Use Your Skills to Get a Great Job in Tech

Tech jobs are hot. They pay well, they’re in an ever-growing industry, and they’re almost everywhere.

Do you want to get in? Your education and work experience may have already given you the skills you need.

Assess your skills

You don’t have to be an engineer or a programmer to work in the information technology (IT) industry. For every job requiring technical skills, there are jobs that require other skills. Someone has to determine market demand, purchase equipment and supplies, design the marketing materials, manage the office, provide customer service, hire employees, and so on.

These are just some of the skills that transfer well to IT:

  • Content creation
  • Critical thinking
  • Flexibility
  • Graphic design
  • Influencing and persuading people
  • Negotiating
  • Performance tracking
  • Problem solving
  • Strategy development
  • Translating

Keep these skills in mind as you move to the next steps.

Identify skills that target IT companies want

Job

On a local job board, search for jobs in IT and for IT companies that are posting jobs. For example, people looking for jobs in New York can find both job descriptions and a list of companies that are hiring at the moment. From the list of companies, you can go to company websites and see what they do. Not every site does this, but a lot of them do, so definitely look for it.

They might not have a job opening that fits you at this point, but you can make a list of companies to watch.

Pay attention to the skills required in job ads. If you see jobs that you’d like and have most but not all of the skills, consider learning the necessary skills.

Volunteering with a nonprofit is a positive way to practice new skills and gain experience to include on your resume. Both you and the nonprofit benefit from the experience, and employers tend to look favorably on relevant volunteer work.

Create a new resume

To get a job in IT, you need a resume that highlights your IT qualifications.

List your relevant skills at the top of the page. For each job, focus on accomplishments that you used those skills for. Include metrics, for example, “Increased sales by 25% over 6 months.” Include relevant volunteer work.

Avoid overused words and phrases. Familiar with, responsible for, motivated, and results oriented aren’t going to make you stand out. Show that you’re right for the job. Be straightforward. Among other things, your resume illustrates the quality of your work. Filler material, exaggerations, and clichés detract from it.

Everything on your resume should support your position of being an ideal candidate for the job.

Update your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile is an online resume of sorts. This is 2017, and how you manage your online reputation, especially in the tech field, may be the difference between getting an interview and being passed over completely.

Whenever you get past the initial screening process, the hiring manager is probably going to look at it. Employers generally see LinkedIn profiles as more honest than resumes. Job searchers, they believe, are less likely to lie or exaggerate in public profiles compared to on resumes.

In addition, your LinkedIn profile has your photo, your connections, and your activity in LinkedIn groups. Invest in a professional headshot, work on building your connections, and take part in relevant groups.

List the skills on your resume in your LinkedIn profile as well. Get endorsements for those skills if you can.

Even when you haven’t applied for jobs, your LinkedIn profile can work for you. With relevant keywords and a professional-looking profile, you may attract recruiters who are looking for someone with your skills.

Apply for IT jobs

Go back to that list of companies that were hiring. Do any of them have current openings for jobs that you’d like? Apply for them. If they don’t, send in your resume anyway, with a cover letter addressed to the person who hires for the position you want. Call the company to get that person’s name, title, and the current spelling.

Keep looking for jobs in the IT field. In addition to local job boards, sites such as Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com have job listings for everywhere in the US. Look through as many job descriptions as you have time for. You may find that your skills and interests fit jobs that you hadn’t considered yet.

Network

Not all jobs are advertised. Let people know what kind of job you’re looking for, and someone might know of a job opportunity that’s right for you. Talk to a variety of people, both in person and online.

If you’re working and don’t want your boss to know about your job search, look at LinkedIn’s Open Candidates feature. It allows you to let recruiters know privately that you’re open to new job opportunities.

Are you ready for that great job in IT that doesn’t require technical skills? You can join the thousands of non-techies already in IT by using the skills you have.

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