The method behind my madness

How I do my jobs newsletter each week


Thanks to a burst of retweets over the last couple of days my newsletter has had a nice little spike in sign-ups — almost 400 people now (woohoo!) so I thought I would just clear up what goes into the list.

Basically it is a genuinely curated list that I put together (almost) every Sunday morning.

The criteria for inclusion include;

  • an employer that I perceive as being part of the ‘internet of public service’ — which is a broad church that includes everything from Government, charities, NGOs, open source projects, SMEs that work with any of those, start-ups I think are doing meaningful work and public service broadcasters amongst others.
  • a role that is something that I understand 🙂 So there are few truly technical posts added and mainly it is design, product, user research delivery, analytics and data roles. Basically jobs I’ve felt OK hiring for in the past.
  • something I might have applied for in the last few years — so semi-senior. I don’t often add junior roles or internships etc.
  • the job descriptions need to make sense to me and not make me grind my teeth! I read dozens of job descriptions each week before I pick the 10 I send out — often it is a case of least bad but I try my best to filter the truly terrible (I just mock those on Twitter).
  • jobs with a proper URL get preference over ones without or just PDFs. This isn’t hard and fast but it is something I think about.
  • increasingly I’m trying to link to roles with public salaries — this is harder than I hoped. I might make it a requirement in 2018 (if I continue).
  • no more than two jobs from the same employer in a given week — I call this the GDS rule!
  • try to get either a geographical or sector spread of roles (pref both) each week. So not all London but also not all central government.

There are probably others — I certainly sometimes omit jobs as I have heard bad things about the organisations as well or they have just annoyed me in the news or something!

To create the list I use the following sources as a starter:

  • Twitter of course
  • LinkedIn Jobs
  • Guardian Jobs
  • Civil Service Jobs
  • Jobs.ac.uk
  • NHS Jobs
  • LG Jobs
  • Charity Jobs
  • Mozilla Careers
  • Wikimedia Careers
  • ODI Jobs
  • Futuregov jobs
  • Unicorn Hunt

Probably a few others as well — I’m also on a couple of mailing lists and increasingly people DM me suggestions. I run a bunch of quite generic searches so as to go quite wide initially and then work through them (some of these are email alerts but some are just manual searching).

I’m always up for suggestions of other useful jobs boards to check as well.

Sunday mornings I spend a couple of hours picking my favourite 10, creating a Medium page, pasting that into TinyLetter, testing all the URLs and then I send it out and promote it mid-afternoon.

That’s it. I guess it is a two or three hour commitment per week one way or another.

I’m happy some people find it useful (or at least interesting.)