Hunting for Your First Job in IT? Here Is How to Land It!

Posted June 18, 2015 by
Young engineer business man with thin modern aluminium laptop in network server room

Young engineer business man with thin modern aluminium laptop in network server room. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Although there are tons of open job positions for IT specialists all over the world, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get your first job in this sector. There are many professionals with better skills, greater experience, and more recommendations that will attract an employer’s attention. How do you get the right people to notice you?

It is hard to get a job of this type with no previous working experience, but you cannot gain the needed experience if no one is willing to give you a job. That’s a paradox we’ll never solve. Don’t despair; there is always hope for everyone with the right set of skills needed for success in this industry. After all, you can attract attention with your own projects, right? Read on; the following tips will teach you how to get that first job in the IT sector.

1. Work on your resume

The competition in this industry is brutal. Job candidates don’t get noticed if they don’t submit creative resumes that would distinguish them from the crowd. Although you don’t have much experience to present in the resume, you can still showcase the skills you’ve obtained throughout education and training.

Think of something unusual, such as an infographic resume or another visual representation of your studying and working history. Locate people who can attest to your exceptional performance and character, and add them in the reference list. Don’t forget to tailor awesome cover letters for each position you apply for. Then, you can start submitting applications.

2. Hunt for temporary jobs

Although they don’t pay that well, temporary positions can serve as a springboard for newbies in the IT world. When you don’t have much experience working in the sector, you shouldn’t aim too high. Test the waters and apply for some temporary jobs that would enable you to gain the needed experience. Then you can raise the bar of expectations and start expecting calls for interviews on better positions.

3. Know your limits

If you want to get any job, you need to be down to earth. You cannot start out as a systems administrator. Even the low-level jobs are difficult to obtain. Starting your way on the low steps of the ladder is not a bad thing. The journey will teach you how the IT industry functions, so you’ll prepare yourself for the ultimate challenges. If you show that you have greater capacity than your first position demands, your superiors will notice the potential at one point or another.

4. Build something!

Enlisting the skills in a resume is not enough when you’re trying to get an IT job. You need to prove you are worthy! The simplest way to do that is to write an open-source program that makes a significant contribution to the IT industry. Make an app for iPhone or Android and try to promote it successfully. If you don’t have the skills for that, you can build an awesome website or start a blog that offers IT tips and news.

5. Get different certificates… at the right time

An advanced certificate like a MCTS or CCNA will definitely attract attention, but it has to be accompanied with experience. Plan your game: it’s best to work for a while in any job you can get, and then get certified.

6. Consider internship options

After all that effort and money you spent on education, this may not seem like the best alternative. However, the experience you gain will look attractive in your resume. Getting an internship position is incomparably easier than landing a real job when you’re a beginner.

When you acquire more on-the-job skills through one or more internships, the doors to greater opportunities will open.

7. What about freelancing?

You have to start somewhere, don’t you? Freelancing is not a bad option, since many clients are willing to give opportunities to candidates with no experience. What IT area are you skilled at? Databases, programming, system administration, web design, or networking? It doesn’t matter; the freelancing industry is open for everyone! Apply to jobs whose requirements match your specific skills. Stay persistent and you’ll land a good opportunity sooner or later.

8. Use your connections

You have surely made some contacts throughout your training as an IT specialist. Use them! Where do they work? Do their companies have IT departments? If you’re looking for a simple way to get your first job, then this is the solution: get in touch with the people you know. Some companies encourage their employees to recommend qualified candidates for open positions. If you manage to land a job this way, make sure you don’t disappoint them.

Always Be Ready!

A new opportunity may arise when you least expect it. Be prepared to benefit from any chance you get. Your resume must be ready at all times, and you should create a great portfolio that will showcase your skills and talents. If you demonstrate that you are prepared for the position that’s being offered, you will increase your chances to land the job.

Author: Maria is a freelance writer and a contributor to educational portal, ScholarAdvisor. She’s experiened in writing, social media and IT.

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