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Planning to Change Job? Top Tips for Tech Workers

Posted: 14 Jul 2021

Planning to Change Job? Top Tips for Tech Workers

New research suggests over 40 percent of the global workforce are considering leaving their employer this year. The findings in Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index come from a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries.

We asked Eolas Recruitment Senior Consultant Peter Kirby what advice he would give to tech workers in Ireland who might be planning a career move in the coming months.

To what extent do you think the trends highlighted in Microsoft latest Trend Index are reflected on the ground here in Ireland among tech workers?

Peter: Eolas Recruitment is certainly seeing heightened interest in movement among tech workers at the moment. While most tech professionals have positive reasons for wanting to switch jobs like wanting to develop new skills or advance to the next level in their career, some have been under enormous pressure due to the changes companies introduced during the Covid-19 lockdown. Teamwork and collaboration are really important in this industry and remote working can make it harder to motivate teams. People can feel disconnected from their colleagues and the blurring of lines between work and home life have been difficult for some people to cope with. So burnout and feeling discontented can also be reasons for wanting to change job. I think the trends we are seeing on the ground here largely mirror the findings that Microsoft highlight in the Trend Index.

For people who are planning to change their job, what are companies looking for when hiring and how can Eolas Recruitment help tech workers find the right role?

Peter: Demand for IT skills is very strong, particularly for software developers, analysts, designers, engineers, architects, and technical support staff. Data and security-related skills are also in demand with incidents like the HSE ransomware attack raising awareness of the need to invest in strong cybersecurity. Technology is advancing all the time and the pace of change really accelerated during the pandemic but it’s not just technical skills that companies are looking for. They want people who are flexible, willing to learn and who have the soft skills and emotional intelligence to be good team players whether that’s working effectively with colleagues in-house or collaborating with external teams.

To find the best roles, having a good relationship with a specialist recruiter like Eolas Recruitment is key. You also need to monitor industry trends and keep your skills up to date. That’s really important because change is happening so fast at the moment.

In terms of the help that Eolas Recruitment can provide for candidates, as specialists in the IT sector we have great connections in companies across Ireland. We understand the technical requirements of roles and can advise candidates on the specific skills that an employer is looking for. Our team also provides advice on things like the best post-grad accreditations for specific roles to help candidates enhance their qualifications and improve their chances of advancing their careers in the areas they are most interested in. When candidates are applying for roles, we provide practical advice on things like CVs, presentation skills and interview preparation. A good way to get a sense of what we do is to read what candidates say about Eolas Recruitment when they review us online and check out the informational videos for candidates on our website.

You mentioned help with CV preparation. Most people hate updating their CV. What tips would you give to someone who needs to update their CV?

Peter: It might sound obvious but it’s really important to remember that you CV is the first indication an employer has that you are interested in a particular role. You need to make sure that it will create a good first impression.Obviously, your contact details need to be correct so if you’re updating a previous CV, that’s something that you need to check. However, I would strongly advise that you write a new CV each time rather than updating an old one. You definitely need to do this if you are applying for a senior role. Obviously, your CV should explain who you are, your skills and experience, and why you are a good fit for the role in question. Often candidates have broadly similar qualifications and experience so it’s important to highlight any relevant qualities that can help your CV stand out from the crowd. For technical roles in areas like DevOps it’s a good idea to include a skills matrix with your CV.

What is a skills matrix?

Peter: You can think of it like an Excel sheet that itemises skills and experience. So your list items might be things like PHP — 5 years, Scale Python — 3 years, Kubernetes / Docker — 2 years, and so on. When you are applying for a role, our Eolas Recruitment team will advise you on how to create your Matrix and explain what to include.

You mentioned that it is important to monitor industry trends and keep your skills up to date. Is that something that companies specifically look for when they are hiring tech workers and how can you show that you are really committed to learning and not just saying it?

Peter: Yes, companies definitely want to know that you are committed to learning and keeping up to date so if you have relevant industry accreditations like PRINCE 2, PMP, AWS, Azure or Kubernetes, those are great to have on your CV

We’ve talked a lot about applying for roles and CV preparation, what about interviews? Any tips on how to prepare or pitfalls to watch out for?

Peter: A big change since Covid-19 is that most interviews now are happening online but even if you’re not meeting face to face you still need to make a good impression. Obviously for IT roles, you absolutely must make sure that your technology is properly set up, that you have a good Internet connection, and that you present yourself in a professional manner. In terms of preparing for interview questions, there are lots of tips on the Eolas Recruitment website — for example, we have blogs on interview preparation for .NET roles, interview presentation skills, and tips on competency-based interviews. In general, though, if you are applying for a role through Eolas Recruitment, our team will always advise you on the specific things to focus on so as to maximise your chances of securing the role in question.

If you are successful and get you get the job you want, any tips on how to handle handing in your notice?

Peter: Check how much notice you need to give your employer and think about what you will do if they make a counter offer to encourage you to stay. If you manage a team, give some thought to when and how you will tell your colleagues that you are leaving. There will be a few practical things to do before you leave like deciding what to do about any outstanding annual leave and preparing handover notes for whoever takes over your role. Lastly, and most importantly, whatever your reason for leaving your current role, try to leave on good terms as you could find yourself working with your former colleagues again at some time in the future.

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