16 Apr

The Secret to Landing a Tech Job

By: Jack C. Stanley, Co-Founder of The Tech Academy

Let me start by saying: the answer might disappoint you. There is no magical website that I can send you to or a special connection I have in the industry that can guarantee you a job. (Please keep in mind that this article was written assuming the reader has the basic required skill set for a tech job).

There’s just no way around it: landing a tech job can be difficult and take a lot of work.

And if you’re brand new to the industry, employers may be wary about taking you on. After all, you have no experience or proof of past tech employment success you can point to.

While there are many important factors that go into landing a technical role (resume, cover letter, interview skills, coding challenges, etc.) there is one element that stands above all others in importance.

The secret to landing a tech job is: persistence.

Perseverance, tenacity, determination, endurance, tireless continuance and sticktoitiveness.

If you work long enough at it, learning from experiences, you will eventually secure employment in the industry.

As the Co-Founder of a code school (The Tech Academy) that has assisted hundreds of individuals (a number which will surpass 1,000 in short order), I know whereof I speak. According to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (a third party that monitors boot camp outcomes), our school has one of the best job placement rates around.

The students and graduates that fail to land tech jobs are simply those that give up. This may be harsh, as there are plenty of reasons to stop working on it, including: rejection, doubt, distractions and life circumstances requiring one to take a nontechnical position so they can get by.

It can be hard to be told “no” or “you lack experience and skill”.

At the end of the day, no one will hand you a job. Even if you’re referred to a company by a friend that already works there, you’ll still have to interview!

What if it goes terribly and they criticize your skill level? Well, here’s one point of view to look at: who wants to work for a company that puts them down anyways? If you are ever unfortunate enough to experience a rude interviewer, look at it as a blessing in disguise. Thank god you didn’t end up working there!

I have a close friend that is a senior-level software developer. His resume puts others to shame. The guy has been coding since the 1990s and his experience section alone is longer than most resumes. Contracts that he lands are always over six figures a year. You get the point.

Even he, as an incredible senior-level developer, sometimes takes weeks to months to land a new gig. He applies for dozens of jobs and interviews at several places, and he always lands great jobs. Even with all his industry contacts and experience, he has to work hard and send out volume communication to secure acceptable employment.

If you’re applying to a job listing, so are a lot of other people. You’re one of dozens of resumes that the Hiring Manager will scan through. Some jobs receive over 100 applicants.

With all that said, there are definitely occasions where people land a job at the first place they apply to. But these tend to be the exception, not the rule.

It can take hundreds of resumes sent out and over a dozen interviews at multiple companies to get hired. Even if it doesn’t end up taking you that long, it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the long haul - and just be pleasantly surprised if you have a faster trip.

Realize that “persistence” means “continue applying for lots and lots of jobs”. It doesn’t mean checking your email every day, it means sending out volume communication. It’s not waiting, it’s proactive outpouring of communication.

We live in a fast-paced world and are used to near-instant gratification (food delivery apps, Ubers, streaming TV shows and movies, etc.); most of us have become a little less patient. Well, sadly, even with all the amazing job sites out there, there’s virtually no way around applying for jobs, following up and interviewing - and as stated several times in this article already, landing a tech job may not happen quickly.

As I referred to earlier, there are other elements that contribute to one’s job search, including:

  1. Ensuring you have a well-written resume that pertains to the jobs you are applying to,
  2. Professionally written cover letters,
  3. Following up on job applications with phone calls to companies you apply to,
  4. Practicing interview skills with another so you’re more confident during interviews (Google common interview questions for various tech positions),
  5. Posting your resume on all the various job sites (Indeed, Monster, Craigslist, etc.) and applying for jobs posted on those sites,
  6. Keeping your tech skills sharp through online tutorials and coding challenges.

We cover these and other job search skills on our Job Placement Course at The Tech Academy.

In closing, there’s one last tip I want to give you to speed up the process in landing a tech job, and that is: networking. Personal contact, especially in-person interaction, will always be the most effective form of communication. So, go to meetups and talk to people. In most cities there are multiple tech meetups every day! Attend those and tell people you’re looking for a tech job. Heck, bring your resume!

A story illustrating the effectiveness of this was a technology meetup hosted by Nike. At the end of the talk, a Nike recruiter stood up and asked, “If you currently work at Nike, raise your hand. Thank you. Those of you that didn’t raise your hand, please come see me. We are hiring developers.”

Get out into the world and talk to people. Tell all your friends and family you’re looking for a tech job. The more people you contact, the more likely you’ll connect with someone who will hire you!

About the author: With years of executive and managerial experience, Jack C. Stanley has overseen The Tech Academy since its inception. He owns and operates several successful companies.

His background in teaching and curriculum development contributed greatly to the creation of The Tech Academy’s boot camps. As the Co-Founder and chairman of the school’s Board of Directors, he supervises the day-to-day activities and long-term planning for the school.

The Tech Academy is a technology school that trains students in computer programming and web development. They are the proud recipient of SwitchUp.Org’s and CourseReport.Com’s Best Coding Boot Camp award and were named the “World’s Greatest Code School” by How2Media.

The Tech Academy offers a wide range of services including:

  • Coding boot camps
  • Customized training classes for companies and groups
  • Advanced developer training
  • Software development
  • Staffing
And more…

Visit learncodinganywhere.com to find out more.


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