The IT factor: Targeting your job search to the industry

To perfect your job search, it’s important that you tailor your application to the IT industry so you can show that you meet the requirements.


Job seeking is a complex process that requires applicants to pay attention to a variety of different aspects all at once. The CV, the cover letter, the interview and the network of contacts all need to be considered, but there is one factor that is often overlooked and can influence the success of the other components – the target audience.

With all the other job applications that are pooled in the market, a general approach to job hunting is not going to do you any favours in making you stand out from the crowd. A good way to show you are the right candidate for a job in a specific industry is by personalising all the aspects of your application to ensure you connect with the requirements and pursue the most effective avenues.

For IT careers, this means targeting your approach to the industry. There are a number of ways to incorporate IT into your job application, including tailoring your CV, emphasising the right skills, choosing the right platform, and using a specialised recruiting agency.

Using these strategies will go a long way to highlighting your proficiencies in the industry and showing that you are the right person for the role.

Find out the skills that are in demand

In order to show that you have the right expertise, it is important that you research the skills in high demand both in the industry overall and for specific positions. A 2016 outlook report by CompTIA reveals that there are several technology trends that are influencing the skills employers are looking for. These expertise include a good understanding of cloud computing, a knowledge of IT security defences, skills in working with Big Data, and experience in software developer roles.

Adding these abilities to your skill-set can help to improve your employability as you will be more attractive to employers looking to adapt their business to the evolving IT landscape.

Tailor your CV and cover letter to reflect the position

According to a survey of employers by, a generic CV is the fourth biggest turnoff they experience when looking through candidates, following a lack of relevant skills, poor formatting and spelling and grammatical errors. Tailoring your CV is therefore one of the most important pieces of resume advice you could receive.

Personal development and career specialist Tom O’Neil says that your resume is like the brochure that sells you to employers. To this effect, a CV needs to be aimed at a particular audience and identify with their requirements to be the most compelling.

In order to present yourself as an IT specialist, you need to make sure your CV and the accompanying cover letter emphasises the competencies that are needed for the role, as opposed to just presenting general information about your skills and history. Recruiters should not have to sift through irrelevant material to find out whether you have the right proficiencies – these should be obvious at a glance.

Harness suitable platforms for your search

Your job search is no longer confined to the vacancies section of the local newspaper. Technology and the internet have provided a wider range of possibilities when it comes to locating career opportunities. It makes sense that candidates seeking roles in the IT industry should harness their tech knowledge to broaden their reach.

A 2015 candidate behaviour study by CareerBuilder shows that 78 per cent of job seekers in the IT industry use a Google search to look for vacancies. In addition, 78 per cent use a career website, while 71 per cent use social media in the job hunting process. Social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook are great platforms for finding vacancies, as well as marketing your professional profile and generating a network of connections. Likewise, you can also take advantage of technologies such as the smartphone, with Glassdoor predicting a steady increase in the use of mobile devices by candidates.

Not only will IT expand the channels and adaptability of your search, but it will also provide you with a practical means to demonstrate your tech savvy.

Seek the right help and advice

Finally, you can also ensure you effectively target the IT industry by working with a specialist recruitment agency. When you collaborate with an agency that matches what you have to offer and who operates in the industry, they can enter you into their candidate database and make your details available to employers. They will have a network of contacts in IT that you may not otherwise have access to, and can help you connect with companies that will suit your skills. In addition, they can also give you insider tips to help you to optimise your application.

By tailoring your job search specifically to the IT industry, you are able to show employers that you have the qualities they are looking for and are a specialist in your field. This will ultimately allow you to stand out from other candidates and improve your chances for success.