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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.

Van Vreede advises his clients that IT recruiters aren't the only answer; they are simply one part of a multi-pronged attack. "Recruiters are fine, and you should use them if possible in your job search. However, don't pin all of your hopes on them. They don't represent you, the job seeker; they represent the company they are hiring for. They have a very narrow set of criteria they are looking for in a candidate. Also, most recruiters tend operate with the, I'm-only-interested-if-you-don't-want-me mindset, so if you reach out to them, don't expect a whole lot of love from them," says Stephen Van Vreede.

10. Not Following Up
"This is by far what holds most job seekers back in securing a new role. With the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and the sheer volume of resumes received for open job postings, there's a good chance your application can be lost in the shuffle," says Smith-Proulx.

Before you even apply make sure you've looked through LinkedIn and company About Us pages to find the most likely hiring manager for the job you're targeting. If you can't find a name, look for contacts within the employer's HR department. Once you've applied to the position then reach out to these contacts through LinkedIn or email to reiterate your interest and ask for verification that your application was received.

"While it's possible that you may still not hear back about your application, there's also a chance that your contact didn't see your resume, and will express interest in interviewing you," says Smith-Proulx.

11. Don't Come off Desperate
Whether it's your personal network or hiring managers, people can smell desperation a mile away. A better way to approach the whole job search is to figure out what you can do for the company and how you can add value. If you can show that you can fill a need or solve a problem that will make people want to hire you. Part of that is, as discussed earlier, researching the company you are interviewing with.

Posting your resume on every job board is another approach that Burns warns against. "It's OK to post your resume on a job board. But posting your resume on too many sites cannot help you. It's as a bad as mass-mailing 400 resumes - you look like you're having a panic attack," says Donald Burns.

12. A Weak Web Presence
You're in IT, people.. You have been and will be judged on what shows up in search rankings for your name. If have incomplete or outdated profiles or, worse yet, no Web profiles at all then you need to get on the ball and take care of that.


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