January 15, 2013

So you’re looking to start over at a new company or career, but are stuck in a rut with your job search. Two hundred applications later and you still haven’t heard back from anyone? You’re not alone. According to the BLS, the average worker spends 10 weeks unemployed before finding work. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and don’t feel any closer to finding your next position, you may want to reconsider your job search strategy. Here are three tips to get you on track: 

Get out from behind your computer screen

Here’s an interesting stat: 85 percent of jobs are not advertised to the public. Here’s another one:  according to research from Jobvite, “employees hired through referral are hired 55 percent faster than those who come from a career site.” So what does it mean? It means that while job sites are still a great resource for job seekers, they’re not the only resource. Even in today’s plugged-in world, there’s nothing that beats a face-to-face meeting with employers looking to hire. CIO.com recommends attending local clubs and professional association as a natural way to network. “[They] can be indispensable in your job search. Attending events like these get you out and learning. They also put you in a room with people who are interested in the same things you are and could potentially be hiring.” Organizations like Think IT in the Twin Cities allow IT professionals to mingle with people in their field (or even your specific position) while honing their skills and discussing the latest trends and challenges affecting their organizations.

Focus on quality, not quantity

So you’ve been applying to every place under the sun, but have you been sending the same resume for all of those applications? If you have, it might be a big mistake. Workopolis explains this practice can come off as lazy. “Employers can easily spot a generic application and they are seldom impressed by it. What they want to see is a document that tailors your skills and experience specifically to the job that they posted, and that demonstrates what you can do for them.” Your resume must show off what you accomplished at your company not just what you were responsible for.

Beyond editing your resume, management and hiring consultant Alison Green believes the amountof time you spend searching should not be what’s important. In her blog, Green argues that looking for work should not be treated in the same way as working at a full-time job. “If anyone is really spending 40 hours a week on a job search, stop and regroup. Focus on the essentials instead: applying only for jobs that are truly a strong match, writing great cover letters, having a resume that focuses on your achievements rather than just responsibilities, and making sure you’re tapping into your network.”

Don’t be afraid to try new methods

So you’ve searched all of the usual job boards and haven’t found a position right for you? Try to look for it on Twitter! No, Twitter isn’t just for Lady Gaga and other celebrities, it’s another way to look for a job and, even better, communicate directly with the employer. ZDNet writes a great article explaining exactly how you should set up your Twitter profile and use it to your advantage. Once you’ve set up your account, there are third-party sites that make looking for jobs even easier for you; TwitJobSearch lets you simply type in the title of the job you’re seeking and searches Twitter for the latest tweets with your title in the text.  In fact, York’s Twitter account posts the latest job opportunities as they become available.

However, trying “new methods” doesn’t have to mean tweeting. It could be as simple as connecting with an old friend from college. Many universities host a LinkedIn group for alumni. Join the groups and find information on the latest positions your fellow alumni are posting.

If you’re an IT professional and looking for a position, please take a look at our available positions! What advice would you offer job-seekers who haven’t found the jobs they’re looking for? Give us a comment and tell us what has worked for you!

Posted By: James Sweeney

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