6 Things Every IT Professional Should Know When Applying for Jobs

Taking into account the absolute need for computing technologies in business environments, it should come as no surprise that IT professionals are highly sought after in the modern era. In fact, eWEEK reported that the unemployment rate for individuals in enterprise IT is only 2.5 percent. Companies are begging for new hires, but they can’t find exactly what they are looking for.

Is this because they are picky or are IT professionals not accurately representing themselves? It’s hard to say. There are many factors at play. However, there is a solution, and a way to find the ideal position in enterprise IT. Dice President Shravan Goli told eWEEK that it comes down to thinking outside of the box. So, let’s open that box up and see what’s inside. Here are the six most important things IT professionals should know when looking for a job.

1. LinkedIn is a valuable tool
You’re probably thinking, “Come on, I know about LinkedIn!” but are you using it correctly? According to CNBC, workplace consultant Alexandra Levit recommended mining the social media network for contacts at the company that you’re interested in, as well as connecting with mutual friends or associates that have the same role that you are eyeing. Send a short but sweet message announcing your interest in a similar job and ask if you can pick their brain about how they got the position and if they enjoy it.

Levit also pointed out that you don’t even need to be eyeing a specific job posting to reach out to others in your field. You never know when an opening can pop up, and the hope is that someone will think of you when that time comes.

“Adjust your resume’s verbiage to match a job listing’s keywords and phrases.”

2. You need to customize your resume
This point is simple: Don’t have the same exact resume for more than one interview or job opening. Closely read what the posting is asking for and adjust your verbiage to match their keywords and phrases. That doesn’t mean you should lie, but rather if the open position requires someone with relational database experience, write exactly that instead of saying “SQL Server.”

You also want to align yourself with the corporate culture itself. Know what the atmosphere is like by checking out GlassDoor reviews and the company’s website. Add whatever you can contribute to the organization right on your resume in a summarizing paragraph. This shows that you can adapt to your surroundings.

3. Know mobile
The bring-your-own-device movement has arrived, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Wired reported that gaining expertise in enterprise mobility can be a challenge that’s “similar to running along the side of a speeding train and trying to jump on.” While that might be hyperbole, the source stressed the importance of possessing skills in device management, usability, mobility and application development as well as being familiar with the variety of mobile toolsets and devices.

4. Boast about uncommon skills
In the same vein as mobile familiarity, make sure to note your relatively uncommon skills even if the role doesn’t specifically require those traits. For example, InformationWeek pointed out that far too many IT professionals are citing they understand Hadoop, big data and distributed systems. Instead, the source cited a recent Compuware survey, identifying that those seeking a new job should mention they are familiar with mainframe technology, as two-thirds of CIOs said that once their mainframe talent retires, their businesses will be hurt.

By boasting some uncommon skills, you prove that you have a breadth of IT knowledge and could be a valuable component of a strong IT department.

Express an interest in learning new technologies somewhere in your resume.Express an interest in learning new technologies somewhere in your resume.

5. Stay one step ahead
Technology is improving at a breakneck pace, so why aren’t you always learning? You should be. According to Techrepublic, James Stanger, senior director of product management at CompTIA, suggested choosing a technology – one that you’re both interested in and intimate with – and learning what the next innovative step for it will be. So, if you’re a Windows Server 2012 genius, start reading up on Windows Server 2015 and even looking beyond that.

It’s also critical to understand both sides of some technologies. In regard to cybersecurity, Stanger recommended moving from open source materials to proprietary tools to get a feel for how those professionals operate.

6. Possess soft skills
While IT departments used to be like team golf – everyone doing their own thing but contributing to a greater cause – nowadays professionals need to have people and project management skills. Techrepublic reported that this is largely due to the expenses associated with hardware, licensing and software. So when businesses implement new strategies and start projects, they want to ensure their team members can stick to a timeline and work together.

The IT job market is competitive, so hit the ground running with the best possible first appearance with these resume requirements and attitudinal adjustments.

6 Things Every IT Professional Should Know When Applying for Jobs

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