5 Ways to Land the Best IT JobsOctober 3rd, 2012 by gainesvillechamber
Information technology and computer science jobs are increasingly in demand, and there are plenty of jobs to go around. Though companies like MindTree may be bringing client intensive jobs back to the US, many of the traditional programming and support jobs are still being outsourced to India and China. For emerging IT roles like data analysis and network security, you may find yourself facing some steep competition for jobs in Gainesville and across the nation. If you’re about to jump into the fast-paced tech job market, here are a few things to consider to help you land the best jobs around.
A degree will definitely make you a much stronger candidate for many positions, but an official software certification can make you attractive even without a degree. Most large software companies (Sun, Microsoft, Oracle, etc) offer paid certification exams which can increase your skillset and your value to a company. Certification can be especially vital for current IT professionals looking for a promotion or a new job. In a 2011 survey, nearly 75 percent of IT professionals credited certifications for a new job, a promotion or other benefits, and more than 60 percent said their certification led to a new job.
Optimize Your Resume
It’s more important than ever to have a killer resume, but a good resume should go beyond your past experience and responsibilities. Adding a “Skills” section to let potential employers know your talents, or an Interests section to show your passions, is a step in the right direction, but you can make small changes that will have a huge effect. Many hiring managers will often use keyword filters to cut down the stacks of resumes and applications they receive. If you don’t have a specific keyword, your resume is cut – no matter how good it looks. Before you apply, make sure to research the position and edit your resume to include relevant keywords. Have you found an employer looking for a WordPress site developer? Make sure to include “PHP programmer” in your resume. If you’re having trouble, your regional workforce board FloridaWorks can help guide you through crafting the perfect resume.
Use a Staffing Agency
Much of the time, finding a first job is all about who you know. While some students will meet potential employers through job fairs or the UF Career Resource Center, others may not be so lucky. If you’re looking for a job in a different city, it can be easier to let someone else do the legwork of making those contacts for you. For something specialized technology jobs, working with a staffing agency can be your best place to start looking. Look to recruiters who focus on technology specifically, like Kforce which has a continually updated board of data analyst and network security jobs around the country. You’ll likely get better quality leads that fit your skill set.
Join an IT Professionals’ Association
There are a handful of professional organizations for information technology and computer science professionals, and they can be a valuable resource when you’re searching for a new job. Many will have online job boards, but they will also typically hold a variety of events where you can network and make new connections that may lead to a job. If you are set on finding a job in a specific city, join the local chapter of that organization and start meeting other professionals. In Gainesville, the Association of Information Technology Professionals is a great group to meet new professionals to further your career. If you are a student, there is probably a student chapter at your university that you can jump into and get a start on your networking before you enter the workforce.
Look Outside the Tech Industry
Shockingly enough, nearly every industry relies on information technology professionals to manage, analyze and secure data. While Silicon Valley and Seattle might be the most publicized hot spots of the tech industry, there are a ton of companies and organizations throughout the nation that need data analysts, mobile app developers and cybersecurity gurus. From healthcare to finance to defense, nearly everyone needs dedicated IT support, and that demand is only growing as we generate more data. Many times, these industries offer more creativity and workplace freedom, offering you the chance to make more of an impact in the daily workings of your company.
Written by Mike Cushing. Mr. Cushing is the marketing content coordinator for 352 Media Group, a digital marketing and web design company in Gainesville, Fla.