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Archive for Job Seeker Advice – Page 2

Agile development practices may have been on the IT scene prior to 2001, but with the release of the Agile Manifesto that year, these strategies have become some of the most popular development techniques in enterprise IT – let alone the fact that businesses are paying employees great salaries for their knowledge of or experience using agile methods.

In today’s IT environment, agile development seems like an absolute necessity with the cloud and consumerization of IT trends setting close to impossible standards for availability and access. In fact, Gartner asserted that agile development is a fantastic way to support the evolution of digital business, and by adopting these techniques, organizations can deploy projects more quickly, deliver value faster and meet the modern need for constant innovation.

“Agile development is a better way to create software.”

The reason for agile development’s value is pretty clear: As the Agile Manifesto stated, it’s a better way to create software, famously favoring team members rather than relying solely on tools, prioritizing collaboration with end users over negotiating with them, providing functioning applications rather than keeping detailed documentation, and reacting to change instead of firmly sticking to game​ plans.

Of course, as with many development techniques, it’s all or nothing. This means – and Gartner supported this assertion – that teams must work in harmony in order to achieve success. A majority of agile methods rely on multiple groups and constant collaboration. Therefore, if tech pros demonstrate familiarity with and skills related to agile development techniques, they will inherently become valuable assets for any IT project.

Scrum
Named after the collision of players in a rugby match, scrum is an agile development technique for managing and controlling projects and writing code quickly. As in rugby, it is a down-and-dirty approach in which two teams are given a specific job to complete in relation to another group of professionals and their task: One is in charge of optimizing product and the other develops it. And the scrum master leads it all.

The Scrum Alliance defined scrum as a “framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value,” and noted that there are three pillars: transparency, inspection and adaption. In other words, processes are broken down into components, and teams will use a single language and frequent meetings to communicate the status of the project.

A tech professional’s role in scrum processes varies greatly based on his or her skills and expertise, but across the board, Dice found that scrum-based jobs pay an average salary of around  $105,000, which represents a 2 percent rise year over year.

Agile development reinvents traditional programming processes.
Agile development reinvents traditional programming processes.

Extreme programming
While certainly not as cutting-edge as scrum or DevOps, eXtreme Programming – sometimes known simply as XP – has been gaining popularity since employees and consumers demand solutions as soon as possible nowadays.

Sarah Wood, co-founder and chief operations officer/chief marketing officer at Unruly, recently explained in a LinkedIn blog post how her company leveraged XP to help establish a culture of “innovation and agility” within the business. Wood described the agile method in brief.

“Developers code in pairs, follow a rapid two to three-week planning cycle and practice continuous delivery, releasing new features several times a day so we quickly learn what does and doesn’t work,” Wood wrote, later mentioning the critical nature of the paired development processes, since that’s what sets XP apart from other agile methods.

Much like other agile development techniques, tech professionals must work in close collaboration in order to achieve success. In fact, XP truly takes working together to the extreme, as Wood noted that “mobbing” is a practice in which members of the dev team take turns coding at the same screen, swapping out every hour, with hopes of improving the symmetry of information across offices.

“Developers definitely need to have skills in DevOps methodologies.”

DevOps
Unless they have been actively avoiding the Internet, tech professionals should have at least heard of DevOps – an agile development technique that fuses dev and coding teams with quality assurance and operations. TechTarget asserted that developers definitely need to have skills in DevOps methodologies if their employer supports this agile method, and this type of expertise can even help programmers land a job. The source reported that some DevOps roles vary drastically, encompassing everything from coding to testing to system architecture.

In addition, DevOps and the cloud are commonly associated with one another, so it can’t hurt to brush up on cloud computing before tech professionals seek a job at a DevOps-enabled organization. Particularly, TechTarget highlighted the importance of Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud and Google Cloud Platform familiarity for all DevOps roles.

Agile development shouldn’t pose as challenge to tech professionals, but getting used to new development techniques might take some time. The good news is that there are a wealth of resources from which prospective IT employees can learn.

