Getting an IT Job in Asheville & Avoiding “Evil Recruiter” Tricks!

There are many opportunities for IT Professionals in Asheville. Yet, with all the opportunities how do you get noticed for one of them. First, know the company you are applying to, some of them require certifications in a specialty like Microsoft or Cisco and some do not. Read the ad, learn a little about the company and if they indicate certifications are required they probably mean it. Epsilon in Weaverville for example, does work with the Federal Government, they need people with certifications to place them in a position. It is a requirement. When they are looking for a position in their commercial sector, it may not be required. Other companies like ByLight Professional IT Services and, LLC are interested in education and experiences more than certifications for most of their openings!

What is your main interest in the IT professional space, is it networking, server administration, database design and development, web or application development, desktop support, or even data analytics? If you can’t articulate where your interest, passion, and education lie, a company will not be able to do that for you. Just knowing about computers won’t really get you in the door. Even if your experience is limited, you are probably really excited about an aspect of the industry– show it in your interactions and correspondence! Apply for jobs that really align with what you want to do, and even in this day and age when we text and e-mail, a cover letter is still a great way to get noticed. (Provided that it is grammatically correct and has no spelling errors!)

What are some of the most important steps a candidate can take? Not in any particular order but know that all these things while not “Evil Tricks” are things that a person who may want to hire you is looking out for:

  •  Use a professional e-mail address, this is not the time to be on your contact information.
  •  Provide a phone number, you might be surprised to learn that sometimes it is forgotten along with any other contact information.
  •  Be sure your public profiles like LinkedIn reflect the same information as your resume.
  •  Keep it simple, minimize the number of fonts and styles, be clear whether you are providing a skills based resume or a chronological resume don’t mix it up.
  •  When you are job searching, if your phone rings assume it will be someone interested in hiring you. Answering the phone with “yeah?” may not set the best first impression.
  •  If you can’t answer the phone, set up your messaging system with a professional greeting.
  •  If you get an e-mail request, read the request and provide all the information asked for. Following instructions is a test!
  •  Be on time, 10 minutes early is a good rule of thumb, 30 minutes is a bit too early.
  •  Even if you know the company is casual, dress should reflect your best first impression. Dressing up a bit shows that you took the time to put your best foot forward.
  •  A follow up note to thank your interviewers for their time, and reiterating why you are interested and believe you would be a good fit is not old fashion. Many people do not bother to take that step and people still notice those who do. It makes you memorable.

Finally, getting a foot in the door can be tough when you are replying to ads on any location, Monster, Indeed, Career Builder, etc. Networking events are still a great option to meet local people and make a positive connection in an informal setting. You never know what doors can be opened by striking up a conversation at a Meet The Geeks event, a job fair, a chamber event, or any other place where business people gather. Also consider volunteering your time, it is an excellent way to build some skills and many non-profits are anxious for help. Executive Directors and Boards of these organizations know a lot of people, make a favorable impression and there may be unexpected help.

Special thanks to Hillary Styles for moderating the class where hiring professionals discussed these topics. And thank you to Eric Oelschlaeger, Tracy Schmidt, and Cindy Ireland for sharing what they look for during the hiring process.


Cindy Ireland