You asked, we answered: Top Tech Career Tips

Mark Freire

2nd July 2015

Last month we challenged our experts to answer your questions about working in the tech sector. Looking back over the Q&A, we found some definite trends (and one Game of Thrones question thrown in for good measure).

It turns out, the questions that came flooding in during London Tech Week were not new queries, but variations of the same questions we get asked time and time again.

Here’s the top three.

1 – How can I change career?

From IT Support professionals looking to become developers to those who have been made redundant after a decade-long service: you wanted to know whether it was too late to make the move into a different career path.

Our answer: Of course it’s not too late! With the right amount of effort and dedication, anyone can make the move.

  • The most effective way to change career is to get qualified. Our NPP (for support and networking roles) and DPP (for development jobs) are a fast-track way to get the career you want. In most instances they are offered with an £18-28k job guarantee, meaning you’ll be working in the industry you love in no time.
  • Where possible, improve your skills using free resources. Want to code? Visit CodeCademy and get working on their free tutorials.
  • Create a portfolio. Employers will want to see tangible examples of your work.
  • Get a work placement. You could volunteer your time to work in the IT department of a charity, get an internship or do a work placement through a training course.
  • Brush up on your soft skills. Technical ability is important, but employers are increasingly aware of the need for communication skills in the workplace. They’ll want to employ someone with enthusiasm who will also fit in really well with the existing team.

2- How can I get noticed by employers?

Some of you were feeling as though you were never going to get a call back. Your applications were being ignored and you weren’t sure how to make a change.

Our answer: Recruitment consultants and hiring managers sort through 100s of CVs every day, making it a near impossible task to contact to every single person.

  • Make your CV as user-friendly as possible:
    • No more than 2 x A4 pages
    • Make it clear and straightforward
    • Have a clear personal statement at the top. This is a brief statement about your skills, experience and aspirations
    • Put clear headings so the reader can jump directly to Skills, Education or Experience
    • Make sure there are no mistakes
    • Make it simple, straightforward and put clear and concise information at the foreground
  • Make initial contact over the phone with recruitment agencies. Find agencies that specialise in your particular area, pick up the phone and tell them what you’re looking for. Follow it up by emailing them your CV and if any appropriate jobs come on to their books you’ll be on their radar.

3- Am I too old for an apprenticeship?

With apprenticeships being so heavily promoted by the government and media, it hardly came as a surprise that many of you were wondering whether you’d be eligible.

Our answer:

  • It’s never too late for an apprenticeship, however those over the age of 23 may have more difficult finding an opportunity due to funding restrictions:
    • 16-18 years: training fully-funded by government
    • 19-23 years: training partially funded by government
    • 24+ years: no funding from government, meaning apprentice or employer will have to pay for the formal training
  • Just IT primarily works with the 16-18 year old age group, however we do often have opportunities for those aged 19 and above.
  • If you’re not sure whether you’re suitable for an apprenticeship, you can use the Apprenticeship Vacancy Service to find opportunities and check if you fit the criteria. You can also get in contact with local businesses and apprenticeship providers directly and they can advise you whether they can help you find a role.

If you’ve still got a question you’d like answered then fill in the form at the bottom of this page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.