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Beat Your IT Job Competition in 5 Easy Steps

Feb 10 , 2017
Staffing agencies
What if you knocked your next IT job interview out of the park? Competition is tough. It's easy to get lost in a veritable sea of qualified people. But you have something they don't. And that's the desire to stand out paired with the drive to take action.

There is no foolproof recipe for interview success. But there are lots of ways to up your game. Here are 5 steps that help move your resume to the top of the stack.

#1: Do a Little Research Into the Company

Before you communicate with the company, CIO says you should spend a little time researching their brand and culture. Employers like a candidate they can relate to. The more you know about them, the better you can customize your approach to their culture, the industry and the job you're applying for.

Career Girl Network advises that every question you answer should be directly relevant to the company and the job. A generic, one-size-fits-all style won't help you stand taller than your competition.

#2: Don't Rely on Certifications Alone

Consider your education and certifications as a starting line where every candidate you're up against begins. That's what Beyond recommends. If you weren't qualified for the job, you wouldn't have applied. The same goes for everyone else. Home in on what makes you different from everyone else. Differences will help you win the race.

According to Career Builder, the IT community as a whole needs to develop certain soft skills.

Focus on these skills:
  • Work ethic and dependability
  • Upbeat attitude
  • Self-motivation
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Working under pressure
  • Comfort working on a team
  • Flexibility
  • Taking criticism with grace

Staffing agencies
#3: Get Your Social Presence in Order

How's your social media presence? You aren't required to allow prospective employers into your social domain. But if you do, be sure it supports the "you" that you project to the company.

If nothing else, build your LinkedIn profile before applying with an IT employer. Fill it out completely, and start making connections who'll endorse your skills. If you can get testimonials, that's even better. LinkedIn lets you showcase your credentials and achievements in one spot, like a digital CV with extras.

#4: Take a Proactive Interview Approach

There's more to a great interview than showing up freshly scrubbed and on time. Go into the interview proactively instead of answering question after question. You already know how to answer standard interview questions. So think about your successes and how to present them. That's how you'll stand out.

Career Girl Network says you should "prepare and memorize 3 solid CAR (Challenge-Action-Results) stories." What were your challenges? What actions did you take? And what were the results? Employers want to know more about your personality as well as how you handle challenges. Results-based stories give them an idea about both.

#5: Don't Apologize for Job Hopping

There are still some IT employers who frown on short tenures. And that's logical because hiring is a costly process. But for most of the workforce, the days of sticking with one job for years are long past. So don't offer too many apologies if your resume lists several employers.

Instead, talk about your experiences at each company. What did you learn? What problems did you solve? And how is the company better now for you having worked there? Apologies could raise concerns with the interviewer that they might not otherwise have had.

Few things in life as stressful as job hunting. When the market is saturated with great minds, it can feel like you're at the mercy of the interviewer with no control over the outcome. But that's not entirely true.

Everything you do that's both different and positive helps employers view you as an individual with a name instead of just another applicant. Go into the job search with a proactive mindset and you'll gain a bit of an advantage.

Ready to put your skills into action? Browse IT jobs and find your next opportunity.