How to land your first job in IT

By Robert Half on 7th June 2022

Whether you have recently graduated from University or taken a coding programme, you're probably wondering how to get your first entry-level IT job so you can launch your exciting career in technology.

It’s a great time to be building a career in technology, there are many opportunities for anyone looking to land their first entry-level job in IT. The UK is currently facing an IT skills shortage while the demand for technology professionals continues to grow.

There are some important technology career preparation steps that should be on your to-do list. If you have not yet secured your first professional IT role, the tips below can help increase your odds of securing interviews with the companies you want to work for, so you can begin your journey in the world of technology.

Related: How to write a graduate CV for job application success

1. Understand the company and your ideal first role in IT

Begin by creating a clear vision of the type of IT role you are seeking and your qualifications for the job opening, potential hiring managers will ask and you want to be ready with a confident response.

With that said, try to be flexible. Sometimes the entry-level IT job you're offered isn't exactly what you had in mind. Many young IT professionals are hoping for meatier work instead of what they'd consider easy, or not very interesting. Be patient - you won't get to work on your dream project right away. Through doing good work and putting in effort, opportunities to tackle more interesting projects will come.

Use your first job or internship to get your foot in the door and view it as a path to the IT career you want.

Related: Preparation techniques for job interview success

2. Do not put your IT learning and development on hold

If you're interested in the entering the world of IT, you are probably aware at the speed in which new technologies, software and systems can evolve. Ignoring your need to stay ahead of the latest industry trends and learnings will only harm your ability to succeed.

By making an ongoing commitment to self-education, combined with online courses, seminars and professional workshops, you’ll be well-placed to understand how to capitalise on industry changes to enhance your IT skills and develop your career.

3. Update your online profile

Most young technology pros have built their first professional IT resume at this point in the game, but an online presence is often forgotten. This can be especially important when trying to land an entry-level IT role as potential employers are very likely to look up prospective candidates online.

Is your LinkedIn profile current and professional? Is your Twitter content reflective of the professional image you want to convey in the marketplace? Also take a look at your profile photos on social media accounts and associated content to ensure they project the image you want potential employers to see.

Related: Updating your resume to keep pace with technology

4. Accelerate your networking in technology

Have you joined a professional networking group? If not, find a professional organisation that will increase your exposure to the types of employers and professionals that you want to work with. Whether it's Women in Technology (WIT), the National Association of Programmers or the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), find a group that mirrors your professional interests and get involved.

Here's another good networking tip for those just beginning their IT careers: try to connect with people who are in their first or second IT job tooMost people focus on finding a contact at a much higher level than themselves, but getting to know someone in a more junior position could lead to an interview as well. A more junior contact might know of an opportunity or have some good IT career advice for those just starting out in a technology career. 

Stay focused, positive and follow our advice, you're bound to find your perfect first IT role in no time. For more on career development please visit our advice page, and feel free to contact us here at Robert Half to talk to one of our experts.

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