Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Job Search

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to job searching.

5 Requests Recruiters Might Have that Seem Odd or Intrusive, But Actually Make Sense

5 Requests Recruiters Might Have that Seem Odd or Intrusive, But Actually Make Sense

If you’ve been an IT contractor for long enough, then you’ve almost certainly connected with one or two recruiters who are… special. They don’t have a clue about your role, their role, or anything that’s going on. Other times, you work with a recruiter who is on the right track and then suddenly, they ask for something completely off-the-wall.  Where do these people come from?

Yes, some recruiters are a lost cause and hopefully they’re far and few between in your job search. But usually, when a recruiter requests something from you that is obscure or a little too intrusive, there’s a valid reason. Here are explanations for some requests that make IT contractors scratch their heads, but are actually an important part of the recruiting process:

They Ask for Your ID

You’re obviously of legal age and this gig does not require you to drive anywhere, so why is this recruiter asking for a copy of your drivers’ license? Sure, if you get the job and a security check is required, you’ll pass along that information, but you’re only just meeting for the first time!

Candidate fraud is a real and serious issue in the IT contracting space. Candidates will purchase a prefabricated resume filled with impressive projects, but when they start working, it’s clear they have absolutely no experience. Recruiters will often start by verifying your ID to ensure you are who you say you are and live where you say you live. When you arrive for an interview, they will also make sure they’re talking to the same person who appears on that ID.

They Ask Extremely Basic Technical Questions

You’ve almost definitely arrived in an interview only to be asked the most junior-level questions possible, making you scratch your head and wonder if the recruiter even knows how to turn on a computer. How can they possibly evaluate your abilities if they can’t pronounce the terminology?

Depending on the agency, some recruiters work on a variety of roles across different disciplines and industries. It would be impossible to understand all of them and, at this stage of the process, they really don’t need to. The recruiter is ensuring that you can discuss your resume and expand on projects (again, checking for candidate fraud), plus they are gaining an understanding of other softer skills. If you proceed to the next stage, then the client will have a technical person from their team dig deeper into those skills.

Recruiters asking basic technical questions can also be a very positive sign about their professionalism and who they are as a person. They genuinely want to learn more from you and understand the intricacies about your role. If you answer this recruiter’s basic questions today, you’ll have an entirely different conversation with them when you’re looking for your next contract.

They Ask for a Word Version of Your Resume

It’s common that IT contractors submit their resume in PDF format for security purposes. You thought carefully about how you want to represent yourself on paper and you don’ want anybody editing it to misrepresent you. Still, a recruiter comes back and asks you for a Word document. They must have ulterior motives!

Yes, very often the recruiter is asking for a Word document because they need to edit your resume, but not in that concerning way. Some clients will have strict requirements about the format in which they want your resume and what can be included on it. For example, to ensure a fair evaluation, they ask that some identifying information is omitted including names and contact information. If you really want to keep your resume in a PDF format, ask the recruiter if you can make those specific edits yourself and resubmit the PDF version of your resume.

In other cases, clients want to receive resumes in Word format so they can be evaluated and stored properly within their own internal tools. The client likely has experienced too many issues with their systems not reading PDF documents properly, so to minimize issues, they request a consistent format.

They Ask What Other Jobs You’ve Applied To

How is that any of the recruiter’s business?

The recruiter might just be starting friendly conversation to learn more about you and what kind of interests you have. More importantly, though, the recruiter is eliminating any risk of a double-submission.

Clients who work with multiple staffing agencies often include a strict policy about duplicate submissions. If two agencies submit the same candidate for a role, rather than fight out who gets rights to the original submission, the evaluator will eliminate both. So, it may seem that a recruiter is prying into your personal business by asking in-depth questions about applications with other agencies, but they’re actually ensuring your application with them isn’t immediately thrown out by the client (in addition to your application with another agency).

