Over the last 5+ years, I’ve had the opportunity to use my “superpower” at Iconway, Softcom Nigeria, Andela and currently GetYourGuide. Every one of those opportunities has contributed tremendously to my career growth. From the inception of my career until now, learning and growth opportunities are my motivation. That motivation keeps me going. It has helped me land amazing opportunities. And based on the experiences I’ve garnered, I put together some tips you might find useful in your pursuit of a new or next job in tech. I tried to keep it clear and concise so, let’s kickoff!
Finding the right opportunity
- Be clear about your career goals but don’t despise little beginnings. Your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job and it can’t be. In other words, BE REALISTIC about your short term goals. Every job opportunity is an opportunity to learn and grow.
- While waiting to find your desired job, spend some time learning and practicing relevant skills. You can identify relevant skills by paying close attention to job descriptions to find skill-gaps. Invest some time filling the skill gaps.
- There are tonnes of resources online, so be curious enough to find resources that would help you learn and develop these skills.
- While learning a skill, find opportunities to practice what you are learning. Volunteer to do a pro-bono service or you could work on personal projects. You could also apply for internships. Make sure you are not just acquiring knowledge but seek to apply what you’re learning. For instance, you are learning website design, you could reach to someone or a business that you think might need a website. Volunteer to offer them your skill.
- There are abundant opportunities in tech. Stackoverflow & LinkedIn are great tools, so make use of them.
- Never underestimate the power of a referral, so talk to your friends, former colleagues, former boss, etc.
- Read the job description carefully. Learn about the company’s core values and culture. Before you submit an application, check if the core values and culture of the company align with your personal values. It doesn’t have to be 100%. A 75% match should be fine. Know your “non-negotiables”.
- Make sure your resumé aligns with the required skills. Try to articulate the relevant skills you have acquired and demonstrated in your previous experiences in a clear and concise manner. Zoom into the skills that are most relevant to the roles and responsibilities as advertised on the job board.
- Avoid the pitfall of adding all your skills to your CV. Remember, it’s your CV, not your autobiography. For instance, your singing skills don’t have to make it to your resume if you are not applying for a Singing role.
- Your aim should be about getting the job and your CV would create a first impression.
- Before you submit your CV, share it with people that can preview or critic your resume. What you need is their constructive feedback, not necessarily their approval, so be open-minded. Accept their feedback and improve your CV. Ideally, you should create your own CV, but if you don’t know how to create one, there are tonnes of free or paid online platforms that can help you create one.
- Submit your application after you’ve ensured that there are no typographical errors in your CV and cover letter.
- Be prepared to defend your skills but don’t try to answer every question you are asked. Say what you know. Your aim is to project your strengths and not your weaknesses.
- Also, prepare to ask your interviewer questions to learn more about the role, the people you would be working with, the company culture and leadership, and any other thing that matters to you.
- Do research about your interviewer. It’s good to know what your interviewer's interests are. It would help you prepare for your interview and how you respond to your interviewer’s questions. You should also do some research about the recruitment process of the company you are applying to.
- Prepare for every stage of the interview. Every stage requires a different kind of preparation. Your approach to a technical interview would be different from that of a culture fit interview. Most companies would give you a brief of the next stage so you have the opportunity to prepare ahead.
- Interviewing for jobs can be very exhausting. Try not to take rejections seriously. I’ve received a dozen of rejection emails. Don’t lose your energy. Don’t give up.
- If you go through an interview process and you didn’t get the job, don’t be hard on yourself. Learn from the process. Ask for feedback from the recruiter. You might be lucky to receive specific feedback that could help you perform better in your next interview. Breathe and repeat.
- I wish you all the best 🤗
If you find these helpful, do share with your friends, family, and foes 😄. Also, feel free to share any tips or resources that you’ve found helpful in the past.