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Home arrow News arrow Business arrow Online GIS Career Resources - Tips, Resources, and Recruiting Leads     

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Online GIS Career Resources - Tips, Resources, and Recruiting Leads PDF Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Letham, GISuser   
21 December 2005
CAD ManagerThe year-end is always a great time to start that search for a new job or perhaps beef up your staff with some new additions. This feature article provides some useful tips for online recruitment of GIS professionals. We offer up TONS of leads to our favorite online GIS Career sites, provide some tips for job seekers and recruiters, and finish up with a Q&A and tips from Richard Serby, President of industry-leading GIS recruiting firm, GeoSearch.
Posting a GIS career opportunity online provides a host of opportunities. Overall, the listing agent should be concerned about the number and quality of candidates that will see a listing. This should determine the cost, however, that's not always the case. GIS career portals are plentiful, however, only a handful likely offer guaranteed success. GIS portals and news resources are also a good bet as they are heavy on traffic and reach a Global audience - these are good bets for reaching a large number of users in a hurry, however, for busy HR people, you may get inundated with applications. Those on a budget will find many opportunities to list for free, including job portals, the GISuser Career section is free (that's my shameless plug!), and many user groups and Universities will gladly list a career opportunity for free, provided the job is located within the local area. A fine example of this is the Bay Area Mapping Association (http://www.baama.org/jobs/index.html). Another excellent resource to complement your online advertising efforts is the State GIS nodes. Many of the portals offer community resources which include job posting... usually at no cost provided the opportunity is within the State of interest. As an example, see the NJ clearinghouse. Numerous opportunities are listed (government and private sector) and posting is free. The nice thing about this is that you reach a geographically focused audience.
As a long-time job seeker and sometime recruiter, I'm offering up some recruiting tips and suggestions for online posting:
- Use a relevant title. It's a mazing how often postings have a title... HR recruiter etc... many people accidentally list "their own" title rather than the title of the position... amazing but true!
- specify the location where work is to be performed. Once again, this is frequently left off.
- provide clear, and specific response instructions. If an online application is required be sure to add a
link to an online job application form. If email response is supported be sure to list that. Ideally, I would suggest listing an amended listing on the job board and provide  a link to a detailed description
on the host/hiring site.
- specify if relocation costs are provided/negotiable. Online ads solicit responses from all around the 
World. If only US citizens are considered then be sure to state so clearly.
- Will foreign nationals be considered? If so then state so. Many professionals can easily relocate for
employment, in particular, Canadians and Americans can easily move across the border thanks to
provisioning in the NAFTA TN Visa (A good resource for those seeking a TN Visa is grasmick.com).
- specify the salary range.. once again this is frequently left off.
- closing date... another valuable piece of information.
- for an effective online recruiting campaign consider listing your ad on multiple resource but don't go
- when the position is filled remember to request the listing be removed so you don't continue to get
bombarded by applicants.
- consider a unique job title and/or unique email address or alias for responses. This is an effective way
to track results from each online career portal. Example, if you post your job on the GJC then ask that applicants respond to Job# GJC1205 - GIS Technician, or if its listed at GISuser.com Careers, respond to Job# GU1205 - GIS Technician. Likewise, an alas such as This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
For the Job Seeker & Recruiter... some leads and pointers to valuable online GIS Career resources
To start, our own shameless plug! GISuser Career Center is a very basic, albeit valuable career resource. The site offers Free career posting and browsing the opportunities is also free. In relative terms, this site is quite active and offers visitors fresh job leads pretty much every day. Resumes are not accepted, however, a dedicated section in an online forum is frequently used by visitors to post their resumes. See GISuser.com or jump directly to http://www.gisuser.com/component/option,com_jobline/Itemid,132/
GJC.org - By far the most popular and oldest career resource on the web for GIS professionals, this site is well entrenched as a leader... I'm actually surprised that the developers have never made a move to monetize the resource more than they have, however, if it aint broke don't fix it I guess! GJC offers free posting although users are requested to provide a donation.. if history holds true I would guess that only a small portion of users actually contribute to have exposure... amazing as once would easily pay $100-$200 anywhere else for a listing that would never get as much attention. Hands down, the definitive GIS job resource for those listing and for those searching. There can only be one disappointment from this site... in a sampling of 10 job listings, 4 had no contact information provided... not the fault of the GJC but rather, oversights by the posting agent. Perhaps a mandatory "contact" field would be a good idea.
Another old-timer on the block is gisjobs.com. Having been around for several years, users will find a nice assortment of listings which include both jobs and resumes. For sometime now, the developers have wisely implemented an ongoing salary survey, taking advantage of a steady stream of users. Jobs can be listed by discipline or geography and posting starts at a bargain $50. A healthy supply of CAD jobs is also available here as well. See http://www.gisjobs.com/
GIScareers - http://giscareers.com/ has a great web url and a nice simple UI. The site hosts a large number of opportunities from all corners of the Globe. Posting is free although an account is required. A great resource for US-based and International opportunities and the price is nice!
GeoJob Source http://www.geojobsource.com/careerop.htm is another place in a long list where users will find GIS opportunities. A basic site with a simple design, users may find listings here that aren't readily available on other sites. Posting is $99, rather steep for an amateurish site and the add a link option is broken.. not a good sign!
Those down-under will find http://www.gisjobs.com.au/ to be useful. Loads of Government jobs and other opportunities, mostly in Australia. This site is affiliated with a partner site at http://www.spatialjobs.com.au/. We're not sure how much posting is as login is required to access that information.
Geomatics Canada - Canadian GIS job seekers will find some action at http://www.geomaticscanada.com/jobs.cfm. You won't find hundreds of listings, although you may find opportunities here that you won't see anywhere else. User login is required to post corporate information and the UI is a bit dated.
Canadian career seekers might consider checking into opportunities at AXYS, a large environmental consulting firm. The company has been growing and maintains offices in Calgary, AB, and Sidney, BC. At the time of writing there were a number of new GIS related career opportunities. See
ESRI Canada also does a fair bit of hiring. The company has office and opportunities across the country and ESRI HQ in Redlands, CA also hires a large number of Canadians, many recent graduates from COGS, BCIT, and Fleming College. See http://www.esricanada.com/english/info/career.asp
For Careers in the UK see http://www.gisajob.com/ This portal provides technology career opportunities and users can receive job notification alerts, browse
by industry category or location. The portal isn't really heavy on GIS jobs, however, at least a dozen or so postings were listed at the time of my writing this piece. Many positions are provide by recruiters. 
The name throws me off a bit, implying that its a GIS resource, nonetheless, still a decent resource. UK career hunters might also wish to check out http://www.giscareers.co.uk/ for some opportunities
Corporate Career Opportunities:
Other Opportunities for free career posting
Free posting via news groups - The newsgroup at GIS-L frequently has job postings. This is a great place to track down part-time leads of a consultant. See news:comp.infosystems.gis. If your job has specific technical requirements, posting a brief notice with a link to more information is often appreciated on  any discussion lists. Email-based discussion lists exist for MapInfo, AutoCAD, and ESRI product users. Links and descriptions for a number of discussion groups can be found at
The AAG - Looking for advice on careers in Geography? The AAG has such a resource available at http://www.aag.org/Careers/Intro.html. This publication describes opportunities that may exist for skilled geographers. Not to be missed here is the extensive contact list, providing, name and full contact info for hundreds of professionals who may be willing to have a look at your resume. See the contacts at http://www.aag.org/Careers/ContactList/Contactlistmap.html. finally, the resource offers a detailed description of how to build a professional looking portfolio to help get you in the door and showcase your skills.
Other agencies and institutions with frequent GIS Career Announcements:
Online Resumes
Online resumes are plentiful, however, I've never been able to figure out the real value of this service. Mind-you, there has always been a strong demand, with site users frequently looking for another place to hang their shingle. Many job sites offer flat file listings of forums where users can freely post their resumes. This may have value in the short-term, however, as years pass by the accuracy of information contained in online resumes obviously diminishes. Personally, I would leave listing my resume for specialty head-hunting sites and the like.. example, monster.com, geosearch, etc... On the flip-side, consultants and those in need of part-time help or project specific skills will no doubt find resume boards of tremendous value. On a side-note, I would never suggest posting your address or corporate email address in an open resume listing forum. Rather, list your geography locale and use a resume specific free email account from google, yahoo!, or hotmail for your replies.