LinkedIn is many things: The Facebook of business; a job-search website; a soapbox for thought leadership and blog posting; and, according to Business Insider, the world’s largest professional social media platform, with over 347 million users and 3 million active job listings. The source reported that in the tech sector, 46 percent of businesses look for employees via LinkedIn.

It’s clear that LinkedIn plays an important role in the job-hunting process of IT professionals, allowing them to find companies, vet managers and boast about their skills, experience and education. You know this, since you’ve been using this social media site for years. The problem is that you haven’t updated your user account or public-facing aspects of your LinkedIn profile since it’s been created.

So, it’s time to clear the cobwebs and start actively using LinkedIn again. Things have changed, however, and what used to be best practices are now old hat. This means that you need some help.

Here are some tips for developing the ideal LinkedIn profile.

Summarize yourself
On LinkedIn, your summary says everything to hiring managers and potential employers, making this section of your profile the most important. Think about your summary as if it’s the first page of a book – you really want to hook the reader and entice him or her to read more. But what should you write? After all, you’re an IT professional, not a poet.

“Use your summary to describe yourself, your top-prized skills and your career ambitions.”

Simply put, use your LinkedIn profile summary to describe yourself, your top-prized skills and your career ambitions. You don’t need eloquent sentences or verbose descriptions of your talents. Instead, make your summary indicative of your personality, emphasizing points and skills with specific keywords – not lame buzzwords like “innovative,” ComputerWorld explained, but rather tech-focused ones such as agile development or SQL programming.

Picture perfect
Let’s clear this up right away: Take a good profile picture. Don’t use a photo of yourself from an office party last Christmas in which you’re barely looking at the camera. Refawne Acarregui, manager of the Seattle branch office of Robert Half Technology, told ComputerWorld that you should always have a “face-on” profile picture to help make you appear more recognizable.

Additionally, choose a photo that reflects the attire and environment that is well-suited to your personality and profession. There’s no need to break out the three-piece suit, but something nicer than a T-shirt can go a long way toward making you look better than your peers.

In regard to your LinkedIn profile’s headline – an aspect that is almost impossible for hiring managers to miss – customize it and make it as unique as possible. The source explained that instead of something simple and common like “management and IT consultant,” a headline is more attractive when specific, such as “business and IT consultant with a health care focus – and many successful and pleased clients.” That one demonstrates a value, expresses what you care about and highlights your experience.

The DevOps approach
Jez Humble, vice president of Chef, explained the concept of DevOps to The Agile Admin, stating that it’s a practice that extends across many disciplines focusing on a dedication to “building, evolving and operating” scalable systems that rapidly change. What does this have to do with LinkedIn? You should apply the DevOps process to your profile: Continually improving, tweaking and altering your LinkedIn page according to industry climates, tech trends and job postings.

The Internet is the only network for IT professionals, as social ones such as LinkedIn matter just as much.
The Internet and intranet aren’t the only networks that IT professionals must manage, as social ones such as LinkedIn matter just as much.

Frequent updates make your profile appear on LinkedIn homepages that your connections always see, and if one of those colleagues notices that you acquired a new skill or added particular experience, you could land a job. Beyond that, LinkedIn is a social network, which means you need to connect, interact and share.

“This isn’t a place to just share your work experience,” Catherine Fisher, senior director of corporate communications for LinkedIn, told Fast Company. “Publish content, share status updates and give your opinion on the industry in which you work. These things provide more of a flavor of who you are as professional, and that information sets you apart.”

Quick tips
Of course, you can never stop improving your LinkedIn profile, so here are some long-term tips:

  • Customize your URL: This will make you easier to find by people and search engines.
  • Use media: Don’t be afraid to host some pictures of your work in data centers or links to programming side projects.
  • Endorse skills: If you endorse some of your colleagues’ skills, it’s likely that they’ll reciprocate the favor.

LinkedIn plays a critical role in finding a job, and with these tips, you’ll be sure to look good for hiring managers.

