IT job seekers: Get cracking now

For the moment, companies are whistling past potentially grave economic news and hiring tech workers. Here's a quick snapshot of the IT job landscape

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On the other hand, companies that try to save money by outsourcing to public cloud services may discover the whole endeavor a little harder than they bargained for. As InfoWorld's Matt Prigge observed recently, customers that turn to, say, Amazon Web Services often discover they need people who have experience in those environments to make everything run correctly. So add "cloud specialist" to your list of hot jobs -- or, further up the food chain, "cloud architect."

Please note, job seekers, that I'm making no attempt whatsoever to be comprehensive. Head on over to "The 6 hottest new jobs in IT" and "IT jobs: Winners and losers in the cloud era" for more info.

The same old advice applies

The top three pieces of job hunting advice never change: network, network, network. Talk to people associated by whatever degree to a company you want to work for. Ping far-flung, well-connected people to let them know you're in the market just in case they may hear of something in your line of work. Go to networking events or meet-ups on a regular basis, no matter how tedious they may seem. Come on, do I need to tell you to work Facebook and LinkedIn? I didn't think so.

Personally, the best trick I know to increase your chances in a job interview is to go to school on your prospective employer. If you're fluent in the company's financial performance, latest product offerings, executive moves, recent acquisitions, and so on -- and you can find places in the conversation to interject that information without sounding like a know-it-all -- you can knock 'em dead. Even better if you can assemble a bio on the person who's interviewing you (yet another practical use of social networking).

All this is pretty basic stuff, especially if you're seeking a higher-level position. Another smart thing to do is use the above-mentioned research (and the job description itself) to create custom versions of your resume for each prospective employer. This isn't about stretching the truth; it's about creating marketing collateral to sell you to a specific audience. This requires some writing skill, so if you lack that, find someone to help you out.

Ultimately, there are all kinds of reasons to take heart. Year after year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites information technology as one of the highest growth areas. And why not? If you work in tech, you're actually doing something useful rather than, say, niggling the fine points of tax law or cooking up elaborate derivative gambling schemes. Congratulate yourself on choosing a career in technology. And then get cracking.

This article, "IT job seekers: Get cracking now," originally appeared at Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

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