IT's Most Wanted: 7 Tips to Get You Hired
Following these seven tips will raise your chances of getting hired in the IT space.
While mass layoffs in the tech industry have hit the headlines this year, the demand for good IT professionals remains strong in mainstream business, as companies globally invest in modernization and digital transformation.
But the stakes are high. The use of data analytics, AI, and machine learning has never been greater, partly fueled by the viral popularity of ChatGPT, leaving many organizations seeking tech leaders and other specialists for new roles.
And with so many candidates vying for hot positions in a competitive field, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Here are seven tips that I think will raise your chances of getting hired in the IT space:
CHOOSE YOUR TARGET WISELY
Finding a new job is akin to embarking on a unique project. If you've ever participated in any project throughout your career, you'll understand the significance of approaching it with a professional mindset and setting clear goals for future success. Take the time to explore what truly ignites your passion within your job and identify what you're seeking. Conduct thorough research on the labor market, companies, products, and current hiring trends to uncover potential opportunities. By aligning these aspects, you'll discover the intersection that leads to your dream job.
Don't hesitate to apply for positions that may not have a 100% match. Recall the examples of side projects you've worked on, self-taught programming languages, and other activities that showcase your skills and growth potential. It's important to note that over 50% of successful hires are made without a complete match. Seize the opportunity.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
It goes without saying that conducting thorough research on your potential employer, their business, the specific role you're applying for, and the hiring manager is crucial. Nowadays, many companies maintain a news page on their website and boast a strong social media presence to showcase their latest announcements and updates.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the company's values and history, aiming to find genuine alignment. Customize your resumé and cover letter for each position you apply to, tailoring them to highlight relevant qualifications and experiences and provide a concise explanation of why you are the best candidate.
Don't forget to strategically incorporate keywords into your resumé and LinkedIn profile. This will enhance your visibility and increase the likelihood of appearing in recruiters' search results.
PRIORITIZE YOUR TECHNICAL SKILLS
According to a recent survey by TechCareers, 75% of hiring managers in the IT industry prioritize technical skills over any other attributes when considering job candidates. While this may seem an obvious approach, many job seekers get wrapped up in the need to demonstrate their personal competencies instead of digging deeper into their technical abilities. It's important to make sure your resumé and online profiles emphasize your specific expertise in programming languages, software tools, and other relevant technologies, as well as any accreditations or online courses you have completed. According to the World Economic Forum, an analysis of 228 million job ads showed that the fastest emerging skills set are AI, machine learning, cloud computing, product management, and social media.
SHOWCASE YOUR RESULTS IN THE IT INDUSTRY
There's no escaping the fact that results matter. It can be easy to forget the part you played in a successful rollout, an infrastructure network upgrade, or a test plan. Be sure to highlight specific projects you have worked on, and the results achieved. Did you improve system performance, reduce downtime, or increase user satisfaction? Use concrete examples to convey your impact.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST TRENDS
Attend conferences, read industry publications, and participate in online forums to stay abreast of emerging technologies and best practices. Although sometimes not relevant to the role you're seeking, being knowledgeable about the field you work in will definitely underscore your passion and give you kudos with the hiring manager. Also, there are lots of platforms that are useful and can help — showcase your work. Here are a few:
- GitHub — Great for version control and collaboration on software development projects. You can store and manage your code, track changes, and collaborate with other developers.
- StackOverflow — A question-and-answer platform for programmers
- Behance — Allows you to display your work as a creative professional, including designers, photographers, and developers. You can create a portfolio of your work and share it with potential employers or clients.
- Dribbble — A similar platform to showcase your work as a designer, including UI/UX design, web design, and graphic design.
- HackerRank — A platform to improve your coding skills by solving coding challenges and competitions. Employers may use the platform to assess your technical skills.
- Kaggle — Ideal for data scientists and machine learning engineers.
- GitLab — Use this web-based Git repository manager to collaborate on software development projects. It includes features like version control, issue tracking, and continuous integration and deployment.
- LinkedIn — You'll be aware of this popular professional networking platform to highlight your skills, experience, and work history. Seventy percent of prospective employers view their candidate's social media pages as part of the recruitment process. Be strategic with creating your professional profile and connect with potential employers or clients.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Don't hesitate to seek assistance. Identify someone who can conduct a mock interview with you, helping you prepare for the real deal.
BE AUTHENTIC — ABOVE ALL, BE YOURSELF
Ultimately, employers seek to hire people — real individuals who are authentic and genuine. There's no need to pretend to be someone you're not or embellish your skills and experience. Instead, be honest, transparent, and let your passion for technology shine through. It's also important to be open about areas where you may need to improve a skill or where you lack as much experience as you'd like. Remember, the journey doesn't end with the hiring process. It can be exhausting to constantly pretend instead of engaging in meaningful work that genuinely interests you.
The job search is an adventure. It may be a short and vibrant journey, or a longer path of personal growth and finding the right fit. Along the way, you'll encounter opportunities and mistakes of your own making. Eventually, you'll discover your perfect match.