10 hiring hacks for job-hunting IT professionals

As an IT professional, you are more valuable than ever at a time when every business and association needs an IT department. This might make you feel confident that you can find a job, and you’re right, the odds are in your favor. However, that doesn’t mean that companies are hiring every tech professional they come across. After all, you aren’t the only person looking for a steady career with a healthy paycheck.

This means that you need to step up your game and set yourself apart to prove that you deserve your desired IT role. But how can you truly stand out?

Here are 10 hiring hacks for job-hunting IT professionals.

1. Definitely use social channels

Whether you like it or not, social networking is now the lifeblood of business. Hiring managers are going to scour these channels, looking for any glimpse into your skills, personality and even looks. Don’t hide. Create social media accounts if you don’t have them, but put your primary effort into beefing up your GitHub and LinkedIn profiles.

2. Have a interesting resume

Your resume is the first thing hiring managers, executives or staff members will see when you’re looking for a new job. Most companies get a lot of them, so you need to stand out immediately to even even be considered for an interview.

“IT pros need to ‘get creative’ with their resumes.”

Ann Pickering, HR director at O2, told Forbes that people need to “get creative” with their resumes. Pickering asserted that this is your one shot to show what you can bring to the table, and by limiting yourself to only “words on a page,” you’re doing yourself a disservice – especially in the tech industry. So, Pickering recommended creating a digital aspect to your job application.

3. Be ready for a screening call

Nowadays, screen calls are to be expected. After you submit a resume, put a pen and notepad somewhere close, and don’t be surprised to hear from the company at which you applied.

4. Know the company, industry and where they stand

OK, so you’ve passed the screening and your interview is next week. Start researching the business, its industry and where the company stands in the market. This makes you seem eager, engaged and intelligent when talking to hiring managers.

5. Remember your audience

In the same way that you learn about the company that you hope to work for, you should always consider the person who will be interviewing you. This should influence how you dress and how you speak. For example, a group interview with an IT team might not demand a suit.

Additionally, you should try to get a feel for interviewers’ personalities by checking out their social channels. CIO magazine created a list of “oddball interview questions,” with example such as “What’s your favorite ’90s jam?” The point is that if you’re unfamiliar with the person, how can you tell if he or she is joking or serious?

Demonstrate that you're the hero a company needs and deserves.Demonstrate that you’re the hero a company needs and deserves.

6. Show your personality

Yes, you want to try to exemplify the type of new hire that companies want, but at the same time, you need to be yourself. Nedhal Alkhatib, program manager for Motorola, explained to Forbes that job candidates’ personalities are “extremely important” to her.

“How you present yourself in the interview is crucial – don’t come across as over-keen or desperate – you want the interviewer to like you and your personality, not pity you,” Alkhatib said.

7. Demonstrate a drive to learn

This tip is simple. Ben Medlock, founder of SwiftKey, explained his stance on this topic to the source:

“The main thing not to do is stop learning or stop being curious. We rate people who are always teaching themselves and others something new. That gives you lots to talk about in an interview, too.”

“Choose a problem, and explain how you’ll fix it.”

8. Solve a problem

When you look at a job posting, all the skill requirements listed by a company are related to a problem that the business needs to solve. So, LifeHacker recommended pitching yourself as someone who can mitigate those issues or positively impact how the firm handles  them. Simply put, choose a problem and explain how you’ll fix it.

9. Prepare for a test

No matter what you say, hiring managers want to make sure you can actually do. Be ready to flex your tech muscles, so it can’t hurt to brush up on some basic skills a couple days in advance.

10. Tell the interviewer the truth

Once you’ve made it to the end of an interview, you can finally relax, but first, be honest with your interviewer. Tell him or her how you feel about the job, the company and the workload. After all, if you are thinking “I don’t think I’ll like it here,” why not save everyone’s time?

Job interviews don’t need to be stressful, since as an IT professional, businesses need you. However, that doesn’t mean you can just walk in the door. Be ready for everything, and the job is yours.

10 hiring hacks for job-hunting IT professionals
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