How IT Candidates Can Set Themselves Apart in the Current Labor Market

December’s Fortune magazine had this to say about the recent layoffs in the U.S. tech world, “If you’re in tech, buckle up—it’s gonna be a tough ride.” In November, 55,782 tech workers were laid off. It sent ripples throughout the community of a kind of backlash in the tech industry. Big Tech called it “the new reality,” fueled by a faltering economy. 

If you’re breaking into the tech field now, or even if you’re a seasoned worker, the recent layoffs probably gave you a pause—and understandably so. But the best approach right now if you’re a job candidate, is to find ways to set yourself apart so you can be more employable. How can you do that? We have four ways to climb to the top of every candidate search and give you a better chance of getting hired. 

Get Ahead In Your Tech Job Search

Tips for Standing Out in the Tech Labor Market

The Harvard Business Review says, “We believe that the current layoffs have created a great opportunity for traditional companies. By recruiting and hiring from the former ranks of the world’s leading digital companies, they gain access to new talent in a less competitive market.”  
That may be great for companies, but where does it leave you, the IT candidate? 
This kind of market requires a way for you to stand out. Here’s how to do it. 

Tip #1 Tailor Your Resume

Going for the carpet-bombing approach doesn’t work anymore. Think about your resume as a precision strike, targeting the companies you really want to work for. Having one resume that goes out to every job will not set you apart. For an IT job candidate, this means focusing on quality and not quantity. The old metrics of “I sent out 50 resumes today” should evolve into a more focused approach of sending five highly targeted and tailored resumes to very specific organizations that fit your skills and career goals.

Tip #2 Use Keywords and the Job Description

To tailor your resume, start with the job description. Look for keywords that match the skills you offer. Make sure those keywords pop out in your tailored resume. Why? Because if a recruiter receives a pile of resumes, they’ll start by plugging those search terms into their applicant tracking systems. Keywords mean you’ll land in firmly in the review pile and not down the bottomless well of the candidate application process.  
Pro Tip: Go lightly on the keyword peppering; it’s an enhancement, not a stuffer.  
Also, look at the job requirements and tailor your resume to fit them—assuming you have those skills. Of course, don’t copy the descriptions onto your resume. Instead, use them to tell your story in a way that makes it a no-brainer for the recruiter to call. 

Tip #3 Don’t Just List Tasks, List Accomplishments

Sending a recruiter a laundry list of the tasks you completed in your last job is fine but won’t set you apart. Instead, think of the work you did in the context of how it benefited the business. Rather than, “Completed 65 trouble tickets a day,” combine that with “to ensure feature functionality of the client-facing application.” Instead of, “wrote clean code in Java for a cloud application,” add, “that launched as a new product in August 2022.” The idea is that your daily IT tasks are skill-specific and part of an overarching achievement that benefits employers.

Tip #4 Call Prosum—Right Now

Why not let an accomplished IT staffing agency connect you with top employers? Prosum works with candidates just like you to improve your resume and pitch your employment to companies hungry for talent. Working with one specialized tech recruiter at Prosum is a force multiplier. We do a lot of the legwork normally associated with looking for a job—and our clients pay the fee. 

Set Yourself Apart In Your Tech Job Hunt

Find out why tech candidates choose Prosum to represent them to top employers. Contact us to find out more.