Hey there, tech professionals, guess what? In the current market, you’re a hot item! Over the last few years, companies of all sizes, from start-ups to enterprises, have realized that the future lies in technology – and there’s a rush on to hire skilled designers, developers, and data engineers.
However, just because there’s a job boom, that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for you to find the right job. The right job includes challenging, fulfilling work that satisfies you somewhere deep in your soul. Find that work with these 10 job search tips for techies.
- Decide How Much You Want to Make
The work you do is critical to businesses right now. In a few years, your work will be essential. Adequate pay for technology employees today helps set the stage for tomorrow’s pay rates, so determine your value carefully and honestly by balancing the amount of work you can do with a salary that seems fair. This balance will help you maintain the passion and excitement you’ll need to sustain a productive career in tech for the rest of your working life.
- Determine What Type of Work Would Improve Your Life
Once you’ve decided how much you’re worth on the market, figure out the activities you’d like to continue as well the activities you’d like to learn more about. Like the DevOps work you’ve been doing? Note that. Want to focus more on computer-based art forms like fractal art? Note that too. If you currently have a job but are looking for something more fulfilling, this process will help you find the work you want.
- Update Your Resume and LinkedIn
Resume updates are a necessary evil and according to a 2016 survey by Jobvite, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to evaluate candidates. When you update your resume, be sure to use the most obvious buzzwords that relate to the activities you want to do more of, so you don’t get stopped by resume-parsing software in your quest for a new job.
- Speak with Recruiters
You know what you want, you know what you’re worth, and you have a resume and online presence ready. It’s time to talk to recruiters and tell them that you’re “open to opportunities.” Since tech skills are so sought after right now, it’s likely that you’ve already been contacted by a recruiter or two in the past year. Now is the time to call them back and tell them to keep their eyes open for you.
Level Up: While you’re at it, you should also indicate that you’re an open candidate on LinkedIn. To do this, go to “Jobs” in the top menu, select “Update career interests” on the next screen, and fill out the mini-questionnaire. This will signal online recruiters that you’re ready for better work.
- Create or Upgrade Your Portfolio Site
Interested in doing more of your dream work? Create a new portfolio site that showcases your skill in the areas you want to focus on, or upgrade your current site so that it includes your latest projects and examples. While you’re updating, beware of including what’s known as “work for hire.”
Unless your current employment contract specifies that you can use samples online, your projects are considered work for hire and you won’t be allowed to share them for self-promotion purposes. Instead, build your skill visibility with spec work for your portfolio.
- Build Your Network
We’re sorry, but you’re going to have to move away from your screen. We’re talking about the old-fashioned kind of networking. You know, with people?
Though some networking can be done in online groups, the world’s best networking happens when you’re out in public. It’s not hard to be a good networker; all you have to do is talk to people, ask them questions, and be friendly. People will naturally ask you what you do and you’ll tell them about the things you determined in Tip #2. Mission accomplished.
- Join Your Dream Company Immediately
Since you know what you’re interested in, you know how much money you want, and you have networking experience, we’re going to assume you probably know what company you want to work for. (And there’s no shame in admitting you want to work for Google. They have free sushi and lobster in the cafeteria!)
Get in with your preferred employer instantly by leveraging your networking, your LinkedIn contacts, and a technique known as the “informational interview.” Usually lasting about 20 minutes, informational interviews are small one-on-ones with people in the company you want to work for in which you get to ask them what their job is like.
Level Up: At your informational interview, ask the person you’re meeting with about what you can do to secure a job at their company in a year. That’s valuable information to have.
- Learn a New Language
You know C++, SQL, and Python, but you’ll need to learn another language for a successful job search. That language is marketing.
Contrary to popular belief, marketing isn’t simply a thing that the young people at the office get really excited about during staff meetings, it’s also a necessary tool for communicating your value (Tip #1) to the people you meet while you’re networking (Tip #6). See how this is all coming together?
- Build Your Own Scrum Team
As a techie, you know how important teamwork is when you’re trying to accomplish a complex task. And make no mistake, finding the right job is a complex task. If you have other friends who are tech professionals or who are job hunting in any field, set up an agile project with a scrum team.
During your weekly cycles, you can each sprint on your job-application and networking goals, and you can share information about what you’ve learned so you all get your dream jobs faster.
- Become a Contract Employee
If you got stuck on Tip #2 because you weren’t quite sure what you wanted to focus on for the next few years, you may benefit from becoming a contract employee. In these jobs, you technically work for a placement agency, but you complete tech projects of varying lengths at different companies in your area.
The benefit to being a contract employee is that you get to move from job to job quickly. Because this exposes to a wide range of teams, objectives, challenges, and solutions, you’re nearly guaranteed to expand your skillset quickly as a contract employee. You may even figure out what it is you want to do for the rest of your career.
Always Be Prepared
If you’ve followed these tips and landed an exciting, fulfilling job, we’d like to be the first to congratulate you on your success! However, don’t forget the skills you learned in this article just because you’ve completed your job search.
A famous saying points out that “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” so you should stay prepared at all times. As you continue in your field, be sure to keep your resume up to date, network constantly, and chat with recruiters when they call you. You never know when the next great opportunity will arrive.
Interested in becoming a contract employee or working in onshore tech facilities here in the U.S.? Contact ISG online or call (800) 739-2400 to learn how we can help you find a fulfilling career in tech.