Here is a top ten list for finding a new IT job in today's economy.
- Accomplishments: Make sure your resume focuses on accomplishments and things you have done to make companies successful. A resume showing you are a great DBA or Developer is not going to be enough. The competition is going to be too intense. You'll lose the numbers game. Your resume needs to show what you are going to do for a company and new boss. Accomplishments, accomplishments, accomplishments!
- What have you done lately: A company is not likely to care that you have tons of experience. What have you done in the last two years that separates you from all the other resumes. Focus on highly polishing your resume for the last two years, then last five years and then last ten years. In sports, your market value is going to be based on what you did last season, not ten seasons ago. It is the same in today's economic market.
- Go the extra mile: Properly research the organization, hiring department, hiring manager for the job you are interested in. A "To Whom It May Concern" cover letter is going to wind up in the trash.
- What makes you special: If you are applying for a job, it is likely 300 - 1000 other people are also. How is your resume going to get on the stack to get an interview. Your resume and cover letter has to get you the interview. Focus on that. Your interview will then focus on getting the job.
- First impression is everything: Your cover letter is more important than your resume. If your cover letter is not good enough, your resume will never get read. Make your cover letter stand out.
- Win the numbers game: You are going to be competing against hundreds of people looking for a job. Just having experience and being good at what you do is not going to be enough. There are also likely people interviewing for the position that have the inside track due to networking or people that they know. What's going to impress someone enough about you that makes you a candidate they have to look at?
- The 30 second resume: If someone is looking at hundreds of resumes they are not likely to spend more than 30 - 60 seconds looking at a resume. Your resume needs to be able to make the 30 second cut.
- Prepare: Proper preparation prevents pitiful performance. You just got an interview. You've done a great job being one of the few candidates that gets an interview. Now you have to get the job. You'd better have prepared your questions, your answers and everything you do in that interview. Someone within 15 seconds will have a feeling if they are interested in you or not. Go to the library, get on the internet, talk to friends, but you'd better be ready to completely ace an interview.
- Get better: While you are going through the interview process keep improving your skills. Make yourself more attractive to an interviewer. Are there additional skills you can be working on? Are there skills you can add more depth to?
- Life is not fair: Don't expect life to be fair. In this politically correct world we pretend people are not prejudice, are nice and will treat everyone fairly. That could not be further from the truth. Prepare yourself to win the game in an unfair world. Be the best candidate so the organization sees that you "are the one" that they have to hire.
And last, work your rear end off! The harder you work the luckier you will get.
And most of all, good luck! :)