In the United Kingdom, the IT job market is noticeably skewed in favor of IT firms instead of professionals. After all, the applicant pool is increasing greatly from year to year as UK graduates leave universities for the real world. As well, the Internet and the globalization of the workplace have meant an increasing number of applicants for every IT positions in the UK. While the number of applications may be daunting for IT hiring managers, the number of choices available means that there is a significant advantage for IT companies recruiting in the UK. However, UK graduates and young professionals do have an advantage over one portion of the applicant pool.
Their proximity to local job fairs and open houses means that they get more face time than international applicants. While interacting face to face with a recruiter is a small part of the application process, it can be the difference between several candidates with similar credentials. As well, IT recruiters can judge in a brief conversation whether a young professional has the potential to be successful. UK graduates can distinguish themselves in other ways to improve IT recruiters and gain an interview. Graduates can take on temporary positions or provide freelance services when appropriate. These experiences, which can vary from one day projects to six month long positions, are great additions to the CV.
As well, a little experience can go a long way in wowing an IT recruiter who sees a lot of graduate applications with little to no experience. Indeed, an IT graduate who finds some success early in temporary positions can gain a great reference and a valuable listing on their CV. IT recruitment does not just offer the opportunity to meet with recruiters in a neutral setting.
It also allows a graduate to assess the state of the IT job market by spending a few hours speaking with those on the inside. A software developer can speak with IT firm representatives at a job fair and determine the strength of individual companies and the types of jobs they are offering. A quick glance at salary figures, benefits, and other perks offered by companies can lead to a positive or negative assessment of advancement in the field with a particular employer. By utilizing every opportunity to meet with IT companies and assess the state of the job market, a graduate can make a savvy choice about the right path for them.
Steve Bishop is the Managing Partner of Damia Group. The company specialise in information technology jobs and UK recruitment solutions as well as IT jobs in Europe.