Tips for your job search from a recruitment insider

Bridge School
Mar 14 · 5 min read

Written by Tahuana Cirati, Bridge alumni.

As part of our commitment to help level up junior and intermediate women, agender and non-binary professionals in tech, we’ve been offering a series of Professional Development Sessions for our alumni. We had the honour of kicking off 2019 with Karen Kua, who talked to our grads about their job search.

By day, Karen helps to build teams for enterprise organizations and startups entrenched in Big Data, Machine Learning, Risk, and more. By night, she develops with a MERN tech stack and is an education guru. She also mentors and does program management at IT non-profit organizations.

She gave us so much wonderful information, that it was impossible to write a short post. So, get your coffee and enjoy your reading!

Karen Kua speaks to Bridge alumni

1. Working with recruiters

Internal recruiters vs External recruiters

External recruiter benefits:


✨ Hot Tip ✨ The job ID is a unique identifier for the position. It is important to know it, so you do not duplicate your application. If you apply for the same job with different recruiters, the hiring managers may not move forward with you to avoid possible conflicts.


2. Optimizing your Resume and LinkedIn

ATS-Friendly Resumes:

Hiring managers receive thousands of resumes for the roles they work on. It is not possible to read all of them, so it’s important to submit Applicant Tracking System (ATS)-friendly resumes. When you have ATS-friendly resumes, they’ll be processed with higher accuracy when they’re submitted to these platforms. For example, your contact details, experience, tech stack and so forth will be more accurately parsed. Therefore, when hiring managers query their ATS platforms for resumes matching particular keywords/parameters, your resume will have a higher chance of appearing in the search results if its data has been parsed accurately. ATS-friendly resume templates don’t look as stylish, but they ensure a higher chance that your resume will appear in their talent pipelines.

✨ Hot Tip✨ To learn more about ATS-friendly resumes and to build your own, check this out this great tool.


✨ Hot Tip ✨ When there’s a request to connect, check if there’s a message attached. Many recruiters use this resource; it’s free, compared to sending you a direct message called an InMail.

When a recruiter reaches you out via InMail, try to avoid clicking a button labeled “Not interested”. That will close the channel completely, and they will not be able to send you a message again unless they purchase another InMail message. Just reply to them and keep the channel open as they may present you suitable employment opportunities for you in the future.

3. Salary and benefits

4. Seniority

If it is your first job in the field, you are a junior. But avoid using the word “junior” as much as possible.

5. Interviews and whiteboarding

✨ Hot Tip ✨ Some websites and apps can help you enhance your technical interview skills, such as LeetCode and Pramp.

6. Finally, here are the top 3 questions to ask in an interview:

Thank You!

A huge thank you to Karen for sharing such amazing and valuable tips; and to Executive Director Emily Porta, Bridge in general, and for hosting!

Also, big thanks to Bridge alumni Rose Wan for taking notes during the event, Stephanie Zeng for helping with the room, and to all Bridge alumni for sending questions for the Q&A and for attending the event!

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