The expanding field of IT provides incredible employment opportunities for those reentering the workforce. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is. Just about anyone with an aptitude for technology and a passion for learning can find success. However, switching careers to IT requires a host of new skills and an updated resume. After all, hiring managers need to know that you have what it takes to successfully perform the job.
In today’s competitive environment, employers offer high-paying salaries to attract qualified talent. Nevertheless, thousands of jobs still go unfilled. While these lucrative opportunities are abundant, employers won’t hire just anyone. Rather, employers are looking for qualified candidates with skills that meet the demands of modern business. Careers in software development, cyber security and cloud computing are among some of the highest-paying salaries in the industry and provide stable employment for those with right skills.
Those reentering the workforce are in an ideal position to develop technical skills as they apply for entry-level positions. Positions like desktop support and helpdesk technician are ideal for beginning a career in IT and can be achieved with just a certification. After a few years of experience and few more certifications, anyone can advance their career and enjoy an amazing new life. For those of you ready to take on a new challenge, here are some tips for reentering the workforce with a new career in IT.
Focus on the New You
Whether it’s been a few months or even a few years since your last job, you’re going to have to get hiring managers to focus on who you are now. This may include new skills, certifications or recently acquired experiences. Keep this in mind; some of the skills and experiences you’ve had in the past may no longer be relevant to a new career in IT. While unrelated experience or education is fine to list on a resume, put it at the bottom of the page only if it fits. In other words, don’t include additional pages on your resume to list irrelevant content.
While you shouldn’t feel the need to hide breaks in your employment, you certainly don’t want to draw attention to them. After all, you don’t want to give hiring managers reasons to ponder why you haven’t been employed. While it’s appropriate to honestly address stints of unemployment during an interview, it shouldn’t be highlighted on your resume or cover letter. Again, focus on the new you!
Update Your Skills
Developing in-demand skills that meet the needs of modern business is critical to achieving a career in IT. Essentially, this involves getting certified and accumulating work-related experience. For those new to IT, certifications like CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ provide the fundamentals needed to land an entry-level position. Also, online training makes it easy for those reentering the workforce to learn from home.
Every highly-paid IT practitioner in the field today had to begin at the bottom, but were able to develop a great career by achieving additional certifications and accumulating work-related experience. What’s great about the field of IT is that you’ll never be pigeon holed. Rather, anyone can maintain their demand and continue to earn a high-paying salary by keeping their skills updated.
Update Your Resume and Cover Letter
There’s nothing more important than making a good first impression when you reenter the workforce. Your cover letter and resume are the first things a hiring manager will see when evaluating you for an IT position. However, a hiring manager doesn’t have a lot of time to look over your resume. Therefore, make sure your relevant skills for performing the job are listed first and easily identified. Include bullet points that highlight your skills on both your cover letter and your resume. Also, make sure you thoroughly proofread both documents. In fact, get someone else to look them over before submitting them.
Once you have an updated and thoroughly proofread resume that fits on one page, make a customizable document of your cover letter. This will make it easier to send your documents to multiple employers without sounding like you’re giving a canned presentation.
Rehearse Your Interview
Without a doubt, practice makes perfect. Research common interview questions for the position you’re applying to and practice answering them in a mirror or on video. You really need to see yourself in order to be able to make appropriate changes. Going back over video or seeing yourself in a mirror really helps make changes that can include posture, facial expressions, tone, tempo and comfort level. The more you practice, the better you’ll perform during the interview.
Most importantly, make sure you’re able to speak intelligently about the position you’re applying for. This will likely require you to do a little research. While you’re at it, you should also learn more about the company. This can include learning about company values and general information about the industry in which you’ll be working. You don’t need to know everything about the company, but you must know enough to hold a conversation.
Summing It Up
Reentering the workforce and achieving a career in IT really isn’t as difficult as it seems. Like any career, you’ll start at the bottom. However, you’ll be able to advance in no time with additional certifications and experience. Simply, focus on the new you, develop new skills, update your resume, and rehearse for the interview. It’s really that simple.
If you’re reentering the workforce and would like to learn more about IT training resources and certification tracks, chat with a friendly representative at KnowledgeNet. Learn more about our diverse learning formats and in-demand certification tracks.