Top tips for changing IT jobs
Career changes are not uncommon and can occur for a number of reasons, from redundancy to the desire to seek a new challenge. However, changing career does not necessarily mean changing industry; there are many varied IT jobs available and if you work in the industry there is no reason why you couldn’t employ your skills in a slightly different role.
The first thing you will need to do is decide what you want to do. If you want to leave your job as, say, an embedded software engineer to go into support or perhaps education IT, it may be worth spending some time volunteering in a company. This will enable you to discover if you really sure you want to make the switch – something which is particularly important if you’re thinking of changing from one aspect of IT to another.
If you cannot volunteer in a position – it can after all be unfeasible if you already work full-time for a paying salary – another thing you can try is to arrange an informal interview. This usually entails spending some time with a manager or other senior person within the sector you are interested in.
Such a meeting can be a good way of ascertaining what qualities a company looks for in its employees – this will give you a great advantage over other candidates when it comes to applying for a job.
If you are unable to take either of the above steps you could try utilising social media. It is, however, important to use social media channels with a degree of subtlety when searching for IT jobs.
Join Twitter and follow the companies that interest you, keep abreast of any information they publish such as white papers and blogs. This will not only allow you to stay on top of developments in the industry it will also provide you with key talking points at interview.
Additionally, it is worth following important figures in the area in which you wish to work, try to engage these individuals in conversation and ask them what IT issues concern them; this will give you great content to structure your CV as well as responses to interview questions.
LinkedIn is another essential social network. The best way to get started here is to follow companies. By doing this you will be able to access a list of important people within each company. From there, you can see what groups they are members of; join these groups, read over the topics they contain and join in some discussions.
Not only will this again give you more information for your CV and interviews, there’s also a chance your name will stick out and you could even be headhunted.
The general principle behind all of this is not only making sure it’s the sector you want to work in, but ensuring you have enough knowledge and information about the sector, key issues and relevant companies (including their strengths and weaknesses) before you even apply for a job.
By having all this information you will be able to create a solid CV and have envious answers to interview questions – making you an irresistible candidate for any recruiter. This level of knowledge is useful in any industry, but with IT evolving so quickly, it’s essential.
Utilising things as ‘insider knowledge’ will demonstrate to an employer that you know your stuff, you do your homework and you’re committed to the sector – all of which will give you a big boost when it comes to recruitment.