We've talked extensively about what IT skills employers are looking for in 2016. But just because you have a particular skillset that’s in demand this year doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get the job you want. Here are some tips to help IT job seekers in their quest for a new employer.
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You may have the technical skills for an IT job on offer but that role isn't going to land in your lap if you just sit there and do nothing. Even if you're waiting patiently to be headhunted, you still need to know how to put yourself out there so that recruiters can find you.
As recruitment firm Hays highlighted in its quarterly employment report, IT workers across multiple industries and disciplines are in high demand in 2016. If you're working in the industry already and you're looking to move to greener pastures, now is a good time to strike out and get a new gig.
We asked Hays senior regional director Peter Noblet for advice for IT jobseekers to increase their chances of scoring the job they desire. Here are some of his recommendations.
#1 Target Realistic Jobs
It's good to aim high but recognise when you're overshooting. Be sure to apply for jobs that you know you're qualified for. It seems like a no-brainer but there are a lot of people that just blast their resumes to recruiters and hope for the best.
"Employers are becoming more impatient with candidates who apply for a role that they are not suitable for. In 2016 it is therefore important to be realistic in the roles you consider and clearly demonstrate your suitability for a role based upon your experience," Noblet said.
#2 Continue To Educate Yourself
The IT industry is fluid and constantly changing as new technology is introduced. In such a dynamic sector, it's important to keep yourself up-to-date with industry developments and to upskill yourself regularly.
This could be done with formal training. But bear in mind that not all training is equal.
"If you need to undertake training make sure it’s the right training. In every industry there are certain qualifications that employers value above others," Noblet said. "So make sure you do your research and work towards the qualifications that employers actually value."
#3 Shameless Self Promotion
You may already have a LinkedIn profile but there's so much more you can do to make yourself visible to recruiters and potential employers on social media. We're not encouraging you to start Twitter account and post annoying tweets about what you ate for breakfast, but using social media to your advantage can boost your chances of getting a new job.
For example, you can share relevant industry news through your social media channels and comment on relevant content. Not only will you be doing your peers a favour by sharing information they may not be aware of, it always makes you look like a well-informed IT professional who is abreast of the latest developments in the industry.
Specifically for LinkedIn, don't forget to ask for endorsements and showcase examples of your work and achievements. Additionally, be mindful of your LinkedIn connections and don't just add everybody that sends you a request.
"Your connections should show potential employers that you are associated with people relevant to your field, which can be a powerful endorsement of your reach," Noblet said.
#4 Learn To Cope With Rejection
As Noblet puts it:
"Highly-skilled professionals are in high demand, but that doesn’t mean employers will leap at the first candidate they find. As well as the required technical skills you need to have the right industry background and cultural fit, which means it could take a few applications before you find the right role for you. Don’t take the rejection personally."
Don't be discouraged if you don't get the first job you apply for. If you have trouble handling rejection, try treating it like losing a game so you can keep things in perspective.
Are you currently looking for a new job in the IT industry? Tell us your experience in the comments.