Information Technology Job Market
By Nikki Motas
Senior Technical Recruiter
Today’s Information Technology job market is hot! With the best candidates quickly finding the positions they’re looking for, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you don’t need to put any effort into preparing yourself for your next job. However, the reality is that you do. A big reason why the “best candidates” are the “best” is that they are the ones who have put in the effort to stay relevant.
What can you do to stay relevant in today’s Information Technology job market? Here are three ideas:
- Improve your skills. Things change quickly in the IT world. If you’re not continually working to improve your skills and knowledge, you’re falling behind. And if you’re not keeping up, it won’t take long before the only thing you’re qualified to work on is legacy systems…which, eventually, will all be replaced.Developers should learn to code in multiple languages. Systems engineers should stay on top of new hardware/software releases and applications, and trends in the realm of IT infrastructure. Network administrators and engineers need to keep up with hardware advances. Those in DevOps need to stay current with everything from software applications and automation to continuous integrations, continuous deployments, and more.How do you keep up with all of this? Follow relevant blogs and industry publications. Take classes. Get certifications. There are a wealth of educational options available both online and in person at community centers, city and junior colleges, coding boot camps, and more.
- Network with your peers. A less formal way to keep up with the latest technological advances is to network. Go to the tech talks, meetups, seminars, social events and other places where IT folks congregate. Talk to your peers. This can be a great way to stay relevant by learning about new releases on software products, getting updates on technology trends, and finding out how other organizations are tackling common problems. You’ll pick up tips and tricks on technology and learn who is hiring. You may even get some “insider information” regarding what types of education and certifications certain companies prefer candidates to have.
- Pay attention to your online branding. Even if you’re not currently in the Information Technology job market, I recommend that you always keep your social media profiles up to date and looking good. This applies to any social media network or community that you are using for work-related posts, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook technology group pages, GitHub, Stack Overflow, etc.
As I discussed in my previous article on Creating a Great LinkedIn Profile that Gets Found, an important part of your online branding is a professional-looking photo. What I recommend is that you post the same photo everywhere, and then for your user name either use your actual name or use the same handle everywhere. If you’re not using your actual name, be sure to include links to the sites on which you’re using a handle from your LinkedIn profile (which will always show your actual name). This way as you post and share brilliant code and other content you’ll build your reputation, since people will be able to recognize that it’s you. And when hiring managers check out your LinkedIn profile they’ll be able to easily click through to your profiles elsewhere online to see what a brilliant coder you are.If you’re doing creative work such as UX or UI design, you also need to have an online portfolio. This online portfolio should be clean, accessible, easy to navigate, and represent your current level of work. I’m always surprised when I pull up the online portfolio of a candidate who has 10 years of experience and see that all of the samples are from the first three years of their career. Chances are the person’s skills have improved since they first entered the field, so the portfolio does not make as strong of an impression as it can.
Yes, it takes effort to stay relevant in today’s Information Technology job market…but this effort will pay off when you’re ready for your next position in the IT world.
Are you in the market for a new job in the IT field?
To learn about Coyote Creek’s current searches, please check out our careers portal here. Even if you do not see any opportunities that you are interested in, feel free to reach out to us directly anyway. It never hurts to get on our radar so that you’ll be the first person we think of when the right opportunity arises.