It’s only late February, but if you’re a college senior or finishing up your grad school program, you can get going on your search for your first (or next) IT jobs right now. If you take the right steps, you can land yourself a job to start after graduation. Here’s what IT recruiters would suggest you do now.
1. Create (or polish, if you’ve already started) your resume. This is the first and most important step. You can’t do anything else until you have a resume to give to hiring managers and technical recruiters. IT staffing firms suggest you do 2 things in particular to create a strong resume for a recent grad. Firstly, you typically want to put your education section at the top. You can keep your GPA in there if it’s high enough for up to 3 years past graduation. (How do you know your GPA is high enough? Put it on there if it’s anywhere between 2.8 and 4.0. However, it’s worth noting that anything lower than 3.0 may put off companies that are particularly picky).
The second thing to make sure you do on a recent grad resume is to create a strong, thorough ‘Technical Proficiencies’ section. Then detail out in the bullets under your experience how you used the technologies you gave in that Technical Proficiencies section. If you don’t have much professional experience yet, detail out how you’ve used the technologies in your Technical Proficiencies section in bullets under projects or internships you’ve done for school. Employers need to be able to see how you’ve used a technology, not just that you claim you’ve learned it.
2. Build your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one yet, you need one now. Most recent grads don’t think they need a LinkedIn profile until after they land their first job, but this is a rookie mistake. Take the time to build yourself a profile, because especially in the tech field, there are plenty of hiring managers that won’t hire a candidate who doesn’t have one. IT recruiting agencies suggest that you build a profile that isn’t too long or detailed. Your resume should be elaborate and give deep technical detail on your experience. Your LinkedIn profile should give a rough outline of your experience and skills. That’s it!
3. Reach out to your local IT recruiting firms. The time to build relationships with recruiters is now. Plenty of companies are already working with IT staffing agencies to start the process of hiring May graduates. In fact, some of the best jobs are going to be less available as the Spring goes on. You’ll actually give yourself an advantage to land some of the best-paying IT jobs at the coolest employers if you start searching now (rather than after graduation).
4. Start networking. Go to networking events in the cities you’d like to live in. Start reaching out to people you have connections to in the tech field. Let your family and friends know that you’re ready to start your job hunt. You never know who might have great connections and the ability to open the right doors. Now is the time to let everyone know you’d accept help in your job search!
AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.