Landing the perfect or dream job can feel like an impossible task given that there are a lot of startup companies actively looking for candidates for available tech positions, especially for young adults looking to start their careers on the right track. This is especially the case when it comes to working in technical fields where experience is critical and competition is high.
So how can you set yourself apart from the sea of other like-minded job candidates and ensure you’re able to land the job you’re looking for? Here are some essential steps you can take and proven tactics for marketing yourself to help you get you the dream job you’ve always wanted.
Maintain a Strategically Crafted Resume
There is no such thing as a “universal resume template” anymore – at least not when you’re looking for higher-paying positions. With more and more people competing for desirable technology jobs, it’s absolutely critical that you take the time and effort to craft the right type of resume to get noticed and land into the first interview. Resume templates can help with this process.
In the field of tech, there are few things as important as your knowledge and skillsets. While being “a great team player” and having a “dependable attitude” may help to describe your personality traits, they won’t cut the mustard when it comes to proving your worth in a tech-based role. A technical summary highlighting your specific expertise should be one of the first things you list on your resume, as this is what most hiring managers will first focus in on.
Your technical summary should include your specific working knowledge of certain programs, applications, networking protocols, and programming languages. Be careful, however, not to over-embellish your experience in these areas. It’s not uncommon for modern interviewers to conduct more rigorous interviews than those in the past, including giving practical tests to their potential candidates. If you’re an expert in Java or Structured Query Language (SQL), be prepared to be put to the test on interview day.
Have an Updated Tech Portfolio
Online portfolios have become one of the most influential tools in helping individuals land contracts, interviews, and full-time jobs. Unlike resumes that are usually tweaked (truthfully or not) to cater to the interviewer, they are meant for, online portfolios are typically more static and offer a more informal and revealing way to uncover a job candidate’s true abilities. In the tech industry, when proven technical expertise is so important, having a portfolio of your work is nearly essential.
The first thing you should do when designing or updating your online portfolio is to ensure you include all of your past projects that highlight your skills. While a quality vs. quantity approach to your work may seem beneficial, showcasing versatility in your tech experience is critical. Whether you’ve designed websites, built an app, coded software, or simply designed mockups for potential projects, showcasing as much of your experience as you can let interviewers know that other companies trusted you to take on their projects and that you’re worth their time.
Grow Your Social Network
There is an old saying: “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” and most times this still rings true. Dream jobs rarely land in someone’s lap, nor are they easily accessible by trolling popular job boards. To find your dream job, you need to understand how to network with other like-minded professionals, brand yourself effectively, and develop a reputable presence on social media.
Growing your social network effectively means more than getting liked on Facebook and Instagram by your friends and family. Getting tech employers to take notice of you involves showing that you have a passion for the industry you’re applying for and your online footprint can be very telling in this area.
If working in the tech field is something you’re really interested in, it will show in your social media profiles by who you’re connected with, who you follow, and what you share. Employers want to find candidates who are passionate about what they do and are in it for the long haul. Taking the time to brand yourself effectively and showcase your passion for tech on social media will further support what you show in your resume and online portfolio.
Take Relevant Training Courses
One of the most effective ways to find and secure the perfect tech job is by taking relevant courses in your field. While a degree from an accredited college or past experience will absolutely help your chances to get an interview, it’s important to remember that the tech industry is constantly changing. Taking the time to continuously educate yourself on different areas of technology from an early age will show to potential employers that you’re passionate about your career and want to ensure your skills are constantly updated and calibrated.
Another way to validate your expertise is by securing several reputable references. Referrals are one of the most effective ways to land interviews in almost any industry, and establishing professional contacts that can vouch for you in both professional and educational settings can really help expedite the growth of your career.
It’s important to remember that while finding your dream job in the tech field isn’t impossible, it can and will take some time. However, by taking the steps to strategically develop your resume, update your online portfolio, and establish a professional social media presence, you can significantly increase your chances of finding a perfect career in tech.