Welcome to the accompanying blog post for our July social media series, “Wednesday Wisdom”, where we shared five key points to keep in mind as you navigate the job market in search of a career in tech!
If you are unfamiliar with the technology space, it can be overwhelming to try to learn it all at once — here, we help you break it down to a set of actionable steps to get started on your job search.
Understand the tech landscape
The most important first step you can take is deep diving into research. A quick Google search for “Types of technology companies” will reveal a broad range of options. Review the differences between startups and established companies, such as culture, benefits and perks, and the range of jobs they each hire for, and decide where you would be a better fit and be most set up for success. To decide this, you can ask yourself questions like:
- Do I thrive in small teams where I need to wear a lot of hats (startup) or within larger teams as a specialist in one specific job (established company)?
- Do I work better when given extensive freedom and autonomy (startup), or clear instructions to execute on (established company)
Once you have a solid idea of your preferred work environment, you can narrow down a list of companies where you would be interested in working. At this point, you can begin to review each of their career pages, and take a look at their open job roles.
Study companies individually
Now that you have a list of companies that interest you, it is important to review each one of them individually to find out as much information as you can. Typically, technology companies will have an “About Us” page outlining their values, mission, and leadership team. Before applying to any job, make sure you have a detailed understanding of the company itself. Then, find creative ways to include company-specific details on your resume and cover letter.
Uplevel your marketable skills
We’re in the middle of a very active candidate market — lots of people looking, and applying, to a limited number of jobs. This means that each resume is scrutinized more than ever before! To ensure that you stand out amidst a sea of candidate profiles, find ways to learn new skills (some examples include: website design, HTML, a new language, video-editing…) and highlight them on your resume and LinkedIn.
Visit websites that offer free online courses. A great place to start is Coursera.com, or LinkedIn Learning (which offers a one-month free trial to earn a certification in a number of topics), or even Youtube.com. Using your free time to learn something new will demonstrate to hiring managers that you are driven and self-motivated, and it will allow you to have even more to offer to your future employer.
Reach out to hiring managers on LinkedIn
As you come across companies that interest you, be sure to review their “Careers” page, and find out who is in their HR team. Then, connect with the company’s Head of Talent (and other relevant decision makers like: Recruiters, Head of People, VP of People) on LinkedIn to put a face to the name after applying online.
Send a connection request and brief note to let them know which role you applied for and try to set up a time to chat. Here is a simple script to follow:
- Hi [Recruiter], I hope you’re doing well! I just applied to the Marketing Assistant position on the [Company Name] website. When do you have 5 minutes to chat about this role? I am available tomorrow afternoon – let me know the best way to reach you! Best, [Your name].
Adding a personal touch to your job hunt will help boost your chances to be noticed by the hiring team. Even if you don’t get a reply, keep using this tip for every job and/or company that you apply to.
Leverage external recruiters
As the last tip, I wanted to highlight the power of external recruiting firms. These are companies (typically agencies) that have several open opportunities at a time, and can send you out to interview at hard-to-reach companies.
The best way to go about finding a recruiter you can work with, is to create a list of target recruiting firms (example: https://www.michaelpage.com/job-search, https://www.roberthalf.com/, bettsrecruiting.com) and then find specific people on LinkedIn who work at these firms. Send them a connection request and a message to set up a call. They will each be able to provide you with specific opportunities that you may not find on your own, and fast-track the interview process for companies where you might be a good fit.