in on interviews, and recruiters’ clients — the employers — often offer feedback about how job interviews with prospective hires went.

Be prepared, but not too rehearsed

The next most common mistake: A lack of knowledge about the company or the position, according to 22% of the recruiters, who are located in various countries.

“It sounds ridiculously simple, but it’s stunning how many very senior executives, very successful folks, show up and get into conversations that they’re not prepared for,” Kingdom said. “You have to assume your competition is going to be wickedly well prepared. If you’re not, it will show immediately.”

But be wary of being coached until you are too smooth, others warned.

“One of the things I’m hearing from our clients recently is people are maybe too rehearsed, too prepped,” said Dale Klamfoth, senior vice president of WJM Associates, a New York-based consulting firm that works with companies on organizational effectiveness, including hiring decisions.

“I’ve heard hiring managers say, ‘well, they’ve been coached’ or ‘they don’t ring true,'” Klamfoth said. “If they’re coached, they have all these pat answers.”

Often, a coached applicant’s chances are ruined by a follow-up question, because the formulaic responses don’t work.

For instance, if you’re asked what’s your biggest weakness and you offer a standard favorite such as “I’m a workaholic,” a follow-up question of “how many hours a week do you work?” could get you into trouble.

To combat that problem, use examples from your own experience, Klamfoth said.

For instance, when asked “what’s your weakness,” you could say “I’m not as technologically savvy as I ought to be, but I just enrolled in a course and I’ve gotten some new equipment and I’m really getting into it,” he said.

“Obviously, it has to be true,” he added.

Isn’t this all about me?

Sixteen percent of the recruiters said an overinflated ego is the most common mistake in job interviews, while 9% said appearing overly confident was the top problem, according to the survey.

The overinflated ego “shows itself in talking too much, and in the me, me, me conversation,” Kingdom said. “I did this, I did that. You certainly want to be assertive and able to convey your skills, but nobody ever does anything by themselves in any company.”

For instance, discuss how you led a team of people who accomplished something, Kingdom suggested.

Of course, the perception of “overinflated ego” varies in different cultures. “You would be very deferential in certain Asian discussions and in the U.S. there’s still a lot of ‘I can do this’ and ‘I can do that,'” Kingdom said.

Consider shifting focus, Klamfoth said. “My advice to people interviewing is show up as a solution and not as an applicant. Understand who you’re meeting with, understand the company, understand the competitive landscape that they’re in, understand the role that you are interviewing for, and how that role contributes to the core mission [of that company], and talk about how you would approach the position as a solution to an organizational problem or issue.”

Don’t talk money too soon

Another 8% of recruiters surveyed said inquiring about compensation too early in the process is the top mistake applicants make.

“You give the wrong impression, that you’re not going to be focused on doing a good job and making a contribution,” Klamfoth said. “Certainly you have a right to know, but it’s timing and etiquette.”

Plus, waiting may help to increase the employer’s salary offer, he said. “Once they like you and they want to hire you, you can get more,” he said.

Be warned: Sometimes, companies set you up by asking early on how much you hope to earn, Klamfoth said.

“If you say too low, you’ll sell yourself short; too high you knock yourself out. It’s important to say, ‘Well, before I answer that I’d like to know a little bit more about your compensation philosophy,'” he said.

Or, interviewees can respond with: “I’m sure if we can agree on the right opportunity for me, the compensation will not be a problem,” he said.

Let me think on it

Once you’ve been offered a job, how long can you take to respond? Eighteen percent of the recruiters said less than one week is ideal, while 44% said one week, and another 24% said it was OK to take two weeks.

Still, cultural norms vary, and in the U.S. one week is generally the longest you want to wait before responding, Kingdom said.

While he agrees that one week is the norm, applicants do have options, Klamfoth noted.

“Like everything in this process, it is negotiable,” he said. “Give your reason for needing more time [and ask], ‘Would it be OK if I gave you an answer on such and such a date?'”

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Twitter 4 jobs

So, if you want to get instant updates on new and upcoming jobs please follow my twits at www.twitter.com/recruiterguy

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What to ask at the end of an interview

Toward the end of most job interviews, the interviewer will give you the opportunity to ask questions. You must ask a least one question; to do otherwise often signals the interviewer that you don’t really have any interest in the job or the company. On the other hand, do not ask questions where the answer is obvious or readily available — or when the topic has already been thoroughly discussed in the interview. And never ask about salary and beneift issues until those subjects are raised by the employer.

