Help Still WantedBy Kathleen A. Martin | Posted 2009-02-06 Email Print
Despite the loss of tens of thousands of IT jobs in the last month, there are still thousands of well-paying positions available. Here are a few tips for finding the right position in down times.
This week, Cisco Systems announced a work force reduction of up to 2,000 employees. Panasonic is eliminating 15,000 positions worldwide. Intel is slashing 6,000 jobs. And Microsoft is executing its first-ever layoff, affecting more than 5,000 full-time employees.
With all of the announced layoffs, are there any jobs left? Yes, according to Tom Silver, vice president and chief marketing officer at Dice.com.
"We currently have approximately 57,000 job postings. While this is down about 35 percent from last year at the same time, there are jobs available."
According to the Dice Report, more than 22,000 contract and 38,000 full-time positions were available in January with more than 7,000 of these jobs available in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
Dice focuses on jobs for the technology sector. While the overall unemployment rate is around 7.2 percent, there’s a silver lining in that the tech sector is around 3.5 percent.
Now, not every position Dice has is in the United States. Tom pointed to positions for a network engineer needed by a defense contractor in Antarctica. They also have an opening for developers skilled in Genesys CTI located in Istanbul. If this is too much of a commute, the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas is looking for distributed application developers. "With the Fed being in the center of efforts to spur an economic recovery, this job represents a chance to be part of a team whose work will impact life far beyond the IT department," explained Tom.
There are three key points to remaining relevant in your current position and poised for your next job:
Review your skills
A skill assessment is very important. Spend some time reviewing what skills are in demand and then look at your skills to see how they match up. If you find you are lacking in skills, it’s time to head off for your local training and certification courses. Now is also the time to focus on the basics. While you may have a wealth of experience on a little known technology, that may not mean as much to your employer as a portfolio of skills on current and trusted technologies.
Degrees & Certification
While a position may say "degree required," don’t skip applying just because you don’t have some college sheepskin. The right skill set is often more important than a college degree. According to the January 2009 Dice Report, the top three technical skills requested are Windows operating systems, Oracle databases and C, C++, C# programming languages. Remember, Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Steve Jobs are all college dropouts. What they did bring to the table were real life skills, on -the-job experience and a drive for success.
Update Your Resume
Keeping your resume updated is crucial. You should refresh your resume every time you change projects or roles at your current employeer. The best defense is always a great offense, meaning it’s easier to find the next job if you are prepared. If you have not built a resume in a few years and do not know where to start, it’s worth the investment to hire a reputable resume service. Then you need to post this resume before you need a job. "Over 80 percent of employers search our resume database before posting jobs, these are jobs that are never posted," explained Tom.
In this economy, no one can prevent the surge of job reductions, but you can make a layoff less stressful if you are ready and aware of what jobs are available.
Kathleen Martin is the special projects coordinator at Channel Insider.