With the lowest average employee tenure among leading industries at about three years, building your own brand in the tech industry has never been more important than it is today. “You should devote about 5% of your time to high-leverage marketing activities,” says Anthony Fasano, Executive Director of The Engineering Career Coach. In an ever-evolving tech climate, it’s important to stay in-the-know and position yourself as a desirable a candidate as possible so that when the next big opportunity comes your way, you’re ready to take advantage of it.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or fresh out of a coding camp, here are some tips, tools, and resources to help amplify your personal brand:
Targeted Networking – Rubbing shoulders with established tech managers and recruiters is one of the most effective ways to stand out in the job market hay stack. When you meet someone, you’re being indirectly introduced to their network as well. Before most jobs are posted online, they’re filled either internally or through a professional reference. One study conducted by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) claims referrals are five times more likely to be hired than job post respondents. Another study found that as much as 70% of open tech jobs will not be posted given the uniqueness of the tech job market. Not only attending, but also speaking at technology meetups is an efficient way to jump start your targeted networking effort. It helps position you as a thought leader in the local community and presents warm entry points with influencers in attendance.
Check out our events calendar for free local tech networking and speaking opportunies!
Sloane Barbour, Regional Director of Jobspring Partners New York, has additional insight on what qualifies candidates as thought leaders:
“To be considered a thought leader, candidates would need to have significant contributions to a popular open source framework, have written and published a notable book for developers, or have spoken at a prominent conference.” - Sloane Barbour, Regional Director of Jobspring Partners New York
Aggregate Your Online Portfolio – Publish projects on platforms like GitHub, HackerRank, Kaggle, and BitBucket. These projects will provide hiring managers with valuable insight in regards to your thought process as an engineer. Is the project clearly described? Does the project leverage open source libraries and frameworks? Is the code well-organized? How many completed projects are in the portfolio? How often are new projects uploaded?
Build a Personal Website – This serves as your brand’s home base and a soapbox to showcase your skillset. According to Workfolio, 56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool. About.me is another valuable online tool to present who you are and what you do in a comprehensive and appealing fashion.
Looking for your next career move? Check out our job board for local opportunities!
Lead Online Discussions – Contributing to forum discussions, webinar chats, and online communities can also help develop your extended network and provide access to decision makers and thought leaders that you’d have never met otherwise. Popular platforms include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Quora and Reddit, some of which you can also publish your own original content on. Writing articles as a contributor to platforms such as Business Insider, The Muse, Medium, Forbes, or technical publications can also spark the conversation and grow your impact as a subject matter expert.
Tailor Your Resume – Your resume should be adjusted for each job you apply to. Emphasize the most relevant skills required for the job in your summary, skills section and in your work experience. The ideal resume length is one to two pages, so avoid cluttering it with irrelevant experience. It should be easy to navigate and reflect your ability to provide a solution for a current business need, as well as showcase any subject matter expert contributions you've made as a thought leader.
Collect Professional Reviews –Professional reviews from past co-workers, managers and clients can help separate you from the rest of the pack by building trust and credibility. Position them prominently on your website and link back to them on your job search collateral. Only reviews from friends and family are trusted more than online reviews, according to research done by Vendesta.
While all of the above methods are effective, utilizing even one or two should prove beneficial. It’ll take time, effort and patience, but the end result will be a steady flow of relevant information for your next job search and an ever-expanding network of influencers and decision makers alike.
You’ve completed your college degree or spent endless weeks learning to code in a hardcore boot camp – congratulations! But now what? While everyone’s career path will be unique, and there’s no step-by-step guide to getting you to a C-Level position within x-amount of years, there are definitely some key career moves you can make to set yourself up for the success you’re looking for. If you aren’t a recent or about-to-be graduate – well, it’s never too late to do these for you career.
Below are 5 things you need to do for your career as an IT graduate on the job hunt:
Build Your Brand
As basic as career advice gets, yet too many personal brands are just that: basic. Don’t be. Update your LinkedIn profile to include an individual summary, a work or project list, and any appropriate skills. Nowadays, this is one of the major ways recruiters and hiring managers connect with you about a job you may be the right fit for.
Also, get on GitHub. For many hiring managers this is a 'nice-to-have' for more experienced talent, but for junior engineers it is crucial. Other than school projects, it may be the only thing a manager has to look at that represents your skills.
Connect with a Dedicated Recruiter
It’s almost always free to work with a recruiter. Find a dedicated technical recruiter who specializes in positions you are interested in and who understands your skill set. Even if they can’t offer you a position right off the bat, inquire about interview advice, resume tips, or keeping in touch for any opportunities that may arise.
Contact a local Jobspring Partners to connect with a recruiter about current job openings.
