How to stand out from the crowd

“How to stand out from the crowd”- an interview with Małgorzata Trojan, Junior Delivery  Coordinator at Cyclad

Cyclad: It is said that today we have to deal with the “employee market.” Does it mean that candidates don’t need to care about standing out from the others on the market?

MT: Specialists are valued in every industry. People with high qualifications and long experience, regardless of the situation on the labour market, always have a bigger choice of interesting offers. It can especially be observed in the IT industry where the most sought for candidates have narrow and specialized qualifications. However, it is advisable to take care of your image and to think over the strategy for applying for a specific job. It allows you to fully demonstrate your advantages which will certainly help in negotiating the contract at the end.
Regarding people who start their careers and search for their first job, it is crucial for them to make sure that they prepare recruitment documents properly. Many companies operating in the IT industry developed special training programs for junior employees; therefore, having less experience is usually not such a huge problem as it was in the past. But what is important is candidate’s attitude to the recruitment process.

C: What are the key elements that we should take care of when applying for a job in the IT industry?

MT: Although many companies use innovative methods of recruitment such as gamification and advanced assessment center, still one of the key elements is a well-prepared CV. CV is a showcase of the candidate and we usually build our first impression by looking at this document. A well-prepared CV should be up-to-date, transparent and without any grammatical or spelling mistakes. While describing your experience, you should also mention the technologies and methodologies you work or worked with.

It is also important to show your interest in the company you apply for. During the first conversation with the recruiter make notes about the company, project and duties on the presented position. Furthermore, when you’re invited for the interview, do some research on the internet to find out more.

Recruiters pay a lot of attention to candidates’ involvement in the recruitment process. It sometimes happens that the candidates do not come for the interview or cancel the meeting at the very last minute and do not inform about it. Obviously there are some unexpected circumstances but if the candidate forgets about the meeting and does not inform about the absence, it certainly has a negative impact on his/her image. Candidates’ appearance on the Social Media is equally important especially on business portals such as Linkedin or GoldenLine.

C: What should be remembered when building a profile on the business social media?

MT: Similarly as in case of CV, first of all, your profile should be up to date. You ought to list your positions, the key responsibilities, technologies you use and put information about your education. Recommendations and endorsement of key responsibilities by other users and colleagues are also relevant.

Additionally, take care of the technical issues such as using a personalized profile address or placing key information in the header.
According to some research, popularity of candidates’ profiles grows 11 times if they have a profile picture. Of course those should be professional photos ?

C: Do employers really pay attention to what is published on private social media profiles like Facebook?

MT: Yes, we often check the profiles of candidates on Facebook, especially when it comes to people who are at advanced stages of the recruitment process. We check, for instance, if a candidate does not publish content that seems to be violent or racist, or what he/she writes about the former employer. These can give us an overall picture of the person whom we are dealing with. On the other hand, if it turns out that someone applying for the position connected with data protection or security has all of his/her pictures and posts on Facebook public and unsecured, it may also be a valuable information for us ☺

C: Is it worth to be active in professional organizations and participate in conferences?

MT: It certainly is. Business meetings and conferences are fantastic opportunities not only to expand your knowledge of the industry but they are also great for networking. Active participation in the “business life” gives us a picture of what is happening on the market.

C: And finally, what would you advise people who want to find their dream job in the IT?

MT: Openness and determination are very important. Even if the company does not offer positions which you are interested in – send your CV. It goes to a general database of candidates which is checked daily by recruiters. Contact forms are very useful in the case of recruitment, it may also be helpful to check recruiters’ profiles on social media and to join some business groups e.g. on Facebook because you can find the latest jobs offers there. And when the recruiter calls you with a specific proposal, do not hesitate to ask questions and think the offer over. That way you will find a job that suits you best.