With over 400 highly specialized tech recruiting professionals across North America, our agency experts know firsthand how people think and act during the hiring process. Our 2016 research study debunks the biggest misperceptions for tech job seekers and offers helpful advice on how to navigate today’s competitive job market. Here are the four most common myths you should know:
Myth 1: “If I don’t have all the required skills, I shouldn’t bother applying for the job.”
Advice from the experts: “Know where you stand and act accordingly. If you’re less qualified, be prepared to make your business case upfront on your resume or cover letter as to why they should still consider you. Always apply to jobs even if you are not sure since you are applying to the company (not just the job). Other jobs may exist that will be a better fit. Also, job specs can be very fluid in tech and some companies can/will adjust requirements and provide training for the right person.”
Check out which companies are hiring by applying to one of our many tech jobs online!
Myth 2: “If I’ve been a job hopper, potential employers will not consider me for the position.”
Advice from the experts: “It’s not the WHEN, it’s the WHY that counts most when explaining job hopping to a potential employer. There are many completely understandable reasons for leaving a job after a short period of time. Make sure to specify any of these acceptable reasons for leaving directly on the resume to avoid any negative stigmas.”
Read why "Don't be afraid to try different things" is tip #3 in "5 Tips For Young Professionals Who Want a Career in Tech"
Myth 3: “If the company has no job postings online, then they must not be hiring.”
Advice from the experts: “The elusiveness of the tech job market means that candidates should never rely on job boards alone. They should leverage their networks as much as possible and also work with a localized, specialized tech recruiter who uncovers these hidden jobs on a daily basis.”
Let us help you discover your dream job - Contact a Jobspring Partners in a city near you!
Myth 4: “If I’m the leading candidate for a Perm position, I should be able to negotiate my starting offer as high as I’d like.”
Advice from the experts: “As highly qualified as a tech candidate may be, there is and will always be competition. A candidate’s savvy negotiation and education on the marketplace (via salary reports) is expected from employers. But when candidates exhibit indulgence or entitlement in regards to a potential offer, their well-intentioned actions could backfire on them.”
Find out the Expectations versus Realities of Working in Tech
There are several myths out there about the tech job market, but the key is to identify these myths and not fall into the trap that many other job seekers may unknowingly fall into. To sum up, (1) if you’re less qualified, be prepared to make your business case upfront as to why a company should still consider you; (2) if you’re a job hopper, be sure to specify acceptable reasons for leaving on your resume to avoid negative stigmas; (3) never rely on job boards alone, instead, leverage your network and work with a specialized tech recruiter in your city; and (4) don’t be that candidate who exhibits indulgence or entitlement in regards to a potential offer – it could backfire on you.
Contact a local Jobspring Partners today and let us help you kick off 2017 on the right foot.
Article by Scott Purcell, Division Manager in Jobspring Silicon Valley.
Salary in Silicon Valley has always been a hot topic. Way back in the old days of 2013, I wrote what became a popular blog post about at 175k offer generated for a Big Data candidate that was turned down for an opportunity at pre-IPO twitter. Since then, things have only heated up here in Silicon Valley with companies ranging from Facebook and Google to the brand name pre-IPO companies like Box and Palantir to the next generation of startup hopefuls, all competing for the best talent.
Companies have tried varied tactics to attract talent ranging from salary, equity, sign on bonuses, fun perks, to good old fashion selling their opportunity. But what is the best way to attract talent? Recently, there was an article with wide circulation that discussed a local startup offering $250k per year and $1 Million dollars in four years to any engineer that essentially meets their expectation. This article kind of got me thinking; should companies be going out of their way to use this tactic to attract talent? I’m not suggesting there’s a right or wrong answer and I also don’t think $250k is as much as it sounds in Silicon Valley, but I thought I’d share my pros and cons of advertising what is still an explosive salary these days in Silicon Valley:
Find Your Next Career in Silicon Valley
The main pro here is, who isn’t attracted to making a million bucks or 200k + a year to do their job if that’s above the normal salary? Most would like the idea. Ultimately, the software engineers are the ones that build the product, so why not pay them what executives and some sales people are making at companies? This seems pretty logical. Being transparent about this also creates a somewhat level playing field and avoids issues that can arise when you have people making different amounts.
As a recruiter that has worked with over 500 companies during my career, I often hear companies talk about why someone should take their job for less money because of the potential equity, career opportunity, or many other factors that can’t really be guaranteed. It is refreshing that a company would reward the employee up front vs. the promise of something in the future that may or may not happen.
On the flip side, to me, it would seem there are some definite risks to attracting the right employees by putting out what is essentially an advertisement to come to a place because of salary. As I mentioned in the pros, who wouldn’t be attracted to that type of offer? Why is that a problem? Well, I would imagine that any engineer would want to apply for that potential offer. It may be difficult to determine who really is passionate about the opportunity. If that doesn’t matter to you and you just want the talent, then that doesn’t matter as much. But most startups I've dealt with care about company culture and that’s exactly the reason companies like Amazon and Google have unique and intricate hiring committees. You run the risk of hiring people that know how to interview well and are really just after the money. It may be difficult, even impossible to know who really is passionate about the opportunity and, in an industry where the best people seem to value employees who do their job out of a passion and not just as a job, this could definitely be a slippery slope.
