Your Recent IT Work Experience Is What Matters Most

In Canada, candidates’ recent work experience carries more weight for many IT recruiting managers than other factors, according to a recent Robert Half study.

This online survey, published in September 2019, was conducted among 270 Canadian IT executives. In terms of key hiring factors, respondents were asked to indicate the criteria which they felt were most important when assessing candidates’ resumes. Regardless of whether for entry-level, mid-level or managerial positions, the most recent work experience are in the lead, followed by success and previous projects.

A surprising result?
According to Albano DeJesus, branch manager for Robert Half Technology in Montreal, this result is easily explained. “In this time of labour shortages where many positions are open, recruiters seek candidates who, with their recent work histories, are able to quickly integrate into the work team, as well as the company’s projects and philosophy.” In other words, the selected candidates are expected to shine as soon as they are hired.

Therefore technical competence and certifications are not enough. IT job seekers have to demonstrate that in the not-too-distant past they have carried out projects in line with those of the organization. “This will prove that they have also done research on the company’s needs. An impersonal and untargeted resume is likely to be quickly put aside,” adds Albano DeJesus. 

Beginner or not, experience counts
That said, how can recent graduates showcase non-existent experience? “It is recommended that they highlight projects carried out in their studies, internships, training or volunteer activities,” the expert responds. “In addition, it would be wrong to believe that more experienced candidates have a leg up on juniors. Despite their years of experience, they have not necessarily completed projects related to the new company. Consequently, they too must prove the relevance of their career paths.”

And for the employers?
Now that IT job seekers know where to put the emphasis in their resume, employers are better at adapting to the reality of the market. Indeed, according to Albano DeJesus, they must ensure that they are offering a competitive salary as well as working conditions that will facilitate attracting and retaining employees. After all, while recruiters have the right to be demanding, job applicants are entitled too!

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