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How To Stand Out As An IT Job Candidate



The job market for IT professionals continues to flourish, especially as companies develop and expand their digital infrastructure to support consumers’ demand for digital access to products and services. A Tech Jobs report showed that job postings for tech-focused professions were up by 45% between January and June this year. IT talent that can bring organizations to the cloud, build infrastructure, and enhance cybersecurity has never been more crucial across organizations. Of course, despite the heightened demand for tech talent, it’s still imperative to set yourself apart from your peers.

That can mean knowing which kind of IT work you’re interested in, sharpening your expertise in various IT skills, marketing yourself well in your resume, and so on. This article will touch on the ways in which you can stand out as an IT job candidate.

1. Do your research before the job search

There are numerous IT career paths out there. Narrowing down your options and knowing which ones you want to try can help you focus on refining the skills needed for those specific roles. Firstly, blogs, podcasts, and discussion websites such as Reddit are available resources that you can consult. Once you’ve created a list of jobs, you can then conduct more in-depth research on what each role will require from you. For example, if you want to be a computer network architect, then refresh your knowledge on layout creation or hardware and software upgrades. By recognizing your preferred IT role, you can also brush up on the vocabulary that might come up during your job interview.

2. Undergo further training

There’s no need to ascertain that the field of IT is growing rapidly. In the referenced Tech Jobs report, it was seen that advancements in transformative technologies like blockchain, cloud computing, and the internet of things will continue well into 2023. As such, it’s important to undergo further training to ensure you can develop the necessary skills needed by the industry. You can boost your resume with certifications. You can train for a number of IT industry certifications with Ascend Education. If you’re interested in software development or computer programming, you can enlist in a coding bootcamp. A coding bootcamp essentially includes coursework on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that are crucial in designing web pages. Typically, these kinds of training, aside from equipping you with the necessary knowledge, allow you to work on real-world projects such as a completed web page design. As such, these projects can be used to demonstrate your expertise to potential employers.

3. Highlight your skills in resumes and interviews

After gaining more experience, the next step is to highlight your skills, whether in resumes or during interviews. Making yourself a more marketable IT candidate means leveraging the relevant skills employers are looking for today. Currently, 44% of IT hiring managers are interested in technical skills such as web development and data analysis. But interestingly, 33% of them believe that leadership is an imperative trait in candidates. So if you’ve volunteered to design networks for small companies or taken the initiative to work as a freelance web developer, these can indicate that you have a strong sense of adaptability and creativity. List them down in your resume so employers can recognize those values from the get-go. During your interview, expound on your previous experiences, but remember to keep it succinct. Only mention the salient points of each project, like if you contributed to developing a computerized database. Amidst a sea of candidates, you’ll want to be efficient in discussing your accomplishments.

4. Don’t be afraid of networking

According to a Harvard Business Review article, 85% of roles are filled through networking. This is because networking is a great way for candidates to show they can present their abilities and connect with other professionals. Don’t be afraid to interact with your peers or to seek out a mentor, as the IT industry is a collaborative field that prioritizes the sharing of ideas. To start, you can attend professional networking events that are aligned with the areas of your interest. Some gatherings for project management, software engineering, and web development post their details on social media platforms, so keep a lookout for them. Otherwise, you can also reach out to colleagues who you worked on projects with while at your college or university. The Harvard Business Review article also discussed that, with dormant ties to old colleagues, it’s likely that the trust within those relationships endured can provide you with better opportunities to land a job in tech.

Additional training can give you the edge tech employers look for in their candidates. At Ascend Education, our courses include comprehensive written lessons, quality video instruction, and virtual labs which can help you achieve an industry certification and secure the job you want.

Content intended only for the use of written by Megan Kelly

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