IT Career Transition: How to Find Your First IT Job

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young-woman-working-at-her-laptopAdecco Engineering & Technology’s “IT Career Transition” series examines how to transition into information technology after having already started a career in another field. We’ll be sharing real-life stories along the way about professionals who’ve already embarked upon their IT careers after having left an unrelated one. Read all the posts in this series to learn more about why and and how to transition into IT. 

So you’ve decided you’re going to do it. You’re going to do the work it takes to move into an IT role. Good for you! Now how do you do it? First make sure you’ve chosen the right field, then get the requisite training.

Once you’ve finished your training – first of all, congrats! – it’s time to land your first job. First, give yourLinkedIn profile a little love. Add your new skills and certifications and consider asking a few colleagues or IT training buddies to endorse your new skills. Also, be sure to explain in your profile summary what drew you to the field and how you went about getting appropriate training. An added bonus would be any projects you’ve already completed. In the Education module, add your new certifications.

IT skills are in demand, so depending on your location and which route your chose, you could have recruiters start messaging you on LinkedIn. Still, though, it doesn’t hurt to take a more active approach to getting your first IT role – especially if you expect to be pickier in terms of industry, company size or workplace culture.

Take charge of your job search with these 3 tips to find your IT job

  1. Move into the IT department at your own company. Perhaps you love where you are, but you just felt the need to transition into a new job. If you are happy at your current company, why not start there? Let them know what you’ve been doing, and ask if there are any needs for your new skill set. You may be surprised by how quickly a transition could me made.They won’t want to lose a loyal employee, and will most likely be glad to see you fill one of their hard-to-find IT roles. If you’re still completing your training and feel comfortable enough with your boss, tip him or her off early. Perhaps you can find an internal mentor, or even get your training sponsored by your company.
  2. Ask for informational interviews. Networking isn’t just for events. Introduce yourself to someone already in your desired field and let them know you’d like to meet with them to benefit from any insight and advice they can share, especially when it comes to how they got started. The key? Make sure you don’t approach them as a job seeker – it puts too much pressure on your conversation.“What many will find is that the simple act of doing this will result in additional interview,” notes Jamie Seward, Regional Recruiting Manager at Adecco Engineering and Technology, Adecco’s technical recruiting arm. “If the person you meet with likes you and sense you are truly interested in their insights, they’ll likely share your name around the office. You might just find yourself with an actual interview.” He recommends doing a few informational interviews a week to gain great exposure to IT professionals in your community. At the very least, you’ll gain plenty of knowledge you didn’t already have.
  3. Reach out to a technical recruiter. Your new skills are in demand, so you many have a few options to sift through. Working with an experienced technical recruiter will help you determine the best move to launch your career.“There are some sharks in the pond, so do your homework on who is going to have your best interest in mind,” warns Seward. Ask current IT professionals if they have any referrals. Chances are they will have worked with a few recruiters and should have some advice on whom to contact.Keep in mind when reaching out to recruiters that good ones should ask about you and your goals and even offer ideas on how to help you get there. After speaking with you they may even have ideas on with which companies they can immediately share your resume – whether there are public openings advertised or not.

Tips to gain real-world experience to boost your resume

Sometimes you may find yourself in the Catch-22 of every employer seeming to require “real-world” experience before they’ll hire you. But if no one will hire someone without real experience, how is anyone ever expected to get started? Below are a couple tips on getting this experience prior to landing your first full-time gig:

  • Volunteer your services to groups and non-profits. They often have IT needs going unfilled and welcome people willing to help them. Plus, it’ll look great on your resume.
  • Contribute to websites where you can find freelance projects.

Browse our engineering and technology jobs today!

Contributor

Anne Shaw is the Lead Generation & Attraction Sr. Marketing Manager for Adecco Staffing, USA. Her background includes public relations, brand development and event planning. When not having a blast at the office, Anne can be found initiating dance parties with her adorable children and dashing husband.

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