IT pros take a multi-job career path

IT professionals make an average six to seven job moves throughout their careers.

This proves that the IT sector is far more volatile than other industries, according to DBM consultant Julie Ferris, who said the high level of contract work also contributes to the exta job moves.

"We have one client at the moment who has come from the telco industry, and is on his fifth redundancy; we have lots that come through the door on their second," Ferris said.

"And the IT industry certainly contracts more. Because IT by its nature is often project-based, people tend to work on an implementation, complete the project and move on."

However, Ferris claims there are those IT professionals that are lucky to have found stability.

"The type of turnover in the IT industry depends on the market. When it's flat, people will stay where they are for security reasons, but we do see it picking up now," she said.

Conargo Shire Council IT manager Michael Todd is one of the lucky ones, having been with his organization for 20 years.

"I'm probably surprised that people are changing their jobs six or seven times in a lifetime, considering I've been here 20 years, and our general manager has been here for 36 years," Todd said.

Having not been out on the hunt for a job, Todd couldn't give any tips on tracking down an IT position, but he certainly knows how to hold onto one.

"I think customer and vendor contact skills are really important, as well as being able to work well with other staff, make it a good team."

Tips for job hunting IT professionals

Have a well written resume. "A lot of IT professionals tend to document everything, and end up with a document 10 pages long, so they need to learn to be more concise," Ferris said.

Network more. "The most successful people, who go from position to position with ease are those that network, and often get the positions that aren't advertised."

Focus on interpersonal skills. "These skills are so important. If you think of the stereotypical IT professionals, interpersonal skills are not their strong point - but they need to be."