The NYC Department of Education’s Career and Technology Education (CTE) IT Commission recently hosted a panel discussion to inform educators and CTE administrators about information technology hiring trends and recruiting practices. The purpose of the panel was to provide educators with this relevant knowledge, enabling them to best assist students in their pursuit to standout as emerging IT professionals for both private sector and government jobs. Panel members were represented by a variety of industry perspectives, from start-up leaders and higher education scholars, to QED National’s very own Director of Recruiting Operations, Jessica Gary.
“We reviewed the most effective ways to put a resume together – what recruiters in the IT field are looking for, what hiring managers search for, what makes an applicant stand out, and what to avoid during your job search,” Gary says.
Industry insights are invaluable for educators to understand and to communicate with their student base, especially those which can give students an edge in the competitive, rapidly increasing marketplace for IT jobs. For example, while employers are open to accepting candidates without college degrees for certain openings, most organizations will require a college education, or the equivalent of such via professional experience, for specialized areas such as cyber security jobs. This makes it very difficult to land an entry role – even amid an industry wide labor shortage – for students with limited education and professional experience who may have recently graduated high school.
The panel agreed that two main keys to being competitive in the job market is candidate personalization and marketability. Resumes shouldn’t be simply copied and pasted when applying to multiple jobs; rather they should be finely tailored to address the skills and requirements of each specific job opening. A stellar resume markets your experience and abilities to potential employers and can be the difference between receiving a call for an interview or becoming lost in a pile of sub-par resume submissions. Similarly, ensuring your LinkedIn profile is up to date has become increasingly important, as most employers view a candidate’s LinkedIn page as their public resume. Taking the time to accurately present your skills and abilities on LinkedIn stands out to recruiters and hiring managers alike.
“LinkedIn is key for any career path, regardless of industry. Everyone should have a thoughtfully completed profile, because that’s how a majority of recruiters and employers are finding qualified candidates,” Gary says, “That publicly provided information makes you accessible to many different audiences.”
These insights resonated well among the audience of educators and administrators, who took voracious notes and asked numerous well-thought questions.
“It’s always valuable to share our unique perspective, especially with an audience who can instill this important knowledge with students, helping them prepare for the real world and all it has to offer,” Gary says.