They Ask You Not to Talk to Clients

We occasionally get feedback from IT contractors who feel staffing agencies are a needless ‘middleman’ and that business could get done faster if the contractor could just connect with the client directly. Yes, that might be true if your position was the only IT contract the client has open, but Eagle’s clients tend to have more going on. It’s more efficient for them to only have conversations with a few select staffing agencies, rather than have direct communications and negotiate with hundreds of IT contract applicants at any one time. In fact, by contacting the client directly, you might be frustrating them and jeopardizing your chances of getting hired.

If you’re a seasoned veteran of the technology contracting space, these questions are probably just the tip of the iceberg for weird things recruiters have asked of you. We’d love to hear what else has made you scratch your head. Leave it in the comments and we’ll let you know if there’s a logical reason or a red flag.

Is it Possible to Land a Programming Job Without a Degree?

In short, yes, it is possible to build a programming career without any sort of formal education, but it’s far from an easy feat!

Jessica Chan’s Coder Coder YouTube page is filled with short clips plus longer training videos dedicated to helping you learn to code without having to go to school, but her video below proves not just anyone can make it on this path.

Chan’s personal story about her journey to becoming a senior programmer with no Computer Science degree is inspiring, and does not hide the challenges that were involved. She was required to do a lot of extra work and learning on her own time, plus she needed an abundance of drive, determination and humility. She also battled through imposture syndrome and was fortunate to be hired by a strong leader who was willing to give her a chance.

If you’re considering a career change into programming but hoping to avoid formal education, here’s a look at what you can expect.

When a Recruiter Calls and the Job Isn’t for You, Always Give a Referral

When a Recruiter Calls and the Job Isn't for You, Always Give a Referral

Graeme Bakker By Graeme Bakker,
Director, Delivery Strategy & Development at Eagle

Very often, if you receive a call from a recruiter about a job opportunity and you let them know it’s not for you, their immediate follow-up question will be to ask if you know anybody who might be a good fit. Do you put much thought into your response, or is your immediate reaction to turn them down and hang-up?

Referring talented people in your network is only be a good thing. Afterall, networking and word-of-mouth reputation is one of the primary ways the industry builds itself and perhaps the best tool you have to build a solid pipeline of job opportunities. There have been many times in my career where a referral from myself turned into a business opportunity for others just based on good networking and positive references. Here are three of the benefits you can get just by passing on a talented person’s contact information:

It Demonstrates and Builds Your Knowledge

Being able to guide a recruiter towards talented individuals displays to them that you not only know your own job, but you truly understand differing positions and roles in the IT space. As an added bonus, you gain more knowledge about what is being sought out in your industry. These discussions with recruiters let you ask questions and dig deeper into types of clients and projects. Maybe after a couple calls along these lines, you’ll pick up on a skill that is becoming ever hotter on the market. Calls like this lead to more positives in your knowledge of which clients are hiring and what skills and positions they are hiring for.

It Builds Your Network with Recruiters

It’s how our industry thrives! When you provide a reference, you’ll be helping somebody in your professional network AND making a strong connection with a recruiter. When that recruiter calls your talented referral and sees that they’re the real deal, they will pick up that you know what you are talking about and trust will continue to build. Now they will quickly come back to you when a role that better fits your skill set comes across their desk. They will also mention to their colleagues that you’re a smart person on the market, so your name gets out there even more. As an IT contractor, networking is invaluable.

It Expands Your Professional Reputation

When you’re regularly helping your talented colleagues land new gigs, you build up your professional network with confident, intelligent and hard workers in your industry. In the future, if you want to lead projects on a management or architectural/developer side, it will be good to know of people that can do a wide range of skills in all roles of your industry. Having them in your network as an acquaintance or colleague is great, but if you’ve also helped them land a job in the past because you referred them to a recruiter, it bolsters your reputation as an individual who respects competent work.

When a recruiter calls, if you’re able to give something to them while they are trying to give something to you, your relationship will skyrocket and you’ll reap the rewards. More importantly, when you make it a habit, your own knowledge, network and reputation improve exponentially, and as a result, more doors will open.

