Permanent Job search
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW (but were never told) regarding Permanent Job Careers and Searches.
Caveat: Nothing is "100% true" in life, but here are observations that are "mostly true" when it comes to careers and changing jobs.
What companies want to hire
Companies want to hire people who have been doing the last 2-3+ years whatever it is they want that person to do. This makes getting a job offer very tough when you have been out of work for a long time or if you are trying to "switch gears" and do something different (i.e., programmer trying to get a DBA job or Project Manager trying to get a Director job or simply not doing the same work as the job description).
"Known entities" may get a chance at a position even if these "problems" are true for you (i.e., you are known within the company and get a promotion -or- someone at a company knew you while working with them at another company). "Unknown entities" from the outside are very seldom hired into career-changing or career-elevating positions.
If someone has the skills matching the requirements of a job position but they still are chosen for the next stage in the interview process, the #1 reason candidates get passed over is job history.
Companies look for 2-3+ years per job for the last 2-3 jobs when hiring for a permanent position. There may be an aberration here and there, but overall the job history should be 2-3+ years per job.
This is even MORE true when it comes to getting a position through a 3rd party, like a recruiting firm. Time and time and time again we hear hiring managers insisting on this criteria.
Why? If someone shows a pattern of switching jobs every 6-18 months, then they will do it again. People are creatures of habit. Managers want to find good people that stick around because it takes everyone a while to assimilate and become a productive cornerstone to the company. Those companies want and need to keep good people around. It's costly to the company and to the manager to see 'accumulated knowledge' walk out the door to a new job someplace else.
Please! Don't take our word for it! Put this in your list of questions to hiring managers you come across them. Ask any manager that hires people "How important is job history to you when you consider interviewing and hiring a candidate?" and "What is your criteria for a 'good job history?".
See what answers you get and judge for yourself.
I'm a contract and I Can't get an interview for a permanent job
Companies are reluctant to hire contractors or consultants into their permanent positions. It's easy to convert from a permanent job career into contracting or consulting, but not so easy to convert from contracting or consulting to permanent.
Hiring authorities know that consultants are mentally trained to "do the work and move on". The mindset of a consultant is that they are a "short timer", not a "long-term company member". Consultants don't have to live with their work much beyond the short time they are at a company locations (they do the work and move on). Consultants are used to 'variety', moving from job to job - something you don't get with you are working as a permanent employee.
As a result, consultants or contractors find it tough sometimes to get companies to interview them because there is the "expectation" from those hiring that the consultant won't mesh with their company long-term, won't be happy in staying in the same position in the long-term, and therefore won't stick around with them for a long period of time.
Plus, you are an "unknown entity" and pleading your case that "this time is different" doesn't do any good. They hear that all the time and ignore those pleas.