10 hiring hacks for job-hunting IT professionals

As an IT professional, you are more valuable than ever at a time when every business and association needs an IT department. This might make you feel confident that you can find a job, and you’re right, the odds are in your favor. However, that doesn’t mean that companies are hiring every tech professional they come across. After all, you aren’t the only person looking for a steady career with a healthy paycheck.

This means that you need to step up your game and set yourself apart to prove that you deserve your desired IT role. But how can you truly stand out?

Here are 10 hiring hacks for job-hunting IT professionals.

1. Definitely use social channels

Whether you like it or not, social networking is now the lifeblood of business. Hiring managers are going to scour these channels, looking for any glimpse into your skills, personality and even looks. Don’t hide. Create social media accounts if you don’t have them, but put your primary effort into beefing up your GitHub and LinkedIn profiles.

2. Have a interesting resume

Your resume is the first thing hiring managers, executives or staff members will see when you’re looking for a new job. Most companies get a lot of them, so you need to stand out immediately to even even be considered for an interview.

“IT pros need to ‘get creative’ with their resumes.”

Ann Pickering, HR director at O2, told Forbes that people need to “get creative” with their resumes. Pickering asserted that this is your one shot to show what you can bring to the table, and by limiting yourself to only “words on a page,” you’re doing yourself a disservice – especially in the tech industry. So, Pickering recommended creating a digital aspect to your job application.

3. Be ready for a screening call

Nowadays, screen calls are to be expected. After you submit a resume, put a pen and notepad somewhere close, and don’t be surprised to hear from the company at which you applied.

4. Know the company, industry and where they stand

OK, so you’ve passed the screening and your interview is next week. Start researching the business, its industry and where the company stands in the market. This makes you seem eager, engaged and intelligent when talking to hiring managers.

5. Remember your audience

In the same way that you learn about the company that you hope to work for, you should always consider the person who will be interviewing you. This should influence how you dress and how you speak. For example, a group interview with an IT team might not demand a suit.

Additionally, you should try to get a feel for interviewers’ personalities by checking out their social channels. CIO magazine created a list of “oddball interview questions,” with example such as “What’s your favorite ’90s jam?” The point is that if you’re unfamiliar with the person, how can you tell if he or she is joking or serious?

Demonstrate that you're the hero a company needs and deserves.Demonstrate that you’re the hero a company needs and deserves.

6. Show your personality

Yes, you want to try to exemplify the type of new hire that companies want, but at the same time, you need to be yourself. Nedhal Alkhatib, program manager for Motorola, explained to Forbes that job candidates’ personalities are “extremely important” to her.

“How you present yourself in the interview is crucial – don’t come across as over-keen or desperate – you want the interviewer to like you and your personality, not pity you,” Alkhatib said.

7. Demonstrate a drive to learn

This tip is simple. Ben Medlock, founder of SwiftKey, explained his stance on this topic to the source:

“The main thing not to do is stop learning or stop being curious. We rate people who are always teaching themselves and others something new. That gives you lots to talk about in an interview, too.”

“Choose a problem, and explain how you’ll fix it.”

8. Solve a problem

When you look at a job posting, all the skill requirements listed by a company are related to a problem that the business needs to solve. So, LifeHacker recommended pitching yourself as someone who can mitigate those issues or positively impact how the firm handles  them. Simply put, choose a problem and explain how you’ll fix it.

9. Prepare for a test

No matter what you say, hiring managers want to make sure you can actually do. Be ready to flex your tech muscles, so it can’t hurt to brush up on some basic skills a couple days in advance.

10. Tell the interviewer the truth

Once you’ve made it to the end of an interview, you can finally relax, but first, be honest with your interviewer. Tell him or her how you feel about the job, the company and the workload. After all, if you are thinking “I don’t think I’ll like it here,” why not save everyone’s time?

Job interviews don’t need to be stressful, since as an IT professional, businesses need you. However, that doesn’t mean you can just walk in the door. Be ready for everything, and the job is yours.

4 essential tech resume tips [Video]

The average hiring manager will only spend six seconds reading your resume before making his or her decision.

