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15 common IT job search mistakes

Rich Hein | Oct. 17, 2013
Searching for a new IT position in a competitive market can be an uphill battle. One little mistake could cost you the opportunity. Read on to make sure you aren't making one of these commonly seen blunders in your job search.

7. Focusing on the Wrong Part of the Story
"One common mistake is for a job seeker to focus more on the responsibilities in past roles and less on the important facts and real results. Things that were developed, money that was saved and organizational goals that were reached are all good examples of what interviewers want to hear about," says Cullen. A hiring manager wants to know what you did to help your company succeed not a laundry list of duties and responsibilities.

When looking for a position and building a resume, job seekers should be detailed in their descriptions and searches. "A search term like 'software engineer' should be expanded to include software developer, Java developer and similar positions. The same goes for a resume — ensure that your skills are detailed enough to bring more attention to yourself when recruiters or hiring managers are searching through resumes," says Cullen.

8. Using a Work Email Address
If you are looking for a job while still employed, you can find yourself in hot water with your boss or, worse yet, fired when your boss finds out his investment, you, is getting ready to leave.

"Even if you believe company email isn't monitored, or that your boss won't find out you're looking for a new role, using a work email address shows poor discretion in using company resources," says Smith Proulx. She also cautions that prospective employer might suspect that you're using work time for job hunting activities if they see that you're expecting email messages through your employer's domain.

9. Over-Reliance on the Job Boards and Recruiters
The number 1 issue commonly seen with IT people, according to Burns, is an over-reliance on IT methods to connect with jobs. "Job boards are notoriously ineffective at connecting people with jobs. If you Google this topic you'll find that less than 10 percent of job seekers actually connect via these job boards, yet typical job seekers spends 80 percent of their time trying to find jobs this way. Spending 80 percent of your time on a strategy that is less than 10 percent effective makes no sense," says Burns. He also points out that IT people are especially prone to this trap because IT is their expertise.

Van Vreede agrees, noting that job boards are the least effective of all the search strategies out there. "I'm not saying you shouldn't use job boards, just that you should have a narrow set of conditions at a few key IT job boards that alert you when a match is posted so that you can spend your valuable time with more productive search strategies," says Stephen Van Vreede.


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