This blog was guest written by Community Board Member Christa DiFrancesco.
Are you working in tech or a startup, and feeling stuck in your career? Maybe you have yet to be promoted in your current role, maybe you’ve hit the ceiling and feel there is no more room for growth at your current company, or maybe you are one of the thousands affected by the layoffs in tech. If you are struggling to find a new opportunity in this tough job market, trust us, you are not alone.
Many women are facing similar struggles, and as frustrating and daunting as it can feel, it’s important to stay active in your job search. Take a look at the below job search tips that we’ve come up with through our own struggles, we hope these tips can give you some action items to apply to your own job search.
Have specific wants/needs in mind: Before you start your job search, it’s important to answer these questions. What do you want to do or continue to do next? What don’t you want to do next? What’s your ideal company? What’s the type of work environment you thrive in? Knowing these answers will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools for job seekers, it’s essential to make sure your profile really represents all of your experience. Your LinkedIn profile is typically the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager will look at, especially when they are the one’s searching for talent. This is your first impression, so be sure that your profile has a professional picture, a clear summary of your experience, your skills and a light description of what you accomplished under each of your previous roles.
Network as much as you can: While it may sound exhausting the further along in our career that we get, networking will always be important. The good news is, a lot of networking events are now virtual, so it’s easier than ever to get involved. Set yourself a goal to attend X amount of networking events a week, reach out to old colleagues, friends and family and send LinkedIn messages to people in your industry. The more people who know you’re looking for a job, the better. Getting a referral to a job opening from an internal employee goes a long way vs. just applying.
Do your research before an interview: You’d be surprised how many candidates we’ve talked to that don’t really know anything about the company they’ve applied to. When you land a first round interview with a company, research the company thoroughly beforehand. Be familiar with their business, values, and mission. Your interest and investment in the company will come across to the recruiter and hiring team, and will help you through other rounds of interviews as well. And check out Lady Bird Talent’s blog on Interviewing Advice from Hiring Managers to see what companies really look for during their hiring process.
Prepare tailored questions for each round of interviews: At the end of every interview, there should be time for the candidate to ask questions (if there is not, question if you actually want to work there). You typically should know who you are interviewing with next, and if not, ask the recruiter so that you can prepare. Do some research on the person you will be interviewing with – how long have they been at the company? What team are they on? What is their role? Prepare questions that you want to ask about their role, their team, and the expectations of the role you are interviewing for. Don’t miss out on an opportunity for you to ask these questions, to make sure the role is the right fit for you. Interviewing is a two-way street!
Stay organized: Keep a spreadsheet of the companies you’ve applied for and are interviewing with, including the company name, position, date of interview, names of folks you’ve interviewed with (or will be interviewing with) and any relevant contact information. You can also create a notes section to fill out after each round of interviews. This will help you stay organized and make it easier to follow up.
Partner with your recruiter: Recruiters should be your partner, not your enemy. Always be transparent with the recruiter – when you get to the finish line, remember that you are on the same team and they are there to help you and fight for you to get you the best offer they can. Know your worth and be prepared to negotiate the salary and benefits you are looking for. Ask the recruiter what the salary is for the role, if you are unsure, and work together to find a mutually beneficial outcome.