Can’t find a job? Here’s why some IT Professionals have a hard time

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a jump of more than 11% in IT employment from April to May of this year. And research conducted by Robert Half Technology supports the notion that job growth will remain fairly robust: Our most recent IT Hiring Index and Skills Report indicates that 13% of U.S. CIOs plan to add technology staffers over the next three months, while only 3% anticipate cutbacks. The net 10% increase is up two percentage points from the previous forecast. It seems all signs point to brisk hiring in the IT field.

But are you still having trouble finding a job?

Say a job requires an experienced DBA. You might be having a lot of experience in this field right from the days you managed the SQL Server in your high school. However, you have been in the hunt for months and still did not receive any enquiries from prospective employers. Is this a general description or is this a story about you? Check out the rest of this article on why you might be having trouble finding a new position and some tips to put you back on the right track

Are you Marketable?

We see stories about the strong job demand and the strong requirement for IT talent. However, at the same time, companies are not hiring at the same insane pace like pre bubble period, the glory days before 2000 where people with little skills could have demanded multiple offers. Today’s managers require you to be aware of the latest technologies, on job experience, track record of successfull projects, business skills and the ability to make immediate impact. In the DBA example mentioned above, maybe you have strong SQL skills but no idea of Oracle which might be essential to many hiring managers. Think about what employers in your area seek, and then evaluate where gaps exist in your skills or experience and how you can fill them.

You look for jobs on the Internet

While the Internet has made it a lot easier for people to search and apply for jobs, the same cannot be said of them actually landing the jobs. As an IT professional, you might be heavily biased in favor of using technology to land your next job, but the bottom line: According to an article in The New York Times, only 3% to 5% of job seekers locate a new position through online sites.

Supplement your efforts through non online means like contacting members of your local chapter of professional associations like ACM or IEEE, attend industry events or professional events for leads and advice and also maybe signing up with a staffing firm. Remember, most often that not, your networking skills might help you land a job far easier and faster. Use the Internet to research potential employers, determine which companies are hiring and locate positions specific to your area.

Your Resume might not be the problem!

While having a good Resume will help you walk through the door, it’s your Interview Skills which will land you the job. Say you’ve gone on several interviews and have even been called back for additional meetings with some companies. But you still haven’t received any offers. The problem probably lies solely with your interview skills — after all, your resume and cover letter are drawing heavy interest from employers.

Don’t respond to this by taking a cold, hard look at your resume, cover letter or sources of leads and try “fixing” them every time.Making significant tweaks to your application materials could cause other companies to overlook you. Instead, reviewing questions you’ve been asked by hiring managers thus far and practicing your responses with a friend could be all you need to land the next job.

Most IMPORTANT: Do you follow up?

One easy way to stand out from the crowd of applicants: Follow up with the hiring manager after submitting your resume. It sounds simple, but it’s extremely effective. According to a survey by Robert Half Technology, 86% of executives said job seekers should contact a hiring manager within two weeks of sending a resume and cover letter. Yet few candidates do. Often, a brief phone call or e-mail reasserting your interest in the position and strong qualifications is enough to prompt a potential employer to revisit your resume.

There’s no doubt that significant opportunity exists for IT professionals in the current employment market. But companies are still being highly selective when it comes to bringing aboard additional workers, and competition among candidates is fierce. Individuals who hope to land a new position must be smart about their approach and avoid common job-search pitfalls.