Network and Get Noticed
If you haven’t tried out the networking tactic for your job search, step out of your comfort zone and add it to your to-do list. Meetups and networking events specifically for tech professionals, such as Tech in Motion, are a great way to get your name out in front of an influential group of people.
When you are vocal about your employment status, you may find your next mentor, or even your next job, at an event or job fair, so make sure to put your best foot forward.
Find the next free Tech in Motion event near you and start networking.
You will hear it over and over again, but keeping up with the newest technology is crucial in any market. Every company wants someone who has experience with the trendy new technology that very few other engineers have, so being ahead of the curve will set you apart. While you’re a new grad with some time on your hands, this is a great opportunity to make sure you’re working with the technology that will get you the career you’re looking for.
Just because you have been on the market for a few weeks, doesn’t mean you should lose motivation. Great things take time! Every company has different needs. You just need to find one that fits your criteria and vice versa, and sometimes that takes time. Don’t settle for a job where you’ll quit a few months in. Consider a contract job where you can gain experience on a project basis while you wait for the right opportunity.
Bottom line: building your reputation in a way that consistently advances your career will take time. These tips will point you in the right direction, and hopefully, help you find a job that you truly will be passionate about. By staying up-to-date with technology, networking, and building your own brand, your job search will be more effective.
You might also be interested in this career advice:
If you couldn't live a day without relying on Wi-Fi or your GPS, you're not alone. Some of technology's coolest and sometimes taken-for-granted inventions have women to thank for its creation. Celebrate Women's History Month by taking a look back at some of the revolutionary women technologists who weren't afraid to break boundaries in the tech scene and help pave the way for our future generations.
Are you a woman in or looking to get into the tech industry? Check out these technology jobs from our job board.
1. Hedy Lamarr: Hedy created a secret communications system during WWII which eventually laid the foundation for Wi-Fi to GPS. She also just so happens to be a world famous actress.
2. Dr. Grace Murray Hopper: Dr. Grace Hopper created the system that translates English commands into computer codes. She is also known as the “Mother of Computers”.
3. Chieko Asakawa: Being blind since the age of 14, Chieko developed a voice-recognition web browser, which opened up the doors to the Internet for the blind.
4. Radia Perman: Much of modern day Internet would be different if it weren't for Radia Perman. Begrudgingly answering to the title "Mother of the Internet," Perman invented the "Spanning Tree Protocol" that lead to the creation of large networks.
5. Susan Kare: If you've followed Apple's journey from Steve Jobs' garage to one of the most prominent companies in the world, you've come across the designs of Susan Kare. One of Apple's original user interface designers responsible for many of its early desktop icons, she will always have a page in Apple's history books.
The next time you go to pull up your email on-the-go, be sure to extend your gratitude to the women technologists who broke the mold of this male-dominated industry.
This story was originally published on techinmotionevents.com.
Written by Sara Mauskopf, Director of Product at Postmates. This article was originally published on TechinMotionevents.com.
Now that I’ve been at Postmates for almost 8 months, a lot of people have asked me the difference between Product Management at a larger company like Twitter where I worked from July 2010 to July 2014, or Google where I worked from 2007 to 2010, and at a startup like Postmates. I too was curious before I decided to join a startup.
So first, let me define Product Management at a larger tech company. As a Product Manager, you are responsible for defining a roadmap for your area and ensuring that roadmap meets the goals or objectives you set forth for your team, which should align with the goals of the company. You’re responsible for ensuring the items on the roadmap are prioritized, and that there are clear product specifications for those items. Finally, you work closely with the team to build, launch, collect data/feedback, and iterate to a standard of exceptional quality. Through all phases, including planning, you are working closely with engineering, design, and other key stakeholders across the company. And because everyone looks to you as a leader for your product area, it is important you are inspiring those around you to do their greatest work by setting the right context, establishing a sense of urgency, and working collaboratively.
Looking for a product or project manager role? Check out the job board to see if any positions are a good match.
As it turns out, all those fundamentals remain the same at a startup. In fact, the fundamentals are so important that having experience at a larger company as a Product Manager is one of the best forms of training for startup Product Management. But on top of all that, at a startup you have responsibilities and challenges that do not exist at a larger company. If you are thinking of making the transition from big company PM to startup PM, here are some things you’ll want to know.
1. You’ll often have to do things you have never done before and probably suck at.
Working at a startup, you quickly discover where your personal weaknesses are because on a daily basis you need to do something you have never done before and probably are not good at yet. Executing out of your area of familiarity manifests through needing to do something that larger companies have a person or team dedicated to doing. For example, at a startup you will most certainly not have a user research team that helps you assess how your feature will be received in the market. If you want user research or early feedback on a prototype, you will have to find and interview users yourself. Although it can be daunting to roll up your sleeves and try something you have never done before, it’s also the fastest way to learn how to do it. If you are lucky, you may discover a talent you didn’t know you had!
