How To Find A Position? We’ve Got You Covered
Chances are if you’re at this part of our website, we’ll make an assumption you are in the market looking for your next great opportunity. And so whether you are new to the industry, a senior level person, or somewhere in-between with your career, looking for a position can be kind of daunting. But we are here to help! This page is chock full of great resources, from how-to with networking, resume tips, prepping for an interview, what’s it like to work with recruiters, etc.
We would also suggest you start following the blogs of the industry leaders out there. Here’s a few that we like:
- Scott Hanselman – https://hanselman.com/blog and https://Hanselminutes.com/shows
- Jeff Doolittle – https://jeffdoolittle.com
One quick mention as you read through this page…we are going to make an assumption that you have a Linkedin profile that is fully updated. This is key as we will be referring to Linkedin quite a bit.
This content has been curated by our staff at IT Motives and we hope you find it useful. And please continue to stop by periodically as we’ll be adding more content as time goes on.
Putting Yourself Out There
- Go to a lot of networking events – virtual and in-person. Most are free and the in-person events usually provide complementary food and drink.
- Meetup.com and Calagator.org are thee go-to places to find these types of networking events.
- Put yourself out there and come prepared to talk about yourself when people ask the typical first question of “what do you do?” Have your elevator pitch ready to go when you are asked about your background.
- Once you’ve met someone at a networking event ask for their email address. The next day send an email asking them for a meeting so as to help provide you with insights into the market, industry trends, who’s hiring, and things of that nature.
- Many times at these events there will be an opportunity for people to announce they are either looking for a new position, or that they are hiring. If you’re looking, then be sure to announce you are looking, and then after the networking event go find the people that announced their companies are hiring and introduce yourself.
- Hint: typically the best people to reach out to are the hosts of the event. They tend to know a lot of people.
Meeting New People
- You can never know too many people in this world. The more people you know, the better off your career is.
- If you feel awkward by trying to meet new people, that is normal and natural. But don’t go it alone! Use the buddy system and take someone with you when you go to a networking event.
- Build your network by connecting with people from all facets of technology. From entry level candidates all the way up the ladder to senior level people, along with people in management such as Managers, Directors, VPs, CTOs, or CIOs.
- Reach out to technical recruiters and get to know them. It is always good to be connected to recruiters.
- And if you happen to be a software engineer, go online and find open source projects that look interesting and ask if you can contribute to them. This is another great way to meet others.
- CEO and Founder of IT Motives Tony Seminary talks to students at Western Oregon University how to find their first paying job. Check out the link here https://www2.wou.edu/nora/woutv.video.viewer?pvideoid=1048
- Never stop learning! This can help substitute for a project on your resume.
- Listen to and devour tech podcasts.
- Do tutorials – there are so many free and discounted sites that let you tinker with technology. Use them!
- Read an industry related book.
- Attend conferences – local, non-local, virtual.
- Take a look at positions outside of where you live. Sometimes other cities and markets have more of the types of roles you are looking for.
- Comb through apps such as Silicon Florist, Indeed, Simply Hired, and Linkedin. Think of them as your morning newspaper.
- Change your Linkedin profile to let others know you are looking for remote opportunities.
- Create some projects around your passions, then post the code on your Github repo, and put the project on your resume as personal experience. Future employers love to see this as it shows them you are bought into your career.
- The great thing about these kinds of projects is that you can re-write the same project over and over and over throughout your career.
- Just make sure to use a modern tech stack!
Re-Connecting With Your Network
- Determine the people you know and have worked with.
- Reach out and ask them if their current company is hiring. See if they know of any companies hiring for people with your skill set. Find out what are the new trends in the market from their perspective. Ask them for connections to others in their network.
- Change your Linkedin profile to let others know you are in the market.
- Keep in mind about resumes that if you asked 10 different people about your resume, you’re likely to get 10 different and widely varied suggestions for your resume.
- Creating a resume in a Google doc is the most ideal method. It allows you to download the document in a variety of formats – Word or PDF for example. Hint: recruiters tend to like resumes in a Word format.
- Remember that simpler is better! Your resume does not need fancy margins or formatting. Just the pertinent information.
- Showcase your skills and technology summary towards the top of your resume. What tools, technology, and methodologies do you know?
- Skip the one page resume rule – when you factor in projects and/or extended learning with your skills and experiences, it is virtually impossible to stick to that rule. The average resume for a mid-level professional for example is 2-3 pages easily.
