There’s no denying that the job market is hot right now. During many recent months, there were more jobs available than there were people looking for work. In fields like information technology, there are growing talent shortages because all but a few people lack the needed IT skills for some positions that require specialized expertise.
Employers are looking hard and taking new steps to find the workers they need to fill their open positions. But just because there are a lot of jobs out there doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy to get one of them. Companies really can’t afford to hire any warm body just because they have an open position.
There’s a war for talent going on, and every company wants the best talent they can get. They don’t want to settle for less than the best, so job seekers like you need to make themselves as marketable as they can to be considered for a job.
Developing In-Demand Skills
The number one need of IT employers is workers who have the necessary skills to do the job at hand. If you can demonstrate to an employer that you can get the job done, you will be well on your way to a top IT job. Coursework can be a positive step in the right direction, but other than direct experience, certifications are the best way to prove that you meet the qualifications needed.
Increasingly, employers want candidates to complete one or more on-demand tasks during an interview to show their IT skills. The best way to prepare for a test like this is to take and pass a certification exam in your field of expertise. Certifications, especially more advanced ones, also help you develop a specific enough set of skills to distinguish you from the pack of more generic candidates.
Ready Your Resume
An up-to-date resume shows that you are professional and take your career seriously. If you don’t know how to create a professional resume, get help from your school’s career services center or a resume-writing service. The bulk of your resume may remain the same as you apply to different jobs. But it’s best to customize it for each job application to highlight the skills and experience that most apply to that opportunity.
Liz Ryan at Forbes recommends giving your resume a human voice by telling what you specifically did in your previous positions that go beyond the job description. How you benefitted the company or advanced the position is much more important and interesting than a bland list of skills or tasks completed. Whatever you can do to make your resume stand out, while still using relevant keywords and remaining professional, will increase your marketability as you search.
Work on Presentation
Being able to present yourself in a way that conveys confidence and professionalism, but is still personable, is essential for interviews and other prehire contacts with an employer. Practice interviews where you roleplay and respond to questions from a mock interviewer. This will give you an idea of how you might come across, will increase your confidence, and expose mistakes before a real job is on the line.
Be on the Cutting Edge
Join an industry organization or participate in an online group focused on your specialty area. This will help you keep your finger on the pulse of ongoing developments and changes in your field. Being able to discuss cutting edge topics and trends in an interview will help you stand out and make you more marketable to employers.
PC AGE offers computer training that can help you develop skills and earn certifications that employers want in the current IT environment. Contact us for more information on how to get started in a field that needs your expertise.