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As a CodeProject reader you are continually on the forefront of the latest technology and software development information. Are your long-term career goals on the
technology forefront, too? Are you prepared for all the twists and turns your
employers and co-workers will put you through?
Career 2.0 is a series that will share success tips, tricks and
strategies to help you upgrade your career. Catherine Burk and Andi Levin are
experienced career guides and senior technical recruiters who will offer in-depth concrete steps
and proven career strategies to help you reach your career milestones:
are job opportunities today, but employers draw candidates from a larger
and stronger pool than in recent years.
How can you prevent losing out on your dream job, and not think
"I e-mailed company X my
resume for a job I’m 100% qualified for, but it went into a black hole?
strategies and skills do you need to receive a job offer that you want
- Which skills must you add to, or
improve, in order to ensure long-term career growth and future job
- Are you currently able to identify
and resolve workplace conflicts from company financial and organizational
health issues; office politics; individual personalities, and with
You solve technical
challenges through a series of logical steps or other contacts here on the
boards. You define the problem, analyze
business needs, then consider and test multiple possibilities to create the
best solution. And, no matter how
successful the first release is, you always evaluate that solution to develop
improvements for V.2
Conducting a successful
career search and utilizing on-the-job strategies for career advancement
follows this same framework. We will
cover each of these sections in depth in future articles.
One: Lay the foundation.
in terms of the problem - what problem do you want to solve? What is your goal?
Where does your job search process fall in the black hole? Do you ever hear back from a live person
once you’ve emailed your resume? If so,
what are the results of your interview(s)?
Do you receive a job offer from the company? If you received a job offer
that you did not accept, how should you fine tune your search model to better
target your efforts to receive offers that you will accept?
Step Two: Requirements Gathering
What job responsibilities are you looking
for? Do your experiences and existing
skills match the requirements for this type of job? If not, what will it take for you to meet those
requirements? What best describes your
“employer of choice?”
Who is the best person at the company to
approach? What is the best way to
approach that person? Do your interview
skills reflect your professional experience and abilities? What is the company’s hiring bar? How can you improve your skills to exceed
Three: Construct a Successful Routine.
solution you seek; now you determine which job search skills to obtain or to
- Do you have strong professional
networking skills in order to hear about potential or currently open
- Are hiring managers actually seeing
- Does your current resume generate
- Do your interview strategies result
Four: Test and Fine-tune Routine.
Debug as appropriate. Repeat as necessary
through offer receipt and acceptance.
Five: Evaluate Solution for Future
There will always
be ongoing skill and performance improvements as you grow in your new job; when
you seek new job opportunities within your company; or when you begin a job
search with another company.
– how do you get there from here (wherever here is)?
are out there, even in today’s market.
Where are the bugs in your job search process?
Resume and application go into a
black hole; you are not contacted to interview for the job.
- Do you meet all of the required
skills and experience for the jobs you applied for?
To succeed in today’s job market; target your
efforts to companies with open jobs that match exactly your skills and
experience. With a lot of good people
in the job market, companies are holding out for exact candidate matches.
Apply for your dream job if you find it posted, even if you do not meet all
the requirements, but focus your efforts on obtainable goals.
- Are you applying to local
companies, or would the company need to relocate you to the job?
- Would you require international
relocation for this employer and job?
- Will you need visa sponsorship if
hired for this job?
In today’s market, many companies only consider
relocating candidates for very senior jobs, or jobs with complex or unique
skill sets. Companies are very selective when international relocation is
involved – it is expensive and visa requirements can be tough to meet. Be sure you can qualify for a work visa
for the location and job you apply.
- Do you list your experience and
skills on your resume in a clear and easy to understand way?
Many company recruiters are not that technical, and search for key words which
match their open jobs.
You may need to customize your resume for a particular
job and company.
To do this, use the job requirements as your
résumé’s framework. Today many
companies hire candidates they perceive as making a lateral job move or even
a step back – your next job may be a promotion, but are you prepared to bet
your house you will land a job that is a step up?
- Are hiring managers seeing your
If you apply through the company website, you
usually are one of many people. There
is a very good chance the hiring manager did not see your resume.
To solve, CC: the middleman (i.e., corporate human
resources), but submit your resume, either directly or indirectly, to the hiring
- What format is your resume in?
For now, a good general rule
is do not submit your resume in .pdf format – not all resume tracking apps
read .pdf files – so this could limit the number of recruiters and hiring
managers who will retrieve your resume using a SQL query. Not good!
Our next column focuses on
tips to help ensure your resume is read by the hiring manager.
Now, it’s your turn.
This is your column; please e-mail us with career and job-search
questions or post your comments or discussion ideas here. We can help.