Thursday, May 1, 2014

RHT: 4 Tips for Landing Your First Technology Job

by John Reed
May 1, 2014

You’ll increase your odds of landing your first job if you’re clear about your target role and network strategically.
College graduation is right around the corner and there should be a lot of excitement around such an outstanding achievement.
While graduating is a moment to savor, there are some important career preparation steps that should be on your to-do list as well. If you have not yet secured your first professional technology job, the tips below can help increase your odds of securing interviews with the companies you want to work for.
  1. Know your target role: Create a clear vision of the type of role you are seeking and your qualifications for the role. Potential hiring managers will ask and you want to be ready with a crisp response. With that said, be flexible. Sometimes the starting role you’re offered isn’t exactly what you had in mind, but it can be a terrific way to get your foot in the door — and a path to the job you really want.
  2. Update and organize your credentials: While I am sure most of you have built your first professional resume at this point in the game, have you given as much thought to your online presence? This can be especially important when trying to land your first technology job since potential employers are likely to look up prospective candidates online. Is your LinkedIn profile current and professional? Is your Twitter content reflective of the professional image you want to convey in the marketplace? Also take a look at your profile photos on social media accounts and associated content to ensure they project the image you want potential employers to see.
  3. Accelerate networking: Have you joined a professional networking group? If not, find professional organizations that will increase your exposure to the types of potential employers and professionals that you want to work with. Find a group that mirrors your particular professional interests and join the group, attend the meetings and get involved.
  4. Connect with a mentor: Find a mentor who can be a great career guide to help you navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with you first technology job, and as you build your career. A good mentor can provide great insight and career advise based on their professional experience.

It’s a great time to be in the technology field and career opportunities are as strong as they have ever been for new college grads looking to land their first technology job. If you’re still on the job hunt, I hope that you’ll find these four tips helpful in getting organized and improving your odds of securing your first technology job.

Good luck.

— John Reed

John Reed is the senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. He can usually be found racking up frequent flyer miles each week traveling to RHT offices across North America and speaking to industry groups about technology hiring trends. When he’s not on the go, he serves as an armchair quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Follow him on Twitter @JReedRHT.

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