Finding a job, especially at the moment can be an extremely complicated and tiring process that sucks up a great deal of your time and energy. Each industry has its own processes and requirements to abide by, and so the job searching process can vary considerably depending on which industry you are interested in. The IT sector is competitive and without knowing where to look for top jobs and how to improve your chances of getting notices, you will likely struggle.
Here are some helpful tips to get you into IT:
CV and Cover Letter
Your CV and cover letter need to highlight the key skills which you possess in the IT field. If you are looking at a particular job then you need to look at what skills they require in the job spec and highlight those in both your CV and cover letter. If they are looking for a Java programmer and you don’t demonstrate to them that you are a Java programmer then you are unlikely to get an interview. It’s just common sense really when you think about it. Play to your strengths!
If you have absolutely no work experience then you really may be in trouble so perhaps if there is no other option then an unpaid internship might be worth your time. I know that no one likes them but if you need the experience then you might just have to bite the bullet. If the work experience leads to you landing a fully paid job then it was definitely worth it in the long run. Seek internship programs with reputable IT companies to ensure you gain as much valuable experience during your internship as possible.
Increase Your Skills
With the amount of information available on the internet now there is no reason not to improve your skill set. Using free resources such as codeacademy and the newboston, you can learn new programming languages or improve your knowledge of one you already know. All of this is freely available on the internet. If you know Java you could learn how to use it to create Apps for Android devices and if you know Python or Ruby you could learn how to use them to create apps which use Facebook and Twitter. The sky is quite literally the limit, and any problems you run into there are message boards with people to help you out. You should be learning while you’re job-hunting. Improving your skill set is always good for your career prospects.
Approximately one third of the tens of the thousands of IT jobs in the UK are never advertised, so it is important to know exactly where to look to find your dream career. Contact as many IT companies as you can to put yourself forward for potential vacancies they may have. Also, use IT specific recruitment agencies as much as possible to gain access to a wide range of available vacancies. Many recruitment agencies also support local training schemes. Keep a regular rapport with those agencies and be sure to contact them on a regular basis for the latest jobs. If the recruitment agency never gets in contact with you then they have either forgotten about you or they are super busy. So just remember to keep badgering them. If the recruiter gets annoyed at you, then he is not trying to help you and it’s time to get a new recruiter.
It’s a bit of a no brainer really, if you are looking for IT jobs, then the best place to look is the internet. Sign up to specialist IT recruitment websites, which feature thousands of vacancies around the country at a range of salary levels. Also search on governmental websites for information regarding public sector IT jobs. Sometimes you can find some interesting public sector jobs which aren’t listed on popular recruitment sites.
Personal and professional contacts
If you aren’t networking then you are just sitting on your laurels. Make sure you set up a LinkedIn account and use it effectively to connect with as many people within the IT industry as possible. Having an extensive list of personal and professional contacts to hand will work wonders when looking for employment. Be sure to inform everyone that you know that you are looking for an IT job and maintain regular contact with those currently working in the industry. There is nothing better than a personal reference for a job or being the first candidate to be interviewed for a job. So make sure you make use of every personal contact you can.
Have a specific company in mind that you aspire to work for? Send them a speculative application. A speculative application is a job application that is sent to a company, even though they are not advertising any available roles. Explain why you want to work for that company in particular and demonstrate how your skills, experience and attitude towards your work match the company’s culture and values. Some companies, especially large ones who get a lot of speculative CVs, get annoyed with these, however, many will put your CV on file or if you have the right skills, and may call you in for an interview. There is nothing wrong with asking is there?
It is a tough job market out there and even if you follow this advice, create a great CV, and network brilliantly you might still find it really hard to get a job. This is probably nothing to do with your personally; it is more to do with the job market. Be patient and eventually that job will come. After all the recession can’t last forever.