Congratulations! You’re Certified – Now What?

Starting a new career can be overwhelming. Becoming certified in your field of expertise is a great start, but where do you go from here? There is an overload of information on resumes, interviews, and general career advice within a specialized industry like technology, and you need to be able to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Here are some tips to help you on your career journey.

Keep Skills Current

To have a long and fruitful career in technology, you need to constantly update and evolve your skills. You need to be able to adapt to change and be flexible. New technologies and certifications become available each year, and you need to ensure your skillset does not become obsolete. Keep your skills sharp with content on Linux Academy and Cloud Assessments. You also need to be able to apply new skills to your current company or your career. Hands-on labs and real world scenario assessments are crucial. Always be willing and looking for learning opportunities. Seek guidance from peers, and if possible, try to build a relationship with a mentor who can help you learn and also provide career advice.

Side Projects/Websites/Blogs

It would be advantageous to create a side project outside of your current position, which not only provides a great chance to learn but can also be used to demonstrate your skills to future employers. Creating your own personal website can help brand you and demonstrate your technical proficiency and can also host a repository for projects you have been a part of. Starting a blog can help identify you as an expert in your field and employers can see your expertise.

Don’t Forget the Soft Skills

Employers are looking for professionals that have excellent communication skills – written, verbal, and face-to-face. You need to be able to explain how technology can improve your organization and meet the organization’s business requirements and goals. Writing emails to explain technical processes or having conversations with clients are situations you need to feel comfortable in, and, of course, you need these skills for the interview process as well! Don’t forget other soft skill such as teamwork, leadership, and flexibility, to name a few.

Network, Network, and Network

When looking for open roles it is extremely important to network within the tech community. Keep your LinkedIn updated and be sure to include all your current certifications. Recruiters will often do searches for certifications or keywords in skills, so be sure to have a robust list of skills on LinkedIn, as well. Try to work with recruiters who have current open positions in your career field and that will help guide you along the hiring process. Join all your local meetups – not only are they a great place to meet people who could potentially help you, but they are also an incredible learning opportunity. In addition to meetups, try and find great local events or conferences you can attend. If your city has a local Code School, they often have seminars in the evenings which can be great networking opportunities. Developing professional relationships is a great way to keep pulse of technology in your city.

Be Passionate

Nothing will stand out more than your enthusiasm for tech. Don’t be afraid to show your personality; ultimately hiring managers are looking for people that will be a good cultural fit for the company. Companies want inspired and passionate employees, not just people looking to collect a paycheck. They seek people that truly love the work they do!

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