If you’re looking for a new role, don’t let the speed of the holiday season get in the way of showing a potential employer how you differ from the pack. There are plenty of assumptions out there about the traditional IT worker. And whether you fit the mold or break it, it’s important to know where you stand and how to stand out.
Assumption 1: IT workers are men.
Stand Out: In reality 25% of network and computer systems administrators are women, and 72.9% of computer support specialists are men. While the gender gap is real, there are a growing number of women in the field. If you are a female IT job seeker, remember why women and working moms love working in IT. And if you are male, knowing about the gender gap shows you’re knowledgeable about the market.
Assumption 2: IT professionals all have degrees in computer science.
Stand Out: This is hopefully on your resume, but with the rise of ATS, that document may have been forgotten or never seen. For those whose majors run the gamut from health fields to social sciences or the 8.9% in non-STEM fields, you can use this as a differentiator. Be it your major, a minor or other interests, show your diverse interests and willingness to learn to stand out.
Assumption 3: IT workers are in their twenties.
Stand Out: The average age of an IT worker -men and women- is roughly 40 years. Only 4% of female IT workers are 20-24 while 9.5% of men are in their early twenties. If you’re young, show your enthusiasm to grow and stay for the long haul. If you’re in the median bracket or above, show your experience and ability to stay up to date on the ever-changing technology field.
Whoever you are, whatever your age, education, or gender, you have unique qualities that set you apart. Bring these up in the interview, tell stories and grab attention and hopefully you’ll be entering a new position in the new year.