Get Ready for the Fall Job Hunting Season
In the job hunting world, there are two peak seasons yearly in which most disenchanted workers set their marks and get set to go. The first is in early January, on the heels of New Years resolutions by bored workers across the land promising themselves theyll find more inspiring work that year.
The second is the day after Labor Day, when the sight of kids going off to college and school starting anew reminds workers in a state of job ennui of when they, too, used to be enthused about learning new things.
But recruiters urge that if you think you could be in the former camp by the years end, you might want to think about jumping in now, and ERE, a community of recruiters around the world, is offering job seekers tips to land their next job.
1. Dont Quit Your Day Job
No matter how loathsome your job is, and how frustrated you are with the amount of time youve been on the job hunt, recruiters discourage job seekers from quitting their current jobs before having found a new one.
Though many will tell you that its because you really dont know how long it will take until you find your next job, and if it is a long time it will do your resume a disservice, the real truth is that an unemployed job hunter reeks of more desperation than one who knows where their next paycheck is coming from.
"You dont want to seem like a job-hopper," said Elaine Rigoli, business writer for ERE. "From a recruiters perspective, if youre unemployed and hanging out on job boards all day, you might seem desperate. They want the people who are hard workers and may not even know that they are looking. Theyre called the passive candidates, or passive majority."
2. See and Be Seen
Increasing ones visibility is key when looking for a new job, and the good news is that the Internet has made it even easier to network without leaving your desk. Posting on blogs, starting your own and keeping your social networking profiles up-to-date are widely used ways to increase ones professional network. Speaking at conferences, writing for magazines and Web sites, and networking with professional organizations ensure that when its time to move the job hunt forward, youve got lots of resources to tap into.
"Dont just sit there. Get out there and meet people. This goes along with not just quitting your job and expecting the next one to come along. If youre involved in IT organizations and active on technology boards, recruiters may already know who you are," said Rigoli.
3. Reinvent Yourself
More than any other line of work, technology requires that its professionals stay on the ball, working constantly to keep their skills sharp and relevant. Recruiters suggest that job seekers go one step further and learn complementary skills to the IT skills they may already have, and find new uses for your talent.
"Keep your skills sharp. Stay aware of the ways you can take advantage of your knowledge by networking. Find new places that people are looking for your skills," said Rigoli.
4. Dont Discount Smaller Job Boards
It would be naïve to ignore the market share of Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs when launching your IT job hunt, but it would be risky to limit your job seeking to only the big sharks. Within the IT profession, there are dozens of job boards for technology professionals alone, all of which boast a lower signal-to-noise ratio for workers who dont want to wade through irrelevant job ads.
In the IT profession, the more options can be the merrier. IT pros know that IT jobs arent just in computer and technology professions, but any company in the world with computers at their employees desks.
"There are so many niche job boards from itjobs.com to jobs.slashdot.org and computerwork.com, not to mention dice.com, which according to one poll was where a full 17 percent of computer professionals went to find jobs," said Rigoli.
"But if youre willing to look into the health care industry, or higher education IT, there are boards for all of these employers as well. Whatever you do, dont limit your search unnecessarily."
5. Consider Smaller Companies
If Microsoft wants to hire two, or 2,000, new IT professionals, it barely has to market itself before it is flooded with so many applications that it would impossible to read every one. But the technology profession is flooded with small IT shops and partner companies who need people with hands-on IT knowledge. They just may not have the overhead or able bodies to go out and find them, and even if they can find them, they cannot afford to train them.
"They cant take raw talent out of the university and train them for a year," Celia Harper-Guerra, director of talent at Cisco Systems, in San Jose, Calif., told eWEEK in June. "A Microsoft can have a one-year training program to become a systems administrator or an engineer. But a small company cannot afford to have a person out of work for a year,"
Check out eWEEK.coms Careers Center for the latest news, analysis and commentary on careers for IT professionals.