The IT Certification Resource Center

Featured Deal

Get CompTIA, Cisco, or Microsoft training courses free for a week.
Learn More ❯

Make Yourself the Preferred Job Candidate

Be Genuine


Getting that IT job you want means going the extra mile.Before you know it, working your contacts and being bold will get you a formal interview. When that happens, be authentic. Do not change what you believe, know, or have learned just to suit the job ... no matter how much you want it.


People are a company’s number one asset. If you sense that the company you’re meeting with thinks people are disposable, to be cast aside after being used up, do not play along, even if you are led into that line of thinking. Do not change anything you know or believe, no matter what is at stake.


After your interview(s), a quick and thoughtful thank you note goes a long way. Send notes to the people you interviewed with directly, and tell them how much you enjoyed meeting with them. If a recruiter arranged the interview, then be sure to get the contact info of the person you are interviewing with during the interview.


Don’t let recruiters water down your heart and sentiment. Recruiters are not you and they don’t want you to get the job as much as you want to get the job. They have a job already, and you just the next item on their agenda. Always keep the business relationship in mind when dealing with recruiters, and always focus on your goal.


Your Not-Résumé


Throughout this entire process, you need an incredible document that explains who you are, where you are coming from, and what you have delivered. What we’re talking about here is much more than just a standard résumé. You need a career portfolio.


This is a set of documents that both shows how much you have accomplished, and hints at how much more you have in reserve. It’s a complete picture of yourself, laid out so your prospective employer can see it clearly.


Remember, employers are looking for top talent. Be sure that you show them you are top talent, and not just a run-of-the-mill IT employee. Whatever you come up with should reflect your individual gifts and abilities. To start with, however, a career portfolio should contain the following:


● Table of contents
● Copy of standard résumé
● Educational prospectus: List degrees, certifications, etc.
● Listing of skills and achievements
● Listing of Career goals
● Mission statement or guiding principles
● Professional summary
● Work samples
● Evaluations or recommendations from previous employers
● Listing of publications and research
● Listing of volunteer work
● Listing of awards and acknowledgements
● Documentation of employment and character references


In addition to these details, hire someone for a few hundred dollars to professionally lay out and design your portfolio. You can update and add to it as year pass, but try to preserve the professionally designed look.


Be the Frosting


To summarize, remember that you are a top-tier talent. Preparing for and conducting your job search is like putting a layer of fancy buttercream frosting on an incredible cake. There are thousands of great cakes out there — so concentrate on the frosting, and you will make your dream of landing that next great job a reality.



Nathan Kimpel PhotoNathan Kimpel is a seasoned information technology and operations executive with a diverse background in all areas of company functionality, and a keen focus on all aspects of IT operations and security. Over his 20 years in the industry, he has held every job in IT and currently serves as a Project Manager in the St. Louis (Missouri) area, overseeing 50-plus projects. He has years of success driving multi-million dollar improvements in technology, products and teams. His wide range of skills include finance, ERP and CRM systems. Certifications include PMP, CISSP, CEH, ITIL and Microsoft.