It’s an interesting time for job hunting. The industries that are surviving and thriving in this pandemic are also those that have the highest need for new employees. Not surprisingly, the tech industry is part of this positive trend. Despite the current economic downturn, plenty of tech companies are hiring, and other industries that have managed to remain strong are urgently looking to fill extra tech roles.
Whatever skill set you have, whether you’re a coder or a marketing whiz, tech needs you to help build a better, safer post-pandemic future. Here are our tips to help you get off to a roaring start as you venture out into the wild world of tech:
Focus on relevant skills
What can you offer that helps the company out during these strange times? What problem-solving skills and experiences do you have? If the company is hiring because they have to urgently deal with an overflow of work, can you prove that you are awesome at working on tight deadlines, that you are fantastic at thinking on your feet in times of crisis? Your creativity, resilience and ability to learn quickly can sometimes make up for less experience.
Polish up your resume
Because so many people have lost their jobs and are searching for a new one, get ready for some stiff competition. To show off your talents in the best light, update your resume and LinkedIn profile, and get a couple friends to review it – even better if they work in tech. You might have to create a different resume for every distinct type of position you’re applying to. If you’re required to send in a cover letter, convey your passion for the job, and focus on what you can offer them – not how thrilled you are about the meditation pods and kombucha on tap at their office. Consider hiring a professional resume consultant to give your resume and cover letter a real edge.
Explore ALL the job titles
You’ve probably come across job titles in your search and thought, ‘Huh, I have no idea what that means’ – and so you scroll on by. But now, more than ever before, is not the time for the skimming, “read the headline, not the article” mentality. Especially if you are new to the tech scene, you may be unfamiliar with certain terms and common job titles.
Every time you see a job title that you assume is not relevant to your skill set, click on it and read the job description to the very end.
You might be qualified for several more roles than you realized – and that can greatly increase your chances for landing a job.
A job title isn’t always what it seems
Even if you see the same job title pop up a dozen times during your search, each company will have its own distinct explanation of that title accompanied by its own unique list of required tasks. The role will always be defined by the nature of the company and its management style, so do your homework on the hiring companies you are interested in. But you should also be aware that what you read is not always what you get. If you manage to score an interview, you will quickly realize the discrepancies between the written job description and what your boss will actually demand of you. Take your time as you search and interact with the company to see if you feel comfortable with the expectations and work culture.
Spend time on interview prep
Can a job interview be something other than a nail-biting, sweaty-palmed torture session? Yes! The key is to be well-prepared. As obvious as it sounds, just knowing that you’ve done your homework before you meet with the interviewer will provide you with the confidence to stay calm and collected, even when faced with a tough question. So here’s what you should do as soon as your interview is scheduled:
- Find a list of the most common interview questions online. Practice with a friend. For roles that include technical knowledge, prepare yourself for very specific questions about your skill level and experience. You may be asked to take a test or solve some problem sets.
- An interview is not only about your technical knowledge – it’s also about your personality. No one wants to hire someone who is difficult to work with, especially if the job requires lots of teamwork. Be positive, show your enthusiasm about the role. Just be a pleasant human being.
- Research the company, and show your curiosity and genuine interest with smart questions based on what you find out.
- Dress up. Even if the interview takes place over Zoom, and the hiring company is asking employees to WFH for the unforeseeable future, do your hair and makeup to show that this job is important to you.
Put your dream job into perspective
At a time of steadily rising unemployment, when many more people are competing for work, the job offer you receive may not necessarily be your “dream job” – but it could be a stepping stone to that perfect opportunity. Whether it works out or not, it’s a lesson learned, an experience gained and connections made. And that’s always a good thing. But let’s not forget that what you consider to be your “dream job” today will likely evolve over time.
As you enter the tech workforce, you’ll start to realize the kinds of roles that truly match your personality and skill set.
You’ll discover if you fit into a certain company’s culture or not. You may even find new paths to pursue you had never considered and new skills you’re excited to learn.
Finding the right job in this uncertain time is definitely within reach. But tough times call for toughening up your approach. Be bold, be persistent – always follow up. Check out the GIT Jobs Board. Reach out to your networks. Keep your eyes and ears open. The opportunities are out there, so do what you can to be prepared to take them on.