In today’s tough job market, looking for a job in IT can be both challenging and taxing. You send out dozens of resumes and cover letters, each slightly skewed to the job posting or recruiter’s specs. But keeping track of what you sent to whom and when can be a monumental task. Drop the ball, forget or misplace a phone number or address and it could cost you a job. On the other hand, how do you even know if you have the right skills and learning to meet the demands of a posted job?
Fortunately for you, there are software programs specifically designed to automate your job search and help match your skills, experience and education to the job you’re seeking.
To streamline and automate your job searches, there’s JibberJobber. This free program keeps track of all the key information you acquire during each job search. Things like company name, address and phone, as well as the status of each application--date of first interview, thank you letter and so forth. JibberJobber even manages your networking tasks using a form of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that keeps track of every contact in your network, the status of the relationship, and the company they work for.
Another career management tool is called balloon. It differs from JibberJobber in that it maps out your career trajectory and personalizes the skills, jobs, and learning you need to master and succeed in a specific career path. By so doing, it also lets you explore career paths and jobs you may never have considered. Balloon creators partnered with Adobe, Amazon, Cisco, EMC, Juniper, McAfee, Microsoft, VMware and universities to create a massive catalogue of learning courseware.
Whatever tools you use, you should be proactive in managing your career. That means doing something every day to position yourself closer to your ultimate career objective. Here are some suggestions to keep you on track:
Seek Feedback. Let your supervisor know when you’ve successfully completed a critical task or project. Ask him or her for feedback, then listen, learn and implement any changes.
Volunteer. Ask your supervisor for new projects or assignments, especially those that he or she may be too busy to handle. Execute these projects on time and do an exceptional job.
Update Skills, Certifications, Resume. Use the tools above to bring your skills, certifications and resume up to date. Today’s IT fields are changing rapidly as technology moves careers in different directions. Stay focused and current, even to the point of anticipating the coming changes in IT.
Network & Participate. Attend IT conferences and seminars. Speak at meetings, submit papers/articles that offer ways to improve efficiencies and cut costs in your field. Try to get on a panel at industry events and conferences. Cultivate relationships with senior level executives in and outside of your organization.
Times are tough, jobs are scarce, and moving up can pose a challenge even for the best in IT. Use the tools above to keep working and keep moving up.
Image courtesy of iconmac/FreeDigitalPhotos.net