Are you looking to advance your tech job to one that provides higher pay and more perks? Competition is fierce, even in a career that is in high demand among companies and industries. Read on for the moves to make that will put you in the right position for advancement in your tech career.
Fine-tune your resume
Ever wonder why they hired the other person and not you? When you both had the same skills, certification, education, etc.? If all else is equal, then it could be that your presentation was lacking.
If writing is not one of your strengths, then use resume templates to create a compelling work history. Resume writers know what interviewers and those on the hiring committee are looking for. They use keywords and catchphrases that give you that edge you need over anyone else with equable work history.
Update your skill set
Were you passed over the last time around because your skill set was lacking? Now is the time to figure out the most in-demand tech jobs for 2018. And work toward acquiring the skills required for those jobs. CIO reports the following jobs as being the most in-demand for next year:
- Business intelligence analyst
- Data scientist
- Database developer
- Help/support technician
- Network admin
- Data security admin
- System admin
Within these job opportunities, the skillsets that allow you to stand out will be different. Time magazine has created this list of the 21 most valuable career skills to have now.
Research what companies list on their job ads and compare that to where you are now. Do you have a broad base of experience and the capability to function in various roles for a company? That could be the key to getting a job over a candidate with experience and skills in only one portfolio.
Figure out how to market your strengths
Knowing how to market yourself is an essential element to getting the high-paying job you are after. You might know that you are the best computer security techie around, but if you cannot express that and sell others on it, that knowledge does you no good.
Most tech people could benefit from learning how to present their skills in a way that is understandable to a person with zero tech knowledge. Take a marketing course or a sales class. The Harvard Business Review provides these essential principles on how to improve your sales skills.
- Research what is important to the company or individual doing the hiring.
- Role play your sales talk or marketing pitch with a close friend who can critique your presentation.
- At the end of your pitch, don’t forget to take the next step and make the hard sell.
If competition is fierce in the city or country where you live, consider setting your sights farther out. If the job market where you have been applying for new positions has not yielded results, consider a different state, or even a different country.
Working in a different country could provide you with a chance to enter at a higher level with a better paycheck than at home. On a personal level, you will gain knowledge on how to navigate new cultures. And it could be more satisfying for those who like adventure as part of their daily routine.
Get better at soft skills
Techies often have the reputation of having poor communication skills. Yes, a techie’s main responsibility lies in computer systems. But strengthening your communication skills, or “soft skills,” could be key to job advancement. How? Being able to communicate problems and their solutions is integral to making progress, no matter the field you work in. And if any aspect of your work is dependent on others agreeing to the solutions you propose, then making a winning case is a skill you should hone.
Other soft skills you can acquire that could lead to career advancement include the ability to teamwork with others. The ability to listen to problems and find out of the box solutions is another essential. Along with the ability to work with difficult personalities. Monster.com provides a well-rounded list of the soft skills that could place you above others in the hiring pool.
As you try out these options, practice flexibility, too. A job that might not be exactly what you had hoped for could lead to another job that is exactly the one you had your sights set on.