2. You’ll need gymnast levels of flexibility.
Imagine any company has 5 “fire drills” a quarter. In other words, 5 times per quarter, the average company has to quickly react to something in the market, change a plan due to unexpected data or user feedback, or get in a war room and really focus on a hard problem that has not been given enough attention. At a larger company, those 5 instances are spread out between a lot of people and teams, so you personally probably only experience a "fire drill" at most once per quarter. At a startup, any fire drill usually involves most of the product, design, and engineering team because the team is so small. It’s important at a startup that you can quickly tackle these fire drills, avoid getting thrown off course, and reprioritize your roadmap when needed. Most importantly, you need to mentally be able to deal with plans changing more frequently. It’s ok!
3. You’ll do less talking the talk, more walking the walk.
At a startup, there is nowhere to hide. People who can step up to the plate and tackle the challenges will shine and get even more responsibility. Underperformers who can’t cut it will quickly make their way out. In addition to not needing to worry much about whether your individual performance will be recognized, if you ask any good PM at a larger company they will tell you they spend some percentage of their time carving out territory for their team, evangelizing the great results of their team, and other activities generally thought of as “managing up”. It’s not because large companies are full of evil political people, it’s just because when you have a lot of people working in one place it’s easy to get lost in the noise if you aren’t making it clear what your team works on and the results they have achieved.
You don’t have to worry about that much at a startup. Now, I spend my time working and moving the company forward rather than evangelizing my team internally. With fewer people to communicate with, you can spend more time doing the work, which is great because there is a lot of work to do.
Jobspring is a proud sponsor of Tech in Motion events. Connect with companies like Postmates at Tech in Motion - find an event near you here.
About the Author
Sara Mauskopf joined on-demand delivery company Postmates in July to build and run its Product Management team. Postmates is transforming the way local goods move around a city by connecting customers with local couriers who purchase and deliver goods from any restaurant or store in a city in minutes. Prior to Postmates, Sara was a Group Product Manager at Twitter, having joined the company in 2010. She started her career at YouTube and Google as a Partner Technology Manager (a role that's a mix of partnerships and engineering). Sara graduated with a bachelors degree in Computer Science from MIT.
Article by Daniel Urbaniak, Practice Manager in Jobspring Silicon Valley.
Recently, Tech in Motion: Silicon Valley hosted the largest event in its history, featuring four members of this years’ Forbes 30 under 30 at the Microsoft building in Mountain View. With over 300 attendees, the house was packed to see Robert Scoble, American blogger, technology evangelist, and published author and Perri Gorman, CEO of Archive.ly moderate four young success stories of Silicon Valley: Morgan Knutson, Chief Product Designer at Dropbox, Lisa Falzone, CEO and co-founder of Revel Systems, Steven Eidelman, Co-founder of Whistle, and AJ Forsythe, Co-founder and CEO of iCracked.
The night opened with a few crowd-sourced questions to warm up the panel and engage the audience. Topics ranged from, “how did you go about raising money when you first started” to “what was it like making your first real hire”. Many of the answers left the crowd inspired while providing them with a humbling look into the successes and failures of a group no older than 29. Throughout the presentation, there were three moments during the meetup that really stuck with me.
The first was a conversation that started backstage – Generation Y, and what it's like running a company in the age of entitlement. Being in that generation and having complained about my generation (I’m sure someone has complained about me at some point, as well) I was very curious about what the group would have to say. There was definitely agreement across the board, entitlement is something that they deal with while running their respective companies. However, the conversation turned from a generalization of Generation Y to finding people who are inspired. The group talked about what it was like starting their companies and how there were many times when they could have walked away. The desire to take nothing and make it into something was what kept them motivated. AJ even made the joke that every night he goes to bed pulling out his hair but every morning he wakes up and can’t wait to get to work. He’s 26, by the way, and has over 300 full time employees and twice that working as contractors.
“Fake it till you make it” was a phrase that was enjoyed by the crowd, you could tell because it was tweeted on our rolling twitter feed 10+ times. The message boiled down to the idea that when you're new at something and you've never experienced certain situations in the business world, it's important to keep working until the unfamiliar becomes familiar. The panel all shared their personal anecdotes on times in their careers where they needed to project an air of confidence while going through specific experiences for the first time. Lisa even shared that she started selling her product before it was even fully created.
The final piece was actually the last question that was asked by a member of the audience. It was so spot-on, that if I wasn't involved with the organizing of the event, I would have thought it was planted. Erik Finman, who cashed in $100,000 in Bitcoins to launch his own education startup called Botangled, stood up and asked what kind of advice you would give a fifteen year old programmer and entrepreneur who just moved from Idaho to try and get his first company off the ground. Fifteen!!! The group shared some words of wisdom, but the two common themes were to have as much fun as possible with the company, and to learn as much as possible. There was even a joke or two thrown in there that he needed to sit on the stage with the rest of the group.