A Consultant’s Guide to Sourcing Remote Work

Brianne Risley By Brianne Risley,
Director, Delivery Strategy & Development at Eagle

Chances are in the past year, you or someone you know has faced the prospect of a job search in a mostly 100% remote work world. What can you expect from companies when they ask for remote workers? In this article, we will cover some of the major job trends we have seen in remote work hiring, and techniques to find and secure remote jobs.

At Eagle, we have the privilege of supporting hundreds of clients across Canada who have largely transitioned to hiring remote workers for IT project teams. Here are the top trends we have compiled about their hiring activity.

Rates have equalized across Canada. Pre-COVID, there were geographical pockets in Canada where rates were high due to IT worker scarcity. Now that all of Canada has been opened as a potential candidate pool for remote work, rates in markets like Saskatchewan and Alberta, which were traditionally 10 – 20% higher than other regions, have dropped to be in line with Ontario and BC markets which were typically lower. A key point to mention is IT consultant rates have not eroded drastically with the advent of remote work – for instance we do not have requirements for Senior Program Managers at $50/Hour. There remains a healthy up-take of resources in the market, and base-line rates have remained quite stable.

Certifications are a must. There is a convergence of factors at play behind the importance of certifications. Now that candidates are not being interviewed face-to-face, and recruiters can draw from candidates across Canada, employers see certified candidates as a key differentiator for Candidate quality. For the time being, hiring has moved away from “certification is nice-to-have, or equivalent experience…” If a certification will help, it is often required. Popular certifications include: Cloud (AWS, GCP, Azure), SaaS (Salesforce, ServiceNow, etc), PROSCI, and PMP.

Devices are provided. Our biggest remote hiring clients have wings of their SCM team devoted to compiling and shipping you work-from-home equipment. You will still need a devoted, permanent workspace, but the configured technology makes your transition to the environment easier. Remote training and onboarding is still largely in progress with most firms, so do expect a few bumps in your schedule or days filled with cumbersome conference calls when coming up-to-speed at a new company.

Increased Security checks. Similar to the certifications, increased security checks like credit, criminal, Federal Government, and background checks are more frequently asked for sooner in the hiring process. Be prepared to have some clients ask you to pay for several security checks before you receive your formal employment offer. Have your references ready early – this is another common way to vet your candidacy and skill strength outside of a face-to-face meeting.

Sourcing Remote Work Jobs – where can you find the best remote work jobs?

On job boards, do not search by location. Job boards like Linkedin, Monster, and Indeed have contract postings tied to cities, however if you leave the city blank and simply type “Remote” as a keyword, you will be rewarded with a long list of 100% remote jobs in your chosen field. Eagle’s website has been optimized to pull up remote roles in exactly this way.

If On-Site is required, it is explicitly mentioned in the Job description. If nothing is mentioned, assume Remote Work is OK. Well over 70% of our openings right now are 100% remote, so if it is fair to say that if you do not see any information on remote work in a posting, it is likely remote. Do apply. It is more common that we will specify “On-site required” in a posting because physical presence at a worksite is now outside of the norm. When in doubt, please do call or email your recruiter. We can clarify.

The Transition Back: We will not be remote forever. Some of our biggest clients have projected a return-to-work date of anywhere between July to September 2021. Be mindful of this when searching for work. In the interview, make sure you are open to returning to the office when it is deemed necessary. That may not be on your radar right away, but it is important to show the openness in the interview. Remember you are competing against candidates across Canada for the best remote positions – your willingness to do on-site work at a far-future time may be what clinches you the role you want now.

Finding and clinching remote work can be a challenging task, but with a bit of planning around rate and search techniques it is very achievable. I hope these tips help in your next job search.

Announcing: Eagle Tech Talks… a Podcast!

