January 11, 2024
Working in Tech: 5 Tips for Getting Hired at Tech Company
If you haven’t lived under a rock for the last couple of years, you must have noticed the rising popularity of people seeking tech jobs. From TikToks and Instagram reels showcasing modern workspaces fit with full bars and funky lounge areas to cohorts of affinity groups for work-from-home employees with flexible, autonomous schedules, ‘working in tech’ has garnered quite the buzz. Too often, these posts just show off how cool it is to work in tech. They seldom include ways for others to join them in all their modern work culture glory. In hopes of filling this gap and opening up pathways for talented job seekers to break into tech, we are highlighting our best suggestions to make yourself a competitive candidate in your job search. Read on for Mosaic’s five tips for getting hired in tech.
What does ‘Working in Tech’ mean?
Working in tech consists of any position in a tech company. Tech companies include all companies that are involved in the research, development, or distribution of technological goods and services. Anything revolving around creating and serving software, electronics, or products and services relating to information technology or anything in the digital world. Think social media sites, search engines, email hosts, CRMs, just to name a few.
These types of companies are often cited as having extremely vivacious work cultures that make people feel more valued as team members and less like a number just punching the clock. However fun these job environments are, these positions do not come without dedication to working smart and, at times, hard to keep the business running. Typically, tech companies operate on a salary basis meaning you can easily find yourself working longer hours or having to go beyond the scope of your traditional job description; this is particularly true for startups in their scale period. Thus, you find these kinds of companies offering fantastic benefit packages and robust mechanisms for work-life balance and team-building efforts. While on your job search journey, be sure to temper your expectations around the kind of work culture you will be entering.
Mosaic is considered an advertising or marketing technology company with the mission to provide affiliate management tools to micro-brands and SMBs. If you’re thinking you aren’t tech-savvy enough to join a tech company such as ours, think again. Our Content and Branding Specialist, Kaitlyn Walker-Tillett commented, “The coolest thing about working in tech is that there really is room for everyone no matter your area of expertise. Every company needs a people team that consists of administrative, financial, and creative personnel who also make the machine go. Tech is not limited to any specific demographic which makes it a diverse and dynamic landscape.”
5 Tips for Landing a Job in Tech
As you familiarize yourself with the industry and set your sights on particular brands that interest you, we have detailed five different methods to employ before submitting yourself as a candidate. Here are five major keys for breaking into the tech industry:
1) Optimize Your Portfolio
A major component for landing on the desk of a tech company recruiter consists of packaging your experience and accomplishments in a way that stands out from the crowd. Technology fields of work attract the top players on the job market so it is imperative your portfolio, resume, and even cover letter set you apart from peers vying for the same positions.
To help you float above the sea of applicants you’re up against, recruiters often suggest using resume writing methods such as the STAR method. The STAR method is a four-step model used to provide more detailed, thorough answers about your experience. The acronym stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Components of the STAR Method
Situation: Lay the foundation for your resume entries by providing a succinct overview of your previous job objectives. This will be the basis for your narrative that you will build upon in subsequent steps.
Task: Now, describe the specific responsibilities you undertook, leveraging your distinctive qualities and skills. Be sure to elucidate challenges you encountered or were tasked with overcoming.
Action: Detail the steps you took to accomplish said task or objective. Offer a comprehensive explanation of your approach using compelling action words to paint the picture of your abilities.
Results: Conclude with tangible outcomes you achieved; offer any quantitative results or any other positive signifiers of your impact.
This resume method will help you market yourself and tell your story on applications. If you’ve ever wanted a chance to highlight your success in previous positions, the STAR method allows your experience to jump off the page and boost your chances of landing an interview.
2) Enhance Your Skill Set
In the age of the internet, we have been gifted with more than just adorable cat videos and swathes of unsolicited opinions. The World Wide Web is home to hundreds of thousands–if not millions–of educational opportunities that can help you pad your resume with certifications and credits. Particularly for candidates who may have majored in something unrelated to tech fields, tech certifications will give you an edge. It can also help you appear diverse in capabilities which modern tech startups look for in talent searches. Tech companies need
Between Google Suite, Coursera, Udemy, and many more, the world of upskilling is quite vast and diverse in options for people of all backgrounds, skill levels, and financial means. There are crash course boot camps that promise to whip you into the shape of a tech maven or formal courses offered by accredited universities. Either option will be another notch on your belt that will help you prove yourself as a qualified candidate for working in tech.
It is also worth mentioning that soft skills are very important. More modern tech companies are looking for likable people they can relate with and add to the family. Sometimes, looking good on paper is not enough to understand how you will fit into the overall fabric of the company culture.
Our HR manager Dee Clifford-Bremner shared some wise words of advice: “Effective candidates in the tech industry capture the attention of hiring managers by demonstrating a robust technical skill set, coupled with hands-on experience in relevant programming languages and frameworks. Emphasize your problem-solving prowess through notable projects and contributions, showcasing a commitment to excellence.” Brushing up on communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills definitely wouldn’t hurt.
3) Utilize Your Network
Networking, however nerve-wracking, is an imperative step to take when seeking a position in tech. Oftentimes, companies advertise positions on job sites like Linkedin and Indeed and even interview candidates to make sure they maintain equal opportunity employer standards while hiring internally or sourcing candidates from internal referral pools. This can lead job seekers without a direct line to a current employee by the wayside while candidates that exhaust their network options cruise on towards employment. Don’t relegate yourself to a wayside job seeker and tap into your network.
There is a theory that most people are only a few (six or less) degrees of separation from each other. This so-called ‘network science’ proves that even if you can’t find a direct connection to your target tech company. Someone in your network likely knows someone in their network who can point you in the right direction, at the very least, if not the exact contact you are looking for. And before you think, “Well, what if they say no to helping me?”, which is possible, remember that they most likely were in your exact position at some point in time and could jump at the opportunity to pay it forward for someone who’s shoes they have been in. The worst that could happen is they say ‘no.’ The best that could happen is they say ‘yes’ and introduce you to a tech job cornucopia of connections and resources that will stick your landing into your dream role.
4) Open Your Options
Although the previously mentioned tips can help you expedite getting your foot in the door, the job market for tech positions is continuously competitive. This means you need to be open to diverse opportunities as an entry into the field. This may be freelance work, internships, odd jobs, etc. that will help you pad your resume with experience or fill a gap in between full-time positions.
Alternatively, many tech companies search contractor talent pools for fluctuating business needs. At the end of 2022, LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team noticed a surge in tech contractors. As the economy continues to fluctuate, many tech companies are still leaning on contractor work as a way to stay afloat. Contracting is a great way to build your relationship with a company so when they are looking for employees, you can be the first candidate on their minds.
5) Know Your Future Intentions
As tech has become a booming industry, many companies seek people to grow with them. Modern startup culture requires commitment from employees to secure relationships with investors and establish their bandwidth with prospective clients. When you’re writing your cover letter, you want to highlight where you have been while also declaring where you hope to take your career. Clearly stating your intentions for the future will give recruiters clarity on the level of commitment they can expect from you if they were to extend the position to you.
Tech companies are also going to be looking for your willingness to continuously learn and grow your abilities as business needs develop. Another suggestion from our HR Manager is to “underscore your dedication to continuous learning and staying abreast of industry developments, as this reflects a proactive approach highly valued by tech employers.”
These are just a handful of ways to make yourself the cream of the crop when applying to highly coveted positions at tech companies. If you put some or all of these methods into practice, you are likely to see a significant improvement in your tech job search as you optimize your chances of competing with top-tier talent. Mosaic is growing; be on the lookout for updates on job openings coming soon!