Why You Didn’t Land the IT Role You Wanted
Even in a record-low unemployment market, employers have high standards when it comes to their next IT hire. While some employers may have unrealistic job requirements and continue to search for that elusive “purple squirrel,” even minor missteps in the process can knock an otherwise qualified IT professional out of the running. Here’s a breakdown of where you might be going wrong during the hiring process, along with a few tactics on how to win potential employers over.
What You’re Missing
One of the most unnerving parts of the job search is simultaneously the most critical – being honest with yourself and your potential employer. Often, IT professionals try to be too versatile or attempt to sell themselves in the wrong ways. For example, overstating proficiency with a skill you’re still developing or haven’t used in a while can be a recipe for disaster. Be honest about your proficiency level and your goals to learn new technologies. In a tight labor market, more and more employers are realizing the need to offer training and/or accept candidates who meet most of their criteria, but may have slightly less experience than they had originally specified.
Other times, the problem is a lack of self-awareness of your “soft skills.” Maybe your communication skills are falling short in the interview, for instance. Interviewers are searching for a cultural fit as well as a skill’s fit, so you need to be fully engaged and open about your career goals and your ability to contribute to the organization. In short, be realistic about the skills that you have, as well as the ones that you don’t.
Another major reason you might not be landing the interview, let alone the job, is that you’re looking in the wrong places. Job boards like Dice and Monster are the go-to resource for IT job-seekers, especially those looking to break-in to a new area or market. Typically though, they’re flooded with positions that are inaccurate. Many have extraordinarily high expectations for average pay, while others feature positions that have already been filled. Any semi-decent job gets inundated with applications, and a majority of the candidates get lost in the shuffle.
How to Set Yourself Apart
While you may have all the technical skills to nail the coding test, hiring managers look for candidates that are well-rounded. Communication, active listening, and problem-solving skills are all qualities that companies look for in their next hire. One way to demonstrate these abilities is by providing comprehensive explanations of previous work, asking insightful questions, and facilitating conversation throughout the interview process. By engaging hiring managers, you also show passion and enthusiasm about the position.
Another way to increase your odds of landing that job is to connect with an experienced recruiter. Recruiters work quickly and efficiently to find roles that fit your specific skill set and experience. They can give you insights about the job requirements, company culture, and often, the personality types of the people you’ll interview with. Good recruiters have strong relationships with their hiring managers and will take the time to effectively advocate your skills and experience for the position. And the best recruiters will manage their client’s expectations about the marketplace, encourage them to be more realistic about their search criteria and help them weigh the pros and cons of a specific candidate.
The tech industry is booming, and the right job will ultimately present itself. By using these insights to develop a plan of action going into the interview process, you should have no problem showcasing your unique abilities and landing your next role in IT.
If you’re struggling to find your next IT position, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Benchmark IT, we specialize in helping professionals like you discover roles that match your skills and expertise. Check out our job board for our latest jobs and give us a call to discuss what we can do for your career today.
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