- Make sure to include the contributions and accomplishments that YOU specifically provided in addition to the project as a whole. Be specific.
- Show how you added value to each position on your resume – example: If you were the team lead for a given project then tell the reader the value you and the team provided. Were you able to create efficiencies, save money, increase productivity, reduce runtime, etc?
- Read the job description for the role you are applying for, and tailor your resume for every position you are applying for. Use the bullet points listed to distill down what they are looking for and make sure the key items are on your resume.
- Optional: Anything over about 10-15 years of experience no longer has to stay on your resume. Simply replace it with “additional work history available upon request.” Most of the time what you were doing that far back is pretty dated and not overly relevant.
Do Your Homework
- It’s normal and natural to feel nervous prior to and during an interview. A great way to overcome that is by prepping. This will help build up your confidence and make you feel more at ease when you step into an interview.
- Read the job description the day of your interview and re-familiarize yourself with what the company is looking for.
- If you’re receiving recruiter representation, be sure to get your recruiter to help you better understand the company, the role, their culture, and anything else they can provide to you.
- To get familiar with the people you’ll be interviewing with, see if their bio’s are on our their website. Go to Linkedin to view their profiles and make note of things you find interesting about them.
- Chances are you will have many mutual connections on Linkedin with the people you’ll be interviewing with. Reach out to those people and ask them what they know about the person you’re interviewing with.
- Before: Review the company website and write down some notes for your interview. Look for their mention of core values, who their clients are, and things of that nature. Not only will this help familiarize you with the company, but it will also help you create some questions you can ask during the interview.
- During: Ask those questions you wrote down during your prep. Take some notes during the interview such as the names of the people on the interview panel to use as a reference for the thank you email you send post-interview. Be sure to write down any personal information they share with you.
- After: Right after the interview write down anything you forgot to ask. Or things you wanted more information about but ran out of time to discuss.
- Match the company’s dress code and culture. Pay attention to how employees are dressed at events or do some research on their website. If you are having trouble finding this kind of info, ask your recruiter or the company’s HR professional for information on their dress code. You don’t want to be over or undressed.
- Avoid overly flashy clothing or accessories that may be a distraction during the interview.
- Make sure what you are wearing is comfortable so you can focus on making a good first impression at the interview.
- Make sure your appearance is neat and orderly.
Example Interview Questions
- What is your leadership style?
- What is a typical use case for your product or service?
- Can you describe to me what the company culture is like?
- What are the gaps you need this person to come in and fill?
- How did you determine what your current technology stack is?
- Tell me about other technologies you have recently started looking into. What kinds of problems are you hoping they will solve?
- How did this position become available?
- Can you walk me through how you onboard new employees?
Post-Interview Thank You Note
- After an interview, sending a thank you note can be a great way to make sure you are memorable and show your interviewer how interested you are in the position.
- Be polite and thank them for their time. Let them know what interests you about the position, the team you would be working on, or the company.
- Be brief and professional.
- If you realize something you said in the interview could have been taken the wrong way, use your thank you note to clarify what you said.
- If you don’t have your interviewers’ contact information, reach out to your recruiter or the company’s HR professional to get that information, or ask them to send your thank you along to the appropriate people.
- If you really want to stand out, send a thank you card in the mail. In this digital world, writing a handwritten letter in the mail is a lost art.
Working With Recruiters
- Be timely in your response when talking about a specific position. Interview timeslots can fill up quickly if the client is scheduling multiple people. We want to do our best to ensure you get a time that works for you.
- Be candid with how you feel about a position – you won’t hurt our feelings if you decide you are not interested in a role. Even if you are in the middle of the interview process. We’d rather know sooner than later.
- Share any of your red flags, concerns, and hesitations. We are happy to try and put those fears to rest about a position or company. All you might need is a little more information and we will do what we can to get it for you.
- Keep track of where you have applied – we suggest an Excel spreadsheet. It’s not a good thing for you or us if you get double submitted for the same position.
- As you’re keeping track of where your resume has been submitted, include the name of company, recruiting firm that you used, if you found the company on your own, the day you applied, where you’re at in the interview process, the internal job order ID number if it was provided to you.
- Look ahead in your schedule for upcoming vacations, trips, unavailability for interviews, or other conflicts. Let us know ahead of time so we can work with you and our client regarding logistics such as scheduling your interview, talking about your first day, etc.