After the presentation, many of the audience members stuck around to network. The overwhelming theme when discussing the panel was inspiration. Whether you want to start your own company, take the first or next step in your career, or learn to better manage your team, there was something for everyone to take home and implement in their everyday lives.
Last night, Tech in Motion: OC hosted The Future of eCommerce at Amazon's Orange County R & D headquarters in Irvine, CA! The presentation was given by Tom Nora, CEO of neoRey as well as the Director of Startup Workshops. His presentation focused on the Next Generation of eCommerce Technologies and which companies are utilizing these technologies to the fullest.
The event started off with a lot of networking along with catering from Zpizza. We had over 160 technology enthusiasts and professionals in attendance.
Tom began his presentation by focusing on where the eCommerce technology trends will be heading in the future. In his opinion, the technology is going to move towards intuitive UX, big images, back end JS and drupal with no coding. His examples of great eCommerce sites who utilize all of these new technologies are Amazon, Gilt and Nasty Gal.
The presentation was quite the hit and everyone enjoyed themselves. We can't wait until our next Tech in Motion: OC event!
The all elusive cloud is quite the hot topic in today's tech world, with thousands of questions surrounding it. So for April's Tech in Motion event we decided to take a stab at answering some of those questions with a Clash of the Clouds debate!
We had four amazing cloud experts participate as our debaters:
- On the Open Source side we had Erik Sebesta, Chief Architect and Technology Officer of Cloud Technology Partners, and Ed Brennan, Senior Director of Cloud Computer, Development and Strategy of Stratus Technologies
- On the Azure side was Mark Eisenberg, Cloud visionary and former member of the Windows Azure sales team, and Bill Wilder, Founder of the Boston Azure User Group and author of Cloud Architect Patterns (O'Reilly Media 2012).
To say the debate got heated would be quite the understatement. There were valid arguments from both sides, however the only clear cut winners were the audience.
For more information about the event check out the live tweets by searching #TechinMotion or visit our meetup.com to see the comments! A special thanks to our debaters for their active participation in this event.
Have ideas for another debate? Comment below and let us know what you'd like to see discussed at Tech in Motion's next event!
Last Wednesday, Jobspring Los Angeles hosted its Tech in Motion meetup at Blankspaces LA! The discussion topic, presented by Tom Nora, was "The Next Generation of E-Commerce Technologies." Tom is the founder and CEO of neoREY, as well as Director of Startups Workshops.
During the event, he discussed the burst of e-commerce companies in LA and Silicon Beach. Our turnout was great, especially of people with their own startups! Tom gave our attendees helpful ideas and advice with which they can move forward.
We were able to chat with Tom and have him answer some questions!
JS: How did you get started speaking at Meetups?
TN: I started speaking a few years ago at Silicon Valley, Boulder and Austin meetups groups about my experiences with startups I've launched and built over the years. I did it to help new entrepreneurs learn what to do and more importantly what not to do when launching a company.
At the time I thought it would just be a short term thing but it's been continuous for 5 years now and growing into an actual business.
JS: Which E-Commerce company do you find most impressive at the moment?
TN: There are so many great new companies right now. I like simple yet extremely innovative business models and simple beautiful interfaces, so I guess I'd say GILT.com. Even the name is simple. Gilt makes you want to buy and explore and has beautiful photography. Also, amazon, even though an older design, is still #1 in e-commerce and extremely easy to use.
JS: You've talked about what you think the next big thing in technology is – on the flipside of that, what do you see (or hope to see) fading?
TN: Good Question. It seems like the old school, busy e-commerce sites with flashy banner ads are going away. Sites that try to sell unrelated things to shoppers, run slowly or keep asking you to buy one more thing before you can go to the next step - taking the control away from you. For example Go Daddy.
JS: We know you have neoREY, but do you have any side projects you’re working on?
TN: I've been working on a machine learning based site for the long term unemployed to leverage each other to find work and compare notes, plus I'm usually advising 1 or 2 startups at a low level.
JS: What advice do have for someone looking to advance their career in the technology field?
TN: Continuously Learn - pick an area you know and like and learn as much about it as possible. Everything is a website these days, so understanding at least the terms of web technologies would be a good start.
2. Start a Project - There are many zero-coding ways to be on the web npw. You could start with a wordpress blog on a topic you care about, build a mobile app.
3. Learn the Jobs Above You - This worked well for me when was building my career. Don't crowd your superiors but learn from them, hang out with them, ask them to teach you things. All good leaders are always training their replacement.
If you would like to join us at our next Tech in Motion event, please visit our site for more information! - Tech in Motion LA