You've heard the adage "it's not what you know it's who you know." With the emergence of professional networking sites like LinkedIn and BranchOut on Facebook, there are multitudes of ways to grow your professional network. "Networking is still the #1 way to make opportunity happen and don't forget about face-to-face networking," says Macpherson.
With LinkedIn, for example, you can follow companies that you've targeted. Connect with people whom you've worked with or admire. There are plenty of industry leaders to be found on LinkedIn as well. Connect with and follow them. Join a group and engage in some of the conversation. It sounds like a lot of work and it is but doing so may be the proverbial "foot in the door" you've been looking for.
"For many people a job is more than an income-- it's an important part of who we are. So a career transition of any sort is one of the most unsettling experiences you can face in your life." - Paul Clitheroe
7. Improve Your Follow-Up Skills
"The right follow-up is critical--make it timely and professional every time," notes Macpherson. In a competitive job market like IT you don't want to leave things to chance. Improving your follow-up can help keep your name in the head of the HR people. Send thank you notes after interviews and exchange business cards.
Some experts recommend that after an interview that you should wait two to three weeks before checking back in with your contact. Maybe someone else will get the job but new positions open up all the time. Follow-up and staying in touch could land you a role you didn't even apply for.
"A good manager is a man who isn't worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him." - H. S. M. Burns
8. Personalize Your Cover Letters
A cover letter is designed to personalize your message. It is a showcase for your communication skills as well as transferable knowledge to prospective employers and recruiters. Use your cover letter to convey how your experience and knowledge will add value to the company. If your cover letter is compelling chances are someone will read it.
Make sure there are no typos. If you aren't sure get a friend or colleague to read it. If there was a person listed in the job posting make sure to address your cover letter to him or her. Macpherson's advice on cover letters is simple: "Make them concise and to-the-point. Avoid huge paragraphs and clearly articulate your qualifications and interest."
"Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it." - Katherine Whitehorn
9. Expand Your Horizons