General job search question
I am employed at one of the large IT consulting firms as a developer. I have
been here for 13 years, right out of college, and I am making 63K. It's
decent money, but not great. I live in a major metro area in the south.
I know the economy is not at its best right now, but I am interested in
looking externally for a new position. This will be my first external job
search ever, and I know my situation is a lot different than it was when
I was trying to land a job right out of college.
I've read all the articles on resumes, cover leters, networking, and all
that stuff that you're supposed to read before embarking on a job search.
But I know you guys have some good advice, since I've been following this
forum for several months.
My main concern is that every job posting I see, whether it be a general
job site (ComputerJobs.com, Monster.com, etc.), a company's web site, a recruiting
company's web site, or the newspaper, seems to specify a very narrow and
specific skill set. That would be all very fine and good if my skills matched
the skills they are looking for, but that does not seem to be the case.
I've moved around quite a bit in my company, learning what I need as I go,
and I have a lot of different technical skills. Many of them are not exactly
the latest - COBOL, VSAM, VB3, VB5, some C++. I've always had success picking
up languages and platforms easily, so that is not a problem for me. Part
of my problem is that I've tended to work primarily on legacy systems, doing
some development and maintenance. I haven't gotten into much architecture
or design, and I haven't dealt much with any infrastructure issues. It's
mainly small-to-medium-sized development projects on an existing system.
But, I just don't see any ads that seem to be looking for that type of person.
I know that companies need people with those skills - we've hired several
just like that in the past. I don't know how the position was worded, but
these people have had similar skills as myself. They've been good solid
IT workers - not superstars with amazing and unique skills - and they have
for the most part been very loyal and stayed here for several years.
It almost seems like I'd be better off getting an entry-level position where
I would not be expected to be an expert on a particular platform or language.
I'm sure that with my experience and skills that I would do well with an
opportunity like that. But, I cannot take a position at an entry-level salary,
and I'm sure I would hear the word "overqualified" quite a bit.
So, how exactly should I approach this possible job search? I'm not in a
position where I have to change jobs, and I'd rather not have to devote a
huge amount of time or effort. Not that I'm lazy, it's just that I have
a job plus a family. Also, I really didn't have to work hard at all to get
interviews and offerings out college. Back then the thing I kept hearing
that employers were looking for was "experience", and now I have me some
of that "experience", so I would expect that things should be somewhat easier.
I know that the market for IT workers in general is not that great, and I
also know that some positions are going to be sent to places like India and
Mexico. But there are always some positions open, and the economy will improve
sometime. Again, this is not an urgent job search, but if there is something
better out there, I'd like to find it without a ton of effort. I hear of
some people who send out thousands of resumes with no interest, and I hear
of some people who send out one and get a better job. I'd rather my search
be like the latter example.
Any advice and words of encouragement (or admonishment) are welcome.
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