How To Find A Position? We’ve Got You Covered
Chances are, if you’re at this place on our website, you are looking for your next great opportunity. Whether you’re new to the tech industry, a senior level person, or somewhere in-between, looking for a position can be daunting. But we’re here to help! This page is chock-full of great resources, from how-to tips for networking, resumes, prepping for an interview, and what it’s like to work with a professional recruiter.
In addition to using our resources, we suggest you check out the content industry leaders are providing. Here are a few we especially like right now:
Scott Hanselman provides incredible blogs and podcasts on his site.
Jeff Doolittle’s blog is a great resource we highly recommend you follow.
One quick mention. We’re assuming you already have a LinkedIn profile that is fully updated with your most current information. This is key as we’ll be referring to LinkedIn quite a bit on this resource page.
Our team has curated this content and we hope you find it helpful. You might want to bookmark this page as we add and update content regularly.
Putting Yourself Out There
- Go to a lot of networking events, both virtual and in-person. Most are free and the in-person events usually provide complementary food and beverages.
- Meetup.com and Calagator.org are the go-to sites for finding these Portland-area networking events.
- Put yourself out there. Come prepared to talk about yourself when people ask the typical first question of “so, what do you do?” Have your elevator pitch ready to go when you’re asked about your professional background.
- Once you’ve met someone at a networking event, ask them for their email address. The next day, ask them to meet with you. Convey that you’d appreciate their insights on the market, industry trends, and who might be hiring.
- Often, these events provide an opportunity for people to share that they are either looking for a new position, or that they are hiring. If you’re looking, be sure to say so, and afterward, go find the people who announced that their companies are hiring and introduce yourself.
- Insider tip: typically, the best people to reach out to are the event hosts. They tend to know a lot of people in the IT industry.
Meeting New People
- You can never know too many people in this world. The more people you know, the better off your career is.
- It’s normal and natural to feel awkward when trying to meet new people. One way to minimize awkward feelings is to use the buddy system and bring someone with you to a networking event.
- Build your network by connecting with people from all levels of the tech industry, from entry-level candidates all the way up to senior level people including managers, directors, VPs, CTOs, and CIOs.
- Reach out to technical recruiters and get to know them. It is always good to foster strong connections with recruiters.
- 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 peers.
- Want more coaching? Our CEO and Founder Tony Seminary provided students at Western Oregon University a guide for finding an early-career job, and you can watch his talk here.
- Never stop learning! Many of our clients are looking for life-long learners.
- Learning credentials can help substitute for a project on your resume.
- 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 local, national, and global conferences, whether in-person or virtually.
- Take a look at positions outside of where you live. Sometimes other cities and markets have more of the career opportunities you are looking for.
- Comb through apps such as The Silicon Forest, Indeed, Simply Hired, and LinkedIn regularly. Think of them as your morning newspaper.
- Update your LinkedIn profile to let others know you are available for remote opportunities.
- Create a project around a personal passion and post the code on your Github repo, and then put the project on your resume as personal experience. Future employers love to see projects like this as it shows them you are truly invested in your career.
- Another great thing about these kinds of projects is that you can re-write the same project over and over throughout your career.
- Just make sure to use a modern tech stack!
Re-Connecting with Your Network
- Identify people you know and have worked with.
- Reach out and ask them if their current company is hiring and if they know of any companies hiring for people with your skill set. Ask them for their perspective on new trends in the market and to connect you with others in their network.
- Again, update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your status as an available professional.
- Keep in mind that if you asked ten different people about your resume, you’re likely to receive ten 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 your resume in a variety of formats including Word and PDF.
- Insider tip: recruiters tend to prefer resumes in a Word format.
- Remember that simple is better. Your resume does not need fancy margins or formatting. Just the pertinent information.
- Showcase your skills and technology summary at the top of your resume. Include the tools, technology, and methodologies you know.
- Skip the one-page resume rule. When you factor in projects and extended learning with your skills and experience, it’s virtually impossible to stick to that rule. The average resume for a mid-level IT professional is easily 2-3 pages.
- 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. For example, if you were the team lead on a project, tell the reader the value you and the team provided. Were you able to create efficiencies, save money, increase productivity, or reduce runtime?
- Read the job description for the role you are applying for, and tailor your resume using bullet points to match what the employer is looking for. Make sure key asks are on your resume.
- Optional insider tip: work experience that’s older than 10-15 years has no need to stay on your resume. Chances are what you were doing back then is not as relevant now. Simply add “additional work history available upon request.”
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 are represented by a quality recruiter, they will provide background on the company, the role, their culture, and anything else to help you during your interview.
- Familiarize yourself with the people you’ll be interviewing with by viewing their LinkedIn profiles and making notes.
- 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’s website and make notes of their core values, who their clients are, and achievements they’re proud of. This will help familiarize you with the company and also help you create some questions you can ask during the interview.
- During: Ask those questions you created during your prep. Take notes during the interview including the names of the people on the interview panel so you can send thank you emails. 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 might be a distraction during the interview.
- At the same time, make sure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing 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?
- What’s the average tenure of employee at your company?
- Can you walk me through how you onboard new employees?
Post-Interview Thank You Note
- After an interview, sending a thank you note is 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 specifically 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 for it, or ask them to forward your thank you message.
- 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’re 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. Sometimes all you need is a little more information about a position or company to put those fears to rest.
- Keep track of where you have applied. We suggest an Excel spreadsheet. It’s not a good thing for you or us if you submit twice for the same position.
- As you keep track of where your resume has been submitted, include the name of the company, the recruiting firm you used, whether you found the company on your own, the day you applied, where you’re at in the interview process, and the internal job order ID number if it was provided to you.
- Look ahead in your schedule for upcoming vacations, trips, any unavailability for interviews, or other conflicts. Let us know ahead of time so we can work with you and our client to schedule your interview and even your first day!