Best Ways How to Stand out in Competitive IT Sphere
Hey! Probably you are already accustomed to the fact that my articles are more a sharing of experience, rather than scientific works. This time I decided not to deviate far from the intended trend and share my experience and observations on how to stand out in a very competitive IT environment.
Where did I get the idea that this is necessary? The short answer is to stand out from other candidates applying for a vacancy in order to get a job, to show the employer that only you can make its business good, and the rest, though well done, but let them stand in line for me.
I remember recently I was looking for a job as a web developer and UI / UX designer. By the way, I consider web development to be one of the most competitive areas in IT, along with project managers. There are a lot of frontend developers and most of them, like me, by the way, learned this from scratch, on their own, through courses, thanks to the Internet. Thank you internet. Thanks to such availability of materials, open information, there is such high competition in the labor market now, especially in IT.
Think for yourself - what does it cost your ninety-year-old neighbor to learn python in a year? Absolutely nothing, if only there would be a desire and understanding - what the Internet is. But there is one important detail. Let me put it this way: If you produce yogurt along with a hundred competitors, then the buyer is ready to turn a blind eye to your inflated price, if only it had more blueberries. An interesting metaphor. Next time I will not sit down for an article hungry.
With this strange metaphor, I want to say that in a highly competitive environment, it is important to demonstrate what makes you different from others. It's simple and logical. But how to show how you differ from others in the exact sciences? After all, the site is not yogurt. Each site has the same structure, the same programming languages are used. Pictures, like the filling of yogurt, although different, are still just pictures.
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So, how do you sell your yogurt to someone who has a hundred other yogurts in the fridge? You can reduce the price while reducing the weight of a jar of yogurt. A low price will attract more buyers, but as soon as they notice that they are getting less yogurt for a lower price, dissatisfaction will arise. You can improve the quality by using, for example, the milk of Alpine cows in cooking, but in this case the price will rise, which will scare away buyers. You can say that competitors have sawdust instead of pieces of fruit in yogurt, and fresh and natural fruits in our yogurt, but in this case everything will end very badly. So what to do?
Personally, I believe that the only option in a competitive environment is the ability to show your product (yourself). The yogurt metaphor got a little out of hand. Let me explain my words with real examples. If you are a great Frontend developer but can't find a job because companies are always looking for another candidate, it doesn't mean that you need to learn Backend and look for a job as a Full-stack. You already have the knowledge and skills to find a job. The number of these skills does not matter. What difference does it make how much yogurt you produce if no one buys this yogurt from you (I returned to this metaphor again. What is wrong with me?).
It is important to show HOW you do it, not how much you can do. When I was looking for a job as a UI / UX designer, I thought for a long time whether to add information to my portfolio site about my experience in Data Analyst or experience in Support, where I started. I thought something like this - I can do so much, I know so much; I’ll put everything on my resume, and I’ll definitely find a job. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Nobody forbids me to know all this, to have such experience, but to distribute it among different portfolios (or resumes). For example, I have 3 CVs: Data Analyst, UI/UX designer, Technical Support. Each portfolio (CV) has its own set of skills and abilities that I possess, my experience and my description of vacancies tailored to the employer.
My father has one resume for life. Now, life is different, and the world is different, and if you have one resume (portfolio), but you have enough skills and knowledge for as many as three, then you should deal with this issue. How to understand that you need more than one resume (portfolio)? Very simple. If you can't put all the text about yourself, your experience, education and skills on one page, then you definitely need more resumes (portfolios).
What else do you need to be different from others? Portfolio. The resume is great. It is especially great if you have several of these resumes, and they are divided by skills and experience. But a portfolio is even better. The mere presence of a portfolio already tells the employer about the skills that most applicants do not have. Imagine that when you open a jar of yogurt, you see not yogurt with pieces of fruit, but pieces of fruit flavored with yogurt (that was the last yogurt metaphor, I swear). It's absolutely the same here. Imagine the face of an employer when, instead of a boring doc file, they get the URL of your personal site. Even if you have nothing to do with web development and previously worked only in technical support, you still need a portfolio website. This is your business card, your space, your professional home.
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What else is important? To be active. Showing experience is not enough, you need to show that you are a genius. Come up with a project for yourself and complete it. For programmers, it’s quite simple - ideas are everywhere, from simple websites to writing forecasts for open datasets. But if you do not have so much technical work, for example, again, technical support, then what prevents you, for example, from conducting a case study, talking to experts from your specialty on LinkedIn for this, and finding out how often a client communicates with technical support is rude and behaves uncivilized and make a portrait of such a person (his gender, age, type of activity, etc.). This is just an example taken from my head.
My project was preparing a dashboard for visualizing data from several datasets on Kaggle.
My whole huge wall of text can fit into three tips that I want to give you so that you can stand out from other jobseekers when looking for a job or promotion.
- Do not scatter on new knowledge and skills just for the sake of getting a position, against your will (nothing good will come of this, and you will just waste your time).
- Instead of a resume, make yourself a portfolio and make a small website. You can do this in many ways, including for free.
- Be active and come up with a project for yourself that you would be proud of, that you would not be ashamed to show even at the UN in front of the whole world. It doesn't have to be big. The main thing is to demonstrate your professionalism.
Thank you for reading my article to the end. Good luck, you will succeed!