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Wojciech Lepczyński
Wojciech Lepczyński

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Start working in IT - 10 Tips from a technical recruiter

Starting a career in the IT industry can be a fascinating and fulfilling professional choice. Sometimes, I am asked to conduct technical interviews, and I thought I could write some advice for people who would like to begin working in IT. To gain a broader perspective, I also decided to talk to some colleagues who conduct technical interviews. Below are some tips that will help you kickstart your IT career and gain a competitive edge in the job market:

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1) Assess whether it's right for you:

Checking if a career in IT suits you is essential to avoid frustration and increase your chances of success in this field. Working in IT requires passion, dedication, problem-solving skills, and a commitment to continuous learning. It's worth talking to people in the industry to see if it interests you. Of course, you should give it a try, as you won't know until you do, but remember not to force yourself into something that doesn't resonate with your interests and abilities.

2) Choose a specialization path:

The IT industry is vast and diverse, so it's essential to select a specialization that interests you the most. Similar to how a medical doctor can specialize in various fields like surgery, endocrinology, cardiology, etc., you can also choose your specialization in IT. It could be programming, network administration, cybersecurity, data analysis, or something else entirely. Focusing on one area will help you gain specialized knowledge and skills that are in demand in the job market.

3) Invest in learning and skill development:

The IT industry is constantly evolving, so continuous education is crucial. Take courses, attend workshops, read industry blogs, and stay up-to-date with technological advancements. This will increase your value in the job market and give you an edge over the competition.

4) Build a portfolio of projects:

During your learning journey, gain practical experience by working on your own projects. Not everyone can boast about commercial projects, after all.

5) Get IT Certifications:

IT certifications serve as proof of your knowledge and skills. Obtain certifications relevant to your specialization, such as Cisco CCNA for network administration or certifications related to cloud services like AWS, Azure, or GCP. While not always mandatory, having certifications can make you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of being invited for an interview.

6) Be honest:

If you don't know something, admit it. Nobody knows everything, seriously. Recruiters generally want to assess your knowledge level, not expose your lack of expertise. They look for areas where you excel and determine how your skills can be put to use quickly. Each company has its technologies, and they seek people whose knowledge aligns with those areas.

7) Don't cheat:

This is not about lying about your skills, as that can be easily verified, but rather about attempting to cheat during interviews. For example, some candidates may use chatbots or ask someone else in the room for answers, thinking the recruiter won't notice. Even if such a person gets hired, they are unlikely to last long once they face real-world projects, and their true abilities are exposed.

8) Personal branding:

You don't have to be an expert to start building your personal brand. If you're just starting to learn, you can create a blog to document your progress. This way, others who want to delve into the same topics as you will have a clear path to follow, making it easier for them. Additionally, recruiters will see your desire to grow and share knowledge.

9) Build your professional network:

Networking is invaluable in the IT industry. Collaborate with other professionals, attend industry events, conferences, and meetups. Connecting with people in the field can provide you with valuable insights, information about job opportunities, and chances for career growth.

10) Prepare for the job interview:

Getting your dream job dream in IT also requires adequate preparation for interviews. Research the company you are applying to, familiarize yourself with typical questions related to your specialization, and present your projects and experiences in a concise and convincing manner.

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In conclusion, a career in IT offers numerous opportunities for development and professional satisfaction. Follow your interests, invest in learning, build your portfolio, and network, and you'll find yourself starting your journey in the IT world sooner than you think.

If you're interested in this topic and would like to read more tips, stay tuned on my blog. I'm currently working on an article dedicated to this subject, where I will provide more detailed insights and actionable steps for each point mentioned above.

I also encourage you to watch my video on Youtube 6 tips from DevOps Technical Recruiter | Job Interview 2023

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