Studying to get into tech and getting into tech are two different struggles. Everyone talks about the disparity of negotiating power between companies looking for tech talent, and tech professionals who are searching for a job. It is true that talent has the upper hand. There are way more tech companies looking to hire than professionals looking for jobs. However, there is one place where this doesn’t play by the rules: juniors.
Whether we like it or not, the truth is that a lot of companies only want to hire people with experience, mid or senior levels. It seems like juniors have a hard time getting into the market once they are fresh out of college: no one is willing to hire them.
At Landing.Jobs we’re working to change that, by raising awareness on the subject close to companies, but it’s something that requires a mentality shift and that is a continuous work in progress industry-wise.
If you’re about to finish your studies or have finished them recently and are looking for a job in tech, you can still do so with a little planning and determination. Here are a few tips to help you:
1. Even though you’ve graduated, keep learning
This is super important to keep in mind, especially if you can’t land a job immediately after finishing your studies. The tech industry is constantly evolving, trends change over time and if you don’t keep yourself updated, you can get behind reality very fast. Pro tip: subscribe to relevant and cool newsletters (some suggestions are TLDR, TechCrunch, Landing.Jobs (heey 👋), Inside Dev, Hacker), attend webinars & workshops (look on places like Crowdcast, Eventbrite, LinkedIn, etc; ps. We host some pretty cool ones here as well), lose yourself in places like Reddit (dev forums), Hashnode, Medium, Github, etc.
2. Do interviews even when you don’t need to anymore
This is almost without saying. And it’s something you should actually do even when you’re already employed. The same way technology as a whole is constantly changing, so are the recruitment processes. Besides, it’s great to scope the market to know what’s being done in the industry, what the salaries are like as a whole, and just keep benchmarking. The last thing you would want is to crawl out of your employment hole after a couple of years or more and find out that everything is different from what you know and that you are getting way behind competition.
3. Apply for an internship or trainee program
A great way to dip into the market for the first time is to look for internship or trainee programs that are specifically looking for recent graduates like you. Normally, little or no experience is required and after the initial training that generally lasts between 9 to 12 months, you get placed as a permanent employee in the company.
4. Look for simple freelance jobs
A great way to build a portfolio and get some real experience is by putting yourself out there and doing some side gigs. Freelancing is done by many tech professionals even when they’re fully employed because it helps them stay updated on the market and earn a few extra bucks.
5. Don’t disregard networking
It might not seem like it, but taking advantage of your connections can be powerful for your career. Most employers are far more interested in hiring someone based on a referral than interviewing a bunch of total strangers. Using social media is one way to stay connected with your circle, and posting about looking for a job can generate some good recommendations. Even just asking your friends if they know anybody who’s hiring for the type of position you’re looking for can lead to unexpected outcomes.
6. Look beyond technical skills
Don’t forget that companies hire people, not robots. It’s important to brush up your soft skills and highlight the ones that you’re good at on your resume. It may seem like it’s no big deal, as long as you know your code, but companies want to know you’re a good team player and can handle being social. Tip 2 and 5 help with this!
7. Start building projects
Projects help you show tech recruiters what you can do. Qualifications and evidence of learning are a good start, but ultimately, you need to prove that you can translate theory into practice. Don’t just work in isolation; contribute to open source projects to gain valuable experience.
8. Complete online courses in your spare time
This is a great use of time to keep building your knowledge and skills in tech. If you’re ambitioning a certain job, take some introductory or intermediate-level courses on the main topics you’ll be facing.
9. Make an effort to work on your social media presence
Even if your patience for social media runs thin and you’re not a fan of social selling, there’s no denying that they can help you in your career. There are places where tech recruiters headhunt for you: LinkedIn, Twitter, StackOverflow, Github, Kaggle, etc.
10. Follow who you want to be (inspo!)
Get inspired by what other developers and engineers are doing. Follow good dev bloggers on Medium, Hashnode, Twitter, because so many are sharing what they’re doing; their projects, successes and failures.
Not only that, but follow and interact with businesses as well. Make yourself seen: comment, like and share whenever something is meaningful for you. If you’re really engaged with a brand, that excitement will show and you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Hope these tips will help you on your job hunting journey and I’m sure if you follow these tips, you’ll find something great soon! Check this place if you want to browse 600+ tech jobs!
PS: If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also like “Advice from a senior tech recruiter”.