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Tech Industry

Techies say it's who you know

Technology job hunters say the most effective way to land a position in the industry is by face-to-face networking and good old-fashioned schmoozing.

    The most effective way to land a hot job in the technology industry is by good old-fashioned schmoozing.

    According to a survey released Monday by Bloomington, Minn.-based career portal, technology workers use an average of 6.8 different employment resources, including online job boards and corporate recruiters, when they hunt for a new job.

    But the tool that typically outperforms all others is face-to-face networking with friends, co-workers, business associates, and members of professional organizations. More than one in three techies cited networking as the single biggest reason they got their most recent tech job, the study found after polling 1,606 technology professionals earlier this month.

    "Network with every person you have ever met for potential job leads," one techie wrote in the online survey. "Get into professional organizations to meet new people," such as the chamber of commerce and IT groups, and get suggestions from the local unemployment office.

    The survey included full-time, part-time, self-employed and unemployed tech professionals throughout the United States, ranging from CEOs and business owners to data entry operators.

    But networking may not serve all techies equally.

    Women rated online job boards higher in ease of use than men and were more likely to downgrade face-to-face search methods such as networking, direct company contact, and job fairs, the study found. Techies in lower-density populations or rural areas, such as the mountain and southern states, also gave top marks to online resources.

    Online job searches and resume posting were also effective for the overall group, with 23 percent of respondents crediting them for their most recent jobs. The average techie posted resumes to 3.5 online sites. Headhunters came in third, with 19 percent of respondents crediting them for their most recent job offers.

    In addition to networking, techies cited persistence and saturation as a key weapon in scoring multiple offers. The average techie sent out more than 10 resumes during his or her last job search to a combination of in-house recruiters, potential bosses, headhunters, and resume banks.

    Although comparative studies are scarce, techies seem to outperform workers in many other industries in their hit-to-miss ratio of offers to rejections during a single job search.

    Five out of 100 techies, mainly those with heavy development and database experience, received five or more offers during their last job search. That means they received an average of one offer for every two resumes they sent out.

    A whopping 68 percent of all techies surveyed said they received one or two offers from their last successful hunt. About a quarter of them received three or four offers.