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Where The Jobs--And Bucks--Are In IT Now

Nearly 10% of CIOs are planning to add IT staff this quarter. The industry with the greatest optimism for IT hiring is retail, and CIOs there are spelling out key skills in demand. Among them: retail-specific apps and networking.
TC: As you explained in your column, the baby boomer retirement will also create a consulting career track for those boomers who want to ease into retirement by first serving in consulting roles, either with their current employers or with a range of businesses that require experienced professionals for special projects. Is there a particular tech field or specific niche where consultants will be needed in the next few years? And what's a good first step to moving onto that job road?

KSL: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2008, 22 million workers aged 45 years or older will leave the workforce, primarily due to retirement. Within that group, two IT job categories are expected to see a higher-than-average number of departures from the workforce -- technical writers and operations and systems researchers and analysts -- and no doubt many others will be affected. If you've decided to try project or consulting work, you'll need to make sure your resume is prepared correctly. More experienced job seekers are sometimes at risk of being seen as overqualified for jobs, so you want to make sure you're playing up your strengths effectively. Limit your resume to two pages and keep it focused on positions held in the last 10 years, since they contain the most timely and relevant aspects of your background. For consulting assignments, it's particularly important to highlight your problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Companies will be looking for a track record of success. Did you help your employer overcome unique challenges with a systems conversion? Have you managed an IT department on a limited budget? Research the company and its needs thoroughly so you can customize your resume and interview responses accordingly.