How to get an IT job with no experience
To break into a skilled industry, you have to start somewhere. But how do you prove yourself on paper when you haven’t yet earned experience? Here are the ways you can find an IT job with no experience:
Earn a degree
Many IT jobs require at least an associate degree in information technology. Some positions may require a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a related field. Consider getting a degree through traditional full-time classes. Many programmes have part-time options if you need to work while you’re in school.
Work on personal projects
Create your opportunities to demonstrate your skills with projects done in your own time. Choose a design that aligns with your career goals. For example, if you’re interested in programming, create a computer programme that automates a task. These personal projects can show employers your engagement with the industry, your creativity and your industriousness.
Learn new skills and enhance your résumé by earning an IT certification. Many courses offer online programmes. Consider the following certifications:
- Certified data professional (CDP)
- Certified information system security professional (CISSP)
- Project management professional
- Certified ethical hacker (CEH)
- Global information assurance certification (GIAC)
You can also explore certifications for specific programming languages and operating systems.
Volunteer your services
Offer your IT services to small businesses or start-ups. These volunteer projects can provide you with valuable experience using your skills and working in a professional environment. These companies also develop a relationship with you and may reach out if they’re looking for an IT professional in the future.
Apply for an IT internship. Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on the company, but they can provide crucial work experience. In addition to developing your IT skills, you can develop additional transferable skills, such as communication, time management and interpersonal skills.
Consult with a career centre
If you’re a student, make an appointment with your school’s career centre. The centre can assist you with writing your cover letter and résumé and may have leads for internships or jobs. Career centres also prepare you for interviews and communicating with potential employers.
Expand your search
Broaden your search to include more companies and positions. For example, you may look for all jobs at IT companies, even if the position does not work directly with technology. You might also consider administrative roles in technology departments. These jobs can allow you to begin your career and eventually may lead to transfers into IT roles.
Tips for finding your first IT job
To build a background in IT to get you started, you’ll need the proper educational foundation and to represent yourself on paper, online and in your network in a way that shows you’re ready to join the IT workforce. Here are some tips for getting an IT job with no experience:
1. Craft your résumé and cover letter for each job
Rather than use a general résumé and cover letter for each job application, tailor these documents to specific positions. For instance, some jobs may prioritise service projects while others look for education. Knowing what employers want can help you highlight relevant coursework and projects. Use keywords from the job description within your cover letter and résumé.
2. Join networking groups
Join professional networks and social media groups related to the IT industry. Attend networking events and speak with group leaders about ways to get involved. You can also request informational interviews from group members.
In addition to formal groups, consider asking friends and family for job recommendations. You can also contact former classmates who are working in IT for potential opportunities.
3. Create professional profiles
Create professional profiles on social media and job search sites. Use a professional photo and add your education and experience. You can also select what industries, roles and companies interest you.
4. Design a personal website
To show your IT and design skills, consider creating your website. It can serve as a digital portfolio. You can add your professional objective, education and experience.
5. Contact companies you’d like to work for
Even if companies don’t have an advertised position available, consider contacting hiring managers or recruiters to discuss your interest. You can request informational interviews or ask to send your résumé for their files.
6. Be consistent and persistent
Looking for a job can be challenging, but you can find the right position by being consistent in your search. Set aside time each day to look for and apply for jobs. Once you apply, remember to follow up after several days.