It is no longer news that the big boys of Lagos and Abuja are termed “TECH BRO’.
Tech is the new oil so they say and almost anyone will agree with this statement. This is because it has created endless opportunities and has also changed the lives of many.
Imagine working for an international company from the comfort of your home, this won’t have been possible if not for tech.
Safe to say there has never been a better time to get into tech and the good news is there are also non-coding roles if you don’t enjoy coding.
If you have been thinking of transitioning into tech without experience, here are 6 tips to help you land your first tech job.
1. Identify your skills and past experience
Now that you have decided to go into tech, it’s important to take a hard look at your prior experience and skills. It might seem like you have none of the skills listed on job postings, but “soft skills” can be surprisingly important and many skills are transferable into IT roles.
These include problem-solving, data analysis, the ability to work as part of a team, communication skills, and the ability to juggle multiple projects at once.
In addition, You’ll need to create a new resume with relevant experience listed and tailored specifically for the kinds of roles you’re trying to land. You should also take time to write a new cover letter that explains your prior experience, how it’ll be useful in your new role, and why you’re interested in changing industries. This will help answer a lot of questions if your resume piques their interest.
2. Take online courses and certifications
You can practically learn anything online for free in this present age. One of the best ways to break into tech is to take online courses and certifications in your desired field. Coursera, Udemy, Alison, Hubspot, and Edx are all great platforms that offer tech certifications in Data Science, Programming, UI/UX, Product Design, Product Management, to mention a few. For some, you may need to pay a token for the certificate.
These certificates go a long way in boosting your resume and LinkedIn profile, therefore, making you more employable.
The internet is a gold mine with resources, however, it is only those who dig that benefit from it.
3. Build an online portfolio
While taking online courses, you may be asked to take on some projects to hone your skills e.g designing an app. Undertaking these projects will form the basis of your online portfolio which in turn serve as evidence that lets recruiters know you can do the job.
You can share a link on your resume and also to professional social media profiles, such as LinkedIn and GitHub.
Although credentials and learning proof are a fantastic place to start, you must ultimately demonstrate your ability to apply theory to real-world situations. Don’t only work alone; participate in open-source initiatives to gain knowledge.
4. Look for freelance jobs and side gigs
As you gain more experience and positive reviews, you can take on more complex projects. This is a great way to gain more skills and earn some money on the side.
5. Networking is key
The fastest way to break into tech is through networking. When looking to fill a job role, most employers are more interested in hiring somebody based on a recommendation. You can even just ask your friends or social media connections if they know anybody who’s looking to hire for the type of positions you want.
Also, there are also lots of tech events you can attend physically in your area which is a great way to build your network and also meet your potential employer.
You’ll form professional relationships with people who can give you advice on how to break into the industry, find the right training for your preferred career path, or even give you a job. Find seasoned industry professionals who are happy to provide support and encouragement. If you’re lucky, you may even find yourself a mentor.
6. Be open to starting from scratch
It’s important to note that you may have to “start over” in IT. You may have been a manager or an advanced professional in your old industry, but remember — you’re leaving it for a reason. Be prepared to start with an entry-level position and work your way up. The experience you get working at the bottom of the ladder will be valuable as you grow into a more challenging position.
Fortunately, you will be working in a senior job within a few years if you are ready to broaden your skill set and select a company that prioritizes staff development.
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