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Twitter Chat: IT Job Search Strategies with CompTIA

April 2017

Apex Systems and CompTIA recently teamed up to host a Twitter Chat on IT job search strategies. The discussion ranged from topics such as how to begin searching for relevant opportunities to how to effectively work with a recruiter to the best ways to market your skills online. We’ve compiled some of the responses below. To catch our next Twitter Chat, make sure you are following us @apexsystems!

Question #1: How do you identify relevant job opportunities?
Participants had a range of great ideas and resources to share, including these:

  1. “Target companies that are relevant to your goals and skills, and tailor your resume to showcase your talent! Don’t be shy!”
  2. “Reach out to your network for referrals, and search job boards that could be specific to your skill set.”
  3. “Run a keyword search on the LinkedIn jobs tab.”
  4. “Network, Network, NETWORK! Open dialogue with recruiters, user group leaders, past managers, peers, etc.”
  5. “Craft a list of anyone in your network that went through a job search in the last six months and consult! Ask what worked for them!”
Additional resources mentioned:

Question #2: How can I make myself standout in online job applications and when working with a recruiter?
For job seekers, this is an endless struggle. Our chat generated some key ideas when it comes to standing apart from the competition.

  1. “Be prepared with a tailored resume!”
  2. “Come to your recruiter with two different resumes, tailored for different roles, in hand can make a big difference when submitting you for positions.”
  3. “When updating your resume, make sure that it is easy to read, has relevant information (those keywords) and in-depth info!”
  4. “Provide 1+ differentiator, i.e. recommendations, app you created, tech scores, etc.! Identify candidate marketing material!”
  5. "Meet in person! Carl Pritchard, PMP, taught us that you're 55% more memorable/likeable when you meet in person!"
  6. "Get a little creative and make sure your personal brand shines through."
Additional resources mentioned:
  • “Add your CompTIA certifications to your LinkedIn profile, here's how."
  • “Make a great first impression, even online. Here are CompTIA’s 7 Steps for a Stellar LinkedIn Profile: Click here. "
  • "Optimizing your resume for each job is definitely a must; here are some tips on how to start from our friends at JobScan, Click here. "
  • “Our friends at Clearance Jobs suggest removing these 7 word from your resume in order to stand out, Click here "
  • "Being prepared with a tailored resume can help you move to the next steps, read our tips here, Resume Tips and Ticks. "

Question #3: How do I find a recruiter and make the most of the experience?
Once job seekers decide to work with a recruiter, there is still the issue of finding the best one for your specific skills. Our participants had some insight into how to find the right recruiter and work with them effectively.

  1. “Start with identifying a staffing company you like. Then search for a recruiter there specializing in your skill and location.”
  2. “You can identify recruiters through Inavero and Career Builder ‘Best of Staffing’ winners.”
  3. “Figure out who has a ‘Recruiter Referral’ for you. Ask your network or technical community leaders if they have recruiters or staffing firms they’d recommend!”
  4. “Check out LinkedIn to search for local recruiters that specialize in your skill set.”
  5. “Develop a strong partnership with a recruiter through honesty. Make sure you're honest with yourself and your recruiter about your job expectations and desired rate.”
  6. “Build a relationship with the recruiter. Be responsive, follow up when they call, offer some flexibility when needed. Create a long-term partnership!”
  7. “Once you've identified a few recruiters, meet them in-person (if possible) and start building a relationship.”
  8. “Make a personal connection! If I don't know someone at the company, then I'll reach out through email/LinkedIn to meet them.”
Additional Resouces mentioned:
  • “ Here are some articles via MSSQLTips community on how to find, screen, and best partner with recruiters: click here."
  • “Best practices for working with a recruiter during you job search: find the tips here."

Question #4: What are the most effective ways to brand and market myself online?

Candidates’ online presence can sometimes make or break a job offer. Utilize your online persona effectively, and you could be ahead of the competition before you even walk in for an interview. Our chat generated some great tips on how to do this effectively.

  1. “Remember that an employer’s first impression of you is usually through your digital presence!”
  2. “Reflection and strategy are important to the branding process! Know what your ‘target brand’ is and how you want people to perceive you. Ask yourself ‘What traits do I want to be associated with?”
  3. “Join relevant groups online. Attend training and share what you’ve done, and get those certifications and then highlight at the top of your online profiles!”
  4. “Understand which social channels you want to use for professional purposes and build out until they're a strong ‘reference check!’”
  5. “Have consistency across all professional profiles; including, LinkedIn, MeetUp, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and/or your personal blog. Make sure all online profiles reflect your intentional brand!”
  6. “You can have a couple different profiles/sites to ensure your brand reaches multiple audiences!”
  7. “Add certifications to top of profiles and resume, right next to your name! This is also an organic SEO strategy!”
  8. “Highlighting unique skill sets and getting creative with the traditional resume layout. Showing a little personality is a good thing!”
  9. “Be relevant and frequent with your communication via online channels! If you're making a professional profile, post often about relative topics. You can utilize the LinkedIn blog feature for sharing quality content!”
  10. “Simply keep on top of it. Engage in ‘brand maintenance’ every so often, maybe quarterly. A couple small changes to your ‘online presence/image’ can go a long way to separate you from competition!”
Additional Resources:

Question #5: How can I minimize stress and anxiety throughout the job search process?

Whether you are employed and looking for a new opportunity or unemployed, job searching is stressful. The anxiety associated with the interview process or waiting to hear back on a hiring decision can be consuming. Chat participants chimed in with some ways to manage your emotions when identifying your next career move.

  1. “Preparation is key! Know your resume, do some research on each company you’re applying to and interviewing with, and understand why you’re a fit for each role."
  2. “Be consistent in applying, and follow up with recruiters. If at first you don’t succeed in connecting with the person who is supporting/hiring for the role/s you’re interested in, ‘try and try again’ to connect with them and share your interest in being considered”
  3. “Generate a list of questions ready to ask that show you’ve done your homework on the role and organization, and that show your interest!”
  4. “Identify a list of your top qualifications and relevant skills, so you can easily connect them to your desired job.”
  5. “Stay positive! Job searching isn't easy, and can be time-consuming. Don't let it get to your head!”
  6. “Time block! Don't get too consumed in the job search without taking breathers; take some time to regroup and stay positive.”
  7. “Take an ‘Agile approach’ to your job search by doing small daily goals that contribute to progress! For example, you could have a daily goal to talk to 2 recruiters, apply for 3 jobs, and update your LinkedIn profile!”
  8. “Have a plan for how you communicate your professional brand, pet projects/samples of your work, and/or your portfolio. Recommendations include GitHub, Square Space, WIX, WordPress, or housing on your LinkedIn profile.”
  9. “Plan and stay organized! Job searching is stressful enough. Know your end goal and stay focused. Dead ends are expected, so don’t let them derail you.”
  10. “Write out a list of why you are qualified as you go through job description the night before an interview to build confidence!”
  11. “Being prepared breeds confidence. Prepare for interviewing overall, and then do additional preparation the day before each interview!”
Additional resources mentioned:

Click here to view all of our job openings and submit your most recent resume today!



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