What Experiences Make An IT Professional Appealing?

Internet-based technology and increasingly powerful computers are constantly changing the world's workforce. Even with automation changing many jobs and artificial intelligence emerging from its (often stagnated) infancy, the technical support, systems administration, network engineering, and cyber security sectors are still in huge demand. You may have to move out of your local area for work, but if you're concerned about skills, here are a few experiences to highlight or seek out as you look for impressive resume bullet points:

Certifications Versus Degrees

The Information Technology (IT) world has been in an intellectual battle over qualifications for decades. Is it better to get a college degree in the IT world or a certification? Certainly, getting both options in your resume is a great thing, but what should a person with limited funds do to start their career or get back into the work market after a long absence?

The answer depends on where you're applying. As far as employment goes, the argument should only affect you when certain employers set their job requirements. If you're going to be part of the argument, your job is to convince employers to choose one or the other. If you're just applying for a job, the argument means nothing.

In most cases, you're not going to sway an employer to switch their preferences unless you're talking to the leadership over lunch. If they want a degree, their system with automatically deny applications that lack a college degree. If they want specific certifications, the system will deny applications that lack certifications.

Aside from looking for jobs that perfectly match your certifications or degrees, you can look for jobs that ask for relevant experience and years of experience.

What Does Experience Really Mean?

One huge barrier for college graduates, certification newbies, and people switching over to the IT world is the experience needed for some jobs. Although there are some rigid rules when it comes to experience, you need to understand that this is largely a confidence check.

The meaning of experience can be personal, and subject to interpretation. Help desk and technical support, for example, may accept fixing computers for friends and family as experience because they want to encourage people who can be trained and molded. Some companies may specifically deny tinkerers and home technicians because they're looking for someone who can build and lead a department without instruction.

One problem with the experience argument is that many people--employers and applicants alike--assume that their interpretation of experience is the "normal" meaning. There is single normal meaning, so if you believe that your home computer repairs, Navy IT field technical work, part-time job in the computer lab, or on-the-job training while working in another department matter, then apply. 

Let the company tell you no. It's not fraud if you're wrong; fraud, in this case, would be saying that you did a specific task or worked for a specific company in a certain capacity when you didn't. If you say that your experience is relevant and a company disagrees, that's a simple disagreement.

Contact a resume professional to discuss the ins and outs of resume writing, and don't spare any details of your skills. Let the resume writer figure out what stays and what goes.