7 job hunting avenues that will give you a better chance of securing your next IT job

Only around 30% to 40% of the job openings are advertised, and this avenue is highly competitive as many will be trying this avenue. The remaining 60% to 70% is a hidden job market where you proactively approach the potential employers for possible openings. This avenue can be harder without the right skills, but less competitive as not many will be tapping into them.

#1. Industry Forums: These forums are frequented by industry experts and influential professionals. E.g. LinkedIn.com, JavaRanch.com, etc. Don’t come across as someone who is desperate for work. Add value to the forum members with your technical know hows and expertise. Provide links to your blog and GitHub projects on your profile page & signature.

#2. Industry Events: Attending IT industry specific user groups (e.g. JUG – Java User Groups), events (e.g. Java Conference) , walk-in interviews and open sessions conducted for freshers with a number of copies of your resume to handout to your prospective employers. Make sure that your resume has the URL links to your blog, online portfolio, and GitHub repository. Self-taught projects & open-source contributions will be valued along with your interview performance. Employers like professionals who are passionate about their chosen profession.

#3. Cold Calling: Let your LinkedIn.com network know that you are on the market. Build a good rapport with a number of recruiters, and convince them to do a door knocking on your behalf for a win-win outcome for both.

#4. Job Boards: Creating an account with job portals/boards like

  • Glassdoor.com
  • US.jobs
  • CareerBuilder.com
  • TweetMyJobs.com
  • Google for more…

Upload your resumes to job portals and subscribe to the right groups in LinkedIn (e.g. Java users) where recruiters frequently post vacancies.

#5. Unpaid Work: Find a part-time volunteer work in IT. This has a number of benefits.

1. Some volunteer jobs will turn into paid jobs if you can impress the employer.
2. You may meet influential people, which otherwise not possible to get any leads into other companies.
3. You will gain some much needed hands-on experience in IT to add to your resume.
4. Shows that you are committed to your field, and has not been idle during your job hunting.

For example, building a website for a charity or community organization. Don’t over commit yourself, and just 2 to 3 days a week will do as your main focus should be on finding a paid job.

#6. Networking: Keep in touch with your former colleagues, bosses, and mentors via LinkedIn and other social media. When you are ready to change jobs, contact them. When trying your network, never come across as being desperate. Just seek career advise and inquire about their work as a casual chat over a meal or coffee, and try to sell yourself with your accomplishments. No body will give you a job  feeling sorry for you. You will only get  a job if someone believes in your ability.

#7. Software Houses: There are a number of software houses and consultancies that conduct comprehensive recruitment process throughout the year to attract the right candidates even when there are no immediate vacancies . They screen you first, and then contact you when vacancies arise. Even if you don’t get the job, going through their stringent recruitment process in itself a good experience to have. For example, Atlassian, Thoughtworks, Tyro Payments, etc.

Job hunting is a targeted numbers game

Job hunting in itself a full time job. The more quality resumes you send out, and more targeted your resumes are, and more avenues you tap into, the better chance you will have securing your next IT job.

Keep enhancing your CV with the tips provided here on the CVs section. Mostly the entry level developers struggle the most, and the best advice I can give is to focus more on gaining hands-on experience 2-3 days a week via self-taught projects (i.e. Get a GitHub account first), open source contributions via GitHub by submitting pull requests, and volunteer work in your field.

Nothing beats good hands-on experience & the right know-hows to impress your prospective employers and peers. When the opportunity knocks, you must be prepared to grab it with both hands.

You may also like:

1. My Top 5 career mistakes

2. An analytical approach to choose from multiple job offers

3. What motivates you as a software engineer?


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Arulkumaran Kumaraswamipillai
Mechanical Engineer to freelance Java developer within 3 years. Freelancing since 2003 for the major banks, telecoms, retail & government organizations. Attended 150+ Java job interviews, and most often got 3-6 job offers to choose from. Published Java/JEE books via Amazon.com in 2005, and sold 35K+ copies. Books are outdated and replaced with this online Java training. Join my LinkedIn group. 1,350+ paid memberships.

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