Hi, and welcome to the APN video blog!

While demand for IT professionals is high, that doesn’t mean you can skimp out on what matters most: your resume.

Here are four essential tech resume tips:

One: List your most recent experience first, keeping it chronological, with your relevant duties and skills above the fold – or in the upper half of the page.

Two: Add testimonials from former bosses, co-workers and colleagues, as means of proving that you’re experienced, talented and a useful employee.

Three: Debbie Messemer, managing partner at KPMG San Francisco, told Fortune that she always checks for a clear objective or mission statement. Indicate an understanding of an industry and how your role can contribute to the business.

Four: List major eye-popping accomplishments and contributions, saving the smaller details for the interview.

Thanks for joining us, and stick around for more hiring news and tips.

Are you ill-prepared for interviews? [Video]

What’s more important on a resume: experience or eagerness to learn?

Hi, and welcome to the APN video blog!

You’ve probably been told to list all of your relevant IT experience on your resume, even going so far as to edit it to include more of your track record.

That could be hurting your ability to get a new tech job, not helping.

Ajeet Singh, founder of ThoughSpot, told Business Insider that he would rather see prospective employees who want to be part of an entity larger than themselves. He wants people to take on new challenges.

Singh explained that if you’ve already done the job or tasks that companies are looking for, he’s not interested since you won’t have motivation to grow.

Should you get rid of your past experience on your resume then? No way. Instead, demonstrate an eagerness to expand that track record.

Thanks for joining us, and stay tuned to APN for more IT hiring news and tips!

4 reasons why it’s hard to be a software developer

“Software is eating the world.”

TechCrunch cited this quote from a 2011 essay written by Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz, stating that four years ago, it was clear that businesses would continue to become more “software-focused.” This prediction couldn’t have been more accurate, as organizations nowadays support a wealth of different applications and platforms with which employees have increased their productivity and improved their customer service.

The source noted that despite the ubiquitous use of software, nearly one out of 20 open jobs in the U.S. is for a software developer, engineer or similar position, as Python, JavaScript and SQL now rule enterprise IT. So while businesses are clearly dying for software and IT professionals that can design new and innovative applications, not many individuals are stepping up to meet the challenge.

Why? Finding a job as a software developer or engineer is a difficult process. Yes, even with many open positions available. You don’t believe us?

Here are four reasons why it’s hard to be a software developer.

1. Companies are posting jobs that no one wants

According to CIO, a recent survey conducted by HackerRank found that 76 percent of hiring managers plan to hire more IT roles this year than last, with 94 percent stating they’re looking for Java developers and 68 percent seeking UI/UX designers. Great news, right? Forty-one percent said they’re struggling to fill positions. Employers just don’t know how to look for the right people. Tejal Parekh, vice president of marketing at HackerRank, told the source that candidate pools are too small.

“There’s also an unconscious bias issue with customers who sometimes limit themselves by not looking outside the traditional IT talent pool,” HackerRank CEO and co-founder Vivek Ravisankar explained. “They’re only considering white, male talent from specific schools or specific geographic areas.”

2. It takes too long to go through the interview process

Software developers are not only looking for jobs in an industry that interests them, but they want to get a paycheck sooner rather than later.

A report from Glassdoor indicated that the average interview process takes 35 days for a software engineer and 28.3 days for a senior applications developer.

“The average interview process takes 35 days for a software engineer.”

Either businesses take their sweet time choosing a candidate, or they simply interview dozens of individuals looking for the right fit. Regardless of the scenario, these processes and their lengths are intimidating.

3. SaaS is taking away the reins

Cloud computing: savior of enterprise IT budgets or end of in-house development? In regard to software as a service, the answer is both.

According to ComputerWorld, in 2012, programmers accounted for 22 percent of IT staffs, and this year, that statistic is just under 20 percent. John Longwell, vice president of research at Computer Economics, told the source that the shift to SaaS is largely to blame, as corporations take the route with less software development.

