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Practical advice for your job search in 2017

Brendan O’Brien Partner, IT Recruiting

Another year has come and gone.  If you’re unhappy in your current job, vow to make 2017 a year of change.  Finding and landing your next great job can feel overwhelming, so start with the basics and work up from there.  Here is some practical advice to get started, and keep up with, the job search in 2017. 

Conduct an honest self-evaluation of your career and write out your short term and long term goals.  Yes, I said it. Write them down with a pen and paper.  Start with your six months, one year, two year and five year career plan.  Your goals will change over time and even though this is “old school”, it is the most important step. 

Update or create your resume and LinkedIn profile, making sure to highlight your significant accomplishments. Your resume and LinkedIn profile are two of your most powerful tools, but writing ones that produce results and accurately depict your career can be a difficult task.  There are tons of sources out there to help you.  (Get started with Hirewell’s tips for a great HR resume and IT resume.)  In 2017, LinkedIn is the world’s professional Facebook, but every employer will check both platforms before interviewing or hiring you, so make sure to clean both up.

Call a recruiter that specializes in your industry or segment of it.  Schedule a meeting to get a feel of how they work and what they can do for you.  Recruiters will always have access to the best career opportunities in the market, so work with one that is engaged in your industry, if you can.  Realize you are being interviewed by your recruiter from the first call or email through the accepting a job.  Be professional. Check out these additional tips on how to get the most out of working with recruiters

Network, Network, Network.  Find and join groups with people who specialize in your area of expertise.  MeetUp.com is a great place to start.  If you are looking to change careers or simply learn new technologies, these groups will put you in touch with industry experts who love collaborating and sharing their knowledge. Before you go, check out our advice on How to write a great Elevator Pitch!

Do your best to identify scalable career paths and skill sets.  Focus on finding careers which most employers in your area typically hire (i.e. software engineer, project manager, business analyst, designer).  No career opportunity is completely safe from economic or corporate downfalls, but having a skill set consistently in demand will ensure career stability over time. 

Follow these tips and you're sure to land more interviews. Then, check out Hirewell’s tips for effective interview preparation and How to prepare for a video interview.

Finally, take a look at our job board, and check back often for updates.  We fill jobs for some of the best, and fastest growing, companies in Chicago and the country. 

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