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President Strategic Accounts & Client Solutions, Western Canada at Ea
gle

Eagle Tech TalksBack in the Spring, when COVID first made itself felt, things really slowed down for the staffing industry. Eagle was fortunate, being specialized in IT, as most projects were not cancelled, only new work was put on hold. That said, our clients were inwardly focused trying to figure out how to move everyone so they could work from home, how to run their business and projects when everyone was remote, etc. As things were slower for me, I picked up a project that had been “gathering dust” for some time — building new technology training for the team. I settled on creating a series of interviews with IT practitioners, thought-leaders, and SMEs to discuss technology, roles, and/or strategies with the people who are actually “living it”.

I began conducting interview-style sessions and recording with Eagle’s team as the audience. These were so well received we thought that we would convert them into a podcast open to anyone who would like to learn more about these topics.

We are just now doing an official Launch of the Podcast and I’d like to invite any readers of Eagle’s TDC to check it out and listen to an episode or two should they be interested! I’m the furthest thing away from being a professional interviewer; however, the people that I speak with are the real deal! They are real people, sharing real stories and insights, about their real-world professions. We don’t get down “into the weeds” too much and keep the conversations fairly high-level, meaning it’s great to get a sense of what makes that technology/IT role/strategy “tick”!

Perhaps you know some young people who are considering IT as a career. I encourage you to share the podcast with them so that they can learn of the wide breadth of roles available under the umbrella that is Information Technology.

I hope you take the time to check it out. Some of my guests may well be colleagues that you know from the industry! You can find all of the podcast episodes wherever you listen to podcasts (a few links are below). And, if you are a thought-leader yourself and are interested in being considered for a guest SME on the podcast… reach out to me directly! I’d love to discuss it further with you.

Subscribe to Eagle Tech Talks:

Landing an IT Contract with a New Recruiter

Landing an IT Contract with a New Recruiter

You’re scrolling through your favourite job board looking for your next contract, when you come across the perfect opportunity. The requirements mirror your skillset, you have plenty of experience in that industry and it’s scheduled to start right when your current contract is ending. But, as you double-check who posted it, this job is through a staffing agency you’ve never heard of before. After confirming with the recruiters who you know at other agencies, it’s certain, this job is only available through an unknown recruitment agency. How can you still guarantee a good shot at it?

Don’t Hesitate — Apply to the Job

If there’s any chance you might want to work on this contract (and you know you’re qualified), then apply to it. The recruiting world moves quickly and jobs close within days, sometimes hours, so you want your name in front of the recruiter as soon as possible. That being said, check the date the job was posted. If it’s been up for a couple weeks, it can either mean that the job has been filled OR the recruiter is struggling to fill it and you’re going to be their saviour. Either way, it’s good intelligence for the upcoming steps.

Also look carefully through the posting to see if there’s any reference to an individual recruiter who’s working on the role or direct contract information to learn more about the job. Finally, take note of the Job ID and the exact job title. These will be important for referencing the job in your upcoming conversation with the recruiter.

Do Some Research

Make no mistake, your upcoming conversation with the recruiter is going to be a sales call for your business, so prepare as any good sales person would before making a cold call. One of the first steps a sales professional will go through is researching the prospect.

Start by looking up the staffing agency. Check out their website, online reviews (ex. Google, Indeed, Glassdoor) and LinkedIn. Does this appear to be an organization who you want to do business with? Check if they appear to be ethical, if other contractors are satisfied with them, and whether they have many similar opportunities or if this job is a one-off.

Next, look-up a few of their recruiters on LinkedIn. If you have a name related to this specific job, even better, but if not, just find two or three who might be working on this job. Look for contact information, see if you have similar contacts in your network, and learn a couple tidbits of information about them.

Finally, conduct a few informal references. Although there are hundreds of recruitment agencies, the industry is still fairly close-knit. Between other recruiters and IT contractors in your network, somebody is sure to have worked with this recruitment agency before. Find out who and ask about their experience. Even better, see if somebody can give you an introduction to a recruiter.

