Top 8 Ways to Getting Hired in the Tech Industry
31 July 2022
With over 32,000 people laid off as of late July 2022 in the tech sector alone, competition for open jobs will rise.
There has been a wave of layoffs or cutbacks in the tech sector due to an unexpected sales downturn after a pandemic-fueled explosion. If you are looking to return to work post COVID or looking to make a switch, the job market is likely to get more competitive as layoffs continue and companies put hiring freezes into place. Alane Boyd, President and Co-Founder of Arvo, a SaaS platform for creating uniquely designed, shareable playbooks, shares her professional advice on how to get noticed by hiring managers when applying to open positions.
Standing out in a sea of applicants is crucial no matter the job market, but it will be more important in the later months of 2022. Whether you were just laid off and now have to find a new job, trying to make a career change into tech, or wanting to change positions within in the company you are in, these eight tips will help you get there.
Finding a new job is stressful enough but competing against hundreds, maybe thousands, of qualified people can make it even more taxing.
I’ve been hiring in the tech industry for over a decade and even in the most competitive job markets and in hundreds of resumes submitted for positions, there are always only a small handful of applicants that stand out.
Boyd, President and Co-Founder, Arvo
This isn't just the case for hiring local, Boyd says, she sees this from hiring remote workers all over the world. There are a few key steps applicants can take to make themselves standout and it does not include dated methods like in-person resume drop-offs. Boyd offers the following eight tips to getting noticed when applying for a position, which can be applied to many different industries, not just tech positions.
Eight things to make an impression on a hiring manager:
1. Follow the instructions on applying.
So many applicants don’t even make it to the hiring manager simply because they did not follow the instructions in the job ad. Many HR teams have filters set up, so applicants who do not follow the subject line or email body don’t even make it to the hiring process.
2. Add an "About Me" resource to your resume.
In addition to your resume, create a professional “about me” resource that tells a story about yourself at work and some of the hobbies you have. The hiring team will have a personalized experience when looking at your application, and most likely, no one else applying will have anything similar. This sets you apart and can even help show key ways you match what they are looking for with company culture.
As an example, here is Boyd’s about me playbook that she shares with new potential clients. Create a free Arvo account and use the "About Me Template" to create your personalized page. The playbook link is shareable and can even be linked to in your resume, cover letter, or email outreach.
3. Submit work examples for the job you want.
Don’t have specific experience in the job but you know you can do it? Great! Create examples of what you would do if you had that job. So many of our very best hires did not have specific job experience but showed through amazing examples that they would be fantastic at the job. Here is a great resource for ideas on how to create work samples on popular tech platforms.
Work Samples Playbook
One of Boyd’s favorite hiring stories is, “I once had a waiter who applied for a social media coordinator position at our company. He had zero experience working for an agency, working in social media, or designing anything but in his application he created a fake business called Suds and Buds. It was a Washeteria and Bar so you could wash your clothes and have a few beers at the same time. He even had fake social handles for all of the popular sites and created graphics to go along with them. He even created check-in deals. We fast-tracked him through the hiring process. He couldn’t even type when we hired him. We trained him on everything he needed because we knew he had the skills.”
4. Modernize your resume.
In fact, it is your first impression of the work you are capable of. If it is a text-only word doc, your resume might as well have been written in the 90s. Give it a revamp. Canva has a free version of their software, they have built-in resume templates, and you can copy and paste your info right in.
Also, make sure the wording on the resume speaks to the job you are applying to. Update wording to mirror the language they use in their job ad. It seems simple, but they are looking for that criteria in their applicant. By updating your resume, you will look like you are a great fit for the job.
Boyd loves referencing a movie she saw years ago, "Two friends were applying to move out of their dorm into their own housing. During the interview in front of the panel of decision-makers, one of the men spoke up and seemed to know exactly how to answer every question. The two friends were approved to move out of the dorms. When the one friend asked how he knew exactly what to say to them, the friend said, I read their brochure and regurgitated their own words. It was humorous but so realistic at the same time."
Many of us are on our own agenda and forget that we need to speak in terms the other person can immediately understand.”
Boyd, President and Co-Founder, Arvo
5. Better describe your work experience
Change your perspective on the work you currently do to better articulate what it looks like for you in a day. Even for non-tech industries, the way you describe your job can be completely related to the job you are wanting to be hired for.
