We all want to be able to write a great cover letter and resume to get a valuable position in the IT field. However, that is not the only area you will need to prepare for. You will need to decide just what type of IT job you want or are qualified for. To find out what opportunity best suits you, you should take a skill or aptitude test to identify where your skills are strong and what you need to work on. Then you can research job postings and using contacts with people in the field, understand what certifications, training, or technical diplomas would likely be needed for the respective job. I would stress the importance of researching the company that is posting a position. You can learn a lot from a public profile of a company. You can also learn about what that company’s direction is, and how your skills can best help them move forward with success. Researching a company may be critical to gaining an interview. The information you can learn will help you prepare for an interview when you get it. Your research helps you to create questions on the company’s culture, dynamics, directions, or products being developed.
First, prepare a rough draft or outline of a cover letter and resume for the position you settled on pursuing based upon certifications and skills you have. You will be able to critique your resume and cover letter later. For now, you should prepare yourself by taking a sample aptitude, or skills test, and try to practice questions that may be asked in an interview. You can do a Google search for skills and aptitude tests designed for IT positions. These tests are specifically designed to tell you what skills or knowledge you have a solid handle on and what you may need to work on. Additionally, employers are using aptitude or skills tests like these to screen job candidates and weed-out low performers. An example of this type of evaluation can be found here at this link:
Some tests will also let you know what type of positions your skills and knowledge will be good fit for. It is important to understand how you can perform in these types of tests.
You can also do a Google search for sample interview questions for practice such as:
- What does USB stand for?
- If the audio for your computer is not working, what would you check?
- Can you list five Microsoft Office applications?
- What is a device driver?
- A user calls you for help with not being able use the printer. They have called you five times this week already. Most of the calls were for trivial things. You are a half hour from the end of your shift. Do you help them or tell them to wait for tomorrow?
The practice gained in answering sample questions will help during an in-person interview. Employers or interviewers will watch to see how comfortable you are when answering questions as well as assess how relevant and proper your answers are. Some additional sample questions can be found here at this link:
When you pick the company, you want to research, where will you begin to look – Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Absolutely right – you will look there and more. You should just as the Employer will research you. If you put in some time, your result may prove itself fruitful with a job offer. Check as many public profile sites as you can as each one may have a different information about the company. Each site may give you the tidbit of information you need to be used to create a question. In fact, one or two good memorable questions may trigger the interest of an interviewer or manager. Even if you think it is not a normal question, ask it. That may be the question that gets them to think this person does not just look at the obvious but that they see other intangibles. It is critical to make an impression in all aspects of the interview process.
After practicing the skill and aptitude tests, previewing and answering a fair amount of sample interview questions, researching companies with notes taken, now you will be able to critique your cover letter and resume to fit the job more ideally. You are now well-positioned to decide what past experiences and accomplishments to highlight and which to remove. It is important to identify your key skills that will highlight what you bring to the company. This time spent will identify you as a prepared and excited candidate to the potential employer.