Friday, November 02, 2007

Match.com for the Job Seeker

I've had it with this one-way job search stuff.

Every morning, my in-box is filled with open positions that I'd apparently be perfect for, based on the search agent parameters that I supplied to various companies like Monster, Career Builder, Jobster and the like -- keywords like "program (project, product) manager," "content development," "educational media," "learning," and "producer." Sounds like me, doesn't it? And you'd think that those search terms would glean something remotely similar to what I do.

But noooo.

Here's a typical piece of gobbledygook that came to me this morning as a job that "just might be a perfect fit": "Manage release activities for intranet and extranet reporting (CAP data warehouses, data cubes, SQL Reporting Services, Scorecard & ProClarity Reports)."

Excuuuuse me?! D efinitely NOT me. That's as me as a "corporate banker, closet programmer, and sometimes mechanic!" And yet, my keywords somehow called up that job -- and a gazillion more like it.

So I wade through those (carefully, because there just might be a gem hidden in there) and then I spend a while doing my own search on sites that I've determined are right up my alley. Sites like Association of Educational Publishers and Pearson Education and VTech and Leapfrog, to name just a few. Sometimes there's something there and sometimes there's not. Truth be told, this method has gleaned far more solid leads and networking opportunities than joining those job sites ever did.

So here's my idea: I think there should be a job seeking site that works a lot like Match.com. Kind of a "we-might-be-perfect-for-each-other-if-only-we-knew-the-other-existed" approach. It seems to me that what I see more often is the "I'll-throw-out-a-line-and-see-who-bites" approach -- from both employers and job seekers!

I think that, in addition to a resume ("the "I am" in match.com-ese), job seekers should also create a job description of their perfect job (the "you-are" in match.com-ese). And I think employers should do the same -- devise a CV of sorts of the company and the job, to present with the job description. And I think that there should be some site that really makes finding each other a collaborative, reciprocal process. I guess LinkedIn comes close, but it lacks the applicant's perfect job description piece.

So, as I often do when I see a glaring opportunity, I'm taking it and running with it! Here's a job description of the perfect job for me at a hypothetical company I'm calling Sandcastle Learning. If you know of this particular job, let me know immediately!

Our Company/Organization:
Have you ever seen a bored, uninterested child learn? (Have you noticed that good job descriptions usually begin with a question?) Neither have we. At Sandcastle Learning (TM), our goal is to create engaging learning products that encourage kids to discover, explore and make connections -- essentially to learn while playing.

Executive Producer:
Position Summary:

We're looking for a creative executive producer of interactive media products for youth. You should be an accomplished product manager, an experienced designer and developer, and a dedicated educator with extensive experience managing people, processes and products.

You are a dedicated leader and educator, an innate bridge-builder, an entrepreneurial thinker, and an excellent communicator and collaborator.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

You will be in charge of sheparding engaging learning products from initial concept through final production, including creative concept design and development, management and mentoring of all team members, and coordination of graphics, technical, web, and other departments in the development of your products. You will create and manage simultaneous budgets of several hundred thousand to several million dollars, and will develop, enforce and adhere to strict timelines.

15+ years experience in the following areas:

  • Project/product and program management, including production, budgets, timelines, contracts, etc.
  • Content design and development, with creative and educational expertise and experience with scripts, storylines and character design
  • Marketing, including conducting market research, surveys, focus groups, as well as writing marketing copy and contributing to branding efforts
  • Video production, including coordination of everything from treatments to post-production
  • Writing and editing, including users' guides, peripheral and marketing materials, educational resources, blogs, and other web content
  • Curriculum development and educational consulting, including goals and objectives; state, national and international standards; ramping and problem sets
  • Staffing and team development, including hiring, managing, mentoring and inspiring both individuals and teams
Essential Qualifications:
  • At least 15 years' experience developing engaging products and programs for youth
  • Passion for education, for kids, and for really cool media
  • Degree(s) in education, instructional design, or similar field.
  • At least 5 shipped products or launched programs
  • Understanding of educational principles, curricula and the education market
  • Leadership abilities and a passion for team-building
  • Creativity and out-of-box thinking
  • You should be more "teachy" than "techy." (We have the "techy" part covered.)
Now see... somewhere this job description (or one very similar to it) exists! Wouldn't it be cool if I could find it? If it could find me? Man, what a productive relationship that would be!

C'mon baby!! Come find me! I love you already.

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4 comments:

Guilty Secret said...

I feel for you. Job searching is so hard.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

So maybe you should think about starting up such a site! It might be a good job solution, but I guess with the kids in college, you need the payback NOW.

The Giant said...

What a great idea! I'm having a similar problem finding the right fit. One site that lists non-profit jobs that has been sort of fruitful for me (mind you I have not been job searching as long as you have, and my search is more environment than educ. focused) is Idealist.org. The site name turned me off initially but it has yielded a few gems. Don't know if it'll help but maybe it's worth a look.

Carol said...

Yes Giant, Idealist.org is my favorite job site for potential positions in the nonprofit arena. I refer to it daily. Thanks!

Carol

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