A good thing about Stack Overflow Careers is that you can send your résumé to a real human.

When the job advertisement asks you to apply online then your résumé ends up in some huge repository out of which this résumé will only come out if your résumé happens to have the right keywords that the recruiters are asked to look résumé against.

Example: http://careers.stackoverflow.com/jobs/9615/software-development-engineers-test-engineers-microsoft?campaign=List

Also such online apply options require us to maintain 2 résumés. One on Stack Overflow Careers and one on the site of the target company.

I think the option of apply online on the company website option should be abandoned. It's as useless as not having a job advert on Stack Overflow since such companies are already posting jobs on their own website. Your Stack Overflow profile and résumé are useless in such scenario and serve no purpose in getting a job offer.

  • Here's another reason: You applied via the careers site yet when you go and look at "messages" > "Job Application", it's not there! That just plain sucks and is a direct consequence of employers not playing ball. Make it stop! :-) – Tim Abell Jun 18 '13 at 7:23

As @tvanfossen points out, many companies have processes in place that they need to follow when hiring candidates, and so we cannot disallow this as an apply option. That said, I completely agree that it is a bit of a pain to have to maintain several resumes. We want people to be able to apply for opening straight from careers, using their profile, and ultimately want to integrate with the various applicant tracking systems out there so that it will be a seamless experience.

However, until we've completed that work there's no other option than to apply as directed. We believe there is value in those listings and disallowing them would make Careers worse, not better.

  • Please at least make it clear on the search results page that it is a company that is hard to apply to. – Ian Ringrose Jun 6 '11 at 16:31
  • One of the best things about this careers site for me is it weeds out companies with idiotic HR departments and encourages those who actually have a clue about development (c.f. Joel Test); seeing these links puts them back at square one in my eyes. I understand it might be suicide for this site to drop the ability at this early stage, but this site should look to promote a good approach as soon as possible. My first contact as a high quality SO member should be with the person who wants to hire me, not HR. And the careers site should make it easy for them to sort the good from the bad. – Tim Abell Jun 18 '13 at 7:15

Completely unreasonable. Many companies, mine included, have HR practices which make it impossible not to apply for a job through the HR jobs portal. Expecting these companies to give up practices which help them streamline their business processes and apply company policies uniformly simply to participate in SO careers won't work. They'll simply leave.

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    Is their presence of any good use on SO Careers anyway? – Muhammad Hasan Khan Jun 4 '11 at 13:29
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    @Hasan - the larger the company, the more likely they have a standardized intake process. In particular, you're asking if it makes sense to have Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. advertising on the site. I'd say yes; these are exactly the companies you'd like to see on careers. – tvanfosson Jun 4 '11 at 14:28
  • Yes we'd like to see them on SO Careers if their presence is of any use and aligns with the SO Careers site philosophy joelonsoftware.com/items/2009/11/05.html read the 3rd last paragraph. – Muhammad Hasan Khan Jun 4 '11 at 14:38
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    I know GE won't hire you without going through their careers site, I believe it was part of a settlement on hiring practices. – user7116 Jun 4 '11 at 14:45
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    @Hasan - I don't see how that is being violated. Hiring manager can see your CV on line and ask you to apply through their HR site. Also, there's a difference between responding to an ad on the careers site and having someone contact you via careers. In neither case do I see a problem with going through a company's formal hiring process whether you contact them first or they contact you. – tvanfosson Jun 4 '11 at 15:52
  • Hiring managers don't come to SO if they have standardized intake process as you mentioned. Upvotes suggest you're right but I am not seeing the value of such a job posting being on SO Careers. We're people of different opinions I guess. – Muhammad Hasan Khan Jun 4 '11 at 16:15
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    @Hasan -- you're wrong. My company has used SO and has a standardized intake process. I personally know of several other companies with standardized intake processes that use SO careers, both posting ads and contacting people who have added their CVs. – tvanfosson Jun 4 '11 at 16:19
  • @Hasan: Two tech companies of moderate size (500-1000) in the southern San Francisco Bay area that I've worked for had standardized hiring processes that started by an "application" that went through HR. In both cases, the overall getting-Nicholas-hired process began because the hiring managers explicitly sought to hire me, but my "application" still had to go through the standard processes. This was in fact the case even though my actual hiring was all but a foregone conclusion! I also got an interview at Google due to human contacts, but again, had to submit my resumé/application through HR. – Nicholas Knight Jun 6 '11 at 16:55
  • Don't want to use the processes of the best programmer site on the planet for hiring programmers? We'll miss you. Not. – Tim Abell Jun 18 '13 at 7:17

Over the years I have learned that filling on line application form for companies that will not take a standard CV is a very bad use of my time. That sort of company seems to have recruitment processes that have never lead to a job offer and only very rarely to an interview.

However I don’t mind filling in a small on line tracking form that my CV is attached to. Likewise I don’t mind answering a few questions to directly relates to the job.

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