Still want to list your resume online? Try the following:

Using our own GIS Career Center as a test-bed, 2005 has been a banner year for career opportunities in GIS and geospatial technologies with active listings up substantially from 2004. Additionally, new career focused web portals continue to pop up and listings on government websites as well as private consulting forms and GIS vendors have been plentiful to say the least. We bounced a few questions off Richard Serby, President of GeoSearch (www.geosearch.com), and industry-leading recruiting firm specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and geospatial technologies. Serby offers up a general vision of the current GIS employment/recruiting situation as well as some useful advice for recruiters and job seekers.
GISuser / GeoSearch Q&A:
GISuser - do you see any trends or patterns that are shaping up in the job search market as we head into 2006?
R Serby - We are seeing a general increase in the number of jobs available.  It is a healthy job market for the job seeker.
 GISuser - how is the year-end job market shaping up for GIS professionals
R Serby - Reasonably active.  This is a good time to be a job hunter.
GISuser - any advice for GIS graduates that are preparing to enter the workforce within the next month or 2.
R Serby - Start early. Two or three months before graduating is not too soon.  Don’t rely only on job boards.  Use traditional hard copy resumes and snail mail to distribute your resume in addition to the internet.
Make follow up telephone calls to every employer who receives your resume.  Make sure your resume is noticed.  Try to get the specific name of the person reviewing resumes, if possible.
GISuserany advice for online job posters/recruiters?
R Serby - We work closely with corporate and public agency internal recruiters to make sure they are casting a wide, but targeted, net in attracting candidates.  Recruitment in some job categories is very difficult right now.
GISuser - is there something that people typically do wrong when recruiting GIS pro's online?
R Serby - Many write job postings that are just too long. One common mistake is listing too many of the requirements in a job posting.  The job posting should contain only the one or two key technical skills or experience criteria that is absolutely necessary.  The ‘job duties’ paragraph should be concise.
Thanks to Mr. Serby for sharing his thoughts.
End Q&A
Finally, those of you interested in consulting on projects might consider partnering with some other savvy professionals to bid on contractual work. The NSDI has just released details of the 2006 CAP funding (see http://www.gisuser.com/content/view/7704/28/). Other places to access information on RFPs and bids include FedBiz Opps (http://www.fedbizopps.gov/) and in Canada, Merx.com. Please, note, many of the opportunities listed in these resources are mirrored on "commercial" RFP sites that charge fees (sometimes pretty hefty)... make sure you know what you are getting before you subscribe to a pay-for-view RFP service. RFPs are also regularly listed at State GIS clearinghouse nodes, ALL government websites (State, County, and local), and industry organizations.
Good Luck and happy job hunting! Do you have a GIS career resource you'd like to share with us?
Last Updated ( 20 January 2006 )
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