Friday, 23 January 2009

Job Hunting Patterns and Anti-Patterns

It's assumed you have a well-written CV and covering letter.

Do you want to get a job as quickly as possible? Then, learn from my experience.

2 forces can provide you job; one is from your active hunting (AH) and the other is from your passive hunting (PH).

You should understand these 2 forces and use all the techniques at the same time.

Passive hunting has a great power; you allow others to find you instead of applying for a specific job.

Active hunting means you find where job is advertised and you apply for it.

Pattern - Let people know (PH)
  • Word of mouth has a great power. Just let people know you're available.
  • Change your status to "I am available for work" on professional networks such as LinkedIn. That sentence is better than "I am looking for a job" because by "I am available..." you create a picture in other people's mind that you are an opportunity.
  • Allow all your professional friends and colleagues know about it. Use your network and networks of your networks e.g. previous colleagues, professional friends ...
Pattern - Post your CV to job search sites (PH)

Post your CV on job search sites such as Monster, JobServe and CWJobs. Agenceis and Companies will find you themselves.

Pattern - Create a new discussion / entry in User Groups (PH)
  1. Fine some user groups such as London .NET User Group, Senior .NET Developer group on LinkedIn
  2. Post entries and create new discussions about your availability and your expertise
Pattern - Join Events and Groups (PH and AH)
  • Join professional user groups in your area such as ALT.NET and read their posts and discussion boards. People post the available positions they know in these user groups.
  • Join professional networking sites such as LinkedIn
  • Build up, maintain and expand your network.
Pattern - Direct Approach (AH)

Maybe the best way to get an IT job with Microsoft technologies is to approach Microsoft Gold Partners and Microsoft Partners in your area yourself.

Find them here. Microsoft jobs here.

In this way, you will have much more chance to get what you want and the Company will be happier because they don't have to pay to agencies.
  • Avoid sending email to This means "automated deletion" most often! Find a person inside the company, find his email address and send a short personal email about your availability.
  • You should create a database to keep record of all your conversations with people inside the Company. Otherwise, suddenly you see you have sent emails to tens of people and you can't control it any more. I created an Access database with 2 tables; Companies and Contacts to record all the conversations and emails :D
  • Once you do this, you will have the database which is very valuable for future reference as well. There are about 1000 Microsoft partners in only 10 miles of my home!
  • Don't send email to 2 people inside one company at the same time. Wait for at least 1 week if you want to find another person inside the Company. In the meantime, you can try other Companies.
  • Who to approach? Managing Director, Development Manager, Program Manager
Anti-pattern - Going through agencies for permanent roles (AH)

Applying for jobs advertised by agencies for permanent roles is not a very good pattern because:
  1. Companies prefer avoiding them because they charge them a lot
  2. Often agencies are experts in wasting time
  3. Too many candidates apply.
Having said that there is no absolute rule in that.

Pattern - Going through agencies for contracts (AH)

It's a good approach to go through agencies for contract jobs; however, if you can find a contract using your network, it's the best.

Build up and maintain relationship with the agencies if you chose to approach them. Don't just click the Apply button!

Anti-Pattern - Paying LinkedIn to let you InMail (AH)

Don't pay for finding the email address of a person in a Company. LinkedIn charges almost $10 for each InMail!

Finding that email address is easier than you think (up to 3 minutes). It's most often has the pattern of .@. - if it didn't work, try other combinations.

Also, you can try Google :D - Search for firstname.familyname@domain.extension, then the samples will appear.

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