You’re Certified, Now What?

You’re Certified, Now What?

One of the most satisfying benchmarks on your path towards an advanced-IT career is the achievement of your first certification. Getting certified with industry giants like CompTIA, Microsoft and Cisco shows hiring managers you have in-demand skills and are dedicated to your career. However, you’ll never land one of the many available, high-paying IT careers without work-related experience.

Aspiring IT practitioners can develop skills required for advanced-level careers by filling entry-level IT roles. Positions like desktop and network support provide excellent opportunities to deepen your understanding of IT and build the required experience to move into more advanced-level roles. While these entry-level positions only require a certification to apply, you still need to adequately prepare before sitting down with an employer. Here’s five industry tips for landing your first IT Job after you’ve been certified.

Use a Resume Writing Service

While many of us have technical skills that dazzle our family and friends, we often fall short in our written communications. This is especially true when it comes to bragging about ourselves in a resume. A well-written resume demonstrates the level of professionalism you intend to deliver and is your employer’s first impression of you. Since first impressions are critical to any relationship, make sure you put your best foot forward by having a professional write your resume. Don’t let a typo, lack of content or outdated information get between you and your first IT job.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Updating your LinkedIn profile with new certifications, awards and employment benchmarks is a necessity for any IT professional wanting to grow a career. Likewise, newbies wanting to break into IT need to position their profiles to entice hiring managers that are looking for certain keywords. Make sure your photo is a good representation of you and work history is updated. There are a lot of good tips on LinkedIn that will help you create a profile that separates you from the competition.

Find a Technical Recruiter

How would you like sit back while someone else finds your first IT job? That’s basically what you get when you work with a technical recruiter. These employment professionals search a vast array of job boards and find unique employment opportunities, while you focus on other things. Technical recruiters are compensated by employers when they find qualified talent, which means no cost to you. A quick search for “technical recruiters” on LinkedIn is a good place to start. Use a technical recruiter and let a professional find your first IT job.

Prove yourself

Be prepared to prove you have the skills to fill an entry-level IT position. If you’re applying for a job in software development, a portfolio of web applications and websites you’ve created is a great way to show hiring managers of your ability. However, those in networking and systems must often prove they have the fundamental skills for the job by solving a basic networking or desktop problem. Training providers like KnowledgeNet offer Live Labs-virtual IT environments-for developing the skills needed for real-world scenarios. Demonstrate your skills and get the job you deserve.

Rehearse for the Interview

Let’s face it, it’s easy to get caught off-guard when you’re getting grilled in an interview. Answers to questions you thoroughly understand become jumbled responses that make no sense. To avoid this, practice in the mirror. I know it sounds it sounds cliché, but practice does make perfect. Likewise, you’ll look much more confident during the interview when you deliver concise, polished answers. Google common interview questions for the role you’re applying to and prepare yourself for any curve balls that come your way.

Summing It Up

Every IT expert began his or her career at the bottom, but were able to advance through continued education and on-the-job experience. If you’re interested in training resources to prepare you for the exciting field of information technology, contact KnowledgeNet and ask a representative about certifications to help you land your first IT job.

Tom Hurst has been working in the information technology industry since 2008, and is currently writing engaging and informative articles about his experiences. Hurst also enjoys a life outside of IT that includes hunting, fishing and music composition.

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