Monday, June 14, 2010

5 Tips to Help the African American Job Seeker in the Information Technology Industry

I recently gave a cautiously optimistic view of the upcoming job market to a reporter. I think that these are times for talented, creative and motivated people of African descent in the IT industry to be fully prepared for upward mobility opportunity and new career opportunity. We need to take full advantage of all employment resources.

I understand that unemployment is high ... especially in the Black community. However, I also sense that the IT industry is uniquely poised to have great opportunities in the coming weeks for those BDPA members and supporters with good IT skill-sets.

There are many people looking for jobs in the IT industry. College students getting ready to graduate in the next year and those who graduated in the past year are highly motivated to find a job NOW so they can pay back all the bills they accumulated in college. Also, there are experienced IT professionals obtaining certifications and picking up continuing professional education credits so that they can re-enter or advance in the IT industry -- they need access to hot jobs NOW.

BDPA provides simple advice to IT job seekers of African descent -- look for online communities where IT Job Seekers or Corporate Recruiters go. Connect with career counselors at colleges who have a vested interested in getting their students placed. Make sure that you network with student unions, fraternities, sororities and alumni groups too.

Here are three (3) easy steps for BDPA members to take in their quest for a job in the IT industry:

  1. Attend the 2010 BDPA Technology Career Fair - You will meet face-to-face with recruiters and hiring managers. There is no cost to attend this 2-day career fair. You need to be there! It is important that you lose national or regional events to increase your visibility to others.
  2. It's Best to Get Your Next Job While You Are Employed - It's important to start networking when you are still happily in your current position!
  3. Join the online communities where recruiters are looking for you - You can find them on Facebook, Groupsite, LinkedIn Network or Twitter. Are you networking in these places?
  4. Load your resume into the BDPA Talent Management System -- Last time I looked there were 75 job openings advertised in the BDPA Talent Management System. These job openings are all across the nation - Arizona, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. These jobs are in various IT categories - accounting, administrative support, advertising, aerospace, airlines, architectural services, banking, biotechnology, computer hardware, computer services, computer software, construction, consulting, consumer products, customer service, education, electronics, engineering, environmental services, executive management, finance, government, healthcare, hospitality, human resources, insurance, law enforcement, legal, manufacturing, military, nonprofit, operations management, product management, project management, publishing, purchasing, real estate, research & development, restaurant, retail, sales, sports, science, supply chain, telecommunications, textiles, transportation, quality assuance and waste management. What are you waiting for?
  5. Update Your Resume - A recruiter for a large corporation suggested that job seekers list membership in associations on their resume, including BDPA - because recruiters want to hire people from well-known, credible associations, and will search for an association name + technical skill (i.e. "BDPA" and "business analyst").

I may have been optimistic when talking with that reporter ... but, we make our own luck and good fortune when we take proactive steps in our preparation. I hope you find these 3 easy steps useful. In fact, I hope you will let me know your thoughts on the employment prospects for people of African descent who want to grow a career in the IT industry.

What say u?

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