Cloud computing skills are among the most sought after tech skills in the business world today. Traditional businesses in a wide variety of industries are seeking out experts who can help them to take advantage of the increased flexibility and productivity that cloud-based solutions bring. Today’s startups typically leverage cloud-based technology from the very beginning, meaning they have an immediate need for people who can provide cloud support.
For those seeking cloud jobs, whether they are at the start of their tech career or tech veterans who are transitioning to cloud computing, there are a lot of opportunities. However, there is also a lot of competition. Experts say that getting hired for a cloud position starts with focusing on the right skills.
“The first thing and the most critical thing is that you must be competent, which means learning the right skills for the job that you are applying for,” says Micheal Gibbs, CEO of Go Cloud Careers, a global organization that provides training for elite cloud computing careers. “There are a million and one skills to master in the technology field and no employer expects you to be able to do them all. But they do expect you to be able to do your job.”
Michael has spent more than 20 years training people in the skills that they need to get jobs and get promoted in the cloud computing and networking space. He says that focusing on the wrong skills is the biggest mistake that applicants make.
“People get this wrong 90 percent of the time,” Michael says. “They show up with the wrong skills for the job because they don’t truly understand what is needed for the position that they are applying for. They prepare for someone else’s job.”
Michael says applicants can avoid this mistake by doing some research. Reaching out to those who are already successful in cloud positions allows applicants to learn the skills that will be most valuable to employers.
“Ask what skills are most critical to them and learn those skills with extreme depth,” Michael advises. “It’s incredibly easy to find a jack-of-all-trades in tech, but it is very hard to find someone competent. When you lack experience, which you will if you are just starting out in your cloud career, you must be competent. So focus, focus, focus. Spend 80 percent of your time learning the most critical skills and the remaining 20 percent learning the rest.”
Technology certifications are another component that employers will consider when sifting through applicants. The right certifications can open doors. However, savvy employers know that certifications do not usually indicate an applicant has the necessary competency to succeed.
“Certifications alone will never get anybody hired, but certifications can help someone get an interview,” Michael explains. “Use certifications to help build your brand, but don’t overdo it.”
Applicants who present too many certifications could communicate that they are focused on building their testing skills, rather than on building their cloud skills. Presenting one or two certifications on relevant technology will be sufficient to qualify any applicant for an interview.
Beyond certifications, applicants can build their brand by projecting their capability and commitment on social media. LinkedIn provides great opportunities for doing this. By crafting relevant posts and sharing information that others are posting, anyone can build a reputation as an emerging authority in their field. Employers will undoubtedly explore applicants’ social media presence before making a hiring decision. What they find could be the key to choosing a winner from the top applicants.
Applicants who are invited to an interview will have already shown that they have the necessary tech skills. At that point, the goal should be showing the additional value they can bring to the position and the company.
“You need to show the hiring manager why they can’t live without you,” says Michael. “Make it very clear that they need you on their team. If you show up with an energetic, enthusiastic, positive attitude, you will be seen as a rare and welcomed commodity. Beyond that, be likable, display stellar communication skills, and show that you are a team player who is willing to go above, beyond for the company. Do that, and you’ll get hired.”