If you’re reading this blog you’re showing an interest in finding work within the technology sector. I myself have been using many methods over the past 17 years to find tech candidates for my clients and most of my search methods have been the same however times are changing so you need to adapt to the market and apply the following 10 steps to finding a job within the tech sector:
This would be the first option as this has proved most successful for candidates I talk with (and least stressful). If you have experience working within organisations, think back to the team’s and manager’s you worked with. Some of those individuals have moved on to new employers so reach out to them and ask if they have any hiring needs within their organisation or if they can recommend you to the hiring manager. People will only recommend you if they feel you have the required skills and are reliable. The last thing someone wants when recommending someone is to be let down by sickness or punctuality issues.
If you’re looking for your first job within IT I would suggest using your circle of friends and family to network. My suggestion would be to approach all family members to see if they can introduce you to the IT Manager within their company. You can use the same approach with your friends, just in case they are in the same situation as you (out of work) this may not be useful so try the RKA (Russell King Associates) facebook strategy. Pick 10 of your closest friends on Facebook and ask each of them for 2 names of professionals they can approach or you will approach. If they are not willing to provide names just look through their friends list and look for individuals who have their company name in their profile. Then approach the individual with a message.
A warm approach is by far better than a cold approach and people are more willing to help if they know they have a mutual connection.
Most companies pay a referral fee to staff for recommending someone to the company rather than paying a fee to a recruitment agency so remind people it is financially beneficial to them.
Look back at old school or university, football, scouts friends and ask them if they can open doors for you.
I would also suggest attending networking events, these are generally free and will give you an opportunity to get in front of employers and hand out your CV or business card. A really good event with over 200 companies attending is the IP Expo Europe. No better way to get yourself in front of so many clients all under one roof!
Google is king when it comes to search engine power. Search for the job title you are looking for however be creative with it don’t just search for one job title. For example, if you’re looking for a helpdesk role don’t just search for ‘helpdesk’ search for ‘1st line support’ or ‘1st level support’ or ‘technical support’. Every company has weird and wonderful titles so be creative when searching.
Google will show you relevant jobs from various different sources companies use like job boards, newspapers, social media, articles, events etc. I will explain in more detail which job boards to use however you should still consider those arriving from your Google search.
You will find all sorts of articles popping up within your searches, read through them as they may point you in the direction of companies you are not aware of.
3. CV UPLOAD TO JOB BOARDS
Upload your CV to as many job boards as possible as different clients and recruitment agencies use various different job boards. Popular tech job boards include: Jobserve, CW Jobs, Dice, Technojobs and IT Jobswatch. Do not think generalist job boards will not cater to the technology sector as they do and depending on the recruiter or the client this maybe the only job board they have access to. Popular generalist job boards include: Reed, Jobsite, CV Library, Total Jobs and Monster.
You will also want to upload your CV onto Indeed which adds as a job board aggregator to many job boards, recruitment agencies and clients. Take your time when uploading your profile and CV onto these job boards as recruiters and clients decline candidates who have spelling mistakes or grammatical errors on rushed profiles.
Recruiters use various search options when searching for a candidate and one of those options is candidates who have submitted their CV within the last 24 hours or 7 days. The reason recruiters search for this is because more than likely you are still looking for work. If you registered 3 months ago a recruiter may feel you would have found work by now so will not call you. So once you have registered with these job boards I would suggest updating them daily to ensure your CV is high up in the search for recruiters.
Clients and recruiters also search for candidate’s salary bandings, don’t be naïve and type in a salary banding which is £20k more than what you are currently on as a recruiter or client will feel there is no justification to call you. If you’re currently on £25k and looking for an increase, add that you are interested in jobs with salary bandings between £20-£30k and £30-£40k. The more flexible your profile becomes the more calls you will receive!
Location is another factor why you may not receive calls from recruiters and clients.
If you’re open to different locations I would advise setting up different profiles for each location, you are interested in. You have the option when registering your CV to state you are happy to re-locate however recruiters and clients will be dubious of someone re-locating as in my experience I have been let down many times. Recruiters search by post codes so ensure you are within a 30-mile radius of the key cities you are interested in working in.
Don’t think by registering your CV on job boards that you can sit back and receive lots of interest. Some recruiters and clients wont search for you and will only respond to if you apply for one of their job adverts (see point number 4 on tips).
4. APPLY FOR JOBS ON JOB BOARDS
Some job boards allow you to apply for jobs without you registering your CV and some allow you to apply with CV registration. You are actively looking for work so your CV should be fully uploaded (the only time you would not want to add your CV to a job board is if you are not actively looking and being very specific about the job you are looking for). So take time to search for jobs and remember to be creative with job titles and apply for jobs within current salary banding and higher (if you are able to show you can add value).
Applying for jobs with a lower salary expectation than what you are looking for is to ensure you have more opportunities available and also the salary on offer is what they ideally want to pay. I have seen on many occasions clients paying more for candidates if they add value to what they were initially looking for.
Another reason to apply for jobs with a lower salary expectation is because there may be a bonus, car allowance, educational grant involved. Focus on the role you are looking for and the location. No point in applying for a job which is 3 hours each way, yes it might pay the salary you want however you will soon be fed up with the commute.
Be realistic with your location, as if you go through the process for a role which is slightly out of reach and you end up declining the offer based on location you would have effectively wasted everyone’s time. I know it is tempting to apply for jobs that suit your skills that are slightly out of reach however in my experience candidates end up leaving these within the first 3-6 months of employment which causes more damage to your CV.
5. REGISTER WITH RECRUITMENT AGENCIES
Clients use recruitment agencies daily to source their staff as some clients don’t have the time to go through the process themselves. Ask friends and other connections of specialist technology recruitment agencies within the location you are looking for.
