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How To Handle A Bad Job Market

The Bottom Line

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Consider the following tips as you venture out into the job market:
  • Networking is essential. People will create jobs for those they know. Take advantage of past connections and make new ones through message boards and other online communities. Google Technology Groups
  • If you don't have your own contacts, get to know the people who do. For college grads, use your school's alumni resources to their fullest. Visit the career center. Look into internships.
  • Let future employers know that you are in it for the long haul. Employers want to know that you are not looking to gain some experience, take advantage of training, and then move on to another company. Be passionate, enthusiastic and let them know you are committed to doing your best.
  • Be prepared to accept good experience over good pay. Employers are not able to afford high salaries, especially in IT. IT salaries have dropped as much as 75% from the peak in the late 90's. When the market recovers, make sure your resume carries the weight of not only education and certification, but solid experience and increasing responsibility.
  • Consider temporary or contract work as a way to prove yourself and get hired on full-time.
  • This should go without saying, and I know you have heard it before; remember to check and re-check your resume for spelling and grammar errors. Employers these days are viewing an average of 25 resumes per position and interviewing an average of six applicants. One spelling error could get your resume tossed aside.
  • Do your homework. Be able to speak intelligently about the company, and the industry. You will stand out in an interview if you thouroughly research the company's goals and competitors.
  • Two excellent ways to break into or start out in the IT field are through technical writing and help desk positions. Both require only basic tech skills to begin but have a fantastic learning curve.

Finally, good luck. Although the market is tough, jobs are out there and your persistance is likely to pay off in the long run as the economy continues to recover.

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