How to Leverage Your Computer Savviness into an IT Career
You consider yourself a bit of a technology expert. You’ve always been quick at learning new software, and you have a knack for ironing out bugs. But your current job isn’t allowing you to take full advantage of your skills. If you’re looking to leverage your computer savviness into a career in Information Technology (IT), here are some tips to help get you where you want to be.
Do your research
There are many avenues to venture down in the IT universe. So, the first thing you need to do is explore your options. Are you looking to design, install, build, test, maintain, or repair computer systems? Do you want to be a cloud engineer? A systems analyst? A database administrator? Or maybe a security specialist? With so many different possibilities available, you’re going to need to narrow down your preferences into a short list of areas where you think you could really excel.
Update your social media
If you want to transition into an IT career, your LinkedIn profile and other social media need to reflect this desire. Make sure it’s very clear that even though you do not work directly in the IT field at the present time, you have the drive and skills to make that dream a reality. List all of the software and hardware you are familiar with and be as specific as possible when it comes to exactly what you’ve achieved. If you’re self-taught, emphasize your initiative. If you’ve been formally trained, use that as a selling point. Just make sure your affinity for IT upstages your other accomplishments on all relevant social media sites.
Assume the hiring manager looking at your resume is going to also look into your social media presence, so why not use those profiles to extend your professional network? Engage with professionals not just on LinkedIn, but on other platforms as well. Seek out influencers in your field on Twitter and use Facebook groups to create a network that can help you in the future.
Beef up your resume
The more education and experience you have, the better your chances are of landing the IT job you’ve been aiming for. Try to learn as much as you can, as quickly and inexpensively as you can. There are free online classes you can take to polish your skills and fortify your resume from prestigious institutions, including Harvard University and MIT. These credits will be invaluable on your resume, especially if your actual IT experience is limited. Also, make sure to change the objective section of your resume to reflect your new goals, and highlight any IT related skills and accomplishments in the work experience section.
The old saying “it’s not about what you know but who you know” still holds true. Obviously, knowing your stuff is imperative. But it definitely never hurts to have an “in” at some of the organizations you want to work for. Networking online through social media is a plus, but it’s also helpful to attend workshops, seminars, and conferences. The more you get your name out there, the better your chances are of getting your foot in the door, and eventually, your whole body.
Connect with an IT recruiting agency
Having an IT recruiting firm like Soshace or Robert Half in your corner has two primary benefits. First, they’ll do a lot of the legwork for you; and second, they have connections you probably don’t. They can also help you rebrand yourself so organizations will view you first as an IT specialist, regardless of your current position.
You already had the know-how to work in IT. Now you have the know-how to leverage your skills into a brand new career. As long as you keep your eye on the prize, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to start an exciting new venture in whatever IT field suits you best.