Beyond the Technical Skills: How to Prepare for Entering the IT Workforce
Many IT bootcamp programs promise to teach you the technical skills you need for a job in IT. While technical skills are undoubtedly crucial, the big question is, what about getting that IT job? The job search process can be intimidating, but you’ve worked hard on your technical training. You just need the confidence and know-how to define and highlight your strengths and skills during the job search and interview process. If you are an IT professional hopeful, make sure you are ready to enter the workforce through Job Search Training, Resume Strengthening, and Interview Coaching.
IT Job Search Training
More than likely, your job interview process will begin with a simple job search. After completing your IT bootcamp, you will have the technical skills to make you the ideal entry level job candidate. You’re worthy and capable, and you want to make sure you find the perfect role for you.
Job post lingo can be a little tricky to decode — make sure you are applying to job listings that will put you on the right track for a lifelong career in IT. Job posts should clearly outline the responsibilities of your role. You don’t want to start working in a role that is either above or below your skill level. For example, if you’re looking for a position as an NOC Technician, then the skills section on the job posting should clearly list:
- Strong communication skills
- Adept in network security
- Proficient in data analysis and reporting
Job posts should also be thought–out, intentional, and detailed. Descriptive job posts show that the hiring manager cares about your role and will likely be considerate of your time and your role at the company in the future. Remember, it goes both ways! Make sure you are looking for a good fit with clear expectations from a company that values your time and skills.
After you’ve found your dream role, you must submit a formidable, concise, and well-edited resume to be seriously considered for a job. Resume building can be tough, especially if you’ve never held a “professional” office job. However, if you have undergone technical training and worked any type of job before, then you have probably gained certain “soft skills” from previous work or school experience that can beef up your resume and put you yards ahead of the competition.
If you’re thinking, I don’t have any prior IT experience – how can I strengthen my resume to make me look like the best candidate for an IT role? You’re in the right place. It’s all about knowing how to apply the skills you’ve gained from other jobs for this specific role. Read over the job listing carefully and tweak your resume to highlight your strengths and ability to do this job. Just keep it truthful.
If you are applying to a Help Desk Technician role, the job description may include:
- Answer multiple end-users’ questions about organization, company, or product at once
If you have experience in waiting tables at a restaurant, for example, then you can adjust your resume to include:
- Strong verbal communication skills
- Excellent customer service
- Exceptional multi-tasking skills
It’s important to identify the skills the hiring manager is looking for and then properly communicate your skills and experience through a powerful and succinct resume.
If you’ve found that perfect IT role and secured an interview via a beautifully written resume, congrats! But now comes the most challenging part. Interviews can be intimidating, especially if you’re not properly prepared. But if you research the company, study the role’s responsibilities, and decipher what kind of candidate they are looking for from the job listing, then you will be much more confident in your interview and that much closer to getting that job offer.
Rehearsing your answers (even out loud!) before an interview is a great way to make sure your answers are concise while still encapsulating your experience. The problem is, you don’t know what an interviewer will ask when you step through the doors of an interview. Besides being able to list your technical skills and previous work experience, you should come up with a few anecdotes that highlight that you have the right skills and temperament for the job, even if you have zero professional IT work experience.
For example, if you are interviewing for a Service Desk Analyst position and the job listing includes:
- Strong critical thinking skills with an ability to troubleshoot and work through a customer’s problems
Then you might expect an interviewer to want to know if you have these skills, possibly in a roundabout way. Instead of asking Do you have strong critical thinking skills?, they may ask you:
Tell us about a time when you had to solve a customer’s difficult problem. What was your process?
In response, you might answer:
I worked in an auto repair garage for three years prior to starting the IT training process. One day, a customer came to our shop with a mysterious rattling noise coming from under the car’s hood while it was running. It was really a game of troubleshooting to find out the problem. After running multiple tests and checking all the customers’ bearings, I discovered that the water pump was making the rattling noise but also noticed that the alternator needed replacing. The customer was impressed with the amount of effort I put into making sure his car was running as smoothly as possible. He was a loyal customer after that and always came back to see me because he knew I would take good care of his car.
Don’t overthink the process — if you don’t have any past applicable IT experience, your interviewer will be able to tell right away from your resume. But if you scored an interview, that means they saw something in you and decided you were worth their time anyway. Prove just how worthy you are by preparing for your job interview and then knocking their socks off.
These are great tips! I want to know more.
We’re glad you’re here! Tek Ladder, our 100% online IT training school, teaches you all the technical training you need for your first job in IT PLUS professional development training so you are ready to enter the workforce when you finish our program. And, we get you there in only two months. To learn more about our process, talk to an Admissions Advisor today.
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