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From help desk to desktop support

3 qualities that improve your odds

November 30, 2017 | By Jordan Schwartz

a desktop support analyst helps a worker at a computer

“While there will always be a need for tech support staff, desktop support represents the logical next step for many IT pros looking to grow their careers.” says Kayla Cittadino, an End User Services recruiter for TEKsystems. Many help desk workers want to move into a desktop support role—and have the technical skills to do so—but often struggle to make the transition. “There are certain soft skills and qualities employers look for in desktop support analysts, and not having them will hinder your ability to move up,” says Cittadino.

Find out which skills you’ll need, how to position your resume and interview questions to prepare for.

Top qualities employers look for in desktop support candidates

1. A professional demeanor and a smile. “The No. 1 quality that clients ask for—and the No. 1 reason why someone won’t get a job—is customer service skills,” says Cittadino. “Your qualifications won’t get you a desktop support job without your ability to interact with end users and put their worries at ease in a friendly manner.” Because most desktop support techs are client-facing, strong candidates are also well-polished and professional when providing solutions and feedback to end users.

2. The hunger to learn. Desktop support candidates must invest the time to keep up with current technology trends. “IT is a large driver in moving the business forward among its competitors, which is why our customers are looking for those professionals that will push to advance the company and make it the best in its respective industry,” says Cittadino.

3. Critical thinking. The ability to think critically in stressful situations is a big plus. You don’t need to know everything about IT, but you’re going to be working on higher-level problems than you would on the help desk. The ability to demonstrate your root cause analysis skills and think logically about a problem will help you excel in desktop support.

Resume tips

The No. 1 mistake candidates make on their resumes? Not being specific enough. “A common complaint we hear from clients is that resumes are too vague,” says Cittadino. If you try to include everything, and don’t give your resume a clear focus, the client will end up having no idea what you’ve been doing and what you’re good at. Focus on highlighting your career aspirations, tangible accomplishments and longevity, and edit out skills and duties that don’t apply to the job you seek.

Desktop support resumes should include the following elements:

  • An in-depth description of each job that highlights exactly what you’ve been doing
  • A profile of the work environment, including the number of users you support, how many tickets you resolve daily and the medium through which you provide this support
  • Relevant tools and technologies you’ve used and how you used them to resolve user issues
  • If applicable, a skills section that breaks down networking protocols, software and operating systems you’ve worked with and hardware you’ve troubleshot

Nailing the interview

An ideal desktop support candidate doesn’t have to have experience with every tool or technology to impress an interviewer. What will help you stand out—and skate through any knowledge gaps—is that you’re able to logically walk your interviewer through how you’d identify a solution.

When asked, “Why do you want this job?” be prepared to explain your long-term career goals and ideal skills you want to gain, and tie it back to how this employer can help you achieve those results.

To desktop support and beyond

“Desktop support is a stable career path … unless you let your skills stagnate,” warns Cittadino. Candidates who take courses and earn certifications prove they’re hungry to upskill and stay relevant. “A lot of our clients praise candidates who grow their knowledge base by obtaining the Comp TIA and MCP certifications.”

Are you ready to take the leap and move from help desk to desktop support? You can talk to one of TEKsystems’ well-informed End User Services recruiters by calling your nearest TEKsystems office. Or search hundreds of desktop support jobs now.

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