Website Tester– Required: General Web Design
Last week, as I was applying to be a substitute teacher, I decided to take one last stab at looking for another job. The paperwork for being a substitute takes time to process, and I was still in Search Mode.
I found a listing for a Website Tester. Temporary, general web design, call one of these numbers and ask for Nathan. I was curious as to what the job actually was, so I called.
“What I really want,” said Nathan, “is someone who has taken the first web design class at Weber State and who could look at the code for this website.”
“Oh. Well, I know very basic HTML, but the stuff I know is related to the text of blogs and comment forms. I’m obviously not qualified for the job, but I called because the job listing was vague.”
“Well, what does the job listing say?”
I told him, to which he replied, “Well, what do you think I could do to improve the listing? You’re the first person to call about the job. Why do you think it’s vague?”
“Well, all you’ve got under “job description” is “General Web Design”. I have general web design; I can look at your website and tell you if it looks bad or the colors are wrong or this link doesn’t work. But that’s not what you’re looking for. You’re looking for someone who’s taken a specific class at WSU. So list that as one of your requirements for the job. You’ve left the requirements spot blank; people don’t know whether they qualify for the job, so they don’t want to call.”
“Hm. Good point. Is there anything else you think would help me get more people?”
“You don’t have an address listed here. Do you want us to do this from our home computer?”
“No. I’ve got the code on the computer in my grandma’s basement; that’s where I’m living now. The job would require someone to come look at the code just to see if it’s right.”
“Then list that address. One reason I called was to figure out whether I could get to where ever you want the work done. If you’re in Layton, people in Ogden might not want to drive that far, but students who live in Layton would prefer it. Also, where else have you got this listed? Maybe you’re not getting any calls because you haven’t advertised enough.”
“The only other place I… Well, I told my web design professor that I needed someone.” He told me her name. “Do you know her?”
“Um, no. And that’s probably why you’re not getting anyone to call. It’s not her job to advertise your job listing. It’s not going to be top on the things she needs to do during class. You should list your job on this other job site as well.” I told him the simple URL. “People are actually going to be looking for jobs when they go to this site. Even if your professor announces to all her classes that you’re looking for someone, they all might already have jobs. If you list it on more job sites, the only people who go there are going to be looking for jobs. They won’t go to their professors to look for a job; they’ll come to where they can actually get leads.”
Our conversation went into a somewhat repetitive circle after this point. No, I can’t work for you, I don’t know the stuff you want me to know. I don’t have time to take the class, I’m already graduated. He tells me about his website, and tells me that I should save his number. He hopes to have it up and running in a month or so, and he still needs someone to blip around it and make sure everything is right. He asks me if there’s any other suggestions to improve, then tells me again to save his number. I’m beginning to think that he’s trying to hit on me or something; by that time in the conversation, I’m sitting next to Just’In on the bed, in front of my laptop that’s open to this guy’s posting. Just’In is reading a book as I hang up.
He bursts into genuine laughter. “You just went from inquiring about a job to telling him how he could do better.”
I grin. “Yeah. I thought it was surreal, too.”