The IT industry is exploding, and nearly every top jobs list includes at least a few IT jobs. The critical step for new college graduates is finding the first job. The following tips will help you find entry-level IT jobs?
Showcase your talent
One of the best ways to stand out for entry-level IT jobs is to showcase your talent. In all likelihood, if you are applying for a particular IT job then you probably have about the same academic qualifications as most other applicants. For example, new graduates who are applying for an entry-level .NET programming position probably all took similar classes in college.
Demonstrating your talent to a potential employer with a portfolio of work shows that not only have you studied IT, but you have applied what you learned in a real-world situation. A few ways to showcase your skills include: • Volunteer work with open-source software projects • Developing your own smartphone app and publishing it in an app store • Developing and deploying web apps to which you can provide links
Consider an internship
Internships are an increasingly important career step for new graduates. IT is a field where an internship can really make a difference in launching your career.
An internship allows a new IT graduate to apply their academic knowledge to real-world problems. Employers are increasingly looking for entry-level IT staff with at least some degree of experience. As software stacks become more complicated, particularly for languages like .NET and Java, employers want to know that new hires will be able to handle the job. An IT internship allows you to work with advanced technologies you may not have encountered in college.
Connect with a network
Networking is another powerful tool in finding an entry-level IT job. Like in many industries, who you know (or who knows you) matters. Networking does not replace solid technical knowledge, a portfolio of work to showcase, or real-world experience gained through an internship or volunteer work. Networking does, however, allow you to connect with the right people who will care about your skills and qualification, and may be willing to give you a chance at an entry-level IT job.
Update: We came across this fantastic article on Information Week that gives even more advice on how to land your first IT Job. The author, Kevin Casey, gives seven spot on tips provided to him by Riviera Partners technical recruiters Joseph Yeh and Aaron Ho that will help any IT job seeker find a better job faster. These seven tips are:
- Remember that you're the product
- Know what you want
- Always be prepared for a job opportunity
- Curate the content you read and watch
- Get involved online
- Develop personal projects that showcase your IT chops
- Consider the challenges potential employers face
Make sure to check out the whole article for all the great details behind these tips. The deeper insight is invaluable for anyone looking for a job, not just IT job seekers.