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TRYING IT ON FOR SIZE

Project Work Can Pave Way to Full-Time Employment, CIO Survey Suggests

Jul 16, 2009
10:40pm

MENLO PARK, CA -- Technology professionals looking to get a foot in the door with a new employer may want to try project work. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently said it’s beneficial to bring in prospective employees on a contract basis before hiring them for full-time roles.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It was based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, “In the current environment, how valuable is it to have a prospective employee work on a project or contract basis as a means of evaluation for full-time employment within your IT department?” Their responses:

Very valuable   28%
Somewhat valuable   45%
Not at all valuable   25%
Don't know/no answer       2%
    100%

“In the current economic climate, companies are understandably cautious and want to avoid costly hiring mistakes,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Bringing someone in on a project basis allows both the employer and the prospective hire to evaluate whether the position is a fit.”

Working on a contract basis also allows IT professionals to avoid resume gaps, which can hinder a job search. In a separate survey developed by Robert Half Technology, 42 percent of CIOs said IT workers could be unemployed as much as six months before it would adversely affect their careers. “Listing active project work on a resume keeps it current, especially for applicants who have experienced recent layoffs,” he said. “Consulting also enables IT professionals to keep their skills sharp.”

Robert Half Technology offers the following tips to help IT professionals land project positions:

  • Adjust your resume for project work. At the top of your resume, highlight your areas of IT expertise, current skills and quantifiable results with past employers. After that, provide an abbreviated work history of relevant jobs and contract positions. Limit your resume to no more than two pages.
  • Work with a specialized staffing firm. These firms have extensive connections with reputable companies in their local markets and access to unadvertised consulting positions. They can showcase your best skills to help you land suitable projects.
  • Emphasize short-term results in the interview. Employers want to see that you can ramp up quickly and contribute immediately. During the interview, highlight how your specific skills and experience make you qualified to address the company’s similar challenges.
  • Keep active. Use time between assignments to brush up on your technical skills by taking a course, working toward a professional certification or doing volunteer work in your area of IT expertise. Use business and social networking sites, and attend in-person networking events to uncover new consulting opportunities.

About the Survey
The national survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. In order for the survey to be statistically representative, the sample was stratified by geographic region, industry and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of the number of employees within each region.

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com.


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