4. Employers expect more than just programming skills

There used to be a time when programming skills were hard to find, but now businesses are so picky that software developers need to know more than just SQL. The Wall Street Journal reported that baby boomer IT workers are more likely to hire individuals with traits and talents they share rather than just programming expertise, as the corporate side of IT becomes increasingly important.

Don’t let this get you down, programmers. There is a job for you, and once you find it, the search ends!

Keeping your tech skills fresh: Facts and tips

As an IT professional, you know that the nature of technology demands that you continuously upgrade and improve your own skills as well as keep up with industry trends. After all, in the past 10 years alone, enterprise IT has drastically evolved away from on-premise, hardware-based systems and toward cloud computing and software virtualization. If you entered IT in the early 2000s, you have likely encountered a slew of new technologies lately, with big data, software-defined environments and enterprise mobility now holding the attention of business leaders around the globe.

In this sector, skills improvement is often referred to as professional development, because without acquiring new talents and learning about innovative technologies, it is unlikely for individuals to move up in their organizations. While training and skills development certainly aren’t new concepts, the number of IT professionals currently engaging in online tutorials and industry research as well as attending highly structured classes is enough to convince anyone in this sector to do the same.

Everyone is doing it
A report from Global Knowledge found that 77 percent of IT professionals – excluding decision-makers – participated in tech training in 201. In particular, cybersecurity staffers are paving the way in skill development, as 90 percent of those individuals developed their talents via in-person classes and online sources.

Don't discount online training courses, as these class offer extremely helpful coursework and certification tests.Don’t discount online training courses, as these classes offer extremely helpful coursework and valuable certification tests.

According to the source, these IT professionals understand the benefits of acquiring new talents, indicating that the skills they acquire will be valuable assets when looking for future positions. However, the reasons for developing professionally extend far beyond the idea of higher pay and a new role. Global Knowledge noted that many IT professionals engaged in training and research in order to deliver better results in their current positions, while personal accomplishment and improved confidence topped the list of “perceived benefits of professional development.” Some IT employees even reported that learning new skills and talents in their sector can increase their sense of job security, an especially important factor to note when considering the competitive nature of IT hiring.

Improving your skills
It is clear that you’ll need to develop professionally in order to succeed and reach new positions in the IT industry. Here are three tips to improve your tech skills:

  1. “85% of IT pros use the Internet as a resource for talent development.”

    Research: According to Global Knowledge, 85 percent of IT staff members use the Internet as a resource for talent development. The simple fact is that Google might prove powerful when searching for a specific answer, but you will need to do more than just find a single answer. Consider following tech leaders on social media, reading blogs – like Tom’s IT Pro – or even contributing to a blog or website. This will allow you to keep up with trending topics before they hit the mainstream.

  2. Online courses: If you would rather learn about a single topic or even multiple ones in a structured environment, online courses might be for you. Some popular sources for coursework include CompTIA, Coursera and Microsoft Virtual Academy, and Entrepreneur recommended checking out Udemy.
  3. Find a mentor: Information Age reported that because IT professionals often fall into a niche earlier in life, this means that after graduating, that sector or job could be no longer existent, or, better yet, a more interesting role could appear. Therefore, it is valuable to find a role model or mentor who can help guide you to your desired position or industry. Never forget the value of another person’s experiences.

Improving your tech skills does not need to be a challenge. Instead, you can embrace coursework or research and develop new talents and passions for other technologies and systems. This only makes you more valuable to employers, as you become more than a one trick pony.

Interviews are stressful, and that means you must prepare. You press your best clothes, you look up the company’s current IT employees on LinkedIn and you comb through its website. You arrive confident, and then you get asked that one question that makes you sweat. You might try to avoid looking confused or nervous, but you assume the interviewer can see right through you. You struggle to respond as best you can. Then on the way home, it hits you: the perfect answer. But it’s too late.

Here are four questions that you’ll be asked in your next IT interview and how to answer them:

1. Will you assess my existing IT systems?
Entrepreneur reported that candidates will always be asked this when companies are filling an IT support role. Make sure to look over everything from VoIP to printers, and don’t be afraid to point out the flaws.

