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March 09, 2017

Tech Talk: 3 Expert Tips for Grads

So you’re ready to graduate and are looking to land an amazing tech job. Congrats! Have you done your research? Do you know what specific job, workplace environment, and industry you’re looking for? If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then we need to talk. While tech is an exciting (and growing) industry to be part of, it doesn’t mean potential employers will be falling over themselves to offer you a job. What it does mean is that to get what you want, you need to put in the time and effort.

Where do you start? Forbes.com reached out to hiring managers at tech firms about what shiny new tech grads should do on their path to finding a perfect fit in the industry. Here are three expert takeaways:

Reach out to the recruiters

A fantastic way to stand out from the hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of candidates going after the same job you want is to reach out to the recruiters within the company. According to Luan Lam, vice president of global talent for application monitoring and management company, AppDynamics, LinkedIn is a great resource for that strategy. “It shows that the person actually took initiative and thought outside of the box and contacted us directly to pursue a job with us,” says Lam. You can also check out the employee pages on a tech company’s website to find out who does what. Just keep in mind that you should always apply for a position before reaching out to anyone in the company. And remember, it’s never too early to start networking.

Show off your hybrid skills

Don’t be put off by the word ‘hybrid.’ We’re not suggesting you mutate like one of the X-Men. What you do need to succeed in your job search is versatility. Employers are looking for candidates with hard skills (i.e., technical) and soft skills (i.e., people skills). New labor market analysis commissioned by Bentley University found job descriptions are expanding to include skills that used to represent standalone jobs. For example, an IT professional must also be a sales representative. Or marketing jobs candidates might be required to know SQL or SAP. Above all, know what skills you have to offer and make sure hiring managers are aware you have them, too.
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Honesty is still the best policy

It should go without saying that lying about anything on your resume is a huge no-no. Somehow, you will get caught and the fallout could damage your reputation before you have a chance to build one within the industry. Jamie Hooker, director of talent at events ticketing platform Seatgeek cautions, “You are going to be asked really specifically about certain projects and certain things you put on your resume.” Hooker goes on to say candidates should be honest, but be careful not to oversell what he or she can deliver. If you’re looking to impress, let your cover letter do the talking, so you can continue the conversation on why you’re a great fit in the interview.

Share in the comments the best tech career advice you’ve received.
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Photo Courtesy of: Mai Lei

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