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Hidden job market is key: Expert

In an economic environment where many high-tech companies are laying people off or going bust, the competition for jobs is increasing, but there are still plenty of good jobs out there for people who know where, and how, to look.

In an economic environment where many high-tech companies are laying people off or going bust, the competition for jobs is increasing, but there are still plenty of good jobs out there for people who know where, and how, to look.

“They’re hidden. They’re not easily obtainable and you have to have really good skill set match to that job,” said Michelle Iseman, operations manager with Vitesse Re-skilling Canada, a not-for-profit organization that helps connect knowledge sector workers and employers.

“The only way to get a job now is to find it through the hidden job market. All the jobs that are posted are being flooded by thousands of other people.”

In the wake of the Nortel collapse, areas like telecom might be struggling, but Iseman said there is still solid growth in open-source programming, social networking websites and wireless media.

Nearly 20,000 high tech employees were laid off in Ontario in 2008, so competition for positions is fierce.

Iseman said applicants need to finesse their way around human resources officers and speak directly with the technical hiring manager to get a sense of what skill set the company needs.

“You have to be a little bit forceful in the way you are going about it, because if you are asking for something, you are begging. Begging for a job is not the way to get one,” she said.

This afternoon, Vitesse is hosting a job fair in its Kanata office. Already, 160 individuals and more than 15 companies are registered to attend.

Iseman said the fair is a networking opportunity for applicants to get a sense of what the market is like and target their training and education for those positions.

 
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