Posted by John Reed on Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 08:59
Much has been written about the war for talent and how there are not enough IT professionals to meet the jobs demand in the marketplace. In fact, I’ve written on that very topic several times myself.
However, just because you’re qualified for a particular position doesn’t mean you’ll get the job offer. There’s still quite a lot of competition in the marketplace for many coveted IT jobs. So how do you increase your odds of being selected when you’re one of the finalists for a position? Here are five tips:
Create separation from other competing candidates: Assume you have competition for the job throughout the interview process. Look for opportunities to further demonstrate why you’re the best candidate by providing samples of your work, e-mails that document your past achievements, and recognition and awards.
Make it clear you want the job: Over the years I’ve seen many instances in which the most qualified candidate didn’t get the job offer. Most of the time it was because the hiring manager didn’t think he or she was interested in the position. If you want the job, ask for it. Be clear and transparent in your communication as you wrap up the final interview. You might say something like, “I’m very impressed by your firm and team. This opportunity is exactly what I’m looking for and I’m confident I can perform very well in this role. I’d like to discuss how we can formalize an offer of employment so I can join your department as soon as possible.”
Follow up right away: Immediately after the interview, send an e-mail (or better yet, a hand-written note) of appreciation for the interview. Express your continued interest in the role, why you believe you’d be a great fit for it and excitement to move forward with the opportunity.
Exceed the employer’s expectations: If the hiring manager asks for three references, provide five. If she asks you to do homework on the company, not only do the research, but also follow up with a written summary of your findings. Highlight areas that you found particularly interesting, and offer congratulations for the successful launch of a new product or a recent industry award.
Tap into your network for an endorsement: Conduct thorough research of your personal and professional network. Do you know current employees of the firm who can speak on your behalf to the hiring manager? Do you know a former employee who left on good terms and could put in a good word for you? Current employees know what it takes to be successful at their firm, so their endorsement speaks highly of you as a candidate.
It’s a great time to be in IT and consider new employment opportunities in the marketplace. As exciting employment opportunities come your way, these tips will increase your odds of receiving the job offer. Thank you.