If you’re a tech professional on the job hunt right now and you’re feeling pretty nervous about your chances amidst the coronavirus lockdowns, don’t be discouraged. Data from LinkedIn shows that job postings in the software and IT services space were only mildly impacted (only down 1%) – and jobs were actually up 4% year over year. The opportunity for you is out there, you just might have to switch up your job search tactics. We break down common misconceptions about job searching during the coronavirus crisis and tips for success below:
Misconception: “Nobody is hiring right now, so kicking up my job search efforts is pointless.”
Reality: Hiring for many companies is still in full swing, and even if they aren’t, recruiters still want to meet you.
While everyone is united under a collective feeling of uncertainty right now, job seekers especially are feeling the pressure. Economic impacts have been far-reaching and understanding the full picture is still very much a wait and see game. While many industries have been hit hard by the crisis, hiring in the IT space has seen, for the most part, minimal impacts.
Thinking back to the stat mentioned earlier, software and IT service job postings in March were up from last year. As companies across all industries adjust to a virtual world, IT skills are in high demand.
That said, it is true that some companies, even ones in the IT space, have slowed hiring out of caution. However, even if hiring is on pause, hiring managers still want to meet you! Use this time to research companies with projects and values you can get behind and then reach out to let them know you’re interested. They might not have the green light now, but when they do, they’ll be looking back at the resumes they receive today.
Misconception: “To better my chances of receiving a callback, I need to apply to as many positions as possible.”
Reality: Right now, the old adage quality over quantity matters more than ever before.
A few times a day, our team receives applications where it is clear that the candidate was on a mass-apply spree. If the position calls for a seasoned front-end developer but you strictly have data science gigs under your belt and almost no mention of front-end development on your resume, recruiters will wonder if you even bothered to read the first part of the job description. We understand why mass applying is tempting – the job search can be a long and tedious process, and after a week or so of no bites, it’s easy to feel discouraged. But when it comes to landing a great opportunity, the “numbers game” rarely pays off.
Instead, identify a few really solid job leads and take the time to tailor your resume, cover letter, or email pitch to the job description. This will take time, but will pay off more than sending a general resume to 20 different companies. Especially when you consider the fact that 75% of resumes are disqualified before a recruiter even sees them because they don’t include relevant keywords.
Wondering what else recruiters consider a red flag? One of our technical recruiters discusses mass applying and other job search no-nos here – check it out!
Misconception: “Contract or contact-to-hire positions won’t offer me the stability I’m looking for.”
Reality: Many companies are turning to contract talent for their open tech roles AND many technologists are beginning to prefer these opportunities.
Only applying to a few carefully selected positions does not mean you should develop a rigid list of job search criteria and disqualify positions that don’t perfectly measure up. While employers are still hiring, they’ve likely updated the positions to reflect the challenges that they’re facing. For example, maybe they need tech professionals to help navigate the challenges of a virtual workforce – in other words, there’s a chance you won’t work on super exciting projects right away, but they have big plans for the future once things calm down. You’ll also undoubtedly see an increase in contract or contract-to-hire IT positions out there as employers seek flexibility – don’t look past these. Contract positions were on the rise well before the coronavirus and are on their way to becoming the new normal in the tech space.
Employers aren’t the only ones realizing the benefits of contract or contract-to-hire arrangements – many tech professionals actually prefer these roles. Not only do contract opportunities provide more variation and give techies a broader depth of experience, but there are positions that provide the same benefits, PTO, and job security that permanent employees receive. At TriCom, our consultants receive 100% premium paid health insurance, 401(k) matches, and generous PTO.
Misconception: “IT recruiters don’t have my best interests in mind – they just care about filling seats.”
Reality: Quality IT recruiters will advocate for your success – they won’t stop until you find a position you can feel good about.
When we first meet with our candidates, a handful of them express that they were wary about partnering with a recruiting firm. After hearing stories about how some firms have treated them in the past, their concern is justified. TriCom, and other quality recruiting firms, are different. We care more about your happiness than we will ever care about simply “filling a seat.” We understand that if you’re not completely satisfied with the position, it’s only a matter of time before you look towards greener pastures – we do everything in our power to prevent this from happening. This means, we work individually with all our candidates to first understand what they’re looking for in a position before we throw a job description their way. We only recommend them for a role if we’re confident that their skills, wants, needs, and personality mesh with the open opportunity. Because of this, we like to think of ourselves as objective career consultants – a true sidekick in your job search journey.
While the job search looks a little different during the coronavirus crisis, don’t lose hope. By adjusting your mindset, following the best practices above and other tips we outline in our blog, you’ll be well on your way to landing a great opportunity.