Editor's Note: This post was originally published December 2017 and has recently been updated and revised for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Looking for a new job is rough. Whether you're out of work desperately looking for employment or slogging through the day going nowhere with your career, finding something new can be incredibly difficult. What's more, IT professionals are finding that the ever-changing job market landscape is forcing them to work harder in order to keep up.
While finding the perfect job may never be easy, there are a few common issues that you can avoid if you know about them. So, what are the biggest obstacles in the way of IT pros and what can they do to overcome them?
Not Using Social Media
When it comes to finding a job, most people instantly jump into applying on websites like Monster and Indeed. While relying on these platforms is certainly a good idea, one aspect many IT professionals miss is the fact that everything runs on social media now.
The importance of this is twofold: First, many companies are shifting away from solely using services like Monster to find a qualified employee. In fact, according to a CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates. What's more, that number has risen dramatically from 25 percent less than ten years ago, according to CNBC. It's clear that recruiters see social media as a solid means of discovering talent.
Second, social media is a great way to build your brand online as an IT professional. In the past, the only real way an employer could find out about a prospective employee would be to read her resume and contact her references. These days, a simple tour a person's social media page can tell you more than any resume ever could.
Therefore, it's your job to put on the best public face possible when applying for jobs. This obviously means avoiding posts about obscene or controversial material, but it also should prompt you to discuss topics of interest within your field. Something as simple as reposting an article about a subject within you industry can show a company you have a personal interest in their open position.
Not Being Prepared for the Hiring Process
Sometimes going through the hiring process can feel like a full-time job in itself. If you were recently laid off or need a job fast, preparing for interviews, updating a resume, and filling out applications can become frustrating hurdles to overcome.
Here are some ways you can cut down frustrations during the hiring process:
Update Your Resume
Resume's give hiring managers a window into skills and experience. However, it's easy to forget to update this important document, especially if you've been in a previous position for a while. Before applying for jobs, it's smart to polish up old resumes.
Make sure to add new job experiences, any programs that you've learned since the last job, and new certifications. It's also important to check for typos or inaccurate information.
Still frustrated? Consider asking a professional for resume help or ask a friend to read it over before sending it off.
Prepare for Interviews
Bombing an interview can wreck a job-seeker's confidence and be discouraging. Here are some good ways to prepare for interviews:
- Read up on the company's background
- Write out common questions the interviewer may ask
- Brush up on your resume and relevant job experiences
- Ask a friend to conduct a mock interview
- Get plenty of rest the night before
Take Care of Personal Wellness
The stress of job changes can wear on a person, and the weight of things like layoffs can feel overwhelming. However, taking a moment to gather thoughts, build a plan, and reduce stress can help fight off mounting frustrations.
It's a good idea to try to carve out time to de-stress and improve personal wellness. This could be something as simple as taking a walk and clearing the mind.
It's hard to admit you're not the most qualified person in the world, but the best way to improve yourself is to understand where your faults lie. If you've seen constant rejection due to a lack of skills, or if you're not getting bites on a specific job, it might be time to increase your value.
Going back to school often isn't an option for people already working on their careers, but receiving an IT certification is another choice that can educate you without the time commitment of another degree. What's more, a certification is tangible proof to an employer that you're ready for the opening they have.
Of course, which certification you receive will depend on you industry. But if you're looking to improve your knowledge, now is the time to contact New Horizons Career Development Solutions. With a plethora of IT certification courses, we can help you build a career you're proud of.