Matt Moran is one of my favorite bloggers. I first ran across Matt at the ITToolBox with his Policy Parrot posts. If you get a chance, read them. They are classics in the realm of customer service, an area that should be near and dear to anyone in IT. Matt brings a real-world practical approach to his writings and he's done it again with The IT Career Builder's Toolkit. It is not only a job search guide but more importantly a career guide. It is available on Amazon, Cisco Press or InformIT or you can read it for free online.
An example of this practicality is Chapter 3, "Information Technology: A Great Career" where he addresses the issue of outsourcing and off-shoring head-on. Complaining about off-shoring in particular is a favorite past time in IT with the refrain of "How can we compete with someone only paid a tenth of what we make?" As Matt points out "Outsourcing Is About Value, Not Costs" and the key to having a successful IT career is to focus on providing value and not just being the lowest cost provider.
In another example of practicality Matt provides a list of "Actions & Ideas" at the end of each chapter to help you put the ideas of the chapter to use. As Matt correctly states, "Looking for work, is work". As such, you should manage your career and a job search in particular as a project.
Matt does provide useful job search tips in a number of chapters but if your focus is solely a job search you may want to supplement it with some other books that go into more detail on those specific areas. The value of Matt's book is in building your career not just finding the next job. For example some of the chapters include:
- Chapter 16 On-the-Job Promotion
- Chapter 17 The Boundaries and Benefits of Working at Home
- Chapter 18 The Toolkit Approach to Consulting
- Chapter 19 The Move to Management
These are topics that you won't find a lot about in the other books but are a critical part of your career.
If you are thinking about your career (and you should be) take a look at Matt's book. As a true technologist he's made it available online for free and if you like it you can purchase later.