Finding a great IT job is no easy task and even though the market still favors candidates, locking down a great role in IT can be daunting. There is no perfect method to job searching, however, you can do several things to give yourself the best possible chance at landing the dream job. Spoiler alert: it’s often who you know that can help move the needle in your direction, but there are a number of positive steps you can take:
Reaching out to your personal and professional connections should always be your first step if you aren’t working with a recruiter. These people can not only vouch for your skills and experience, but they will often be proactive in reaching out to their own connections to help you. Recruiters do the same thing when they are looking for a great role that fits your skills —they reach out to their trusted connections to get the inside scoop on what jobs they either have or know are available.
Moral of this tip? Build your network! As you move through your career it is so important to build rapport with other professionals as they are the people you will rely on when you need it most.
Every industry has their own groups of professionals that stay in touch on a regular basis. With IT, you often see the user groups meet at networking events or through online forums. When you are looking for a new IT job, engage with these groups and see if they know of any roles available. Online forums and social media groups are a great way to reach a lot of people quickly. Drop a quick post in the group and let everyone know what you are looking for in a new job. Also, use these groups for feedback on where to look, trends they are seeing or recommendations for next steps in your career based on your skillset.
One of the most powerful tools available is a great recruiter. Recruiters spend their whole day finding jobs for IT candidates, so there is a good chance they know a few roles that may be a good fit and recruiters are typically aware of jobs as soon as they are posted. Using a recruiter is like adding a rocket to your resume as it provides you with the opportunity to reach more interested parties faster. A good recruiter will only send your resume to hiring managers or companies they know you will not only thrive in but also match well for the actual position. In other words, a recruiter isn’t going to waste anyone’s time trying to force you into a role they know won’t work. When push comes to shove, recruiters have more insight, knowledge and positive leverage with jobs and candidates. Hiring managers will often view a candidate their recruiter recommends first because they are pre-vetted.
Applying for jobs through various postings and boards is not a bad idea, but it can leave you victim to the “numbers game.” What does this mean? Basically, you could get lost in the shuffle of applications because you don’t have a connection or recruiter who is physically reaching out for you. Perfect candidates are often passed up through job boards because there are simply too many applications to review. Job boards are a great resource to evaluate the market and even find some potential jobs or companies, but you should use those leads to reach out to your close network or a trusted recruiter to see if they have a connection there. A simple email, call or text can make a world of difference when you are applying to jobs online.
Stick to the hierarchy below for the best possible outcome when looking for new IT jobs:
- Personal connections/recruiter
- User groups
- Job board
- Sign on the street (just kidding, but this has worked before)
If you have any further questions about working with recruiters or anything about the recruiting process, give us a call at 713-357-9565. We want to give unbiased answers to your questions, whether you choose to engage our help or not.