Questions you might ask at a job interview:

  • Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?
  • What is the top priority of the person who accepts this job?
  • What are the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities of this job?
  • How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? And by whom? How often?
  • Can you describe the company’s management style?
  • Can you discuss your take on the company’s corporate culture?
  • What are the company’s values?
  • How would you characterize the management philosophy of this organization? Of your department?
  • What is the organization’s policy on transfers to other divisions or other offices?
  • Are lateral or rotational job moves available?
  • Does the organization support ongoing training and education for employees to stay current in their fields?
  • What do you think is the greatest opportunity facing the organization in the near future? The biggest threat?
  • Why did you come to work here? What keeps you here?
  • How is this department perceived within the organization?
  • Is there a formal process for advancement within the organization?
  • What are the traits and skills of people who are the most successful within the organization?

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What words to choose

A resume is only as valuable as the attention it grabs, and if you’ve jammed it with action verbs and lots of glittery adjectives, it may not get the response you want. Find out what words to use and avoid.

Lists of action words are stock items in resume how-to books, along with the advice that you should pack your resume full of as many verbs, adjectives, and adverbs as you can.

But if you’ve taken that advice to heart, you could be turning off more prospective employers than you are enticing. Effective, not diverse, word choice is what really appeals to hiring managers.

Hiring managers’ lists
It’s hard to believe that a few words could irritate someone enough that they stop reading your resume, but it’s true. After I granted my source’s anonymity, which they requested so they could be extremely candid, more than a few hiring managers and recruiters admitted that they have their own mental lists of words that annoy them.

While they said they might not reject a candidate outright because of these words, they believe that the resumes boasting such phrases would have made a better impression without them. I include some examples in this column.

For example, one IT hiring manager said she never likes to see assist or assisted on a resume. “I want to know what the candidate did, not how they helped. If they are familiar enough with a task to put it on their resume, they can come up with a better word than assisted,” she explained.

The hiring leader suggested rephrasing any “assisted” statements to be very specific as to what a candidate did in assisting. For example, if you helped out the marketing director by researching PDAs that would fit his department’s needs, then state in the resume that you “researched PDAs for the marketing department.” The rephrasing illustrates a specific action.

For the same reasons as with assist, hiring managers aren’t fond of the word experimental. No one wants to hear about what you tried to do—only what you have accomplished. Instead of “experimented with new LAN management software,” write that you “evaluated LAN management software.”

Several hiring managers objected to any words that described how well someone does a particular task. They said they want to know the person has a relevant skill, and also be the judge as to how well the person does it. Thus, words such as skillfully, effectively, carefully, quickly, expert, mastered and the like can hurt more than they help.

Of all the words noted above, any variation of the word skill—especially skillfully—will draw more sneers than smiles. Employers and recruiters want to see more humility than hubris on a candidate’s resume. If you put it on your resume then it’s got to be something noteworthy.

“If you aren’t good at it, why are you putting it on your resume?” said one recruiter.

Putting best skills first
If you want to clearly indicate that you are better at some things than others, and have been using any of above cited words to indicate your best skills, it’s time to rework your resume. List only the skills that you can perform acceptably well and that are appropriate to the position requirements. Thus, the need to describe how well you do something disappears, and your resume is more focused.

You can describe your secondary and tertiary skills within job descriptions if appropriate. After all, if you don’t have the necessary primary skills you’re hawking, then having the others won’t help you get the job.

Here’s an example of how to avoid boasting in a resume while still conveying professional excellence. Instead of saying that you “skillfully” did X, drop the adverb and quantify X.

Once you’ve banished all the self-evaluative terms, make another pass through the resume and remove any tired business jargon such as: cutting-edge, liaison, coordinate, facilitate, proven ability, synergy and transformed.

People have seen and heard these words so often that they’ve lost the energy they had originally. Hiring managers say the words take up space without communicating much. Also, beware that most tech hiring managers realize that good IT managers are detail-oriented, so you can safely remove this fatigued phrase from your resume, as well.

Making a resume snap
Add more verve to your resume by being as specific as possible about your current and past responsibilities—especially if those are responsibilities that are also part of the job you want to get. Nothing dials down someone’s enthusiasm so much as reading the phrase, responsible for, followed by a list of mundane management tasks.

You’re a manager, so of course you’re responsible for something. Tell the reader exactly what your responsibilities are and work in a few numbers to help them get the scope of what you do. Phrases such as “manage a staff of X”, “oversee a capital investment budget of Y,” or “recommend training programs for Z employees” are all effective ways to concisely explain what you do and have achieved. Be as specific and as detailed as you can be, keeping in mind that you don’t want to give away any confidential information about your current employer.

Overall, remember that your resume should always be a statement of fact, but that it is also a marketing tool and that you are using it to market your most valuable product—yourself. Use words and phrases that improve, not weaken, the power of your marketing message.

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Hello world!

I have just started a new blog becuase everyone has a blog and I wanted one to.  This career blog will focus exclusively on YOU…the job seeker.  This is a blog for and about the job seeker.  It is all about YOU!!!  Why?  Because I like you…enough said.

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