Starting Your IT Job Search?
Beginning an IT Job Search? Prepare for the recruiter phone call!
When you are seeking employment, remember that you always need to be prepared for interviewing. The interview begins when you first post your resume on a job board or letting others know you are in the market for a new IT job. With the slow but steady recovery of the economy, the IT job market is becoming more competitive as job seekers are getting more calls from recruitment agencies.
To help you stay competitive in the IT job market, Agile has several tips for you to make a great first impression when your recruiter calls.
- Answer the phone
This may seem obvious, but keep in mind the old adage “the early bird catches the worm.” If a recruiter is calling you, they are also calling several other people. If it is not a good time for you to talk, it is alright to ask if you can call them back. But take the opportunity to make the connection. If you cannot answer your phone, make sure that your outgoing greeting on your home phone and cell phone are professional.
- Have your resume available at all times
You will most likely need to reference your resume during the conversation. If you are receiving a call from a recruiter, they are interested in the details behind the resume and how you can describe them.
- Be able to describe each company you have worked for in one to two sentences. For example, “My current job is with ABC Company which is the largest producer of blue and green widgets in the United States. I am part of the application development team within the IT Department.
- Practice explaining what the scope of the main project is that you worked on in each job. For example, “the project I manage will result in a new application that will allow our customers to view the status of their orders online.”
- Sell yourself
Now that you’ve been able to explain what your current and prior employers do and what your project (or purpose) was, be ready to sell yourself. You may have to step out of your comfort zone, but this is the time to do it. Be humble but confident. You can do this by keeping a list of responsibilities and accomplishments for each position handy. Talk about your achievements. The recruiter needs to clearly understand what you have done and what you are capable of doing. Try to avoid talking in terms of “we”. Also, itemize your main skills; know what versions of applications or databases you have worked with, and be ready to quantify how much experience you have with each of your primary and secondary skills.
- Know your salary and/or hourly rate history
If you can’t remember what you’ve been paid for the past several years, look at your previous pay stubs, W2s or bank deposits ahead of time. The recruiter will need to understand your history and will discuss compensation goals with you.
- Have references prepared and available
If the recruiter inquires about pay and references, she is most likely interested in you. Offer to provide the references over the phone or better yet, email them to the recruiter upon request.