Make that Cold Call

Now that you’ve applied to the job and armed yourself with the right information, it’s time to make that phone call, even if you still don’t know who you’re calling. Here are a few tips for a successful cold call with a recruiter:

  • Be prepared to speak with a receptionist first. If you don’t have a contact name, have the Job ID and job title ready so they can connect you with the right person.
  • Get the recruiter’s contact info. Before the receptionist transfers you, confirm the name, extension and email address of the recruiter they’re about to send you to. If they don’t answer their phone, you can now follow-up with them directly.
  • Provide a quick introduction. Grab the recruiter’s attention by telling them a bit about yourself, and more importantly, how you will help them. Tell them quickly which job you’re interested in, that you’ve applied, and why you qualify. There’s a chance the recruiter hasn’t even looked at applications yet because they started talking with professionals in their own network. You need to make sure they know that you’re the best option.
  • Be prepared for an interview. The recruiter might want to learn more about you right away, so make sure you’re ready for a phone interview if it turns into that.
  • Or be prepared to schedule a follow-up call. In other cases, the recruiter will want to schedule a follow-up call for when they have more time to chat.
  • Remember the Job might already be filled. If the recruiter brushes you off, telling you the job is already closed, don’t end the call quite yet. Dig for information about similar jobs in the future and how you can be considered right away. Make sure the recruiter knows who you are and the skills you possess.
  • Send a follow-up email. Finally, regardless of the outcome of the call, send a follow-up email, including your resume and contact information. Especially if you have a good feeling about this recruiter and staffing agency, you’ll want to keep this relationship growing.

Everybody needs to cold call a new recruiter sometimes, whether you’re starting your career and trying to build a name for yourself in the IT contracting world or you’re an experienced professional who needs to start working with a new staffing agency. Hopefully these tips will help you get there quickly and effectively, easily landing you that job and a new relationship for future IT contract opportunities.

How to Make Sure You’re Paid on Time

How to Make Sure You're Paid on Time

Of all of the benefits of IT contracting, a steady and reliable pay cheque is not at the top of the list. Work is not guaranteed and you always have to set cash aside for the slow periods. Even when you do have a gig, all independent contractors have a story about payments arriving late which can have a ripple effect on your life.

Especially if you’re set-up as an incorporated business, you have a responsibility as the supplier of services to provide the proper requirements and paperwork to the client before they’re obligated to make payment. There is no employer/employee relationship that mandates you receive your pay cheque on time. Here are a few tips to help make sure your money gets to you when you need it:

Get Set-Up and Understand the Process as Soon as Possible

As soon as your new contract is signed, scour the documentation and ask your recruiter questions about how their payment process works. Every staffing agency has unique processes so don’t assume it will be the same as your last gig. As soon as possible, be sure to send over all of the documentation they ask for, such as EFT information and business details. Submitting this at the last-may hold-up your first payment.

Respect Deadlines

Don’t just get your EFT information submitted on time, but ensure your approved timesheets are always submitted on time throughout the entire contract. Know the deadlines for each period and set reminders in your calendar so you can complete the documentation as necessary. Since each client will have different requirements, some timesheets will need more detail and, therefore, a time commitment from you. Build that into your planning.

Follow-Up with Your Approver

This is the part of the process where you have less control but you can still take some ownership. When you notice your timesheet has not been approved and the deadlines are looming, give the approver a nudge. It may have gone to spam or there might be a discrepancy they’ve been meaning to discuss with you. Either way, when deadlines are missed and your pay doesn’t arrive, pointing blame back to the approver won’t bring your money to you any faster.

Pay Attention to the Detail on Your Invoices

Going back to point number one, understand what your staffing agency has to see on your invoice before making a payment. Perhaps its detailed timeframes or explanations of projects. If you’re charging HST, the proper HST number must be included. It would suck not to receive timely payment simply because your invoice was missing a line that would have taken you a minute to include.

