Greg Langstaff is a certified resume strategist and interview coach who helps people land the jobs of their dreams. He shared some tips for aspiring and early-career tech professionals to help them get their first or next job in their ideal career path.
Greg Langstaff, MSc, CRS
Resume Writer & Job Search Coach
How has COVID affected the hiring process for IT?
Aside from shifting a lot of the recruitment process and day-to-day operations to remote work, I haven’t seen too much change. As many companies adapted to COVID, tech roles became more prominent as demand grew, and now we’re seeing a bit of a shift in the other direction, but I can foresee this leveling out again as all things do.
Certainly, as people shifted focus to professional development and more people transitioned into technical roles, the IT candidate pool grew, but I haven’t seen this outpace the demand for IT staff in the job market either.
Have you experienced any challenges for career development in the IT industry?
The IT industry is one of the fastest-changing industries, but even when you hear about large-scale cuts from major tech companies, there are still so many others that are growing and hiring. Tech is a great industry to get into because the ever-changing nature means there is always room to grow and develop. There are also so many directions and sub-disciplines in tech, so entry-level and mid-career professionals have a lot of options in terms of career development.
What is something on a resume that stands out in IT?
Past projects are the most important thing to focus on in an IT resume. Employers want to see what you have produced and how you have helped your past employers. Be as specific and descriptive in describing your work, touching on the technology, systems, coding languages, and other technical language as often as possible. Also, do not forget to mention the outcomes of your work by describing how your work has helped the company to improve as a whole. Also, don’t shy away from including any personal portfolio work if you have developed anything that you’re specifically proud of.
How much do certifications and online programs help IT job seekers?
In IT hiring, there is a strong emphasis on what you are capable of and what you’ll be able to do for the employer if you’re hired. Whether you earned a formal computer science degree or learned your skills through a three-month bootcamp or you were self-taught doesn’t seem to have as much of an impact on hiring decisions as much as what you’re capable of doing.