While the IT job market isn't exactly thriving, there are definitely some encouraging signs of improvement, a welcome relief after many scary months in which sweeping layoffs in the tech industry made headlines. In fact, the CIO of a Florida municipality I met at the recent Midmarket CIO Forum told me he's beginning to worry about employees looking for work elsewhere, a troubling trend for him but a good one for the overall industry as it suggests folks are becoming more confident they'll find an IT job if they go looking.
It seems appropriate to share some tips for those who might be seeking new IT opportunities. In a Forbes interview, Dr. Tony Beshara, owner of Babich & Associates, says forget e-mailing dozens of resumes to recruiters and focus instead on targeting companies that can use your skills. Pick up the telephone and call them. Go directly to the CIO or CTO instead of trying to connect through the human resources department. A slightly sneaky tactic for doing so: Call accounts payable, which will probably supply the CIO's name. Beshara suggests saying, "I am sorry that I got you by accident. Do you know who is in charge of IT?"
If you are going to send resumes, try snail mail. Beshara says those resumes may stand out, since so few are submitted that way these days.
I also found some good, albeit more general, job-hunting tips on CareerBuilder.com. Among them: Don't be afraid to revisit companies where you've already applied to let them know you're still looking for a new opportunity. A position more suited to your skills set may have opened up since then. Consider relocating. For ideas on where to go, see this slideshow of 15 hot IT job markets.
Working with a staffing agency can be helpful, and the Soup IT Blog offers good suggestions on cultivating strong relationships with agency recruiters. Tops on the list: If possible, try to meet recruiters in person, and take the time to explain technology concepts to them so they have a better understanding of your qualifications.
We've created a slideshow featuring IT job-hunting tips, using information drawn from Beshara's interview, the CareerBuilder colum and the Soup IT Blog post on working with recruiters.