I often get asked how did I choose a job, or how to choose a software engineering jobs in general. I believe the first step is to explore what’s out there and find out what you are worth (arguably it’s useful even if you’re not looking for the job right now). The current reality is that the demand for the engineers is higher than the supply, so naturally it makes sense for companies to reach out to you, instead of you reaching out to them.

Below you will find the list of services that are reflecting this philosophy. They are non-traditional in the sense that they’re not simple job boards where you apply by sending your resume. They provide a higher level of service: either by matching you with companies, or by allowing you to stand out to them. They are free to use for you - they get paid by companies when you’re hired through them.

Disclaimer: I have personally tried all these services (in 2016-2017) and got contacted by companies. Some of the links are referral links. Many of the services will only work with you if you’re looking for job in United States/Bay Area. Some will only work with you if you’re authorized to work in US.

  • TripleByte conducts their own technical phone screen with you, and then matches you with companies. If you’re interested in any of those companies, you can go directly to onsite interview. I think this is a nice approach that allows you to skip repetitive phone screens. They supposedly also help you to negotiate your offer. Last time I used it, I’ve got about 6 hand-picked matches.

These two have a selection of partner companies. You choose a company, solve their coding challenge online, and then the company contacts you.

  • HackerRank Jobs is a programming competition website. They run competitions sponsored by employers so that the sponsor can contact the top performers. This is how I got my first full-time job in US! However, they also have a section where you can apply to companies by solving their coding test. No competition participation needed.
  • CodeSignal is also a tournament website. They have a “Company Challenges” section with several companies, where they claim that “solving these challenges will increase your chances of getting matched to open positions”. They also have a “Jobs” section where you can create a profile and get matched with companies.

There are many services where you fill out the profile, they put you in an “auction” where companies “bid” on you, and you decide which ones to interview with. This is really reversing the job search. The auction is usually limited-time. The best part is that companies make you “pre-offers” with salary and equity, so you don’t waste time if those numbers are too low. However, it does require some investment on your side to fill out and polish your profile (specify your experience, desired industry, technologies, etc.) - but I believe it’s worth it.

  • Hired probably has been there the longest of them all. They have a lot of small (1-15 employees) companies. Last time I tried it, I’ve got 37 pre-offers in two weeks.
  • Indeed Prime is a pretty similar service. About 27 pre-offers in two weeks.
  • A-List showcases you to startups on AngelList.
  • Vettery is based in NY and their companies are mostly from NY (or at least that was my impression). About 20 pre-offers in two weeks.

Some services are similar to the above: they let you fill out the profile and then companies send you pre-offers - but the “auction” is not time-limited. However, I find that the interest to your profile is only high for a few weeks.

All in all, during my last job search, I got contacted by about 100 companies (not including the ones reaching out through e-mail or LinkedIn). Your mileage may vary! I talked to about 25, went to 17 onsites, got 7 offers, and accepted one :) Good luck!