How to Land Your Ideal Tech Job in 2019
Landing a tech job in 2019 isn’t that difficult of a task.
The tech sector continues to lack employees which has led to the requirements for “quality talent” lowering significantly.
Tech businesses that can’t find and employ the right candidates are losing money by the minute.
That said, you shouldn’t rely on the fact that the tech industry needs personnel to let your guard down.
Getting a tech job might be easy especially if you have the right background and some experience, but landing your ideal tech job requires you to do put in the extra effort that potential employers can appreciate.
Starting With Little or Zero Experience
Looking for a job right after college can be intimidating.
Changing career paths without having the proper background is even scarier.
Luckily for you, the tech industry is brand new compared to older traditional fields and the mindset of tech employers regarding college or university degrees is not nearly as short-sighted. Some of the biggest companies in the sector are built by college dropouts like Microsoft’s Bill Gates or Apple’s Steve Jobs. Even the founder of Alibaba Jack Ma got rejected ten times by Harvard.
Now, this doesn’t mean a college or university degree is worthless or that by dropping out you’ll somehow end up a billionaire by the time you’re 30. It merely means that you shouldn’t get discouraged by your lack of traditional education.
What you should do instead is focus on the one thing tech recruiters care about – relevant skills.
There are hundreds if not thousands of websites that offer courses, training articles and videos, coding competitions and open source projects which can help you get your foot in the door:
- Educational platforms like Udacity and Codecademy can give you quick access to a vast library of courses that you can learn from whenever you want. It’s not a college or a university education, but it’s a great way to get started or brush up on some old skills you haven’t used in a while.
- HackerRank is probably the most popular online community of developers with all kinds of backgrounds, experience and skills. Without paying a dime, you can take parts in coding challenges and work with other developers on solving problems.
- Fiverr and Upwork are the two biggest freelance platforms which offer great opportunities for both inexperienced and seasoned freelancers. Sure, you’ll probably work for almost nothing, but if your goal is to improve your skills and add valuable experience to your resume money shouldn’t be your primary concern.
Listing all the resources you can use to get started in the industry or improve your current tech skills would take a whole book. Just look through a few options, select one that you think best fits you and start learning. Regardless of your background employers will appreciate your desire for self-improvement and your display of initiative.
Being up to date with the latest news and trends will give you a better overall feel for the tech world and over time it will allow you to spot opportunities before the majority of people do. Reading up on the industry is also a plus when it comes to the actual job interview, but we’ll get into that a bit later.
Lastly, you should make a commitment to networking in some way, shape or form.
Just like the most qualified professionals don’t actively look for jobs, a lot of the best job opportunities are not posted anywhere but are instead directly given to referred candidates.
In other words, you must use every opportunity to build quality relationships with people in the IT field. Again, there are many ways you can network effectively like participating in conferences, competitions, online chat rooms and forums, so there’s plenty of opportunities to pick from.
One networking tool that you should already be using is LinkedIn which is a no-brainer at this point. If you are actively looking for a tech job and you don’t have a LinkedIn profile you’re way behind the curve.
Using LinkedIn as a platform to build your personal brand as a professional is a topic for a whole another article. The simplest way to start is to take a few hours to create and optimize your profile by adding all of your relevant skills and experience. After that start sharing content you find interesting from time to time.
As far as networking goes, pretty much all recruitment agencies and internal HR teams use LinkedIn to search for job candidates. You can easily find tech recruiters, ask them to connect and send them your resume without being too imposing. Even if it doesn’t work right away, this approach will surely pay dividends down the road.
The Job Application Process
Applying for a job is pretty straightforward nowadays, but a few tweaks can give you a tremendous competitive advantage.
As we already said, building an online presence on different platforms (mostly on LinkedIn) should be the first item on your to-do list. Not only can this allow you to send your resume to various companies, but it will also get you on the radar of recruiters who are actively looking for candidates.
Of course, crafting a great resume is also an integral part of the application process.
Take your time and create a beautiful and well-organized resume. There are many tools that you can use to create a fantastic resume. You can learn about the ten best resume builders with examples from our article here.
Keep your resume short, focus on your results, bold essential words or sentences that correlate with the employer’s listed requirements.
Most importantly, read your resume out loud to check for weird-sounding phases of whole paragraphs (which there will be). Do this a couple of times until everything feels and sounds smooth.
It also goes without saying that checking your spelling, grammar and punctuation at least once is a must.
While it might seem like you’re wasting time on research and resume building, remember that this is the only chance you’ll have to make a strong first impression. On top of that, you’ll be competing with hundreds of other candidates with similar skills. Most likely your resumes will not be read all the way through but rather scanned for keywords which shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve taken the time to learn what the employer needs.
When you’re approached by a potential employer take a few hours to research the company in detail. This is incredibly important, but so many candidates don’t do it. Read and watch everything you can before the interview. Write down things you found interesting about the business or some ideas that pop into your head while doing your research.
If this is your ideal position, provide the extra effort before you even send your resume and before your interview. You won’t regret it.
The Interview Process
If you’ve done everything listed above correctly you’ll be getting contacted for a couple of interviews.
Usually, you’ll start with a phone or skype interview before you get invited to a technical interview. Now, the technical part itself will be different depending on the job, so there’s no “cheat sheet” that every candidate can use. Just remember that if you make it to the technical interview, chances are you have the required knowledge to pass with flying colors.
Platforms like Interview Camp are specifically designed to prepare candidates for technical interviews by organizing the huge number of resources available online. While helpful, these tools can be a bit expensive. At the same time, everything you need to prepare for a technical interview can be found online for free, so there’s really no need to pay for such a service unless you need all the information organized instantly.
At this stage, your knowledge of the latest in the tech world and the research you’ve done on the company will start to pay off.
Regardless of the position you’re applying for, you’ll always be asked to give your take on something new or exciting in the tech industry and you’ll also be given the chance to ask a few questions about the company. This is your time to shine by demonstrating the knowledge you’ve acquired and sharing some ideas you have about the business.
All of this might seem like pointless bragging, but it can make the difference between landing your ideal job and landing just a job. Preparing this much for a job interview demonstrates to your potential employers that you possess two of the most important qualities for any job candidate – willingness to learn and self-initiative.
This will also show your potential employers that you’re not only a great company and position fit, but also a strong industry fit.
Everything you’ve done up to this point will help you stand out from the pack and put you in the best possible position to land your dream job.
We hope these guidelines help you during the search for your ideal tech job.
Don’t be discouraged by what someone else might have on their resume in terms of education or skills. If you feel you can contribute to a business apply without hesitation.
We can talk about technical skills all day, but chances are you won’t be the only one with the required skill set to fill your desired job opening. If that’s the case, your research, desire for knowledge, improvement and self-initiative are the factors that are going to make the difference in the end.
Put in the time to go through the job application process the right way and you’ll surely be rewarded.