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Archive for September, 2009

Watch the GIS blogs!

Staying ahead of the curve is necessary when trying to attain a job in GIS. Better yet, knowing what’s possible is often even more necessary when trying to attain a job in GIS. Your experience and educational background in GIS may relegate you to very narrow exposure of what can or should be done with GIS. You may not be aware how to best apply your skills or in what directions you can travel with the knowledge that you’ve attained. Teachers and professors may be presenting you information that is crucial to your education but doesn’t expand your horizons or allow you to push the envelope.  What can enlighten you? Blogs.

A couple of different websites have made various lists over the years of the best GIS blogs to check out on a regular basis. Most of them are GIS blog sites themselves…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

Social media and GIS

Joining various social media networks can help you in many ways when it comes to staying relevant in the world of GIS and/or searching for jobs. Better yet, all you have to do in many cases is sign up for an account.

LinkedIn is the professional networking site of choice. LinkedIn lets you build a profile showcasing your experience and lets you connect with other professionals in your field. Once you create an account on LinkedIn, subscribe to as many groups as possible. Within the LinkedIn website, just go to Groups and search GIS. The whole list will appear before you. Don’t be overwhelmed. Some groups have much more active discussions than others, so try to stick to the ones that have regular chatter. Also, there would be no need to join the [insert home city, state, province] GIS Professionals Group if you don’t live there. But if a move is in your future, then definitely get cracking on making some new contacts with local/regional GIS groups. You are limited to 50 groups so stick to ones that will actually be useful in terms of networking or locating a potential position.

Within most of these groups, you can become part of various discussions and receive interesting news about what other users may be doing. Or better yet, you’ll get information on who has jobs available. Don’t be afraid to start discussions with some interesting questions. There are a lot of group members out there monitoring the discussions, and the right topic may get them talking about a subject that is near and dear to you.

Twitter is another network that is extremely useful…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

Congregate with your own kind

A good way to find a job in the GIS industry is to stay on top of what new innovations may be out there – software, technology, or analysis methods. Attending conferences and meetings will give you exposure to new things and possibly give you new creative ideas on how you can apply your talents. These events are crucial for networking as well. Getting a chance to talk with other GIS professionals face to face is extremely valuable.

So which conferences should you attend?…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!

How to search the web for GIS jobs: Part 1

Looking for GIS jobs over the web is an art form.  Of course there are the obvious GIS job posting websites listed on the right side of this page.  GIS Jobs Clearinghouse, GISjobs.com, etc.  The problem with these websites is that everyone else is searching them for GIS jobs as well.

This anecdote will give you a good idea of your competition.  Just over 10 years ago while working for a GIS consulting firm, I posted a position for a entry level GIS Technician on the GIS Jobs Clearinghouse.  Within one day I had over 50 resumes faxed to me.  Within the first week, I had received hundreds of resumes from all over the United States and all over the world as well…Canada, Ukraine, India.  Do not think that only local people are applying for jobs available in your neck of the woods.  Also, do not think that sorting through hundreds and hundreds of resumes is the easiest task either.

So should you even bother applying for jobs on sites like that?  Of course you should.  It will never hurt your chances if you are qualified for the job.  But if you are applying for a job that is on the other side of the country or the world, ask yourself how likely it would be for those doing the hiring to contact you.  Are they going to pay for you to travel to them to do an in person interview?  Some will and some won’t.  Preliminary interviews can always be done over the phone but it is extremely rare for someone to finalize a job over the telephone.  They will want to meet you in person at least once.

Should I get a GIS certificate?

Simple answer: it certainly won’t hurt you. If you just graduated from college or are just starting out in the GIS industry, I encourage you to get a GIS certificate. It can only help your chances of finding a job.  You need to consider a few things though….

Look carefully at the different certificate programs offered by colleges and universities. What sort of classes are in the curriculum? How many classes are required to complete the program? Not all GIS certificates are equal. No all-powerful oversight committee or accreditation body decides which schools can offer certificates and which ones cannot. That decision is left up to the educational institution in question. These certificate programs are no doubt put together with the best intentions, but be wary of what you enroll in…

….To continue with this post and find the answers to these interesting questions along with tons of other related material, check out Careers in GIS: an Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job as an eBook or paperback!