The job-search techniques of techs
Finding work: All in 'who you know'
By Porter Anderson
(CNN) -- It's like death and taxes. In a survey of IT workers made by techies.com, "who you know" hangs in there as the most-frequently relied-on tool for job searching.
The techies.com site, considered one of the country's leading online water coolers for tech workers and employers, surveyed 1,606 tech professionals' on how they look for work.
And despite saying their best leads and results come from friends or co-workers or business associates, many of the respondents -- surveyed earlier this month -- told techies that they use a sort of suite of search tools when they're looking for work. Few said they put all their eggs into one basket.
"The most effective job-seekers," says Cynthia Morgan, vice president for content and executive producer at the Minnesota-based site, "use an average of 6.8 different employment resources when they search for jobs, combining online, networking and recruiter tools."
And as one respondent wrote, "Use your contacts. Never burn bridges, no matter how much you hate the job and the people. You always end up working with them somewhere and somehow."
On the other end of the job-search process, 35 percent of respondents to the techies.com survey said their last search had generated only one offer; 33 percent said they'd had two offers; 27 percent said they'd come up with three to five offers. Just five percent of the survey universe said they'd pulled in more than five offers.
In that cluster of job-search methods deployed, respondents said they choose from a group of 10 potential tools.
Online job boards
Corporate-site job listings
Local newspaper classified ads
Headhunters and placement agencies
On-site career fairs
Specialized career publications
Direct contact with potential employers
Posting resumes on career Web sites
"Thirty-six percent of techies in our survey," says Morgan, "cited personal networking as the single biggest reason they got their last tech job. Twenty-three percent gave that credit to online job searches and resumé posting. Headhunters placed third on the list at 19 percent."
Many careerists, and not just in the tech sector, are finding themselves thinking suddenly about job searches again. Announced airline layoffs -- on top of furloughs that by July had topped 1 million since January -- have left the United States' job market crowded with good talent looking for work.
And in techies.com's survey responses, you can read the effects of income and experience in the responses.
"Workers making more than $100,000 in yearly salary," says Morgan, "were, not surprisingly, more likely to rate headhunters more highly" than other job-search methods. "More than half of these technologists said they obtained their last job after sending out 10 or fewer resumes. Entry-level workers, not surprisingly, needed to send out many more."
Women responding to the techies.com survey were less likely to send out large numbers of resumes than men. Women also tended to rate online job boards higher in ease-of-use than men -- and women were more likely than their male cohorts to downgrade more face-to-face search methods (networking, direct company contact, live job fairs).
Survey respondents ranked on-site career fairs at the bottom of the list in effective job-search tools, only 5 percent of those asked saying that fairs or Web chat groups had landed them jobs.
"Saturation is the key," Morgan says respondents were saying. And among the tips left by techies for others in the study, she lists diversification of search tools, personal networking -- and patience.
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