Lessons Learned & Recommendations From a Recent Job Search

I start a new job today as an Azure Solutions Architect for Celedon Partners.  However, this post is about my recent job search, an activity that I had not really been through in close to 8 years.  Much has changed in the marketplace since the last time I went through this process and much has changed in my career.  Below are some “lessons” learned from the experience (in no particular order).  These lessons are based around the scenario that if I got fired today, what would I do?

  • Great recruiters are a fantastic resource to have in your corner.  Just understand that by working with a recruiter that you are introducing delays into what will already be a slow process.  If you are going to use recruiters I would recommend working with them as early in the process as possible.  Hopefully you have one or two that you have cultivated a good relationship with over the years.  Who would be the first three to five people I could reach out to that could help me find a new job?
  • Who will your references be?  When was the last time you spoke with them?  Is their contact information up to date?
  • Is your resume and LinkedIn profile up to date?
  • The longer you have been in the workforce and the more money you make, the longer you should expect the process to take.
  • Prepare to answer the following questions A LOT:
    • Why are you looking to leave? OR Why did you leave? OR What happened that caused you to leave?
    • What are you looking for with your next position (technology side and non-technology side)?
    • Tell me about your work history and experience?
    • What are you salary/hourly rate requirements?
    • Full-time work or open to contract?
  • Don’t post your resume on the Dice job board and mark yourself as looking for a job.  You will be immediately inundated with spam emails and phone calls asking about help desk and telemarketing positions.  Unless that’s what you are looking for, in which case, do that!
  • However, Dice is one of only two of the major job sites (Glassdoor being the other) that has an ability to narrow your search down to jobs that allow the ability to work remotely (telecommute)
  • Be prepared to turn over every stone to find the best possible opportunity for you.  This is going to be a lot of work, but if you are serious about making the next move with your career it’s what you will need to do.
  • An example of this for me is that I knew I wanted to primarily stay in the Microsoft stack of technologies, working in Azure and doing something around “DevOps”.  One of the things that I did was I went through every company listed in Microsoft’s Azure Partner Directory for the United States.  Somewhere along the way I discovered that there was a DevOps Competency for Microsoft Partners that I could search through as well.
  • I’ve talked about job boards and recruiters but I also got leads from the following sources:
    • Talking to colleagues.  This led me to a local company that I eventually received an offer from.  I had never heard of them until speaking with my colleague.
    • Twitter.  #azure #jobs and #devops #jobs is a thing (particularly if you are in England for some reason)
    • Just plain Google searching which helped to find jobs that were on company websites but weren’t posted to job boards
    • LinkedIn Premium service was also a useful tool