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The Laid Off IT Guy! Recruiters

My friend Andy is a recruiter.  He owns his own firm, CGP Network (Connecting Good People www.cgpnetwork.com), but he specializes in Accounting, Finance and HR.  I’m an IT guy, and I didn’t think he’d have any advice for me, but boy was I wrong!  He shared some great advice with me about what it is like to search for a job in today’s market that I needed insight into. 

I’ve been with the same company for 12 years, and my resume was a complete redo.  “Times have changed,” he told me.  “Resumes are all submitted on-line now.”  The last time I searched for a job, it was to an ad posted in the Sunday paper and I got out my best off-white linen stationary with matching envelope to give me just a bit of a competitive edge in standing out among the huge pile of resumes that the Hiring Manager must have seen.  It worked very well.  I didn’t wait long to get interviews, and a job offer came quickly afterwards. 

HR isn’t done that way anymore, at least by bigger companies.  You have to take the time to create accounts with companies that you want to apply for, and do it online.  One app took me over 1 hour to complete and then refused my submittal, because the job post ended at midnight and hit Submit at 12:15 am.  No go.

Once you do successfully submit an application, it goes through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and rarely gets seen by human eyes.  See my post on “The Resume” for more details.

Another great thing that he told me was to team up with the most reputable IT recruiters in town to get the best leads possible.  As I’ve stated in previous posts, a good majority of the positions aren’t posted to the general public.  You must use your own networking effort to find the unlisted positions. Talking to recruiters is a big part of that.

So I met with a company called Tek Systems, where I had a contact already named Chad and he brought a buddy named Matt.  We agreed to meet at a nearby Starbucks.  I don’t even like coffee!  But it was convenient enough for the cordial meeting.  Matt and I hit it off right away and then we found out that we both went to the same high school!  How cool is that?  Just a few years apart, eh hem!

I’d hired some programmers from their company before for some contract work, but was mostly interested in talking to them about full time IT Director positions that I was sure they had for me.  No such luck.  Since that meeting, they did call me about a potential client, but they wanted automotive experience - experience that I do not have.  Drat.  Then they brought up the idea of doing some contract work myself.  I’ll have to think about that.

Let me hear from you.  Tell us about your Recruiter experiences, both good and bad, as well as your experiences in starting a contract job.  Post your comments!