So you’ve recently graduated from college and are ready to land a great job in IT. Congratulations! You are most likely chomping at the bit to start your tech job search and put your education to good use. But before you begin hunting for the perfect job, there are a few tips you should implement that will give you a competitive advantage over your peers. Boost your professional value before job hunting by taking these preparatory steps:
1. Clean up your social media
Your social media matters more to potential employers than you may think. In fact, according to Psychology Today, “70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. More than half...have found content that caused them not to hire a candidate.”
To give yourself the best chances of landing an amazing job in IT, clean up your social media before job searching. Put yourself in potential employers’ shoes and scrutinize your social media from their perspective. If you have to question whether or not a post or photo is damaging to your character, it’s probably best to delete it.
2. Update your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn currently has over 500 million members, yet just 260 million users access their LinkedIn account each month. Many of these individuals don’t regularly update their LinkedIn profile. This may be keeping the right recruiters from finding them.
As a recent grad about to embark on an exciting tech job search, updating your LinkedIn profile should be a top priority. This is because a simple update is enough to move your profile up in tech recruiters’ Google searches, making yours one of the first they see.
Eighty-seven percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates, so don’t let your LinkedIn profile be an afterthought in your pre-job-search activities. Check out these tips for going all in on LinkedIn.
3. Create or improve your resume
Without a resume, it’s nearly impossible to get hired. After all, employers use your resume to find out who you are, what you can do, and what type of experience and education you have. If you don’t have a resume, there is no better time to create one than right now.
Not sure where to get started building a professional resume? You have a few options:
- Pay a professional resume writer to create a resume for you.
- Use resume-writing software such as Free Resume Builder to craft your own resume.
- Ask a college advisor to help you create a professional resume.
When it comes to resume content, keep it simple. “As a technologist, you have a lot of different skills you can offer an organization…(but) you do not need to list everything you’ve ever worked with or learned about,” stated What Technical Recruiters Look for in a Resume. The blog article suggested only including skills you are proficient in. It also encouraged tech applicants to write in an active voice that uses vivid verbs and to use actual data and numbers (for example, “I created a new application that decreased time to productivity by 25 percent for XYZ company”).
4. Find companies you’ll probably gel with.
Recent tech grads do themselves a disservice when they apply to just any technology company with an open position they are qualified for. Your chances of getting hired increase when you go after jobs at organizations you are a good fit for culturally, educationally and experientially.
“Quality recruiting is not just about finding the person with the best skill set, but also about finding the best fit for the job and company from a work culture perspective,” stated Laura Platt, director of human resources for Spreadshirt, a global e-commerce company. That said, you are far more likely to be hired by companies you’ll likely gel with.
To find companies that may be a good fit for you, research, research, research. If you notice that several of the companies you are drawn to are located in a specific city, you may want to consider moving there. Letting hiring managers know you are planning to move to their area can further increase your chances of being recruited.
Read more about finding the company that's right for you.
Ready, Set, Start Your Tech Job Search
Once you’ve prepared sufficiently for job hunting by cleaning up your social media, improving your LinkedIn profile, creating or improving your resume and researching companies that appear to be a good fit for you, it’s time to begin your tech job search. After taking these actions, you should feel more confident in yourself as an IT professional.
Interested in making yourself a more competitive job candidate? Check out these three easy ways to begin getting experience for the IT job you want.