Have you been poking around the information technology field, unsure how to land the position of your dreams? Though a high-paying job may not come right out the gates, understanding how to navigate tech-based interviewing spaces is critical to future success. Though the tech industry is a lucrative, ever-changing occupation with limitless room for growth, it’s also highly competitive.
If you’re looking for ways to set yourself apart as a candidate and land interviews with high-paying firms, read on for eight tips to help you in your tech-based endeavors.
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Keep up to date with the latest certifications
It’s a common myth that you need a tech degree to score a job in IT, but that isn’t always the case. Most employers will overlook a lack of degree if your skill level is up to par. By obtaining tech certifications and strengthening your resume, you can land an IT position without years of expensive schooling.
For example, certifications like the ITIL 4 Foundation Exam stand out on resumes, significantly improving your odds of employment in the IT industry.
A challenge many rookie technicians face is gaining experience to build their resumes before interviewing for positions. You often need a job to gain experience, but most companies prefer hiring experienced candidates upfront, which creates an impossible challenge for fresh-faced hopefuls. However, one way to circumvent this conundrum is by volunteering your services or interning to boost your resume.
From charities to non-profits to small businesses, you can find plenty of willing participants to help you gain valuable experience. Though it may be tough to find a paying position, smaller gigs will come in handy when you begin applying for larger companies.
Leverage your other skills
In addition to showing off your technical talents and completed certifications, you’ll need to highlight other necessary skills when interviewing for IT positions. For example, customer service experience is a green flag for employers seeking friendly and helpful candidates who can interact with clients. So, make sure you leverage your non-IT-related abilities to seal the deal while interviewing.
Take an entry-level position
Nobody wants to start at the bottom of the ladder, especially highly qualified individuals. However, when searching in a competitive market, you may need to settle for a lower-level position and work your way up.
Once you’ve landed an IT position, show your employer what you’re made of by demonstrating initiative and going above and beyond what they ask of you. Eventually, your employer will recognize your value with a promotion, or you can leverage your experience at another company.
Unfortunately, a large part of scoring a position as a beginner technician is knowing the right people. For those lacking connections, it can be challenging to secure an interview, let alone a job offer. To find your footing, you’ll need to network by reaching out and connecting with people from your industry.
Create a LinkedIn profile, attend local conferences, and connect online to establish relationships with experienced technicians who can put in a good word during onboarding.
Immerse yourself in technology
If you hope to be successful in the tech industry, you’ll need to give yourself an edge by standing out from other candidates. In addition to obtaining IT certifications, make sure you stay up-to-date on the latest technology and educate yourself on company-specific processes.
Between technical courses, easily accessible online forums, and community guidance, you can keep your skills up-to-speed on any tech-related news and advancements.
Improve your interview skills
In some cases, how you perform in an interview matters more than a fine-tuned resume. Make sure you practice interviewing, review common questions, and prepare yourself for on-the-spot answers. It’s critical to develop a rapport with the interviewer, especially if there are multiple stages in the process, to set yourself apart from other prospects.
Though there’s no way to predict the interview’s trajectory, reading up on successful interview techniques can go a long way with employers. Just remember, first impressions are everything. So lead with confidence and be ready to think on your feet.
Look for positions in fields you know
If you’re sliding into the IT field from another industry, you may be able to capitalize on skills from your previous job by outlining how you would adapt them to your new position. Not only will supplemental experience make you a more appealing candidate, but it also enables you to negotiate salary and status if they make you an offer.
For example, if you previously managed a retail store, consider applying for an IT position within larger retailers. Since you already have valuable experience, hiring employers will consider you even more knowledgeable than your counterparts.
Finding a job within the IT industry can lead to a rewarding, lucrative career for those willing to put in the work. Though it may take time to gain experience, network with industry leaders, and find the perfect fit, the benefits are worth staying patient and diligent in your search.