Technology is quickly expanding and lucrative sector for graduates. With many applicants for each role, it’s super important that you can stand out and prove yourself as a stellar candidate throughout the application process.
1. Relevant work experience
Employers are always keen to see that you've demonstrated an interest in an industry by completing an internship or some relevant work experience. The most obvious route to gaining a technology internship is to search for openings at major technology firms like IBM and Cisco. Not only will this help you make contacts in the industry, it also helps you to develop professional skills and business knowledge. This will boost your CV and set you apart from other applicants.
2. Thorough research on the company
Before you apply to a company, find out about what the company is, what it does, its ethos and it's history. Find out the background information about the company's vision and understand where it's looking to progress to in the future. When you’ve done your research, mention something interesting in application forms to show that you are sending tailored applications to individual companies. If you're successful in making it to interview stage, make sure you are able to talk about some of the company’s successes to show that you are interested and passionate about the business you are looking to join.
Throughout the application process, be confident and self-aware. Don’t be shy about mentioning your achievements and successes. If you're successful in getting through to interview, ensure you turn up well presented – smile, shake hands and be self-assured. This shows a potential employer that you are confident in yourself and consequently a strong candidate for the job. When you're asked a question, don’t be afraid of taking a moment to think about the best way to answer the question in order to do your abilities justice.
4. Awareness of current affairs
When attending an interview, it’s great to have an awareness of any news stories that will affect the industry or company you are applying to. Make sure you read up on some articles and have a good awareness of what’s going on in the news that might have an impact on business. This shows that you are sharp, aware and organised and demonstrates that you have an all round interest in technology. Use our weekly commercial awareness updates to stay in the loop.
5. Evidence your skills
Make sure that you list all of your key technical skills in an application. Alongside this, clearly show your level of ability for each skill, be it coding languages, platforms or systems. Simply listing your skills does not indicate to an employer how competent you are, so make sure you evidence this.
You might want to think about mentioning how you acquired this skill – was it part of your university course, or was it self-taught? This could be a great opportunity to show you are someone who takes the initiative. However, exaggerating may backfire if you are asked to demonstrate this at interview, so remember to be honest.
Quick CV tips...
- CV protocol: The length of a CV is very important - depending on your seniority it should be between one and two pages. Remember to place your most relevant details near the top and always ensure that it's specifically targeted to the job you are applying for. At this stage of your career, education should always come before any work experience.
- Say more about your technical skills: Make sure you list all your key technical skills - these could include your knowledge of coding languages, platforms, systems etc. Include where you gained that particular skill, whether it be via a module during your degree, a short course or if it was self-taught. If you have studied a technical degree ensure that you highlight any modules that are most relevant to the job for which you're applying. But, refrain from exaggerating, as you might be asked to prove your skills or abilities during a technical interview so have your listed skills ready to demonstrate!
- Structure: As a technical candidate, it's of the utmost importance that your CV is well structured. Clear and logical structures will stand out to a technical recruiter. You need to make sure you grab their attention for the right reasons. Similarly your language should reflect this standard and be strong and concise.
- Don't neglect your other abilities: Make sure you demonstrate that although your strengths lie in the technical, this does not mean you are a one dimensional candidate. Make sure your grammar and punctuation are absolutely tip top. Your CV should demonstrate that you communicate well, you think commercially and that you are a high-quality candidate.
For more advice on CVs, check out Bright Network's guide to CVs, including templates.
Browse graduate jobs in IT and software development to kick-start your journey into this exciting sector.