Q. I am a technical professional in search of full-time job opportunities. I have been working with startups and nonprofit organizations. While I have garnered some level of experience, I feel confined and overlooked in the labor market. I am looking at opportunities within a company that respects their employees. I am curious how can I pursue a job search without using a professional staffing agency.
A. Since we are in the first quarter of 2014, you are in a desirable situation. I often see an increase in hiring in the first quarter of every year. Although you don’t mention the type of technical expertise, technical professionals generally are in demand.
Not all professionals land new jobs through staffing organizations. Many get them by tapping professional and personal networks.
A few tips:
■ Get on LinkedIn and join groups related to your profession. Also join groups affiliated with colleges or universities you attended. There also may be professional groups within your community that may be of interest.
■ Dust off your resume and make sure it is current, easy to read, and free of typos. Ensure that your LinkedIn address is on your resume.
■ Begin networking in your target industry. If you are exploring biotech, start connecting with people in biotech.
■ Attend networking and industry events in your fields of interest.
■ Make sure you prepare a one- to two-minute elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch should include a bit about your professional background and your ideal next step in your career.
■ If you are concerned about how an employer respects their employees, you should ask questions about the culture. Some suggested questions include: Can you tell me how employees would describe ABC Inc. as a place to work? What are the positives about your work culture? And what about the negatives? What is your employee turnover?
Good luck. In my opinion, a strong professional network is the best insurance against unemployment.