Recruiter's Secrets: 6 Job Hunting Tips for a Tough Market

Whether they're employed or unemployed, IT professionals are anxious about their job prospects during this recession. They want to know how to navigate the worst job market in years and how they can differentiate themselves. Here's direct advice from recruiters on job hunting, with and without a recruiter.

"How's business? What's the job market like? What are you working on? Do you know of any opportunities that I might be qualified for? I'm looking for an opportunity; can you help me? How can I navigate this job market? What do I need to do to differentiate myself?"

Those are the most common questions executive recruiters say job seekers are asking them these days. The recruiters note that IT professionals-whether they're employed or whether they've been laid off-are genuinely scared about their job prospects. So, knowing executive recruiters have their fingers on the pulse of the job market and understand exactly what employers are currently looking for in candidates, job seekers are urgently phoning and texting recruiters to solicit them for career advice. Shawn Banerji, an executive recruiter with Russell Reynolds Associates in NYC, says he gets as many as 60 such calls and e-mails each day. He's not alone.

Banerji and many other recruiters say they'd genuinely like to help every job seeker who contacts them, but with the call volume so high, they can't. Business is off throughout the search industry, they say, and they have to spend their time on what pays: drumming up search business and working on projects for clients.

"If we were talking to all of them, we couldn't be doing what our clients pay us to do," says Suzanne Fairlie, president of ProSeach, a retained search firm based in Philadelphia that places IT and finance professionals.

To help recruiters and the IT professionals contacting them, CIO.com compiled recruiters' answers to job seekers' pressing job search questions into six tips for working effectively with recruiters and for increasing your chances of landing a new job in this terrible market.

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