Hunting Season is Open
2012 is starting off the third year of continued tech hiring growth in Southern California. There is particularly high growth in startups and web/mobile-based companies. These are real companies with actual business plans that have the intention of being profitable. Imagine that!? They are funded and/or profitable already, operated by professionals with proven experience, and they tend to have decent benefits and work/life balance. The market demand far exceeds the supply, so now is the time to dust off that resume and see what’s out there. Typically in an increasingly demanding market, where the supply is slim and demand is high, companies start to scale back on their expectations of candidates. Not so in this particular recovery. The job market is yours to take by storm, but you still need to be smart about how you present yourself to clients that want 110% of their requirements met. If you do so, you can write your own ticket and easily get multiple concurrent offers to compare/contrast, especially if you are a hands-on technologist. Here are some pointers:
- Networking is still by far the best way to identify new opportunities, whether it’s through your own network or through that of a trusted recruiter. Good recruiters (if we do say so ourselves) are happy to help you with introductions even if it’s not with a current client. Don’t be shy about asking for help – most people are more than happy to shoot off a quick email or make a quick call on your behalf.
- LinkedIn is a favorite tool used by hiring companies and agencies to identify candidates. Make sure your profile is up to date and essentially a ResumeLite – it does not have to be as comprehensive as a full resume, but should have some key highlights of your skills/technologies. (Once it’s up to date, expand that network!)
- The ABCs of Interviewing still have to be followed if you want to get the offers pouring in. Dress appropriately (ask your recruiter or the company contact what is appropriate for their environment). Show up 10 minutes early. Look ‘em in the eye. Behave. No swearing, no off-color jokes, etc.
- Manners always matter. If you are not interested in a company that is courting you, show them the common courtesy of letting them know. Going MIA is not well received and never forgotten. Send thank you emails after an interview. Respond quickly to messages and emails. Don’t counter offer with ridiculous terms. It’s a good market, but a wise market. Companies are growing because they are being smarter, so they will not pull out all the stops for you – just some of them.
- Resumes need to provide not too much and not too little information. Make sure there are no typos. Get a friend to read it over – sometimes we can’t see the mistakes after having looked at it fifty times. Given that companies are picky, take 5 minutes to tailor a Resume Summary section to highlight the skills you have that you know that company is looking for. Be specific and talk about what problems you had to solve and how you solved them. The days of the 1 page resume are long gone. Here is a good guideline (but there are always exceptions). These go for executives as well. In the technology world, information about the technical environment still is required, even if you have not touched anything hands-on in years.
- 0-5 years experience – 1-2 pages
- 5-10 – 2 pages
- 10+ – 3-4 pages