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Advice for the Unemployed

By Phil Factor,

How would you advise IT people who are unemployed, and want to get back into paid work? We all have definite opinions, based on our own experiences. Yours will be different from mine; but that's great; let's hear them.

This is the advice I usually give:

  • The first thing is to put the circumstances of your unemployment out of your mind and reckon on your unemployment being a gift, to enable you to catch up with the technology, and broaden your experiences. It is part of life. Keep busy.
  • Get your CV up-to-date and completely accurate, and work on it until it positively glows. Then get it re-written by a professional. The cost will be one of your best investments ever.
  • Get your CV out to the main internet sites used by the agencies. If you don't know them, phone up agencies to find out. Don't worry that you're putting your CV out in too many places, but keep a note of where they are and update them when necessary.
  • Get your CV out to the HR departments of all potential employers within commuting distance, with a covering letter.
  • Get training in interview skills. IT people seldom do the right thing instinctively in interviews
  • Learn as much as you can about your area of technology from the range of free resources on the internet. Explore different learning strategies. I find I learn best by doing things, and maybe writing about them.
  • Volunteer for unpaid work, using your existing area of expertise. Volunteer programmers, website designers, and DBAs are in great demand for charitable organisations. It will keep your existing skills honed. Try to get work that broadens your skills base. You may even get expenses. Add a mention of this work to your CV.
  • If you fail to get a job at interview, just shrug and tell yourself it would never have worked out anyway. Chalk up the experience as good practice to hone your interviewing skills.
  • Don't be thrown if you take time to get a paid job. Somehow, it comes out of the blue, often when you least expect it. Luck pays its part, but the more you do, the luckier you get.
  • When an employment agent phones you up, always be pleasant and chatty, even if you know they're just 'fishing' for CVs and information. You can pick up useful information about the job market from them, whilst giving little away.
  • Don't be afraid of taking on contract work or short-term work. If you give satisfactory service, it can last for many years.
  • If you are an IT Manager, it pays to reinforce your technical skills as well as sharpening your knowlege of management issues. There always seem to be jobs for people with niche technical skills.
  • Get a good accountant to help with your personal finances.

OK. That's it. Have I left anything out, or got anything wrong? If so, let's hear from you.


Phil Factor
Total article views: 201 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
 
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