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12 tips to help college grads land their first IT job

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | June 24, 2014
Technology and HR pros, as well as IT recruiters, share their advice on how recent graduates and those still in college can best position themselves for a technology career.

10. Don't just apply to the cool startup in Silicon Valley. "Don't be afraid to make your search wide-ranging, not only geographically but in the kinds of things you might like to work on," says Stephen Pimentel, technologist evangelist at database software startup FoundationDB, a data storage technology provider. "Look for companies solving difficult, interesting problems."

"Job seekers in IT fields should look beyond the technology industry as sources of employment," adds Sigelman. "Over half of all job postings for IT roles are outside of the IT sector, in areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, finance and retail."

11. Know your interviewer. "Prior to an interview, ask with whom you will be meeting and use LinkedIn and the Web to learn as much as you can about them," says Doran. "This shows initiative and provides an opportunity to identify similarities you might share with your interviewer (e.g., attended the same college or played the same sport).

The most positive feedback from hiring managers comes when a candidate is able to make a personal connection," Doran says. "Also, take note of the professional paths of the IT managers with whom you interview. Asking how they got to where they are today is an excellent icebreaker and shows career initiative."

12. Finally, be realistic about salary. "Be realistic and don't expect that you are going to get $100K+ because that's what you saw that job position pays at the high range," says Brad Roth, IT manager, EZSolutionIT, which provides computer and IT services. "That high range is meant for people that have years of experience in the field."

 

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