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coreservers
9th May 2011, 12:46
Hi There
been a contractor for 7 years. got lucky with a big Site manager contract, it lasted 3.5 years. then moved to the big smoke and just finished a 7 month Uk support Manager role.

But I've never seen the contract market this tough..... cant even get to interview stage at the moment, despite 200+ applications.

anyone else finding it this bad?

MarillionFan
10th May 2011, 21:53
Hi There
been a contractor for 7 years. got lucky with a big Site manager contract, it lasted 3.5 years. then moved to the big smoke and just finished a 7 month Uk support Manager role.

But I've never seen the contract market this tough..... cant even get to interview stage at the moment, despite 200+ applications.

anyone else finding it this bad?

Nope.

But good luck.

Keen2Work
11th May 2011, 09:16
Hi There
been a contractor for 7 years. got lucky with a big Site manager contract, it lasted 3.5 years. then moved to the big smoke and just finished a 7 month Uk support Manager role.

But I've never seen the contract market this tough..... cant even get to interview stage at the moment, despite 200+ applications.

anyone else finding it this bad?

Yes. In over 20 years, I've never found it so difficult. I have had unsuccessful interviews, but I'm not such a bad bet!

I'm tearing my hair out about how to get an IT job, any job, before the savings run out. My CV is concise, I search job boards daily and apply for a number roles every week - there's a limit to how many because I can't satisfy all the clients 'essential requirements'.

I have worked with Unix, Sybase, scripting, Perl, C, C++, development, support, testing - perhaps just not enough of any one skill - who knows? I certainly don't.

MrMark
11th May 2011, 10:41
Hi There
been a contractor for 7 years. got lucky with a big Site manager contract, it lasted 3.5 years. then moved to the big smoke and just finished a 7 month Uk support Manager role.

But I've never seen the contract market this tough..... cant even get to interview stage at the moment, despite 200+ applications.

anyone else finding it this bad?

Yes. I'm trying hard to get into a Plan B scenario (not over confident about that either). But my confidence in agents being able to do a good job is extremely low.

MrMark
11th May 2011, 10:46
Yes. In over 20 years, I've never found it so difficult. I have had unsuccessful interviews, but I'm not such a bad bet!

I'm tearing my hair out about how to get an IT job, any job, before the savings run out. My CV is concise, I search job boards daily and apply for a number roles every week - there's a limit to how many because I can't satisfy all the clients 'essential requirements'.

I have worked with Unix, Sybase, scripting, Perl, C, C++, development, support, testing - perhaps just not enough of any one skill - who knows? I certainly don't.

The doorkeepers (agents and recruiters) are looking for an excuse to drop candidates from their list. It may be worth re-writing your cv for each application stressing the relevant strengths. It seems that being adaptable and able to work in different environments is frowned upon in the current job market. You need to have 3-5 years solid experience, with no gaps, in the role you are going for. Re-jig your cv to reflect this. I suspect successful candidates are stretching their truth, so why shouldn't you?

Disclaimer: I don't get to hear agents' feedback, so I can't say for 100% that the above is correct. If only I had a £100 for every time an agent said he'd send me feedback on an interview or job application...It's got to the stage where I assume an agent lies, as soon as he starts talking.

SimonMac
11th May 2011, 11:32
Nope.

But good luck.

:laugh

Hello :wave:

But isn't an out of contract contractor, basically just a normal person?

alreadypacked
11th May 2011, 15:31
Hi There
been a contractor for 7 years. got lucky with a big Site manager contract, it lasted 3.5 years. then moved to the big smoke and just finished a 7 month Uk support Manager role.

But I've never seen the contract market this tough..... cant even get to interview stage at the moment, despite 200+ applications.

anyone else finding it this bad?

The definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

If I sent my CV out 200 times with no result, I would change my CV.

HTH

TestMangler
11th May 2011, 15:36
:laugh

Hello :wave:

But isn't an out of contract contractor, basically just a normal person?

