Looking for a Job in Silicon Valley?
Many exempt Engineering, IT, as well as high tech sales and marketing people at individual contributor and management levels, find that they look for jobs for varying reasons throughout their careers.
What's Wrong with Using a Recruiter to Find a Job?
The best strategy is to market yourself! One of the first impulses is to look for a recruiter who can represent you when looking for a new position. Unfortunately, most people who are looking for a new job don't understand that most internal recruiters, whether they be "contract" recruiters or internal employee recruiters, work for employers who want people with specific skill sets. These recruiters are specifically looking for key people with specific skill sets. The recruiters work for clients or employers who pay them. Candidates typically don't pay recruiters and as a consequence often don't command the focus of the recruiter necessary to represent them. Therefore, the thrust of this is to show you, the professional engineer, marketer, biotech research scientist, etc., how to market yourself, rather than relying on a recruiter who is focused on finding specific people for his/her client or employer. When you market yourself, you are in greater control of your future.
The basic strategy to market yourself is to utilize job boards, and to network yourself to the right people who can plug you into the right job or have the right job.
Here's how you do that...
Here is a listing of the top job boards in the country for posting your resume. They will give you the widest exposure to the greatest number of employers. Each of the sites has a resume section where you can post your resume free of cost. Each of them also has a place where you can look for openings amongst a large number of employers. As a candidate, there is no cost to search for jobs or post your resume. Several of them enable you to sort prospective jobs by location or job type, or other variables. Some even allow you to create an intelligent search agent which will work for you all the time, scouring the board for new openings that might make sense for you and notifying you when a new one is posted. For starters, if you are looking for a new opportunity, first post your resume. If you want to optimize your chances with any single job board, then you'll need to peruse the employers/job openings sections. Most of them are also filled with tips on how to get a job, enhance your resume, etc.
• CareerBuilder: http://www.careerbuilder.com - Closely linked with major newspaper classified advertising opportunities across the country. Also now includes Headhunter.net.
• DICE: http://www.dice.com - Best for contract vs. full time regular opportunities, primarily oriented to IT and SW Professionals
• Hotjobs: http://www.hotjobs.com - Claims to be the 2nd most popular career place on the Internet, and now owned by Yahoo!
• Monster Board: www.monster.com - Undisputedly, the most popular career portal on the Internet
Industry and Career Specific Job Boards
For every profession, such as Finance, there are also specific job boards which cater to your profession. Some of those for Finance include:
Posting your resume on these career specific boards is a good idea. If you want to know the specific career portals that deal with your discipline, you may wish to purchase the Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites by Peter Weddle or CareerXRoads by Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin. Both of these books contain annual reviews of hundreds of career portals.
Alternatively, AIRS, a leader in candidate sourcing technology and training, released its 3rd Annual Job Board & Recruiting Technology Directory and offers a free download via www.airsdirectory.com. Here you will be able to search by your discipline at no additional costs. A great resource for checking job board rankings and gathering statistics is Interbiznet, a Human Capital Consulting and Publishing Company, publishing three flagship newsletters daily. In our future updates we'll try to collect some of the names of specific sites categorized by industry or by discipline specifically for biotech experts, semiconductor professionals, networking/telecom, systems, internet, HR & Finance, etc.
Another location to place to put your resume so you can be "discovered" is to post a personal web page hosted by virtual communities like Angelfire, AT&T, Fortune City, Geocities, MSN Homepages, Tripod, and Xoom. Other places that host millions of personal web pages are ISP websites. These websites such as Earthlink, AOL, -and AT&T contain web pages of their members. Since most ISP's offer a free page with Internet access, people will usually take advantage of that. If you belong to any of these communities and are seriously looking for, and or are open to, job solicitations, and then post your resume on them in the section that hosts your homepage. The most likely method for anybody to get a job is via networking with the people you know. Attend trade shows, conferences, seminars and or training events. Use each of them as an opportunity to network with people with like skills and be sure to let them know you are available.
Look for this article on the Internet: "How Do I Find A Job When the Economy Sucks?" at http://www.jimstroud.com/ - It has great advice!
Attending job fairs should be another part of your strategy to finding the right position -- and there is no substitute for meeting someone from a prospective employer in person. If nothing else, once you identify that an employer has an appropriate opening for your career path, you can start with the people at the fair and do your best to find out how the appropriate hiring manager(s) is to work for. Ask the recruiter at the job fair for their phone number and when you can follow up, or ask to speak with the hiring manager. If a recruiter declines to give you a number, you will need to connect with someone else who can lead you to the right person, which can include a friend you know at the company, a call to somebody in marketing (they'll talk to anybody), or a call after 5:00 pm to security. When someone answers after 5, you can say you met the hiring manager at the job fair and lost their card. Ask them to transfer you to the right person, and lo and behold, you are off and running in identifying the right person!
Professional Events & Trade Shows
These are always good places to find many employers who look for people with your skills. Don't neglect attending them either to stay informed, to find out who's hiring and doing what's going on in your industry.
Finally, the key to all of the above is networking with 'birds of a feather' to learn of openings and to "advertise" your availability. Networking is about both who you know and what you do with who you know, have met or want to meet. Once you connect with the 'right' people, you should be able to accurately and concisely deliver a 30-40 second elevator pitch which says who you are, what you can do, and where you are going. If you get beyond the 30-40 seconds, try to set up an informational interview, which will allow you to exchange more information.
In future versions of this web page we'll tell you how to approach a company once you have identified an employer and / or hiring manager to set up an interview. Until then, happy hunting!
Thank You & Good Luck!