Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, shares his suggestions for negotiating a rapidly changing job market for IT professionals. As he explains, many IT professionals still cling to outdated job-seeking habits that can undermine their efforts. With that in mind, Willmer offers advice on how to target new potential employers, how to patch over possible employment gaps on a resume, how to tell a convincing story to recruiters and how to take advantage of Internet resources to meet new employers.
First of all, target each employer carefully. In any hiring environment, a generic résumé won't hold a hiring manager's attention. It's important to customize all of your application materials, not just the cover letter, for each job opening. In your communication with employers, use natural, direct prose that provides a good sense of your personality. During an interview, use authentic answers rather than canned responses. It's not unusual to have a break in your work history, given today's labor market. So you don't have to go to extreme lengths to hide periods of unemployment, such as by forgoing the classic chronological résumé in favor of a functional one. To demonstrate that you've remained professionally engaged while searching for a new position, list volunteer or consulting work you've taken on, as well as any professional development courses you've completed.
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