Resolve to polish your skills, value, and appeal in 2015 with these tips from recruiters and senior IT executives.
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The end of the year is the perfect time to make smart resolutions and tactical plans regarding your IT career.
But where to start? The following potpourri of ideas, suggested by HR and recruiting professionals, as well as senior IT executives, is a great place to begin.
But make no mistake, our list isn't only intended for those who plan to job hunt in the new year. A number of these practical tips will boost your visibility and value with your current employer, increasing the likelihood of bonuses and promotions in 2015.
When it comes to sprucing up your professional career, the key is to create an alignment between the needs of the organization (or marketplace) and your personal assets. Keep these two dimensions in sync to avoid spinning your wheels and wasting time.
For example, simply having up-to-date IT skills isn't your end game. With today's flatter organizations and spotlight on better collaboration between the IT and business organizations, companies are looking for IT professionals with strong communication skills.
Employers want new hires who can work on teams, lead, solve problems decisively, and prioritize work, according to the results of a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a nonprofit group that links college career placement offices with employers.
The end of the year is also a perfect time to take an honest inventory of your IT skills, and be ready to augment them.
"Be sure to know what is your strongest technology skill, and two to three additional skills that you are comfortable with or actively learning," Joseph Yeh, a recruiter with Riviera Partners, told InformationWeek for a previous story about job searching.
"Depending on your specific skillset/job responsibility, get certified in one or more technologies you don't currently have a certification for," Erik Balkan, managing director of IT staffing and recruiting services company Modis, told InformationWeek in an email.
One way to update your skillset is to take one or more of the free massive open online courses (MOOCs) for IT professionals. A number of MOOCs now offer, for a nominal fee, a certification upon successful completion of the course.
So before you head off to your holiday celebrations, check out our slideshow and commit to taking some of these steps next year.
And if you have additional ideas for supercharging an IT career, let us know in the comments below.
Ellis Booker has held senior editorial posts at a number of A-list IT publications, including UBM's InternetWeek, Mecklermedia's Web Week, and IDG's Computerworld. At Computerworld, he led Internet and electronic commerce coverage in the early days of the web and was ... View Full Bio
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