It goes way beyond a good resume and experience
We do a lot of hiring around here. Some for ourselves, some for clients. We post the best and most interesting jobs in our Jobs of the Week. What if you see the job you’d love (say being a UX/UI designer for a cool company that supports remote work)? How do you get that job? Here are a few tips that will get you on the right path.
Have a plan
No, really. Have. A. Plan. Look at the job you have and the job you want and see what you need to get there an make the plan to get there. All the other tips will just fall by the wayside if you don’t have a plan how to achieve your goal. This is the most important tip here. Creating a plan makes your journey real, concrete, and that much more achievable.
Invest in training yourself
A big part of getting the job you want is having the skills to do the job. Maybe you’ve got some Cisco experience under your belt, but none of the certifications. If you want to be a Cisco Network Analyst, you’re going to need the real training to get there. Yes, experience helps, but folks like us need certified people to meet vendor and customer requirements. Even if you have to do the learning on your own time, invest in yourself and get formal training under your belt.
I’m not suggesting you get your current employer to pay for lots of training with the plan to jump ship (a lot of employers will ask to reimburse you for the cost of the training if you don’t stay for a certain period of time). On the other hand, if you love the company you work for and want to advance or change jobs, coming out and saying “I love being here, but I’d love to do this kind of job that we need anyway, how about helping me get there?” is a great way to show you have to drive to get the job done.
Have the right profiles
LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, GitHub, Quora, have the accounts and be active on the sites that match up with your goals. Okay, LinkedIn is for your overall professional profile, but the rest show how you contribute to the tech community and if you have the chops to play with the big kids. If I’m looking for a developer and she doesn’t have any presence on the sites where we all go to look for answers, then what does she do when she hits an obstacle? If the guy I’m interviewing has a sparse LinkedIn profile (which, by the way, shows how well you can write and communicate), I have to wonder about what he’s been doing with his time.
Remember resumes are private files you keep on your computer, but LinkedIn is where you tell the world what you’ve accomplished. Yeah, we check it even if you don’t give us your LinkedIn profile link.
Make the connections
It’s not about shmoozing your way to a job, it’s connecting with the people who are at the companies you’d like to work for—even companies a couple degrees separated from your friends. You want to work at Google or Facebook, try to find people there or people who know people there.
More important than making the connections is keeping the connections with people. Friends and former coworkers can be sources of inside info on a company or can introduce you to the right people at a company to get you in the door. I’ve had people reach out to mutual friends to learn more about me when I’ve been looking for work, keeping connections alive, fresh, and in tune is invaluable when you need that little extra something get that first interview.
Do your research
You want to work somewhere? You want to have a particular job? Take the time and learn about the company. Learn about the role and what it takes to be successful at it. No hiring manager ever said “gee I’m not going to hire that person, they already know about my company, the role, and what success looks like in the position”.
Maybe in your research you learn that your “dream job” isn’t so dreamy after all. Maybe the hot company to work for is really a meat grinder that crushes souls and lives. Good to know before you start down the path to getting that job.
Bonus: Have a mentor
Everyone needs a sounding board, someone to turn to for advice when they hit those big cross roads in life. Find that person (or people) in your life—and usually not people you work with or for now—who can give you the honest truth about your plans. A good mentor will tell you if she thinks you’d be very unhappy in one kind of job, but then ask, what about this other job? A mentor is crucial to your professional success and if you don’t have one now, start looking for a friend you can reach out to. Build the relationship so both of you get something from mentoring. I love being a mentor for people and I find I often get as much out of being a mentor as being a mentee.
These are just a few tips to help you get started on your path to your dream tech job. Maybe you’d like to check out more of the positions we’re hiring for, maybe your dream job is out there right now just waiting for you to apply!