Top 5 Transferable Skills Companies are Looking for in Help Desk Job Applicants
If you’re looking into help desk jobs but aren’t sure your resume is worth anything because you have no prior professional IT experience, think again. Enrolling in a technical training program is the first big step, and chances are you have plenty of transferable skills from your previous jobs to beef up your resume — even if those jobs had nothing to do with IT. But what kinds of skills are employers looking for when filling a help desk position, and how can you supplement your resume with the appropriate qualities without having an IT background?
I Want to Get a Help Desk Position But Have No Previous IT Work Experience. What Now?
The technical skills section is (arguably) the most important aspect of your resume when applying for help desk roles. Proficiency in certain applications and technologies are required for IT jobs. Help desk roles often require knowledge of networking, hardware and software configuration, Microsoft 365, Windows 10, and Active Directory, and more, as well as experience with a ticketing system.
If you’re wondering, Can I get a help desk job even if I don’t have any previous professional experience in IT? The answer is yes — if you have some form of technical training and a killer resume. Most Tek Ladder students have zero previous IT work experience and are still able to land entry-level IT jobs. Our Career Services team works with our students to create resumes that show off the technical skills they’re learning from the Tek Ladder program and the soft skills they’ve developed from other jobs outside the IT industry. You just have to know how to sell it.
Top 5 Transferable Skills to Add to Your Resume to Land a Help Desk Job
If you’ve honed the following skills in your previous work experience, remember to add them to your resume when applying for help desk jobs. They are important in help desk roles and will help put you ahead of competitors who may have similar technical skills. When it comes time for the interview, be sure to have a few stories that showcase these skills in action from previous roles, especially a story that sums up several of these skills in one.
- Problem solving & critical thinking
Say in your past work life you were a shift lead at a restaurant when one of your servers called in sick on a busy Saturday night. Or you managed a retail store that ran out of your most popular item on Black Friday. Or you worked in an auto body shop when a baffled customer dropped off a car that was making a strange noise that they couldn’t diagnose. While none of these situations seemingly have anything to do with IT, they all require a very important aspect of a help desk position: problem solving and critical thinking. If you look at job descriptions for help desk positions, they almost always include “troubleshooting, diagnosing, and fixing technical issues for users.” Your experience solving problems in former jobs will be a huge plus when applying for a help desk position.
Whether you are a one-person fixer or work on a robust IT team, you are going to be communicating with people all day, every day in a help desk position. If you’ve ever used communication at a former job (and most likely, you have), make sure to add it to your resume. Whether you’ve worked at a fast-food restaurant, a hardware store, as a teacher, or in a call center, communication has been front and center in your work history. Use that to your advantage.
3. Customer service
Going hand in hand with communication, elevated customer service skills are paramount for a help desk position. Heck, it’s right in the title. Supporting customers or internal users is a huge aspect of a help desk job. Whether you’ve been in a traditional customer service position, such as a call center, or you’ve supported customers in other ways, such as being a server or bartender, make sure you highlight your customer service background when applying for help desk jobs.
4. Time management
Triaging help desk ticket requests is most of what you will be doing in a help desk position, so knowing how to manage your time properly to get as much done as quickly as possible is extremely important. If you’ve simultaneously taken food orders, while fulfilling drink orders at the bar, while busing dirty tables, while refilling soda glasses, while ringing up tabs… you definitely know a thing or two about time management. Same goes for construction site managers who are overseeing several site projects or teachers who need to complete lessons by a certain time. Time management is a useful skill that can be learned in many lessons and is very important in a help desk role.
5. Flexibility & adaptability
Because of the nature of technology, things change quickly in the IT world. Being open and flexible to change is key for a help desk position. For example, if you’ve previously had to learn a new software in a customer service position, explain how you researched and implemented the software into your new routine. Bonus points if you’ve took the lead on coaching your coworkers through implementing the software. An example like this shows not only flexibility and adaptability, but initiative, drive, capability, and leadership. These are hugely important in a help desk role.
Help desk jobs are booming — and it’s important to remember that entry level IT jobs are not reserved just for technology companies. Help desk jobs can be found everywhere — from banks, to hospitals, to schools, and more.
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