Ask Around About Your Agency

Let’s back-up to before you even accept a placement. Did you reference check your new recruitment agency? Surely your network will have a few other contractors who have worked with this company in the past, so ask them those important questions, including information about their time entry process and reliability for payments.

There are plenty of ways the time-entry, invoicing and payment process can go off the rails when you’re on contract, but the five tips above are the most common preventative measures you can take. Throughout your placement, continue following-up and asking questions to ensure things are running smoothly, and hold the staffing agency accountable if they do miss payment at no fault of yours. Finally, take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Accounting software, calendar apps, reminders, the client’s timesheet system — all of these tools combined will help you get your time submitted quickly and properly, and ultimately, paid on time.

Review of the Top 25 Job Search and Contracting Tips You Might Have Missed

2020 will go down in history as an unpredictable year, full of surprises and learning experiences that, although often stressful, will make us all better people in the end. The holidays are a great time to look back and reflect on the last year — What went well? What could have gone better? How will it be better next year?

The Talent Development Centre had 145 new posts over 2020, including job market updates, quick polls and some excellent tips and tricks from industry experts. Many of those posts were packed with valuable knowledge and were well received, so we want to make sure you saw them. Here’s a collection of the top-viewed informational posts from 2020:

COVID-19 Support

There’s no ignoring the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic defined 2020. When it hit, Eagle was quick to gather as much information as we could regarding government support to help IT contractors navigate the fast-changing updates. Over the following months, we provided some additional articles for coping, as well as uplifting success stories, all of which are still very relevant today:

IT Contracting

Even the most seasoned IT contractors continue to learn the ins and outs of the independent contracting world. It can be complex and, like everything else in today’s reality, it’s always changing. These articles were among the most popular guidance we provided to IT contractors in the past year:

Working with Recruiters

A natural part of being a successful IT contractor is building great relationships with recruiters to leverage your network and gain more access to jobs. Here are the top tips on that topic:

Job Interviews

There are many steps in a job search, but it turns out the area our readers were most interested in learning about in 2020 were job interviews. Specifically, these posts were most popular:

Other Job Search Posts

In addition to interviews-related articles, here are a few other job search tips and tricks that hundreds of contractors grabbed knowledge from this year:

Personal Development

Finally, whether it’s professional skills or soft skills, helping yourself become a better person is not only beneficial for your career, but your personal life as well. Here are a few posts we published in 2020 that help you add new lines to your resume, or just become a better individual to work with:

What was your favourite post in 2020? Is there a topic you would like to see more of? Please share your feedback with us so we can continue to provide the best resources that IT contractors need to be successful.

6 Tips for Staying Patient in Your IT Job Search, at Work or Pretty Much Anywhere in Life

6 Tips for Staying Patient in Your IT Job Search, at Work or Pretty Much Anywhere in Life

There’s a common saying “Patience is when you’re supposed to get mad, but you choose to understand.” As our lives get busier and stress rises, this couldn’t be more important. We interact with people every day in both our work and personal lives, and some of them are… well… unique. As much as some individuals make your head want to explode, how you deal with them, specifically the patience you show them, defines your character and can have an extreme impact on your career.

As an IT contractor, your patience is tested every day of your professional life. Just looking for new gigs and waiting to hear back from clients or recruiters requires patience, and trying to explain your background and experience to some of them can be a complete other challenge. While on contract, you need to wait on team members to deliver parts of a project, help others understand concepts that seem basic to you, and stand by for client direction or feedback.

Yes, there is no shortage of opportunities to pull your hair out. But a lack of patience builds up more stress than necessary, rushes things that shouldn’t be rushed and, most harmfully, ruins relationships. Strong relationships are not just a necessary component to mental health. Professional connections with people who admire your character and approach to working under pressure are a key component to finding new job opportunities and succeeding in your current role.

