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How to get a job in the tech industry

Getting a job in the industry can be different to most other industries. Here’s some steps that may help you.

Have a public persona.

To show that you’re interested in the tech industry, you need to use tools and sites made by the tech industry. Unfortunately, if you’re not using Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr or have a public Facebook profile, companies may look over you. It’s surprisingly important.

Show off your skills.

Similarly to above, if you’re a developer, show off your skills on Github. If you’re a designer, sign up for a Dribbble or Behance account. If you’re neither, maybe try writing a blog post or two on Medium or Wordpress. Anything you can do to make you stand out from other candidates is a bonus.

Have a project to talk about.

Again, like showing off your skills, have a side project. Show that you enjoy creating things and have the skills that you say you do on your résumé. Work with other people on their ideas. The reason I had my first interview was that I built my college’s student body website while at university.

More not-working than networking.

Apologies to Glug for stealing the heading, but an easy way to get into the tech industry is by meeting people. Go to events (in London, events like Glug, Design and Banter, HN London, Silicon Drinkabout, etc.) and meet people.

Find companies you want to work for.

Not all tech companies are created equally — some are small startups that don’t have a business model, some are large tech companies that generate millions a month. The level of security you want will mean you will apply to different companies.

Job boards.

Using job boards is a perfectly valid way to find work too. Good international job boards include Work in Startups, Smashing Mag Jobs, Authentic Jobs, Dsgn Jbs, We Work Remotely, Hire My Friend and Designer News Jobs. There will be local job boards too (e.g. in London we have Hacker Jobs, Built in London and 3 Beards), do your research and ask on social media for the best ones.

Present your résumé well.

Your résumé will be one of the first thing an employer will see. Make sure you present it well. Think about the information you need on there. You don’t need your grades from when you were 16 if you went to university and you don’t need that summer job if it isn’t relevant.

Your first email.

Once you’ve done your résumé, it’s time to send it off. Depending on the company, the submission process will vary. Some will be email, some will be submitting a form. If it’s the latter and the company is small enough, it may be worth finding the person in charge of hiring on LinkedIn and emailing them directly. Be apologetic but it is a good way to get attention.

Interviews.

Just like your emails, wearing smart-casual to an interview is usually fine if the company is small enough. When I went for my first interview, I did the mistake of wearing a full-on suit. It was also the middle of summer so I was sweating because I was nervous and boiling hot. The two guys who interviewed me laughed it off because I was new to the industry.

Don’t be disappointed.

The nature of the tech industry, especially at a startup level, means that things change very quickly. That job that you applied for may not be there, even pre- or post-interview. Priorities change for tech companies quicker than most other industries. Just remember that there’s plenty more fish in the tech sea.

Be persistent.

It may take time, but it will be worth it. For me, there’s two great sides to the tech industry.

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Rik Lomas

Founder of SuperHi. Interested in startups, education and tech. And cats. Email: rik@superhi.com