by Mansi Gandhi

The explosive job growth of the information technology industry began just about two decades ago, and it has barely slowed down since.

So you’re about to launch a job search – but you’re not sure where to begin?

Should you blast out dozens of applications online? Or network your way to career glory?

Should you enlist the help of a headhunter? Or cut out the middleman and go straight to recruiters via LinkedIn?

While these questions have often seemed unanswerable, we at The Job Forum and our team of experienced tech managers inside Bay Area companies are here to help you and guide you.

 At the recent event organized by The Job Forum – SF Bay Area Tech Career Workshop, we got some amazing and wonderful tips from the panelists who work within these small, medium and big-size companies. A summary of the discussions that took place at these events:

  •  Are the Companies still hiring? 

Even during these adversities of the pandemic, companies like Google, Facebook, Indeed, Kiddom, and Unity Technologies have been hiring and plenty of jobs are available to work remotely.

  •  Where do my job applications go?

Job hunters always wonder what happens after they have applied for a particular job? Well, our expert panelists gave some insight and tips:

– Always try to tailor/customize your resume as per the job description of the job you are applying for, but always provide true facts and never mention anything you have not done. 

– Use the keywords used in the job description to make your resume ATS (applicant tracking system) friendly.

– Referrals and recommendations also need skills and experience to qualify for the job you are applying for.

– Hiring managers always make a note of standout candidates as a reminder in the future to contact them if any appropriate roles or positions open up. 

  • How does a candidate at Tech company standout?

To show a recruiter you are a good fit for the exact role you are applying for, put the most relevant information on the top. We will not say what is specifically relevant because this can vary from role to role, but few things worth mentioning are:

– your eagerness to learn new things, how consistent you were in making choices and decisions in the past, your technical skill sets, your people management skills.

– Impact or value you brought through your work in your last role, how you collaborated with the team you were part of, can you work as part of a team?

– be prepared to talk about your past work experience, how you would have done a particular task differently from your experience and try to grow consistently, give specific role details and work you did in past.

– Hands-on demonstration of your skills e.g.: coding etc. 

  • Different Jobs in Tech Companies?

Regarding the specific job titles in technology companies, our Job Forum advisors suggest that you carefully study each job title ahead of applying to understand what is expected for that role in a technology company. This is because the role may be different than the general use of the term ( e.g. product managers are expected to be more technical in a technical company than in other industries).

Also within tech companies there certainly are roles for non-technical or less technical people, so do not overlook these companies just because you do not code.”

Few examples of job titles in tech companies are:

– Software Engineer & Programmer 

– Enterprise Application Manager

– Product Managers

– Project Managers

– Marketing

– People Management

– Finance Roles 

  • Tips to build a successful career

– The first piece of advice was about being yourself, being authentic. You don’t have to act/look/behave a certain way to be an engineer or work in tech. Just be you, and bring your diverse and authentic self to the industry.

– A lot of people feel fear when wanting to ask a question, and this harms you in the long run. There is nothing to be scared of, and no reasonable person should give you negative feelings for just asking a question. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be where you are, and doesn’t mean you’re incapable.

– It isn’t possible to know everything. There will always be someone who knows more than you do. There will always be an expert who’s done more than you have. Never stop learning. Never stop trying new things.

– Build your network. Networking really comes down to meeting people and having meaningful interactions with them. To name a few places, where you can network, are Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, Meetup, Facebook, Bookclubs, etc.

– Informational Interviews are also a great way to do some research. You can talk to people who work in the field or industry you are interested in and get to know more about what kind of work they do and what they like and dislike about it.

– Don’t rush and try to do everything at the same time, either you change the industry you are working in currently or may transition from one career to a different career.

– There is a saying “First open the door and then decide whether you want to walk through that door or not”, first verify the different options you have and then make a decision.  

  • Zoom Breakout Sessions

The highlight of this event was the zoom breakout session, where the attendees and the panelists were divided into small groups wherein each group has 2 panelists and 4-5 attendees. The attendees can address their concerns to the panelists on one to one basis and get tailored feedback and solution to their concerns and problems. 

If you want to have a career in information technology, your choices are many: you could pursue an IT occupation in the IT industry, an IT occupation in another industry, or a non-tech occupation in the IT industry. There are wide varieties of roles available for you based on your aptitudes, interests, and other personal traits.

 Visit The Job Forum for more advice and skill-building workshops on Wednesday or Thursday evenings. The Wednesday evening Job Forum panel addresses your unique job hunting questions and provides personalized advice to job hunters. We hope to see you there! Sign up for The Job Forum virtual events at 6 pm on Eventbrite.

The Job Forum is a nonprofit run by volunteers who offer job hunters insights and advice from experts in various industries. Our volunteer experts are insiders in Bay Area companies and they advise job seekers with practical ideas for how to be more successful in finding a job or career within these industries.

Please support The Job Forum with your donations so we can continue to help the many job hunters who need guidance, insider tips, and ideas, contacts and encouragement.