So, you’ve decided to take the leap in your life and start heading towards a career in IT? Congratulations! You’ve undoubtedly made a great choice, since experienced and skilled IT professionals are a fairly sought after group of people in many businesses nowadays. The demand for highly complex software, management systems and software quality assurance is at an all time high and is increasing every day. However, so is the competition. Therefore, the question arises – what do employers look for in a potential candidate? Is it stellar technical skills? Could it be a likeable personality and a good set of soft skills? Or perhaps the answer lies somewhere in a completely different dimension? Well, to tell you the truth, there is no definitive answer to this question. Each case is different and each candidate could add a brand new point of view to a team’s work. That being said, there are some things you should keep in mind, when looking take your first steps into the exciting world of IT:
Working as a developer or a QA specialist most of the time also means working in a team. And working in a team is all about support and communication. Chances are you’ll be communicating directly to both, your team members as well as the client. Therefore, a lack of social skills and an unwillingness to work in a team unfortunately won’t get you anywhere far. With that said, let’s not confuse introversion with a lack of social skills. Being a natural introvert by no means makes you an unfit candidate. If you feel like your soft skills aren’t exactly up to the task, don’t be so quick to give up. Remember that it is, in fact, something that you can improve if you take the time to work on yourself. As they say – practice makes perfect.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when asked to imagine someone who works in IT? Let me guess – someone in their early to late twenties with a fairly high IQ while at the same introverted, socially awkward, unathletic, unwilling to engage in conversation and even less willing to take care of their appearance. This is what we learn from a plethora of internet memes and various other sources of popular culture. Nowadays, however, these are nothing more but stereotypes and in reality the people you’d meet in an office of an IT company would give off a completely different impression. Think about it – would you want to hire someone as described above? Didn’t think so. That is why presentation matters. And it doesn’t exclusively apply to the way you look or talk. Make sure to polish your CV by giving it a professional look as well as leaving out all of the irrelevant information. Your CV is the company’s first impression of you and may determine whether you’re invited to an interview.
3. Technical skills
Being a master of what you do is undoubtedly a valued and well-respected asset. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that even the most skilled professionals weren’t born that way and had to start somewhere. Don’t let your lack of experience and a well-established skillset scare you away. When applying to an internship or a junior position, no one’s expecting you to compete with more senior candidates. The employer is well aware that these are you first steps towards a career. The key elements here are motivation, enthusiasm, ambition and, most importantly, an eagerness to learn. Such traits are usually greatly appreciated by a potential employer. That being said, applying with no experience or skills whatsoever won’t get you any far as well. That’s why practicing, researching and working on passion projects (for example, developing an app that tells you where the closest pizza place is) is crucial for you to be a top candidate for an entry level position.
4. Managing your expectations
We often hear people talk about how IT professionals are in high demand and therefore are paid insanely large salaries. To a certain extent it is true, but it should be noted that the high demand is mainly for highly skilled and experienced professionals. Simply having a degree in computer science unfortunately won’t get you a 4 figure monthly salary. The good news is that being a skilled and highly sought-after employee is not an unattainable goal. Instead of expecting that you’ll be paid large amounts of money while having very little experience, it would be best to focus on improving your skills and doing the best job that you can. It’s important to not be afraid to start small, because expecting big results right away, sadly, won’t get you very far. Gradually building up a sturdy base of knowledge and skills as well as being passionate about what you do might just one day turn into a spectacular career.
If you are ready to start your career in IT, check out our open positions.