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I'm wanting to move on from my current position, but I'm very discouraged that the majority of job listings I see in my area (Software/web developer) seem to be from recruitment agencies that give very little info about the company or job. Finding an interesting, stimulating, positive place to work is the most important thing to me.

Is there anything I can do beyond simply applying for everything, and then finding out later that it's not what I'm after?

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    You're assuming that the recruitment agencies actually have jobs and aren't just putting ads out there to get people into their database. – Telastyn Mar 10 '15 at 22:29
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    Ancient Wisdom: "To find a prince you must kiss ten thousand frogs". Pucker up... :-) – Bob Jarvis Mar 10 '15 at 22:50
  • There are tons of software job websites that have many, many openings. You don't specify your location, which could help answer your question. – Bowen Mar 10 '15 at 23:32
  • The problem isn't a lack of openings, it's a lack of any meaningful information about those openings. 80% seem to be 'We have a fantastic client who needs a developer proficient in x'. Looking in Australia/New Zealand – Wossname Mar 11 '15 at 1:21
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It may be worthwhile to give the recruiters a shot. If you tell them specifically what you are looking for they may be able to find that for you. If any of them brings you interviews for positions that don't meet the established criteria then you know not to deal with the recruiter again as they are unable to follow instructions.

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Keep in mind that recruiters are paid to find talented people to fill roles, and they get paid more when they supply the candidate who gets the job. In this way, it is in both of your interests for you to get the job and in my experience recruiters have been instrumental in finding roles Im interested in pursuing.

Don't be discouraged that job postings are by a recruiting agency, instead apply with the mindset that you're working together to find a position that you'll do well in.

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Is there anything I can do beyond simply applying for everything, and then finding out later that it's not what I'm after?

Certainly.

The best thing you can do to learn how a company works is by asking honest trusted people internal to that company. Linkedin can be a good resource in this regard. Certainly you have college friends or old coworkers who work elsewhere - or who know people who work elsewhere. Send a few nice emails asking about the company in question. You might need to read between the lines, but this can help.

Glassdoor is also fantastic for this sort of thing. You need to take things with a grain of salt, since a site for anonymous ragging on companies (usually by recently departed employees) is going to paint a pretty terrible picture. But it provides a window into a company. If everyone says that bureaucracy interferes with their day to day work, then it's a pretty safe bet that it is.

These days, I actively avoid recruiters. Many of the job postings aren't for real jobs - they're for the sort of jobs that the recruiter usually fills, fishing for candidates to populate their database. Many of the rest have very specific requirements because of idiocy or to "fulfill" H1B requirements. They are a waste of time and effort.

  • I think this is great advice, but not quite for the situation I'm asking about, where the listings don't even say what company the job is for, so there's no opportunity to research them. – Wossname Mar 11 '15 at 21:14

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