Using offline job search methods can help you stand out from the crowd.
Most IT job candidates now search for jobs online, but unless your resume sets you apart from the crowd, you may see little result from hours and hours of hard work. Monster.com is jokingly referred to as the "resume black hole," and the average recruiter spends just six seconds reading a resume submitted online.
There are ways to get noticed outside the online application process and boost your chances of landing an interview. Moving beyond the online job search often takes more time and work, but if it increases the odds of success, it can be worthwhile.
How to Conduct an Offline IT Job Search
The main technique to use in trying to get your application noticed offline is networking. Conducting a successful networking campaign involves several steps, however.
Step One: Focus Your Career Goals
Many IT job seekers jump into a job search and start applying for every job that seems even close to their qualifications. Most of these jobs will not be well suited to the applicant, however. It is important to think carefully about what kind of job you want to get. Consider your education, skills, and experience to determine a few job titles that are a close fit for your resume.
Step Two: Research Companies
The next step to effective networking is to research companies in your area (or other areas if you're willing to move) that hire for the IT position(s) you are seeking. This step can be done online, or you can make phone calls and ask questions directly. Even if you don't find a job with one of these companies, your research will give you a good idea of the job picture for the position or type of job you are seeking.
Step Three: Talk to Everyone
Many major companies have begun to hire ever larger percentages of their employees based on referrals from current employees. Networking is the best way to find the up to 80% of open job positions that are never advertised because they are filled internally or through referrals. Job applicants that are recommended by current employees are up to 10 times more likely to land an interview.
Using your contacts is the most effective way to find a job.
The power of networking is unmistakable. If talking to friends, family, and acquaintances about your situation and the IT job you hope to get can yield even one opportunity, that may be all you need to land the interview, and then the job.
If you are a recent college graduate, your college's job placement office may be a source for job openings. You can also join alumni groups that may be another source of connections for a referral.
Step Four: Use Social Media
The exception to effective job searching online is social media. Having an up-to-date and accurate social media profile can help with the networking process by allowing you to make connections that you couldn't make in real life. Participating in groups on Facebook and LinkedIn can help you develop relationships that could lead to a referral or a recommendation.
If one of these sources should yield information about a job opening, be sure to ask directly for a referral from your contact. Many large companies now have incentive programs to reward employees who make successful referrals, so chances are they won't mind making a referral if they think you would be a good fit for the job.
GDH Consulting has job listings for seekers in the IT field. Join our talent network today.