So how can we foster patience and develop a reputation as that cool and collective colleague? We checked-in with some experts and scoured the research, and here are our six favourite tips:

  1. Know what you can control. There’s no use losing sleep, getting angry, or trying to rush along a process that simply isn’t going to go faster. Understanding when to move onto something else and accepting reality is the first step in being patience and reducing stress.
  2. Understand how important it is. And when it is a situation you could potentially control or hurry along, is it really worth it in the big picture? There’s only so much capacity we have for worrying so letting go of the less important items gives you patience for the more relevant matters.
  3. Take a break. Whether it’s a walk around the block, a phone call to friend, a healthy snack or meditation, take a few minutes to pause and breath. Clearing your mind allows you to gain a new perspective and consider the first two points above (is it in your control or even important?).
  4. Accept the situation. “It is what it is.” A saying that drives some people nuts but is also incredibly true. Things are taking longer than expected and you might have to jump through more hoops to get them done, but nothing will change that. Roll-up your sleeves, jump in, and do it.
  5. Befriend the situation. Better yet, don’t just accept it, embrace your circumstances. Take on the challenge and remember that you will be a better person. Whether you’re waiting for that slow colleague to finish a deliverable or coming up with unique ways to find your next gig, you will learn something if you allow yourself to.
  6. Be aware of your feelings. It’s alright to be angry and frustrated. We’re human and those emotions are natural, especially when stress is building up. Recognizing those feelings, though, is your first step to controlling them and moving them away. Or consider removing yourself completely until you’ve regained your patience (see tip #3)

Patience certainly is a virtue and we can all use more of it. It lowers stress levels, improves team dynamics, increases productivity and, above all, builds relationships. How do you manage your patience when you’re on the brink of exploding?

You’re Coming Off a Long-Term IT Contract… What Now?

You're Coming Off a Long-Term IT Contract… What Now?

Graeme Bakker By Graeme Bakker,
Director, Delivery Strategy & Development at Eagle

There’s nothing better than getting into a groove with the right client on the right project. The work is exciting, the team is fantastic and the pay isn’t so bad either. As you build relationships and get deeper into the project, your client is thrilled to extend your contract a few times, and before you know it, this has been your main gig for a few years. But alas, all good things must come to an end. The project is complete and as much as the client would love to reassign you, there just isn’t much going on right now. Suddenly, you find yourself back on the market.

Here are a few tips if you’re finding yourself job searching, or plan to be soon, and haven’t been in these shoes for a while:

  • Be proactive. If you are coming off of a lengthy contract, make sure to get ahead of your search and give yourself plenty of time before the current contract runs out.
  • If you take break, do it with caution. Many senior consultants will tell me that they are not worried about taking a couple months off if they can’t find something right away. This is not a good move as the majority of the time those couple months can add up to more time than you are comfortable with. In today’s market, it is never a bad idea to always have ‘irons in the fire.’
  • It’s going to be work, and you should be prepared for that. The market is always changing and what was in-demand and trendy might not be the way of the world since you were last looking for a role. You might have to interview more than once and the first role you interview for might not go through. Be prepared to do some work on your resume, put the ego aside and get all the information you can from your recruiter.
  • Stay connected. Speak with a recruiter (and continue to do so on all your contracts) so that you can keep your ear to the ground and are aware of what to expect since you were last interviewing. Staying up to date on the market trends throughout all your contracts is a good way to stay educated on what is expected for the next job.
  • Network! If you are not still doing this, it would be a good time to get back into networking events to put yourself out there and start to get used to selling yourself and your skills again. This will allow you to work out the interview muscles and get used to being forward about your accomplishments.
  • Be open to permanent roles. You might have been on the contract for quite a while and enjoyed the stability. In the current landscape and market we are in now, permanent roles are surfacing more and more. Be open to all opportunities, you never know.

Being back on the market after a long IT contract can be daunting and nerve-wracking. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Reach out to your favourite tech recruiter and I guarantee they’ll be happy to get you on your way and into your next placement before you know it.