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Current job market

Just wandering about the current job market for programmers.I was laid off in August,but can't seem to find any work up here in Toronto,Canada.Anybody else having similar experiences?I am finding just sending resumes to HR
doesn't seem to be having any affect.

Sumit Roy
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Context:  I haven't looked in the past couple of months, but I was laid off in January and had been looking pretty steadily until September.

The job market is still pretty tight.  I knew good Java programmers who simply couldn't find a job for months, and this is in a high-technology area (the Washington, D.C. area).

It's gotten better over the past year or so, so there are now jobs out there; it's just that the ones you find may not be great.  Better than flipping burgers, but not as good as what you might have commanded a couple of years ago.

Here's a secret:  Government clearance is worth its weight in platinum.

Brent P. Newhall
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

> I was laid off in August,but can't seem to find any work up here in Toronto,Canada.Anybody else having similar experiences?

Yes: most of my coworkers too were laid off in Toronto at the begining of September, and some of them haven't found new employers yet.

"Just sending resumes" isn't what people call "networking" ... the career counseling agency hired to advise people told us something you can also read about in _What Color Is Your Parachute_, i.e. that your job offer is more likely to come from a friend of a friend of a friend ... there's other advice out there too, e.g. if you research the company you're applying to then you may find someone there other than HR (eg a development manager).

Christopher Wells
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Yes,but I find it's hard to get the contact information of development managers etc...by researching companies.Sure you can get the names, but contact info is difficult to get

Sumit Roy
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

> Yes,but I find it's hard to get the contact information of development managers etc...by researching companies.

I imagine I might too. I haven't looked for a job in the last 10 years ... and I don't want to start while I'm still employed, because even looking for a job seems like full-time work in itself.

Still, "just sending resumes to HR" is widely warned against ... did you read __What Color Is Your Parachute_ (or similar respected book on the subject)?

> Sure you can get the names, but contact info is difficult to get

Once you have a name, maybe just phone and ask to talk to them: I get calls like that, e.g. from head-hunters who obtained my name from my ex-coworkers.

Christopher Wells
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

One thing i've found over and over, is that doing a REALLY good job can get you very far.  I've snagged my last two jobs by having old co-workers call me.  They remember me working really hard, putting in a little extra hours, (and not billing for them), and taking on some PM parts of the job when it wasn't my responsibility, etc.
  Another one of my co-workers who has quite bit more experiece uses the same tactic, and he is turning down recruiters daily.  (with $60+ an hour jobs).  I think the best advice I can give to someone is prove your worth, and make sure that the business people are happy.  You never know where that guy from marketing or that PM could be in a year, and if you make good impressions, your probably going to get remembered.

Vincent Marquez
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Also, tailoring your resume and cover letter to each employer will get you very far.  I was mildly surprised to read that hiring managers consider this very important.  The non-tailored submissions go into the slush pile.

Brent P. Newhall
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

I am still in school, and I know it is really really hard getting a job.

Keep at it, be enterprising, define your core-competence, at the same time upgrade your tech skills.

Prakash S
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

People I worked with made a yahoo group to keep in touch with each other, share job leads etc... among the impersonal leads, someone suggested one could attend http://www.microsoft.com/canada/technet/falltour. or http://msevents.microsoft.com/Events/CAN/ENG/Detail/ED102054297.asp free of cost ... the career counselor said that if you weren't social and outgoing before you were laid off, you should start now ... someone else said today there are more posts than ever on the tor.jobs and tor.jobs.offered newsgroups and that the Toronto IT job market is picking up: that it's a good time to start looking.

Christopher Wells
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

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