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Recruiter's Secrets: 6 Job Hunting Tips for a Tough Market

Recruiter's Secrets: 6 Job Hunting Tips for a Tough Market

Whether they're employed or unemployed, IT professionals are anxious about their job prospects during this recession. They want to know how to navigate the worst job market in years and how they can differentiate themselves. Here's direct advice from recruiters on job hunting, with and without a recruiter.

Don't String Recruiters Along

If you're not interested in a position that a recruiter calls you about, or you're in the middle of a 12-month long systems implementation and you can't make a move until it's complete, tell the recruiter up front, says Fairlie. Recruiters don't appreciate being misled.

Similarly, adds Fairlie, if a search firm offers you an interview with a client that you know you absolutely don't want, tell the search firm it isn't what you want, explain why and tell them what you are looking for.

"Don't go on an interview just to get practice," she says. "It burns bridges."

Just as recruiters remember the professionals who help them, they remember the people who make them look bad, says Fairlie. She says she keeps detailed notes on who helps her and who doesn't going back 21 years.

Bag the Résumé

Handing out your résumé at networking events is "old and stale," says Fairlie. Instead, she recommends giving out business cards printed with your name, personal e-mail address, mailing address and cell phone number.

The advantage of a business card over a réé, says Fairlie, is that it's "soft, genteel and not in your face."

What's more, when you give out a business card, you usually get one in return. As you place your business card in the recipient's hand, you can ask them to please let you know if they know anyone who might be interested in your background. When you get their business card, you can then follow-up with them via e-mail, with an offer to help them in any way, a brief paragraph describing your skills, and a request for them to forward your name to anyone who might benefit from your skills.

Keep Your Options Open

You can increase your chances of finding a new job if you're open to relocating, switching industries or doing different work, says Greg Ambrose, managing director of Catalyst Search Group in Deerfield, Ill.

"I've found that the people who limit themselves to a particular geography or type of position generally stay unemployed the longest," he says.

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Tags IT recruitment

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