Breaking Into ICT4D

Are You Looking for A New Job?

Right now, today, are you looking for a new job? Are you trying to break into ICT4D as a career, or do you want to move across or up in the industry? I would assume so, as a subscriber to this newsletter.

Let Me Tell You a Secret…

Its about who you know. Yes, you’ve heard this before, but let me tell you why this matters so much. Let me describe to you the reality of the hiring process. This week, I’m meeting with several people who are looking for new ICT4D staff for their teams. They’re gonna ask me: who would you recommend?

Who Will I Recommend?

Logically, I’ll start with those I’ve worked with. Then those I know, including those I’ve informational interviewed with. Then those I’ve heard good things about. Just like others these people ask, whomever we recommend will be considered. No guarantee that these recommendations will lead to an interview, much less a job, but typically those recommended are put on top of the CV pile.

Who Else Will Be Considered?

Of course, HR will post the job ad online, and a few hundred people will send in their CVs, often with no clue or connection to the company. Then HR will sort through all the CVs  and send over the best 10-30 to be reviewed. On top of this pile will usually be those who were recommended and applied.

Who Will Get Interviewed?

Typically, teams will only interview 3-5 candidates. Most often, those recommended by others will be 3-5 of those candidates. Yeah, sometimes only those that apply with recommendations make it to the interview round. I’m not making a judgement on the process, only telling you what commonly happens in this, and every other professional industry.

Do You Get the Hint Yet?

Do the math. Would you rather be one of the 3-5 who will most likely be interviewed, or one of the hundreds who might be considered for an interview? Yeah, the former is so much better. So how do you get into that very short list? Simple:

You Should Be Networking Your Ass Off

Seriously, How many times do I have to say it? You need to be networking to get a new job, and informational interviewing is one of the most effective forms of networking. You need to be known and known to be looking for the best jobs. So be known to me.

*Photo courtesy of USAID E3