If you work for a traditional publishing company, instead of describing it as:
I work for a traditional publishing company. I communicate between departments about print designs. I manage client communication.
Describe it as:
I work for a publishing company:
- I communicate internally between several departments using Slack and Asana.
- I use Slack for more immediate needs for questions between coworkers, set up reminders on messages I have received if it comes during a busy time, and set up a channel between the three managers I go to often so we can always be on the same page.
- I use Asana for my daily task management, communication on projects, and have created templates for tasks that come up often.
- I manage client communication through our internal messaging system, HelpScout.
- I manage all activities related to the clients through our Pipedrive CRM, with a copy of every HelpScout ticket associated with the client record in Pipedrive.
If you work as a waitress/waiter at a local restaurant, instead of describing it as:
I am a waitress at a restaurant. I help answer the phone and take people’s orders. I do the restaurant’s marketing.
Describe it as:
I am a service professional at The Local:
- I use three software systems to manage all incoming customer orders through Waitr, GotDelivered, and Touch Bistro.
- I constantly multitask between multiple teams and customer needs.
- I manage customer disputes, online reviews, and outbound advertising.
- I’ve managed reviews through Google, Yelp, and Facebook and have been able to remove 11 negative reviews.
- I create all marketing, including printed coupons, mailers, social posts, etc. through Canva.
If you don’t have experience in the specific job platform, check to see if that platform has a free version! If they do, create an account and start using it. Here is a great resource to help you get started.
Popular Platforms Playbook
6. Use related job description terms
Look at the company you are applying to and see if you can find something related to the position you want that you can improve. For instance, want a job in their marketing department? Check Spyfu for missed opportunities in their SEO or ad keywords. Want a job in their HR department? Check their Glassdoor reviews for trends you see listed in their Cons. Perhaps company training is a missed opportunity for new hires. Speak to how you have built training assets at companies. Want a job in their UI/UX department? Create a quick mockup of something you think could improve on their platform.
7. Have ideas and don’t be too scared to share them when being interviewed.
Ideas can stir up conversation and make interviews more of a discussion rather than a straight borage of questions. But there is a caveat to this, if you have ideas for improvement, you must have ideas on how you would execute. Anyone can have ideas, and most likely, your idea is something someone else thought of. The difference is if someone can execute on them.
8. Even if you don’t have a college degree, but you have the experience, apply anyway.
You may be surprised but not having a degree can get overlooked by a hiring manager when the right person comes through. If a degree is required for that specific position, companies will sometimes create a new position just to be able to hire the person they want without a degree. A growing trend amongst companies is removing degree requirements for positions completely or recognizing that job experience is as equivalent.
BONUS TIP: Be Prepared for your interview.
Once you get noticed by the hiring team, it is time to prepare for your interview! Here are some tips on getting ready:
- Study the company and industry - you would be surprised at how few do this important step. If you aren't familiar with the company or the industry, it is difficult to have an engaging conversation with the interviewer.
- Study the job description and make notes on how your experience relates to the requirements - yes, you can even bring it with you to the interview! Being prepared and having notes and talking points is generally well received.
- Come prepared with any questions you'd like to ask - but do not make them the standard, "What is your favorite thing about the company?" type of questions. Ask deep questions about the job, what systems they use, what improvements they want to make, what recent changes have they implemented to improve the company, etc.
- ALWAYS ask about next steps - you can find out if they will be scheduling additional interviews with you and other team members, sending over an assessment, timelines for hiring, and if they are interviewing additional candidates for the position.
- Send a follow up email to the person(s) you met in the interview but don't make it superficial, e.g. "It was great to meet you! I look forward to hearing from you! Instead your follow up email could look like, "Hi hiring person, I really enjoyed my interview with you. I am most excited about this, this, and this in the position! As I mentioned, I have had a ton of experience implementing these and I wanted to send over an example of what I have done. Here is a link to one of the items."
Arvo, President and Co-Founder, Alane Boyd.
Arvo (askarvo.com) is a cloud-based platform that reimagines business process documentation for today's hybrid workforce. Through the use of pre-built "smart components", Arvo makes converting existing processes into easy-to-follow playbooks extremely easy. It's powerful enough to incorporate all forms of media (images, GIFs, emojis, diagrams, videos, audio, and more) while also ensuring that any page, playbook, or library of playbooks can be embedded or shared directly in popular work management systems such as Asana, ClickUp, and Monday.com so that the "how to do it" works directly with the "what to do."