Don’t sign up to an agency who only specialise in information technology jobs in Manchester when you live in London. Recruitment agencies can have a bad reputation so do your research on who you want to represent you, check out Glassdoor and read reviews on companies. A good agency with plenty of clients will spend time wanting to know about you and if they feel you fit into their client’s culture they will represent you.
Again no point in registering with a digital technology agency when you’re looking for finance technology job. Try and find specialist agencies who fit your long term technology plans, as these agencies will stay in touch with you and keep you updated within the market of other roles and salary bandings.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE
Just having a CV is sometimes not enough anymore when searching for jobs as social media has taken over our everyday lives. If you’re not on social media you need to think about getting yourself on there as many clients and recruiters use this as a means to search for candidates and advertise their jobs.
The number one place to start is LinkedIn which I call the business world of Facebook. You add your profile to LinkedIn (pretty much your CV) with a photo and you are than accessible to 1000’s of clients and recruiters who are searching for candidates like you daily. You are also able to apply for jobs through LinkedIn. Some say LinkedIn has taken away the need for recruiters however cover your bases and ensure you follow all my steps to find your dream job.
If you have other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram please ensure these are set to privacy mode (ie no one can view your statuses without you accepting their invitation). Clients and recruiters look through social media sites to see photos, what you are doing and saying in the real world. If you have constant drunken photos, over opinionated comments and are complaining about the working world the client or recruiter will not be calling you for an interview! Go through your social media sites and clean up any posts or photos you feel may cause harm as it will only help you with your aim to finding your dream job.
7. SOCIAL MEDIA SEARCH
Companies and recruiters are posting jobs every second of the day on social media so start following them to be kept informed of the latest jobs. You can also search using hash tags on Twitter and Instagram ie #developerjobs this is a great way to apply for jobs which may not even be available on job boards. Most companies try and limit their advertising costs so social media offers them an opportunity to advertise for free.
LinkedIn has a dedicated page for companies and recruiters to advertise their jobs. If you love your apps there is a LinkedIn app as well as a LinkedIn jobs app. Within LinkedIn you can join groups which are relevant to your technical skill sets, I would highly recommend joining these as companies and recruiters advertise their jobs within these groups.
Snapchat has become the fastest growing social media platform where advertisers advertise products and even jobs, so set yourself up an account and look for jobs with companies your targeting (we have recently joined the fun app so check us out on Snapchat also – russellkinghq)
8. TARGET ORGANISATIONS AND APPLY DIRECTLY
Use sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor to find out things like culture and salaries within companies. Search LinkedIn for the skills you have and take note of other employees with similar skills and who they are working for. No better way to approach a company with the skills they require. Companies like direct approaches as they do not have to pay a recruitment agency fee so they are more inclined to want to talk to you.
Target the specific hiring manager ie if you’re looking for a java developer role aim to speak to the Java Manager or Development Manager. You should also aim for IT Director or Chief Technical Officer (CTO) as they know the shape of the IT department and if your skills will be needed in the near future. HR and Internal Recruitment teams (talent acquisition) have a major role to play within the recruitment of a company so search for these individuals on LinkedIn or sometimes these are on company websites.
It is very easy to work out an email addresses for a company, for example if you want to approach techjobslimited.com and the person you want to approach is Daisy Smith then there are a few different email options for example firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Feel free to phone reception and ask for an email address, 7 times out of ten they will provide you with one, some organisations have a zero tolerance to passing out email addresses of employees.
Once you have made a shortlist of companies and managers to approach, start sending them your CV with an overview of why you are approaching them.
9. LOCAL LISTINGS
Do not under estimate local listings like newspapers, council, job centre and gumtree.
Local companies want to use local listings as it helps keep their costs down, so you won’t see their listings on expensive job boards or with recruiters. Next time the postman drops in with the free paper take time to read through the local job listings (mine has about 15 jobs within IT). Most listings are from direct employers so if the job role does not match your skills, why not send them a speculative introduction.
Local council websites are also a good place to look for tech jobs, yes the pay will be low compared to main cities like London however the job roles will not be as competitive as they are looking for local candidates.
No one wants to sign on (well not everyone!) and you don’t need to in order to pop into your local job centre and review their job listings. You will find basic IT roles being advertised so if you’re at entry level stage within your career give it a shot!
Gumtree is probably the best option for local job listings (that’s right job listings). Most people associate Gumtree with selling second hand goods however they have a job section with over 150 IT jobs in London as we speak. There are clients and recruiters advertising on Gumtree so apply to both and compete with less competition as Gumtree is not commonly known as a go to site for tech jobs.
10. PICK UP THE PHONE
Phone and follow up on every application!
You may be thinking why do I need to phone when I have already emailed through my CV. Well I can tell you from first-hand experience working as a recruiter that sometimes you are juggling up to 10 jobs with multiple adverts so your inbox has over 250 applications.
As a recruiter we are searching for candidates we feel are suitable for the role so we will skip past those who we don’t feel suitable unless you call us and sell yourself. I have been called by candidates which initially I hadn’t considered them for only for them to sell themselves to me and after a few agreed tweaks to their CV I have submitted them to a job which initially I had skipped past them for.
Sometimes it is hard to get across on your CV your personality so a phone call to a recruiter or client will make a big difference to your application. Pick up the phone!
CONCLUSION (WELL THE END!)
There are 10 steps here I feel will help get you into work. Doing these 10 steps every day and I mean every day will only give you a better chance to getting interviews and providing you with the choice of company you want to work for. Looking for a job is a full time job so treat it like that and do a 9am-5pm shift on your laptop at home.
I call this the ‘10/7’ structure, follow these 10 steps every day and within 7 days you will have interviews lined up with offers to choose from.
If you would like any more information feel free to message us at firstname.lastname@example.org