Are you looking for gainful employment in the IT world? Then there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, both during and after your search.
The world has changed irrevocably thanks to the pandemic, and that includes the IT industry. While there is still a high demand for professionals in the sector, things have changed from years past.
Many employers are offering work-from-home and remote opportunities, and IT jobs have become a priority. Organizations must establish, support and maintain the infrastructure and systems to facilitate remote work.
Here’s what that means for you and what you’ll need to know during your IT job search in 2021.
1. Upskilling and Multi-Skilling Are Critical
The more skills and responsibilities you can take on, the more attractive you are to potential employers. This has always been the case, but it’s imperative in IT because of how much the industry is evolving.
You should take every opportunity to learn new roles, acquire relevant skills, or advance your existing knowledge and experience. The more you have to offer, the better your chances of getting hired and being well compensated.
2. Never Stop Networking
Get your name out there and start hustling in the professional world. Share your knowledge and expertise through a blog or social content. It helps to reach out to employers that are hiring and talk to HR.
It’s also a good idea to connect with other professionals on networks like LinkedIn and engage with them when you have the opportunity. Join professional communities and user groups in your field and participate. You can also attend live conferences, including major IT events and local job fairs.
The idea is to start networking and continue doing it even long after you’re hired. Build a reputation in the IT world, and you’ll have no problems finding work. Unsurprisingly, 80% of professionals believe career success can be elevated through professional connections.
3. Build a Personal Brand
The best way to build your personal and professional reputation, other than networking with others, is to create a brand. Your resume shouldn’t be the only place where you show off your skills and expertise. Build a professional portfolio where you can host samples of your work, share testimonials and discuss your thoughts. You can also use social media, web communities and local gatherings.
If you build your brand, people will be more willing to connect with you. Doing this can also establish you as an authority in your field, even if you have no prior experience. That’s because it’s an effective way to showcase your skills, highlight certifications and play around with industry concepts.
4. Step Outside the Box
Explore new roles. For example, while you may be looking at work with a software development company because it’s what you know, there are many other opportunities out there. Broaden your horizons and start looking outside your usual circles.
Thanks to remote work requirements, many businesses now need IT professionals beyond the conventional actors. You could end up working for a restaurant, mobile app company, local small business or nonprofit. Don’t restrict yourself by looking at one industry or one type of role. You should be ready to take risks.
5. Don’t Ignore the Stepping Stones
Even with years of experience, the next job you land may not be your ideal role. Sometimes, it’s more about getting your foot in the door and earning yourself some clout for internal opportunities. After you’ve started working with a company or employer, you may have more opportunities to move up, or laterally, to a position you prefer.
Don’t ignore positions or roles that could serve as a stepping stone for later opportunities.
6. Create a Dynamic Resume
It’s easy to create a generalized resume, but you’ll find more success if you make something dynamic that can be customized for each potential employer. You’ll need to adjust more than just the brief intro or cover letter. The entire document should be tailored from start to finish for each role you’re chasing.
It will take a lot more work, but the results will be far better than if you just copy your resume dozens of times. You should craft a unique intro and cover letter for each position, as well as your listed experiences, references and additional content. You might also consider changing the layout and visual elements to match the company’s style guide.
7. Don’t Be Modest
Don’t be modest when you’re trying to find employment. Put it all out there. Share every class or course you’ve taken, every certification you’ve earned, what you’re doing currently, and what you’ve achieved throughout your career. Don’t fret if you’re new to the field. Share what steps you’re taking to get into the industry and what you plan to do in the future.
There is always something exciting and relevant to share, so take the time to include it in your resume, on your public portfolio or on your social network of choice.
8. Consider Contract Work
At one time, becoming a contractor was not highly regarded. That’s no longer the case, and more companies are hiring freelance and remote workers than ever. About 70% of executives expect demands for temporary and contract workers to rise over the next two years, compared to how things were before the pandemic.
Contract roles offer a lot more freedom, too. Although you have to hold on until the end of a contract, they’re usually designed to be manageable. Once you have that experience on your resume, you’re instantly more attractive to other employers.
Contract work is especially lucrative for new candidates entering the field.
Focus on Growth and Fight Stagnation
The key to looking for new work is to make yourself more attractive and valuable to potential employers. The only sure way to do that is to continue improving your skills, expertise and brand. If you focus on these things, you should find gainful employment in no time.
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