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Fifteen Tips To Getting Yourself Hired
By: Gerry McLaughlin

1) Set aside some time, even if it’s just an hour every day looking for jobs. If you do it in the morning, it’ll make you feel better later in the day, as you’ll feel you are taking steps towards your job-hunting process. If you have a partner, they will appreciate it too, knowing you are making good use of your time.

2) Customize your resume for each job that you’re applying for, writing in greater depth about the skills required for the job. This will bring greater prominence and attention to the employer.

3) Make sure that you have all the buzzwords on your resume, as agencies mainly identify candidates through searches.

4) Follow-up by calling a dozen agencies each day, just to remind them that you are still available. Although your resume will come up when the agency does a search, so will hundreds of others, and you want to make sure that the agencies consider you first for jobs that have come in that day.

5) Monitor as many of the job boards as you can, and resend your resume each time a new job comes up that matches your skills, even if the particular agency already has your resume.

6) Keep your resume to 2 pages in length, as no one wants read a 10-page resume when they have hundreds of others to read. Make sure you have a summary of your skills on the front page. Remember that this is a sales document. If you want to impress further, make your resume a Brochure, as this will stick out from the crowd plus show that you work in a professional manner.

7) Show your resume to as many friends as possible for their comments, and ask agencies for their comments as well.

8) Send out a fresh online batch of resumes to extra agencies each week. More and more companies operate with Preferred Supplier lists, and if you are not on the books of the Preferred Supplier agency, you will not be considered. Therefore, it’s suggested that you be on the books of as many agencies as possible.

9) Don’t rely strictly on agencies, but use your own contacts. Call up or email your old companies, bosses or fellow workers to see if there are any opportunities they might provide.

10) Get in touch with all the old colleagues that you are still in touch with to find out if they are aware of any work that may be going on at their companies. If you’ve lost touch with many of the people that you worked with, use reunion sites like NamesFacesPlaces to see if any old colleagues who might be registered could help you find work.

11) Find something else to do with your spare time, which may become useful in the future. Learn a new skill or build your own website. Once you’re back in work, you’ll wish that you had made better use of your time.

12) Attend networking events such as those organized by the PCG or the BCS. Perhaps you could organize a reunion or other event. Schedule a time to get together for drinks with colleagues who worked at a particular site with you. The people you invite will invite others and as they may have similar skills to you and may know of some work going at the companies they work for.

13) Look in on IT discussion web sites where you will find people with the same problems. Here you can learn and share advice. You may also get encouragement after talking to some people who were out of work but have managed to get jobs. Ask them how they did it.

14) When you finally get an interview, remember to prepare well for it. Make sure that you reacquaint your self with the subject matter. Ask one of your friends with similar skills to interview you first so you can better prepare yourself. There’s nothing worse than failing an interview that you feel you should have landed, due to lack of preparation.

15) And lastly, don’t give up. It’s difficult to keep repeating and doing the same things on a daily basis without immediate results, but your perseverance will pay off in the end.

Gerry McLaughlin has fulfilled every role in Software Development from Trainee Programmer through Systems and Business Analysis, Project Leader and Manager, Systems Manager and Chief Information Officer with a department of 80 people. Tens of thousands of IT Contractors visit each month to keep themselves in touch with the market.

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