“Many hiring managers want to test your industry knowledge.”

2. Identify some popular IT trends
Many hiring managers want to test your IT industry knowledge. Before the interview, prepare by checking out IT news sources and social media. Maybe even make a bold prediction.

3. How have you solved a problem in the past?
This seems like an easy question to answer, but most hiring managers really want to hear how well you communicate the scenario. Pick a situation that isn’t too complex to explain, especially if the person conducting the interview isn’t in IT.

4. What are your career goals?
The two keys here are honesty and long-term outlooks. Point out how the company will help you meet your goals, and express a yearning to move up the career ladder.

Bridge over the skills gap: Crossing as an IT professional

Technology is improving at a breakneck pace, and it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, thanks to the abundance of new computing solutions being developed every day. Just as businesses settle in with the cloud and big data, the Internet of Things will be right around the corner along with integrated infrastructure, innovative cybersecurity software and a handful of smart devices.

So, as an IT professional, how has this affected you the most? Simply put, some of the skills that you’ve learned in the past few years are now far less important than they were a decade ago. And while many organizations might argue that the skills gap does not exist, you know that it does.

“Employees lack an incentive to learn, and employers have no list of certified standards.”

The skills gap is real
In an article for Harvard Business Review, James Bessen, an economist at Boston University School of Law, asserted that the skills gaps is very real. He explained that without a list of certified standards in regard to professional abilities, employers have no idea which talents are required or what type of experiences define someone’s skill sets. On the other side of the coin, employees don’t have an incentive to learn how to do new tasks, especially in a finicky IT industry. Obviously, it’s not like one day, out of nowhere, relational database knowledge will become irrelevant, but a lack of a roadmap can be damaging to the IT market as a whole.

It seems that IT professionals and recent graduates are aware of the current climate of the industry. TechRadar reported that in a study of 250 IT students, only 58 percent of respondents said they were “confident in finding work” within their chosen sector and 5 percent noted that they have considered changing their career path.

While the IT industry might seem to be in dire straits, it isn’t as bad as it seems. InfoWorld explained that for every two qualified IT professionals, there will be one available job. In the social sciences sector, there are 40 workers for that single position. This is definitely positive, but it still highlights the struggle that unemployed individuals with computer technology degrees face.

A need for expertise
If IT professionals are up against other individuals for open positions, the answer seems simple. You must have more skills, knowledge and specific expertise than others, or you’ll be passed over during the application review phase. With that in mind, one route to success and a new job would be to possess multiple traits, which will convey you’re craving to learn more and excel in the open position.

Right now, businesses are looking for professionals with expertise in the cloud, networking, cybersecurity, application development and IT support, InfoWorld reported. Therefore, researching and building skills in those technologies is critical, and every IT professional should strive to do so. With a variety of abilities, you will prove to be an incredibly valuable asset to a team. The key is mentioning those talents specifically on applications, as this will make you stand out to employers.

Employees don't need to bend over backwards to learn new skills, but rather they can work with professional development services to gain tech abilities.Employees don’t need to bend over backwards to learn new skills, but rather they can work with professional development services to gain tech abilities.

Looking forward
Another way to close the skills gap would be to investigate the future of enterprise IT. However, this must be approached with an open mind. For example, TechTarget pointed out a quote by Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, in which he stated that the iPhone had “no chance” of gaining any market share. Even someone with a vast amount of industry expertise can fail to comprehend the big picture.

With that said, IT professionals should look at popular cutting-edge solutions such as converged infrastructure appliances and software-defined networking. Simply put, being optimistic about enterprise IT means that you care enough to learn how to use new technologies.

The IT skills gap might seem like your employer’s problem, but this hiring trend will certainly impact any IT professionals. They need to demonstrate that they possess the abilities and traits desired right now and in a few years’ time. Therefore, by educating yourself on what’s popular today and what’s soon going to be a critical aspect of enterprise IT, you are proving to businesses that you can grab the bull by the horns and learn the ins and outs of the mechanics with eagerness.

