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How to start working in IT, and where to begin? We discover the secrets of a successful start in an interview with Kristina, HR in New Line Technologies

Work in the field of information technology attracts with perspective, the ability of cooperation with foreign clients, working conditions, and of course with salaries. But when you scroll through vacancies, your heart starts to beat faster from the list of requirements to candidates. So, a lot of people drops off the idea in the very beginning.

Today we’ll discuss if it’s really so scary and if there are overestimated requirements. Also, we’ll bust some myths about the skills the trainee should possess to get the job in IT. Kristina, the HR at New Line Technologies, will help us.

How to choose a profession in IT?

Be aware that it will not be a walk in the park. But if you are really excited about the idea of developing in this direction, then all the efforts spent will be worth it. First, you should decide what you want to do. IT is not only for programmers, but also for non-technical specialties. You may find it more interesting to run a project than to write a code. We asked Kristina about choosing a vacancy for a jobseeker without experience in IT.

“There are two specializations in IT – technical and not technical. First of all, the candidate should decide what they like to do in their job. If you have the desire or experience of working with people, then we are talking about something other than technical specialties. You should pay attention to the following vacancies: Researcher, Recruiter, HR, People Partner, Sales or Support Manager, etc. and look for jobs with the title Trainee/ Intern. Job seekers without IT experience are considered for such vacancies.”

What knowledge is needed in IT?

There are a lot of options for the first job in IT. Hundreds of vacancies open every day. As we mentioned at the beginning –  many people have the desire to close the vacancy and say goodbye to the idea of working in IT even at the reading of requirements step. Don’t be so rushed! Education or work experience may not always be the decisive factor in interviews. There are basic requirements, matching, or training in which you can overtake your more experienced opponents.  We asked Kristina about this:

“Everything depends on the vacancy – the requirements for Developer, QA, and Recruiter, for example, will be different. If we talk about the general requirements, the level of English is important for any specialty in IT”.

The conclusion is that we need to learn English! Learning English to the minimum level (B1) applicable in companies operating on the foreign market is a must-have. And let’s face it, English had been the second mother tongue worldwide for a long time. It will be useful for you in traveling, as part of personal growth, and will open the doors to many areas besides IT.

What skills are needed in IT?

We already figured out the first step. But knowledge of English language is not a skill, but rather an education. Looking at the requirements for a vacancy, we all wonder if we are good enough to fit it. Do I have that skill?

There are two types of skills in IT – hard skills and soft skills. We’ll figure out the difference.

Hard skills are professional skills that you gain during training or develop through self-education. For example, for a translator hard skills is knowledge of a foreign language, for a programmer is ability to write code, for a lawyer is knowledge of laws and legal norms. The development of hard skills can be happened in university, online courses, webinars and master classes, and internship. We consider hard skills when we about to get a technical specialty: Developer, QA, Designer, etc.

Soft skills – in other words, personal qualities that are inborn, or that can be developed. Software skills include:

  • communication
  • empathy
  • flexible mind
  • creativity
  • analytical mindset
  • teamwork
  • stress-resistance
  • responsibility
  • proactivity
  • leadership

The list can be continued, but if you already see the 3-4 software skills that you have, this is a reason to sign up for an interview 😉

Here’s what our HR, Kristina, said about soft skills: “Among the soft skills that would be useful, I can point out: communication skills, ability to set the priorities, time management, ability to quick adaptation (flexibility), desire to work in a team, learning, focus on results, self-discipline.”

If you understand that you do not meet these requirements, do not be upset, soft skills can be developed, for example, starting with the study of the relevant literature, which, unlike educational, is interesting in terms of life experience.

In addition to the fact that you need to develop yourself to get a dream job, there are habits and skills from which you will need to wean yourself.

What habits really have a negative impact on career progression in IT?

“Systematic misconduct (in general terms). Lack of communication with the team. Unwillingness to learn and develop is not about IT.” – commented Kristina.

We chose a profession, learned what knowledge and skills we need to possess, and what about education? Is education important?

What kind of education should an IT specialist have?

There is an opinion that for the work in IT it is necessarily to have related education. Is that a myth? We asked Kristina: “If we are talking about technical specialties, the appropriate education will be a plus. But there’s no requirement.”

And we have already determined that for not a technical position a significant role is played by software skills.

Everything is based on what is taught in schools and universities – the ability to search and study the material on their own. The choice of courses is included in the list for self-development and self-education. Does the having of courses or certificates affect the interview?

“Having knowledge and skills after completing a course usually matters. However, in my practice there was only one course that proved itself so much that having it in CV gave an additional plus” – Kristina answered.

What experience should I put on my resume?

What kind of personal experience the candidate can present at the interview? What can and should be mentioned?

“If we are talking about job seekers who do not have experience in the chosen field, it is worth to mention the personal experience, which can be useful for specific work tasks. It is better to study the requirements of the vacancy in advance, to think about what experience already gained in the past can be useful. For example, if the future profession involves working with a lot of information, tables, and data sets, diligence and attention will be a plus. The candidates should analyze their previous experience and mention in which specific situations they were, and in which specific situations they showed diligence and thoroughness. It is important to remember that you should tell only about your personal, real experience. Don’t add things that don’t exist or make things up.”

What don’t you need to say at the interview?

If you have ever been to an interview, you know about the tricky question «Tell about yourself?». What do I need to tell? How should I tell it? What does your employer want to hear?

  • do not make up what did not happen;
  • Do not tell all your biography. You should talk about education/courses, experience, useful skills with real examples and achievements.

The main thing is not to forget that the person interviewing you is also interested in success! If there’s a vacancy, so they seek a specialist.

CV and interview are other topics that we will cover in our next article. Follow our blog, subscribe to us on social networks (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), leave your email address for our monthly newsletter, and always be updated with the latest NLT news.