The IT industry is growing and so is the demand for skilled employees. Therefore, to get a piece of the cake, you need to be well-positioned and grab opportunities whenever they arise.
Even if you’re not an expert yet, the changing IT world has room for anyone willing to learn and grow their skillset. Whether you’ve just graduated from college or are already employed and looking for a new challenge, these six tips will help you land your dream IT job.
Gain a qualification and grow your experience
If you’re at the beginning of your career, the natural first step will be to settle on the IT career you want to pursue and start learning. Search for a reputable university to study at to ensure that the certificate you gain on completing the course is valid.
Once you’re done learning and are certified, consider kicking off your career through internships. Internships are a great way to gain working experience while learning the ropes of your IT job in real-world situations. You can find internships online on job boards or on the career pages of IT company websites.
Search on job boards and company websites
Begin by going onto job boards and career sites to find open positions. Websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor are a good place to start. Search for general terms like “IT jobs in Australia” or “remote IT jobs” then narrow down your search to the specific roles you’re interested in.
Job boards and career sites allow companies to upload a job description along with the job post. Read them carefully to see whether you qualify for the position or not. Even if you lack some of the listed qualifications, don’t shy away from applying. So long as you have the majority of the required skills, you’re good to go.
Don’t stop with online boards, though. Sometimes companies advertise positions directly on their websites rather than posting on boards. Therefore, it’s essential to keep an eye on them to be among the first to apply. Make a list of companies you’d like to work for and make sure to check back regularly to see if new openings are available.
Craft your resume for each job listing
As tempting as it is to send a generic resume to all the companies you apply to, don’t do it. If you want to stand out from the pile, make sure you research the company and position you’re applying for in-depth. Then, tailor your resume to match the job.
Some details such as your education and experience will remain the same. However, you need to be selective and choose the skills, work experiences, and education that will be most relevant to that specific role and company.
Remember to state your most competitive IT skills, experience, and certifications in your resume based on the specific position. For instance, if they mention they use the ITIL framework and you have an ITIL certification, don’t forget to boldly indicate that in your resume. This will increase your chances of getting the IT job of your dreams.
In addition, check out the keywords and tone the company uses in their job post and try to emulate that in your application. This will help you make it past automated resume selection systems that sort out applications by keywords. It will also show that you appreciate the company’s culture and could be a good fit for the job.
Tailor your cover letter to the position
Once your resume is ready, it’s time to write a cover letter. This is your opportunity to express yourself to the hiring manager and make an impression. The same rules apply – find keywords in the job description and incorporate them in your cover letter. Additionally, create a unique cover letter for each employer you’re targeting.
A pro tip is to tell a short story of how you helped your previous employers achieve their goals. For instance, let’s say you used your test management knowledge to help your previous employer deliver quality software to clients. State this in your letter and give a real-life example in brief. If you don’t have previous work experience, discuss a school project or even an independent project you took on where you solved a similar problem.
Showing you have hands-on experience solving similar problems to the one on the job post will help show the value you are bringing to the company and help make your case for why you’re the best choice.
Ask for a job referral
Referrals are a great way to get ahead of the competition. You could know someone who is close to the hiring manager or works in the company you’re interested in working for. Don’t be shy to ask them to put in a good word for you. Ask them to share how they know you, your strengths, and why they think you’re a good fit for the job.
If it’s not too much to ask, you could also request your contact to connect you to the hiring manager directly. That way, you’ll get the opportunity to meet them personally and showcase your skills.
Follow up on your job application
It’s possible to apply for a position and not hear back from the company after the stipulated time. In that case, it’s okay to follow up. Send a brief follow-up message to remind the employer of you and show that you’re highly interested in the position.
Be clear about which position you’re following up on and confirm your interest. Reiterate your best qualifications before expressing your gratitude and concluding the message. All this should fit in a paragraph or two.
If you end up being selected for an interview, make sure to follow up on that as well. A simple email thanking the person who interviewed them shows that you’re proactive and engaged with the hiring process, and may be the small gesture you need to put yourself above other applicants.
Keep applying until you formally accept the offer
Even after finding a job opening you like and have a good shot at, don’t stop applying to other places. Considering that there are multiple stages and people involved in the hiring process, you never know how it will go. You also never know which other opportunities could still be out there.
The only time you should end your search is after you have formally accepted an offer by a company. This will likely happen after interviews have been completed and you’ve received an official offer letter. If that hasn’t happened yet, don’t give up. Keep searching.
Get referred by friends and family to get ahead of the competition. Follow up on your application after two weeks or more, depending on the employer’s specifications. Finally, keep applying until you get a solid job offer. Don’t give up and you’re sure to land the IT job of your dreams.