The dos and don'ts of IT job seeking

High-tech recruiter sheds light on how IT workers can help and hinder their job search with social networking sites.

Social networking sites offer IT job seekers the resources to find peers with similar skills and learn more about employers. But candidates should be aware that the online outlets also provide employees a glimpse into the personal lives of potential hires. That can be good or it can be very bad, according to Rona Borre, president and CEO of Instant Technology, an IT recruiting and staff augmentation firm in the US. Borre recently talked with Denise Dubie about how new technologies can boost or torpedo job searches.

As an IT recruiter for some 15 years, what do you think has changed the most for high-tech job seekers?

With today's unconventional recruiting methods such as social networking sites, there are so many ways now to really put yourself out there and get connected to people with the same interests as you. That has really changed the landscape of recruiting for IT talent.

How has it changed the process for recruiters?

It has allowed us to better match clients with candidates in a cultural way. We can search on Facebook and Google, for instance, and get just a glimpse or even deeper insight into their character. Interests outside of work such as music or art could lead an employer that is in a particular industry to one candidate over another. We can use social networking sites to find out more about an organization's culture as well. If employees are in clubs or groups listed online, that gives us a perspective on the people that already work there and helps us culturally match others.

What would be considered a bad cultural match?

If you look at dot-com companies that are very fast-paced and work long hours, and someone coming from a structured financial institution and is accustomed to working set hours, such as 9 am to 5 pm -- that is not a good cultural fit.

How can IT job seekers use those sites to find work?

A lot of candidates are going to sites and learning more about an organization and connecting with people that already work there to better understand the jobs and culture. For their own profiles, they should make sure the profile is well-written and tasteful. They need to display the work that could differentiate them as a candidate, such as interest in music, art, clubs or athletics. That type of information could give them the added boost with an employer and really make them stand out.

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Denise Dubie

Network World
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