Everyone’s hiring! 5 ways job-seekers can win in a changing job market

by Pranav Ramesh
February 19, 2019
Strategies for Job-Seeker Success in a Fluctuating Job Market

The U.S. talent shortage is creating career opportunities for those who approach it right.

Whether you’re actively looking for a new career, or you’re just open to new opportunities, the future looks bright for job hunters! Many industries now have more job openings than skilled candidates needed to fill them. With so many opportunities, both in Information Technology and elsewhere, the odds of you finding your perfect career are better than it’s been in years!

That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news?

Many prospective employees seem to be taking the job market for granted. Employers are seeing increases in prospective candidates ‘ghosting’ their interview, not calling or showing up for their first day of work, and even abandoning their current jobs altogether. What many interviewees don’t realize is that they’re not only hurting their prospects with that specific employer but potentially also within entire regions, sectors, and industries.

RELATED: How AI Can Help You Mind Your Own Business! 


Why is now the time to prepare?

Your digital footprint is massive: The average American now has over five different social media accounts, and by some estimates, will spend approximately 7 hours per day online. That creates a ton of data, much of it personally identifying, and this ‘Big Data’ forms your digital footprint. What do you want it to say?

Your online reputation is permanent: The sea of data that you’re creating (and that’s being created for you) is larger than you can conceive of. While you may not see it by just Googling yourself, it definitely exists. Almost anyone who needs or wants to find it will be able to do so. What do you want them to find?

People, not just machines, are connected: That employer you’re interviewing with doesn’t exist in a bubble. Chances are they attend industry events, awards dinners, and networking meetups with their peers. They likely have friends and former co-workers at different companies within the same industry. The bottom line is… these people talk. What do you want them to tell each other?

Employees frequently leave companies… but they rarely leave industries: The phrase “don’t burn your bridges” is cliché for a reason — it’s great advice. The staffing manager whose offer you’re declining today may very well be your interviewer, or even boss, at a different company tomorrow. Someone would rarely paint you in a negative light just for declining an offer. However, declining it rudely or cutting contact with no explanation will likely leave a terrible impression on someone you may be asking to hire you in the future. How do you want hiring managers to describe you?

The dreaded “blacklist”: It’s not as drastic as it sounds. In over 20 years of hiring, I have yet to see a literal “blacklist” of candidates to avoid, be it in person or online. However, do hiring managers remember candidates who left a bad taste? You better believe it. Do they likely have a mental ‘do not hire’ list stored in memory? Pretty likely. Will they share that information with others? Probably not intentionally… but everyone’s human. How do you want industry leaders to remember you?

Opportunities are abundant in IT right now. Check out this article on how best to find a job in tech, From Veteran to IT Consultant – How to Find a Job in Tech.

What should a job-seeker do right now?

All markets fluctuate. Stock prices, commodities, and the price of Bitcoin… none follow a straight line. The job market is no different, meaning that now is the best time to prepare. Applying just a few common sense best practices today could set you up for success when your dream job becomes available in the future.

  1. Scour your digital footprint.

Now’s the time to Google yourself, “audit” your social media, and take back some control over what the Internet says about you. Much of what you find can be changed or removed, but it could take weeks or even months to do so. Remember… What you posted on Facebook years ago can and will be held against you in the court of employment.

  1. Freshen up your professional profiles.

Sites like LinkedIn, Github, and Stack Overflow can be as important to employers as your resume or CV, if not more. Ensure the basics are covered (accurate information, no typos, etc.), and have fun sprucing things up! Add your latest achievements, projects, and certifications. Update your recommendations and testimonials. Modernize your profile photo and header. Nothing new to share? Enroll in a free course or find an open-source project to assist. The key is to stay relevant.

  1. Respond to everyone you can.

If you’re lucky (or skilled) enough, you might get interested emails and LinkedIn messages left and right. That’s a good problem to have. It can be easy to ignore and just delete those messages that you’re not interested in, but a much better long-term strategy is to view every inquiry as an opportunity. While that particular message may not be the employment opportunity you’re looking for, it may give you a chance to build your network and create industry allies for the future.

  1. Treat every inquiry as if it came from your dream job.

Remember when we established that people inside an industry tend to talk with each other? This is where that principle really comes into play. Treating all staffing managers respectfully ensures, at the very least, that you’ll never end up on someone’s mental “blacklist”. It may even be an opportune time for you to win over a supporter. That person, impressed by your acumen, may consider you for a better role or even recommend you elsewhere if they see a good fit.

  1. Honesty still is, and always will be, the best policy.

Life happens. Most agencies (at least the ones you’d want to work with) understand this, if and when you’re sincere about it. 

Maybe you’re interviewing with two companies. You accepted a position from one and, the day before you’re supposed to start, the other gives you an ‘offer you can’t refuse’. What would you do? It may be uncomfortable to tackle the situation head-on and could be tempting to just walk away from the first.

If you want to be better prepared to start your job search, check out these 15 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning Your Job Search.


If you remember only one thing from this article it should be this;

Communication is critical to your personal and professional future.

Contact the first company as quickly as possible. Politely inform them of your decision, apologize for the inconvenience, thank them for the opportunity, and request that they keep you in mind for future opportunities just as you will do for them.

Don’t forget- The person you turn away today could easily be your deskmate at the job of your dreams tomorrow.

The more things change, the more some things stay the same. Communication and professionalism are vital traits regardless of a person’s technical skills, current hiring trends, or the job description. Keeping yourself relevant, prepared, and professional ensures you’re always ready for the opportunity of a lifetime… and that the hiring manager is ready for you.

If you are currently considering a new job or a career change, review our current job listings here, or contact us directly via email: hello@ptechpartners.com

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