7) Make a whole lot of noise about all your certifications.
IT certifications are often a valuable way to boost your attractiveness in the marketplace. Plenty of tech pros have a heaping handful of certs.
But going into an interview and loudly trumpeting your certs can send a red flag to a hiring rep.
What that tells the manager is that youre tying to impress him with all the certifications and you really dont have the skills, Corcodilos says.
What I find is that managers distinguish candidates one of two ways. One is the person how can really walk the walk and they may or may not have certifications. But then there are the ones who lean so hard on the certifications, theyre compensating for the fact that they really dont know how to use the technology.
So yes, mention your certs. But making them the centerpiece of your sales pitch might help someone else get hired.
8) Dont learn new skills especially in the growing areas.
There are as many opinions about the future shape of the IT industry as there are players. Given the massive changes riling the market as cloud computing emerges, as outsourcing continues whos to say exactly what the ideal IT career strategy is?
But a common belief among IT futurists is that tech professionals will need to wear a variety of hats. Versatility is essential. The highly specialized niche expert, of course, will likely never fade. But for many IT workers, having a broad basket of skills is probably the best way to avoid outsourced replacement.
As noted in How to Survive the Outsourcing Boom, the IT generalist is on the rise. An individual who knows not only technology but also business (again, business it just wont go away) will be in demand.
Also, keep on eye on emerging new technologies; heres a guide to growing job areas, focusing on virtualization. And while youre researching, take a glimpse at this list of current hot IT jobs, which notes that application developer, data modeler and IT auditor are desired skills.
9) Dont live (or consider moving to) the best cities for IT job growth.
Which begs the question: what are the best cities for IT job growth? Well, that depends on how you define it.
If youre talking of jobs, the leaders (in this order) are: 1) New York/New Jersey, 2) Washington DC/Baltimore, 3) Silicon Valley, 4) Boston, 5) Chicago, 6) Los Angeles, 7) Dallas, 8) Philadelphia, 9) Atlanta, 10) Seattle.
(Yes, there are more tech jobs in Washington/Baltimore than Silicon Valley by a wide margin. And you thought you were cool because you pay $3,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in the Valley.)
But if youre talking growth in jobs, the order is as follows (the accompanying number states year-to-date job growth vs. same period in 2007): 1) Hartford, CT (30%), 2) Cincinnati (28%), 3) Miami (23%), 4) Pittsburgh (22%), 5) Charlotte (21%), 6) Cleveland (14%), 7) Detroit (12%), 8) Minneapolis (12%), 9) Denver (9%), 10) Seattle (9%).
Of course some of these smaller locales are seeing high percentage growth because the base of IT jobs is small, so any increase gives a major percentage boost.
Note that Seattle is on both lists.
10) Bonus point for older workers: focus on age discrimination to the exclusion of all else.
In a tech landscape that changes faster than you can say Twitter, older workers need to make sure their outlook is as fresh as that perky 31-year-olds. Or they at least need to fake it.
If you go into an interview and youre worried about being discriminated against because of your age, most managers can smell it, Corcodilos says.
They can tell youre worried about being discriminated against. There are bigots out there who are going to discriminate against you, and you have to decide if you want to sue them or just walk away.
On the other hand, there are managers who dont have a problem with age unless they can smell your concern about it. Then what theyre worried about it is, theyre going to hire somebody with attitude whos always looking for age discrimination, and its going to distract them from their work.
Bottom line: In the interview, focus on the companys bottom line instead of your age, and itll help you as much as anything.