A few months ago I posted a "rant" describing my frustration with the whole
job search process. For those who missed it, here is the condensed version
of my story. I have a nice job in software development, but because of non-work-related
reasons, I am looking to move to the NJ area. In my last post, I complained
about how poorly my job search was going, and I got several responses with
tips and words of encouragement.

Fast forward to today....

Over the past few weeks, it seems like the job market is started to pick
up a little bit. For months I barely got any callbacks to any of my inquiries,
but now I am started to get some "bites" as it were. I have had phone interviews
with about half a dozen companies, and I have had 2 onsite interviews with
2 more to come. The next step is to get some job offers!

From talking to some HR managers and recruiters that have called, it sounds
like they have been swamped with resumes for the past few months. For every
open position, they are getting hundreds and hundreds of resumes. What this
means is that good candidates are getting drowned out by all of this noise.
That makes it a lot harder to get noticed. They also said that the best
way to make your resume stand out is to send it either by fax or US Postal
Service. With email, it is that much easier to just hit delete when you
are flooded with resumes. However, because a piece of paper is more permanent,
it usually gets a little more consideration. Also, because so few people
send their resumes through the mail, it makes it stand out all the more.

Also, I've been told that because the job market is so tight, companies usually
can pick from several qualified candidates. That means that a lot of good
people are getting turned down for job offers.

Finally, I am started to change my mind about recruiters. While many of
them don't have a clue about technical issues, they do help to get your resume
"face time" with the person doing the hiring. Instead of having to wade
through hundreds of resume, the employer only has to look at half a dozen
or so resumes that are coming from the recruiter. It seems like this increases
your odds. The trick, of course, is convincing the recruiter to submit YOUR
resume. However, it seems like this is not to hard if you have the right
skills. The recruiter is paid to wade through resumes, so they have a higher
tolerance for that sort of thing than your average technical manager who
has other things to worry about.

The only thing I worry about with working with a recruiter is that fact that
given two equal candidates where one is represented by a recruier and one
isn't, the one who isn't represented will probably get the job.

Anyway, that's my update and those are my thoughts. To those of you who
are also job seeking, keep your chin up. It looks like things are getting
better!