I just recieved my first message through Stack Overflow Careers and was a little confused as to what I was supposed to do.

A few things that confused me (from what I can remember; the actual message page with options is no longer available to me since I already submitted an answer):

  • There's nothing within or at the end of the actual message to let you know that it's incomplete or contains additional information. When I saw the radio button that said Interested - Show Complete Message, I thought What complete message? Is there something missing from this message? This message looks complete to me, so what's the problem?.

    Only after clicking the reply did I realize there were a few additional lines of contact information in the message. It would have been more clear had there been some kind of (message continued) indicator to tell the user that what they are seeing is not the whole picture.

  • Furthermore, with regard to the imcomplete message, it wasn't clear to me as to why the message is incomplete to begin with. What additional information will I see if I click I am interested? What is it that I can only see when I show my interest and why is it currently being withheld from me?
  • It's not clear to me what I am supposed to do after receiving the message. The employer writes that they have a job opening, describes the job, and leaves their name. What does the employer expect from me at this point? Should I respond with my contact information? Will they automatically receive my contact infomration and let them know how excited I am that they are reaching out to me? If I click "I am not looking for a job at this time," does that change how my CV is listed on SO careers?

The answer to these questions was not evident to me when I tried to follow through with the receipt of my first message.

I read through Jeff's reply on this question, which helped to explain the way things are supposed to work with the employer contacting the potential employee once the candidate indicates his or her interest. However, in my first experience using message on SO careers, this was not clear.

Perhaps the flow of events is clearly explained when someone sets up their CV (I can't remember) such that they ought to know how things are supposed to work. However, it might be months (or years) before that person receives a message from an employer and it is likely that he will have forgotten how things are supposed to work.

1 Answer 1


We've checked in a couple of changes that will hopefully resolve your issues:

  • before responding to an employer's message, show placeholders when sensitive information has been hidden, e.g. <email temporarily hidden>
  • upon expressing interest in an employer's message, helper text will be shown indicating that an employer will be contacting you via email

Let us know if we can add more clarity here.

  • These changes will be pushed in our nightly build. Commented Jan 8, 2010 at 6:20
  • Wow, that was fast. That sounds like it would do the trick. It's hard to tell without seeing the final page, but both things you mentioned look like they will help prevent confusion to the user. Thanks! Commented Jan 8, 2010 at 16:07
  • np - these were good suggestions and easy to implement! Commented Jan 9, 2010 at 6:39

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