IT Pros ask, How Can I Make Myself More Employable?

3 SharePoint experts offer quick tips

How can I make myself more employable?

That’s the question many are asking, including some of my friends, family members, and former coworkers, all of whom are in industries that have had a terrible ride during the recession.

So I sympathized with a reader who wrote: “I have been unemployed for some time and have some SharePoint experience but just not technical enough. This is the feedback I am getting in interviews. What courses should I pursue to make myself more marketable? I have been doing IT for about 12 years.”

What would you tell the reader? Here’s a short sample from three IT pros I asked:
Pro #1:
1. Ask why you want to get back into IT.
2. Pursue a PMP.
3. Pursue MOSS courses.
4. Meet with someone that knows SharePoint and is senior; ask how your experience can differentiate you.

Pro #2:
If they're really interested in SharePoint, I suggest taking a junior level position so they can get some real world experience. All the training courses in the world are not a substitute for real-world experience.

Also with today's economy, I wouldn't focus exclusively on SharePoint. In my opinion the more general knowledge the better. It makes you more flexible and marketable.

Pro #3:
Agree with all of this. Here is advice from someone who has been doing just SharePoint for a few years:

Not everyone knows everything about SharePoint. It is an extremely broad product that touches both the human and technical areas of organizations. My advice for anyone working in IT is to find something that gives you passion. As you already know, there is a major time commitment that comes with this field, and getting deeper and broader on SharePoint will require a lot of dedication.

In terms of resources, classes are good, real-world OJT is better. Don't discount self-study as well. Perhaps study and pass one or more of the MCTS SharePoint exams, as this would be one differentiator between you and other "content managers."

There are dozens of great blogs, books on the subject. Consider finding and attending a SharePoint user group if there is one in your area.

If you can afford it, conferences are a great way to meet people and learn at the same time. There is a big SharePoint conference coming up in October in Vegas called the SPC that you might consider attending.

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