I would sum up this topic by asking another question, is $250k that crazy of a salary these days in Silicon Valley? In a place where getting a house for a family in a good school district can cost a minimum of $1 Million - $2 Million dollars, that may be an interesting topic or question to ponder moving forward!
The Market Today
For those of us who exist in and around the technology hiring market, the sentiment we hear repeated over and over again ad nauseam is “the market is soo hot right now!” And indeed it is. If you’re a software developer using any of the modern programming languages, have at least a year of professional experience and can articulate your passions and abilities successfully, the job market is one giant open door for you.
But what about recent college grads? Is the landscape for entry level programmers really so inviting? I don’t believe so. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, and regardless of what field you’re trying to break into, finding your first job can be tough. Many young parents throughout the course of history have exclaimed upon first looking at their newborn child, “It doesn’t come with a manual.” Such is the case in the world of the workforce. College was a world of comfort. You blasted through your CS program with flying colors, know C++ or Java like the back of your hand, and got a nice letter of recommendation from a few of your professors. So what happens now? Do companies just start knocking on your door asking for a copy of your resume? Well, if you have any friends who have been working in software development for a few years, that’s probably what you’re expecting.
What It’s Really Like in The Market
We recruiters like to provide quick witted explanations of what the market is like to help frame our candidate’s expectations. One such idiom that I myself have gone back to time and time again is “There are ten open jobs for every one qualified developer on the market.” To this day I take this as truth, but there certain caveats to that statement that need to be understood to extract its full meaning. What we’re really trying to say is that new companies are popping up every day, getting funding and generating buzz. In most cases, in order to build their ambitious software platforms they need senior level skills and experience to guide the way. On the other hand, experience has shown me that most companies that hire junior programmers are well established, have large teams, and have the bandwidth to provide a little bit of hand-holding and support to fledgling engineers. So, by virtue of the fact that there are more small startups than large, well established engineering companies, we can conclude that lots of companies want senior developers, but not as many are able hire their entry level counterparts.
Want an entry-level developer position? Check the job board for openings near you.
This leaves us with a seemingly impossible conundrum. As a young software developer, should you accept as fact that you won’t be able to get your first job without at least a year of real world experience? Well, if that was the case I could imagine it being a lot harder to find developers than it currently is. To guarantee yourself options, offers and opportunities upon graduation, please read the following tips and take them to heart.
The Secrets To Success
Do it for the love of the game. For those of us who grew up loving the movie “Space Jam,” we can recall vividly the opening scene of young Michael Jordan shooting hoops at midnight, despite his father’s best efforts to put him to bed. Michael had not yet signed a million dollar contract at that point in his life; all he knew was that he wanted to fly. You want to be a programmer when you grow up? Show your future employers that you are passionate about coding, that it means more to you than just a paycheck. This may sound like a convoluted piece of advice, but its real world application is actually quite simple: code for the fun of it. Don’t believe for a second that just because you’re taking CS classes and learning all about algorithms, syntax and object oriented principles that you’ll be the development equivalent to the number one draft pick when you start looking for a job. Too many developers graduate college with a sense of entitlement yet have no personal projects to show for their time. As someone who’s placed many junior developers at their first jobs, I can say with 100% confidence that the young developer who has tried to build things on his or her own time always gets the job. It shows passion, and more so than talent, passion and commitment build skills over the long term. Companies want to invest in junior developers who will eventually become seasoned and versatile, and this is the strongest indication you can give a future employer that you embody these characteristics.
Have your priorities straight. What should you be looking to get out of your first job? Too many junior engineers, influenced by their more senior counterparts, are practically racing to break that six figure mark, but what’s the hurry? Yes, there are some not-so-great companies that will overpay under-qualified candidates, but is that the right job for someone to build a career off of? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this, but I believe that regardless of what field you’re in, there are certain priorities that everyone should hold close when trying to start a career. Your first job should be about building skills. Forget money in the short term, that will come (and quickly) if you can rapidly develop your own skill set. If I had it all to do over again and chose to begin a career in the world of development, I’d look for a company with a cool product, a team I could learn from, and a support system I could fall back on. You only get one first job, so it’s important to think long term in making these important life decisions.
Network within the industry. Does it ever hurt to know people? So much can be accomplished by building relationships within the tech community and it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. Believe it or not, it’s a small world out there and the person you spent ten minutes chatting with at an Objective-C conference six months ago very well might be the person interviewing you next week. Get on Meetup.com and find events where you can meet like-minded individuals who share your interest in technology. You might learn about emerging technical trends, make new friends, or even meet your future boss. Hiring managers frequently attend meetups hoping to find passionate, talented developers to consider for their teams.
Find tech events nearby where you can network with hiring managers and other IT professionals.
Too Long – Didn’t Read
So you’re an entry level developer who wants to break into the tech world? Prove it. Believe it or not, you’re not entitled to an amazing first job just because you finished your CS program, even if you went to a great school. Companies want to hire candidates that bring value to their organization, and hopefully this article will help a few of you out there understand how to accomplish that goal. To summarize, do it for the love of the game, know what you’re hoping to get out of your first job, build connections, and stay up to date on technical trends. The world of software development offers unlimited opportunities to those who seek them; take the bull by the horns and make it clear that you want it!