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How to Transition into an IT Career, The Right Way

If you’re looking to build your future in the tech industry, there’s no better time than now to do just that. IT professionals are in high demand, as advancements in software, apps and smart phones continue to have a daily impact on the lives of millions of people.

Though you may have the experience to succeed in the IT field, securing a job means knowing where to look and how to present yourself in a way that showcases your skills and gets you hired. In many ways, in fact, it’s not unlike a job search in any other field, with a few exceptions.

Here you’ll find some helpful tips on how to get an IT job:

Your first impression starts early

Though we often think first impressions begin the moment we meet with someone, the truth is, the first impression you present to a potential employer will occur before you set foot in any interview. Your resume, LinkedIn profile, personal website for showcasing your work and even your email correspondence with employers; all these presentations will make an initial impression.

One of the best efforts you can make in landing an interview in the first place is to polish your resume and create a strong online presence for yourself that showcases your strengths. Assume that an interested employer will search for you online before inviting you to meet in person, especially for an IT job.

Take time for tailoring

When emailing your resume and introducing yourself via cover letter, be sure to take the time to tailor both to the specific company and job for which you’re applying. Many people neglect to bother because it can become tedious to make the proper alterations for each resume — especially when they are sending out a ton.

However, if you take the time to learn a little bit about a company beforehand, address the specific qualifications they seek in your cover letter and highlight the experience they require in your resume, you’ll have a better chance of a follow-up. In the end, you’re investing more time into the application process, but you should expect a better return as well.

Be interview ready

Once an interview has been scheduled, be prepared to make the most of it by researching the company even more, understanding the ins and outs of the position that you seek, dressing the part and being prepared to ask questions of your own.

Despite what you might think, having good interpersonal skills is a huge advantage in the IT field and the interview is an opportunity to make a connection and present yourself in a well-rounded light. Follow up the interviewer’s questions with thoughtful questions of your own to show that you’re really interested in the position and what would be expected of you if you were hired.

Never stop networking

Never underestimate the potential of ongoing networking, especially if you’re attempting to transition into a new career. Many people find that it’s through their connections that they score an interview opportunity or hear about an IT opening before it’s ever posted on a job board. Take the time to craft a strong LinkedIn profile, exchange contact information with others in the industry, go to IT conferences and stay in touch with colleagues from past positions, even if they’re not in the world of tech. You never know which of these efforts might lead to a new opportunity.

Keep up with ongoing training

Any true IT professional understands that the IT industry is always changing and improving and if you don’t keep up with new technologies, it’s far too easy to get left behind. Keep yourself in the competition by becoming certified as a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), a Project Management Professional (PMP), a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or as a CompTIA A+ Technician, to name just a few. Recognize that there’s always room to enhance your skills and make yourself more marketable as an IT professional.

Want some help breaking into the field of IT? We can match you with a career coach who knows the industry, just visit our site and request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Brooke Cade

Brooke Cade is a freelance writer who is committed to providing people with the tools and resources to land their dream job. In her spare time, she enjoys learning more about IT management software, reading books/articles on industry news, engaging on twitter, and exploring her local neighborhood coffee shop.