Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tips for finding IT work online

Tips for finding IT work online

Staying ahead of stale career Web sites and fully exploiting the Internet to find work
Network/Systems Management Alert By Denise Dubie

IT professionals looking for permanent positions in high-tech seem to be facing more challenges than in the past, and numerous online career sites promise to expedite the process with social networking and other features designed to bring the best listing directly to job-seekers' desktops.

See a slideshow of 20 most useful career sites for IT professionals here.

But despite the wealth of resources available online, IT job seekers say the career sites sometimes don't deliver as they promise. Some report that the in-demand skills employers want don't match the actual skills candidates currently have. Others say career Web sites have stale information and don’t deliver the usability or security features they want when posting personal information online.

"The problem with online sites is that you don’t get many responses (like none usually). A lot of the postings are old, the employers don’t clean them up very well," says David Currier, a member of the infrastructure team for Perot Systems/Owen & Minor Medical in Richmond, Va. "So although they indicate a lot of opportunities the real number is far less. I usually look for anything posted within the last seven days to get a fair feel for what might be available."

Recently high-tech job seekers have shared a few tips on what they do to stay ahead of stale sites and exploit the Internet fully to find work.

"Don't overlook something like Craigslist. I wouldn't have thought to look for a position there but I did find several promising possibilities," says Ron Nutter, Network World Help Desk Editor and an IT professional who blogged about his experience looking for full-time work in the Kansas City, Mo., area.

Nutter also points out that CareerBuilder added a feature that allows users to upload a resume that could be searched by potential employers, which he says could help a potential candidate get considered for a job he or she did not apply for. Also he says to maintain records of positions applied for and companies contacted for work.

"Keep a spreadsheet to track the jobs you have applied for and the calls you have had from recruiters and companies where you have applied for a position," Nutter says. "This will help you keep track of where you have applied and if you have filed for unemployment, you will be able to provide proof with very little effort on you job hunting activities."

Terri Morgan, a principal at Wudang Research Association, says she has had various experience with different online career resources.

"I look at two separate areas: 1) the site itself (features, functions, etc.) and 2) the content (what jobs do they have - most important," Morgan says. "I use Monster, CareerBuilder, and Dice mostly. They tend to have the freshest selections."

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