Taking into account the absolute need for computing technologies in business environments, it should come as no surprise that IT professionals are highly sought after in the modern era. In fact, eWEEK reported that the unemployment rate for individuals in enterprise IT is only 2.5 percent. Companies are begging for new hires, but they can’t find exactly what they are looking for.

Is this because they are picky or are IT professionals not accurately representing themselves? It’s hard to say. There are many factors at play. However, there is a solution, and a way to find the ideal position in enterprise IT. Dice President Shravan Goli told eWEEK that it comes down to thinking outside of the box. So, let’s open that box up and see what’s inside. Here are the six most important things IT professionals should know when looking for a job.

1. LinkedIn is a valuable tool
You’re probably thinking, “Come on, I know about LinkedIn!” but are you using it correctly? According to CNBC, workplace consultant Alexandra Levit recommended mining the social media network for contacts at the company that you’re interested in, as well as connecting with mutual friends or associates that have the same role that you are eyeing. Send a short but sweet message announcing your interest in a similar job and ask if you can pick their brain about how they got the position and if they enjoy it.

Levit also pointed out that you don’t even need to be eyeing a specific job posting to reach out to others in your field. You never know when an opening can pop up, and the hope is that someone will think of you when that time comes.

“Adjust your resume’s verbiage to match a job listing’s keywords and phrases.”

2. You need to customize your resume
This point is simple: Don’t have the same exact resume for more than one interview or job opening. Closely read what the posting is asking for and adjust your verbiage to match their keywords and phrases. That doesn’t mean you should lie, but rather if the open position requires someone with relational database experience, write exactly that instead of saying “SQL Server.”

You also want to align yourself with the corporate culture itself. Know what the atmosphere is like by checking out GlassDoor reviews and the company’s website. Add whatever you can contribute to the organization right on your resume in a summarizing paragraph. This shows that you can adapt to your surroundings.

3. Know mobile
The bring-your-own-device movement has arrived, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Wired reported that gaining expertise in enterprise mobility can be a challenge that’s “similar to running along the side of a speeding train and trying to jump on.” While that might be hyperbole, the source stressed the importance of possessing skills in device management, usability, mobility and application development as well as being familiar with the variety of mobile toolsets and devices.

4. Boast about uncommon skills
In the same vein as mobile familiarity, make sure to note your relatively uncommon skills even if the role doesn’t specifically require those traits. For example, InformationWeek pointed out that far too many IT professionals are citing they understand Hadoop, big data and distributed systems. Instead, the source cited a recent Compuware survey, identifying that those seeking a new job should mention they are familiar with mainframe technology, as two-thirds of CIOs said that once their mainframe talent retires, their businesses will be hurt.

By boasting some uncommon skills, you prove that you have a breadth of IT knowledge and could be a valuable component of a strong IT department.

Express an interest in learning new technologies somewhere in your resume.Express an interest in learning new technologies somewhere in your resume.

5. Stay one step ahead
Technology is improving at a breakneck pace, so why aren’t you always learning? You should be. According to Techrepublic, James Stanger, senior director of product management at CompTIA, suggested choosing a technology – one that you’re both interested in and intimate with – and learning what the next innovative step for it will be. So, if you’re a Windows Server 2012 genius, start reading up on Windows Server 2015 and even looking beyond that.

It’s also critical to understand both sides of some technologies. In regard to cybersecurity, Stanger recommended moving from open source materials to proprietary tools to get a feel for how those professionals operate.

6. Possess soft skills
While IT departments used to be like team golf – everyone doing their own thing but contributing to a greater cause – nowadays professionals need to have people and project management skills. Techrepublic reported that this is largely due to the expenses associated with hardware, licensing and software. So when businesses implement new strategies and start projects, they want to ensure their team members can stick to a timeline and work together.

The IT job market is competitive, so hit the ground running with the best possible first appearance with these resume requirements and attitudinal adjustments.

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