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The Importance of Being Proactive in an IT Job Search

Mar 29 , 2016

There is more to finding an IT job than clicking on job boards.

Has your job search gone something like this? You find jobs on IT job boards and other websites, spend a lot of time applying for them, then wait for a response only to hear nothing from any of them. In many ways, a job search can be isolating and discouraging. You can feel the opportunities slipping through your fingers, but you don't know how to grab on.

Why Being Proactive is Important to Your IT Job Search

A typical job search isn't proactive, it's reactive. You wait for a job to be posted, then react by applying for it. You wait to be called for an interview, then react by becoming one of a number of candidates being considered for the position.

Being proactive means acting before there's really a reason to do so. Instead of waiting for something to happen and then reacting to it, a proactive job searcher takes actions that will lead to interviews and job opportunities, whether a job has been posted or not. Many IT positions require some level of proactive searching, and you will distinguish yourself from the pack by being proactive.

How to Be Proactive in Your IT Job Search

Rather than waiting for jobs to be posted, a proactive search targets companies that offer positions you qualify for and contact them directly.

Social media can be an important part of this process. Having your LinkedIn page updated is essential to networking, but you should also make sure your other social media pages reflect someone who is career-ready and have had any questionable posts removed.

Career expert Don Goodman advises using LinkedIn to discover which companies you have connections to, then using those connections to get your name in front of the correct hiring manager. Personal connections outside of social media are another way to rise above the hundreds of job board resumes most postings generate.

LinkedIn is a useful tool for discovering connections you can use in a proactive job search.

If you don't discover an "in" with a company that interests you, LinkedIn can give you all the information you need to approach the right person anyway. Cold calling can work if you are respectful and polite. You should develop an elevator pitch that succinctly tells your story. Be prepared to give this pitch many times to get one yes (you only need one).

A Recruiter Can Help

Working with a recruiter can also be helpful. Although recruiters are ultimately working for a company (or several), they are interested in developing relationships and so will be motivated to match up quality candidates with positions. It doesn't cost job seekers anything but time to work with a recruiter, who may have the inside track on just the right job for you.

It may take more time to be proactive in your job search, but it is time well spent. You could potentially spend months or even years reacting to job postings without rising to the top of some software program's algorithm, or you could decide to be proactive and search out the opportunities all around you until you find the right one for you.

Joining our talent network can be a good way to make connections and show us how you might fit into positions we are looking to fill.