Tips for Finding and Getting an IT Job in Pittsburgh
Finding work these days can be daunting. No doubt, that’s why you’ve come to us looking for advice. We also know you’ve probably read dozens of articles looking for that golden kernel that’s sure to land you that dream job. Tips on job hunting are everywhere — some of them even contradict each other — thereby making the whole thing seem impossible. More often than not, those articles are written by underpaid interns who, if they had any idea how to find the perfect job, wouldn’t be writing articles on how to find one.
That’s why we’ve put this list together. As one of the top staffing agencies in Pittsburgh, Logix Guru knows how to get the right candidates in the right positions — we’ve been doing it for quite a while. Our staffing team compiled a list of easy tips we see candidates missing every day that can make all the difference when it comes down to you and the next option.
1. Make yourself an obvious choice
We’re talking obvious. You want whoever looks at your resume to smack themselves on the forehead and say, “oh, duh”.
Before you can get to that person, more often than not, you need to do the same to a machine. You work in IT; you know how it goes. Staffing agencies everywhere — including Pittsburgh — are using sorting automation to pick out the obvious no’s before any human eyes even get the chance. These automated systems are simple — relying on keywords rather than some complex algorithm. Then, once you’ve passed the first test, your resume is often met by a low-level HR person or even a recruiter — neither with any actual knowledge of IT.
To get your resume on the desk of someone important you need to dumb it down. Study the job description and use similar language in your application and resume. We’ve even seen applicants directly quote the job description in a chart layout of “What you’re looking for” vs. “What I have to offer”. This way they’ve accomplished two things: (1) passed the keyword test and (2) really banged it over the head of whoever saw that application that they can do this job and do it well.
2. Know your stuff but be a person
This is a problem that staffing agencies in Pittsburgh, like Logix, find with candidates, especially in IT. It’s great that you can build a computer from scratch and then code it to give foot rubs, but so can everyone else. What gets you the job is a connection. You need to connect with the recruiter who first looks at your application, with whomever they pass it to; finally, and most importantly, you need to connect with your interviewer.
Too often staffing agencies in Pittsburgh find well-qualified applicants coming out of CMU or Pitt with glowing credentials and ability, who think their technological prowess is enough to get them a job. If this is you, hear us now: it isn’t. Think of it as necessary but not sufficient. Obviously, companies won’t hire someone who doesn’t know how to do the job, but they also aren’t going to hire someone they just don’t like.
Try mock interviews. Work on your personability. Make sure you come across as a likable person — someone people would want to spend their 9 to 5 with. You spent the last few years developing your tech skills; now develop your people skills.
3. LinkedIn is who you are now
We almost mean this literally. Having a bad LinkedIn profile — or, god forbid, not having one at all — is as close to career death as you’re going to get right out of college. Especially in IT, where the expectation for tech competence and savvy internet users is higher, you need to cultivate your online identity carefully and thoughtfully. In the modern world, everyone is a brand, and if your brand isn’t on the same level as the next option, then you’ll be overlooked every time.
4. Apply as if your life depends on it
Our fourth and final tip is probably our easiest to follow because Pittsburgh has quickly become the home to massive IT offices and enterprises. Staffing agencies like Logix Guru and others in Pittsburgh can’t get you the job you deserve if you aren’t applying to it. All the interview and application tips in the world can’t save you if you aren’t putting your name out there. It’s easier in Pittsburgh due to the sheer volume of opportunities if offers, but with opportunity comes competition so you need to make sure you’re flooding the market with your name — something is bound to stick.
A good way of thinking about your job hunt should be collecting denials. Try to collect 100 denials or non-starters. This way rejection doesn’t feel like a failure, and you won’t become disheartened and slow your search. Shooting for 100 denials means applying to 100 jobs, so all you need is a 1% chance and you’ve got the job.