For individuals with no experience, it might be challenging to start a career in the IT industry. The good news is that in most niches, the demand for skilled professionals exceeds the supply. In this article, we’ll explain how to get first job in IT if you’ve never previously worked in this sector.
Compose a Professional-Looking CV
In your resume, you should mention two varieties of skills: hard and soft. The former are technical ones. If you lack some of them, it won’t be a problem to acquire them. To start work, it’s enough to know one programming language and a handful of technologies.
Soft skills are harder to develop. They depend on your personality traits and deeply ingrained habits. Don’t be shy to list those merits that you genuinely have: punctuality, passion for solving non-standard tasks, ability to get on well with people and so on.
Make sure your CV looks visually appealing:
- Opt for a minimalistic template and a white background;
- Use easy-to-read fonts;
- Don’t forget about bullet points and subheadings;
- Add a professional photo of yourself;
- Fit all the information on one A4 page;
- Place the most meaningful details at the top and left edges.
Fine-tune your CV for each particular vacancy that you apply for to more precisely meet the demands.
Create a LinkedIn Profile
You’ll be able to benefit from this platform in the following ways:
- Build a solid network of contacts;
- Set an overlay on your profile photo to inform the community about the fact that you’re looking for a job;
- Carry out job search in the dedicated section where employers publish their vacancies;
- Comment on other people’s posts to boost your visibility.
As you gain job experience, it would be smart to start publishing posts that will help you establish yourself as an industry expert: analyze the current industry trends, react to news and share tips with colleagues.
Insert the link to your LinkedIn profile in your CV.
Build a Portfolio
GitHub is the go-to resource for IT people. Sign up for it to showcase the projects and tasks that you’ve completed. Even if you’ve never got paid for your work, you probably did some tasks during your education or as a volunteer. There’s nothing wrong with sharing group projects that you took part in — just don’t forget to describe your personal contribution.
Insert the link to your GitHub profile in your CV.
On selected job markets, self-taught specialists can land a job easily. On others, it’s necessary to get diplomas and certificates to confirm your skills. Even if your budget is limited, you can join free or affordable online courses. There are thousands of them to select from, for students with any level of expertise. When picking a course, pay paramount attention to the competence of its teachers and the reputation of its diploma or certificate in the IT community.
Join the Community
Before developers with little experience start looking for first job, they normally take part in IT fairs and hackathons. They join dedicated chats, forums and discussion groups to get consultations. All these efforts contribute to your professionalism, so it would be great to mention the most important of them in your CV.
Improve Your English
It’s hardly possible to make a career in IT without a fluent command of English. You’ll need this language to memorize and understand professional terms, read and compose documentation and communicate with clients, colleagues and employers. To get started, it’s enough to learn English at the B2 level and be able to prove it with a certificate.
It’s a norm in IT recruitment to offer a personality test to a new staffer. Judging by its results, the managers will decide which team you’ll join. By telling the truth, you’ll do a favor to yourself.
Start with a Large Company
When you begin to look for companies that are currently hiring, make the biggest ones your top priority for the following reasons:
- They offer the highest number of vacancies;
- If they don’t hire you now, it’s ok to try again in half a year;
- When they hire you, you’ll find yourself in an extensive community of professionals who’ll be ready to answer your questions;
- You’ll get access to impressive career growth opportunities.
Large employers can afford to invest more funds in cutting-edge technologies. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Startups may buy or develop powerful solutions that more conservative businesses lack — and if you join them, you’ll be among the first to try these tools.
Keep Track of Your Applications
When you look for a job, you might submit applications to dozens of vacancies. Start a spreadsheet to organize the information about each company:
- Its name;
- Brief description;
- Link to its website;
- The name of the position that you’re interested in;
- The essence of the position;
- Scope of responsibilities;
- Your questions.
As soon as the phone rings and you hear the voice of an HR manager, open this document. It will enable you to feel more confident. The company representative will be impressed by the fact that this vacancy is so important for you and you remember all its details.