Correct. I'm a millionaire that doesn't have £1M in assets. What should I do ?

alreadypacked
11th May 2011, 15:39
Yes. In over 20 years, I've never found it so difficult. I have had unsuccessful interviews, but I'm not such a bad bet!

I'm tearing my hair out about how to get an IT job, any job, before the savings run out. My CV is concise, I search job boards daily and apply for a number roles every week - there's a limit to how many because I can't satisfy all the clients 'essential requirements'.

I have worked with Unix, Sybase, scripting, Perl, C, C++, development, support, testing - perhaps just not enough of any one skill - who knows? I certainly don't.

When people are busy they want a concise CV, but I think the market has changed. Now they want to feel they are getting value for money, i.e. large CV.

Speak to a few agents see what they think. But I would pad-out a version of your CV, for each role put in achivements, how you saved the client time/money.

One thing for sure "tearing my hair out" will not help, you need to keep working on your profile, also are you on LinkedIn? if not do so and put a link to it on your CV. Get referances on LinkedIn. Join some of the agent groups etc.

HTH

DaveB
11th May 2011, 15:48
When people are busy they want a concise CV, but I think the market has changed. Now they want to feel they are getting value for money, i.e. large CV.

Speak to a few agents see what they think. But I would pad-out a version of your CV, for each role put in achivements, how you saved the client time/money.

One thing for sure "tearing my hair out" will not help, you need to keep working on your profile, also are you on LinkedIn? if not do so and put a link to it on your CV. Get referances on LinkedIn. Join some of the agent groups etc.

HTH

WAPS.

When I started looking again in March I had a number of agents tell me my CV was too brief and I needed to expand it more. This is in contast to the last time I was looking when the percieved wisdom was to keep it short and sweet.

I always tailor the CV and cover letter to the role and make sure I include every requirement in the ad in my CV without lying outright. Agents generally know little to nothing about the subject matter of a job ad, they just match the words.

You can also try following up your CV with a call to the agent. I generally do it 10 mins or so after submitting my CV.

"Hi, I just sent over my CV in repsonse to X role, but I have a couple of questions."

Engage them, get them to talk to you sell yourself and they are more likely to remember you. If your CV is a good match you may even get a commitment to put you forward there and then.

Always ask what timescales the client is working to and make notes so you can follow up again at the appropriate point.
If the agent says the client wants CV's in by Friday call on the following Monday afternoon/Tesuday morning to see if they have any feedback. Keep yourself at the top of the pile and keep pushing them to follow up with the client. Make the buggers work for their keep.

The market is tough at the moment but there are jobs out here.

MarillionFan
11th May 2011, 16:17
Correct. I'm a greasy caff owner with a fishing rod that doesn't have £1M in assets. What should I do ?

ftfy

Keen2Work
12th May 2011, 09:17
Thanks DaveB, MrMark and alreadyPacked for attempts at a sensible response and suggestions. (the Signal to Noise ratio is always a bit of a frustration on these anonymous forums).

One problem you face is that everyone has a different view of the way forward....

- An example might be whether to submit a short or long CV in a difficult market.

I imagine the client spending just 20 seconds on each new application - which obviously favours a concise resume -
as against automatic selection software (or agents!) who count the number of references to say .NET in previous roles, favouring more extensive CVs and weeding out poorer candidates in the process.

In any case, it seems that the more willing you are to push for every role by tailoring applications and following up with agents, the more likely it is you'll meet with success. You sense that's the prevailing view amongst those who're taking the issue seriously.

It's not easy, it's frequently depressing, but it helps to know you're not alone and that at least there's some consensus.

coreservers
13th May 2011, 10:10
certainly a very helpful thread ( well some anyway :tumble: )

I have 3-4 CV's for roles (mainly desktop support \ infrastructure\Server management) But my main CV did get me to final interview with Blackrock (a notoriously tricky process). problem is in a month, we run out of money. a bit scary really.

had 5 agencies do introductories in the last 3 days, which is better than the last 4 weeks. I guess it'll happen when it happens...... now where's the golf clubs :rolleyes: