If you’ve ever considered transitioning into a new industry but were unsure as to how to make the move without any industry knowledge or experience, you are not alone.

Take a moment to consider an accounts receivable specialist, typically on the phone working to solve billing issues for the organization. Next, consider a restaurant server who thrives off social interaction and works hard to keep varying customers happy. Two very different scenarios, but, in each case, the employee interacts with customers, listens to issues, and works to resolve those problems.

While in college, I worked as a retail sales representative and a student fundraiser for the University of Georgia. During that time, I developed many skills that were transferable to the recruiting industry, but had yet to gain any industry knowledge or experience. My interests were primarily in technical recruiting. Where I lacked was not in interpersonal skills, but in technical expertise.

The tips below helped with my transition into the recruiting industry and allowed me to quickly adapt to the constantly evolving world of IT.

Find Your Passion

Entering the world of recruiting opens the door to working in a variety of industries, such as finance, sales, legal, and even recruiting other recruiters. Why navigate into technology recruiting instead of any of the other fields? After all, I studied business in college and came from a background in sales. After considering options, what really intrigued me about technology was the innovation. The tech industry is very fast-paced and constantly changing, which may be overwhelming for some, but exciting nonetheless. If I were to start a career in IT, why not do it in one of the emerging top tech meccas of tomorrow?

Find a Mentor

Finding a good mentor (or in my case, mentors) can make a world of difference. However, the key to establishing a good mentor-mentee relationship is for it to be authentic and not obligatory. A dedicated mentor must take a personal interest in the mentoring relationship (and hopefully gain something from it, as well). However, for you to fully gain value from the relationship, you must ask a lot of questions and they must have a willingness to share their knowledge and expertise. I usually reach out to my lead recruiters and director for general advice, technical inquiries, and guidance.

Gain Exposure

For a technical recruiter, the best way to fully grasp the intricacies of the IT industry is to fully immerse oneself in the industry. Get plugged in through social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Slack, and consistently expand your network by staying connected on the phone. Host and attend networking events (check out MeetUp for groups near you) and get involved with other members of the IT community.

Take Advantage of Resources

How do you learn the ins and outs of the tech industry without a technical degree? This goes back to fully immersing oneself in the industry and going straight to the experts. I learned more in my first 6 months of working at Relus than I did in 4 years of college simply by asking the right resources important questions. You can also take advantage of resources like a good book, staying up to date on articles, team trainings, lunch and learns, and networking events. Here at Relus, we’re also given the opportunity to attend meetings that don’t necessarily involve us, but can be educational nonetheless. For example, a weekly cloud sales meeting or a cloud training on terraform may provide important knowledge for an upcoming placement. The only way to continually learn and grow each day is to take advantage of any and all resources made available to you.

For those of you interested in making the switch to recruiting and, more specifically IT recruiting, I encourage you to gain exposure through networking and building your own brand. It always helps to find a supportive culture and work environment, but through hard work and preparation, continuous self-development, and community involvement, you can carve a path to success and become a subject matter expert in your field.

When you’re ready, check out our current Talent Delivery openings and apply to join our team!

About Jose Buenrostro

Jose Buenrostro is a bilingual alumnus of the University of Georgia. After gaining several years of experience as a sales professional, he decided to take a leap of faith into IT recruiting with Relus. Jose enjoys filling DevOps and development roles for internal and partner openings. When he is not at Relus or local networking events, you can find Jose golfing, cooking, playing guitar, or traveling.