Want to Secure an Interview? Here’s What Recruiters Look for in Junior IT Candidates
Are you in IT or wanting to land your first IT role, but you can’t seem to make it to the interviewing stage?
If you haven’t already, we suggest contacting a recruiter to see if their resources and industry connections can help and implementing as much of the below as possible that our Division Lead Jareth Oades-Gularte presented to IT students to help you best stand out among the crowd.
Here’s a few suggestions of what recruiters look for in IT candidates:
1. Soft skills
Consultants assess your social skills from the first form of communication you have, whether that’s on the phone or through email. We suggest being mindful of how you might be perceived in these first few interactions!
Our Principal Consultant Jareth Oades-Gularte says, “We think, does the person have good communication style? Is the grammar correct? And do they sound engaged?”
2. Active listening
Active listening goes a long way. Answering questions thoughtfully and with a unique approach shows that you have this key communication skill that recruiters are looking for.
When it comes to answering in-depth questions that a consultant might ask, such as ‘Tell us an issue that occurred in your previous role, what you learnt from it, and what you did to resolve the issue,’ use your active listening abilities.
Jareth Oades-Gularte says, “As consultants, we see that people tend not to follow the star principles and talk about what they’ll do but never talk about what they did to resolve the issue or what the result was.” Keep in mind that consultants are looking for you to discuss these situations in-depth because they know you’ll be able to converse with employers exceptionally and explain your expertise!
3. Realistic expectations of the role
To secure the role you want, you’ll also need to set realistic expectations.
“Some people have overly realistic expectations when it comes to salary,” Jareth Oades-Gularte says.
Being adamant about a particular salary could decrease your chances of securing a role because it can be challenging to match a certain job to an unrealistic salary.
“A lot of the time, employers are looking for somebody who’s tried and tested. Expecting an established role straight off the get-go can be difficult, so make sure you’re being realistic in your search.”
4. Confidence and knowing what you want in your career
Being confident, having a great tone of voice, being able to speak comfortably, and holding a conversation will work in your favour.
“It’s about knowing who you are, what you want in a new job, what your expectations are, and where you want to go with your career. There are a lot of juniors who come into the market saying, ‘I just want some experience’, but then no one stands out from the crowd. The people who talk about what they want, where they want to go, have a little bit of a plan, and confidence are the ones that stick out,” he says.
5. Straight talking and honesty
As a recruitment consultancy, we will proactively try to secure a role best suited to you. We’re big on straight-talking, being realistic, coaching, and preparing you for a successful interview to put you in the best possible position for the role.
Because we try to find you your ideal job in the market, we think of the relationship as a partnership and essentially look for the same reliability and trustworthiness in return from the job seekers we’re trying to help, which is why we value honesty during the process. Help us, help you.
6. Career orientated
Jareth Oades-Gularte says what recruiters look for is “the ones that stand out, those who build rapport, can hold a conversation, and are personable.”
If a person is inquisitive and proactive about a job and asks great questions, we tend to find these people very career-orientated and someone who we think could be an excellent fit for our roles. “You need to think about how to stand out and go the extra mile.”
7. Up-to-date CVs & LinkedIn profiles
Ensure that your CV is up-to-date and the grammar is correct. “While updating your CV, make sure you upload it onto the Seek database on your profile, as that’s where recruiters and employers will look. We also look to see if your CV matches your LinkedIn profile and vice versa,” Jareth Oades-Gularte says.
While updating your LinkedIn, remember to select open-to-work opportunities on this platform, too.
8. Life experiences
Reiterating our point from before, what recruiters look for in candidates is those who are noticeable. “Having your own individuality stands out to me as a recruiter.”
For example, having some form of life experience can help with this. Jareth Oades-Gularte says that if you’ve worked in a fast-paced environment before, such as a bar or restaurant, or have experienced backpacking, it shows you’re quite resilient. “This can be relatable for people looking to get into IT support.”
“I think these give you a different perception of life, and I think that comes into play with troubleshooting and communication. I’d recommend bringing something that’s non-industry related to a recruiter’s and employer’s attention,” he says.
Have a question for us? If you’re a job seeker on the lookout for your next role, a hiring manager looking to fill a position, or want to know more about what recruiters look for in candidates, contact us at Humanised Group! We’re here to help you succeed.