Searching for an IT Job: The Dos and Don'ts: Page 2


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DiCioccio says there are essentially five things people need to do during the job search process. The first is to improve their summary on their resume, using the right adjectives and capturing what’s special about them that a prospective employer needs to know. Summaries are often dry and factual, DiCioccio says.

“It’s a time to really reflect and be forthright about what is good and special about you," he says. “When I work with people I look for adjectives that describe them, not a laundry list that describes what they’ve done. That’s more important than 10 years of experience with an operating system.”

DiCioccio says he looks for the results of those 10 years of experience. “Do you now call yourself an expert? If that’s the case, then say ‘Expert with Linux with 10 years of experience.’ If you’re not an expert, maybe say ‘Extensive experience with application implementation with a Linux orientation.’”

Like Cullen, DiCiccio advises that instead of rehashing responsibilities, highlight the work performed instead. For example, a resume might say the candidate designed a business intelligence system and developed code and did an implementation.

“If I’m working with someone, I try to put in a smaller section of responsibilities, then underneath that, a bulleted list with accomplishments.” That way, he says, you’re focusing more on the business results—did the project come in and on time? Did you save the company money? There are results that saved the company money because of your work, he says.

Organize your thoughts

DiCioccio says many people aren’t comfortable being interviewed so he spends time working with clients on a structure for organizing their responses. This includes a review of the person’s background. Think about the job you’re being called in to interview for and what are the big things in your background someone is likely to ask you about, he says.

“You may want to have a list of things you want to have discussed so use a structure to make sure everything is addressed," such as explaining the situation you worked in, the tasks you performed and then results. A suggested phrase: “Because of the tasks I performed, we remained in budget. We delivered on time. We captured 50 errors in testing," says DiCioccio. That way, the candidate ties it all together and emphasizes what he or she did.

In mock interviews Cullen does with his clients, he asks questions about what are the candidate’s weaknesses and challenges. “In the final analysis, the interviewer is going to ask three questions: ‘Can you do the job; do you want to do the job and are you really motivated; and lastly, do you fit in?’” The latter is critical for IT people because they tend to be introverted, Cullen says, and the candidate needs to let a little of their personality come out.

Tagbo concurs, saying that “No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t sound confident.”

When discussing your strengths, make sure to emphasize that you get along with everyone. Cullen says that’s an “unusual response for an IT person,” and he or she needs to make sure that that comes across. “Often IT people don’t think about that as much as wowing someone with their technical experience and it’s a lot more than that.”

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Tags: developer, IT Jobs/Salary, IT interview, IT career, IT employer

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