October 07 2015

Why you aren’t getting that job in tech

You aren’t a loser.

I mean… you might be, but you probably aren’t. You’re just doing it wrong.

So, you aren’t getting the jobs you want and believe you deserve. You are stuck in a cubicle, but that cubicle is too small for your big dreams! You need to work somewhere like this:

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(Offices at Lamp Post Group)

With light and smiles and yellow things hanging on the wall. A place that inspires you and encourages you to do big things! You want a job in tech.

Iwanttogotothere-30rocl

And yet, there you sit at a job you hate with no ping pong table.

First, let’s clear something up. While ping-pong and weekly yoga sessions are wonderful perks to working at many tech startups, it is not even close to being the reason to work there. Sometimes, you will find these perks are put on full display to attract talent and is simply a facade. Beneath the surface, these places may be crumbling into chaos.

Let’s focus on the task at hand: Finding and landing the job that fulfills you.

As with most things, this is easier said than done. Let’s break this down and figure out the essential soft skills that will land you a job in tech (really anywhere, actually), shall we?

1. Craft your story. Far too often, when applying for jobs people hand over a résumé, a generic cover letter and expect to get that dream job. Nope. Tech companies, particularly startups, love to interview (a lot) because they love to get to know the person behind the résumé. Experience is nice, but who are you? What are your goals? What is your passion? Where are you heading? This is good news if you don’t have an extensive tech background, but it requires some homework.

You have to put substantial time and effort into creating your narrative. You have a degree in Theatre (like me 😉 ), you work in HR, you have a store on Etsy, you collect hair (Do not mention that. Actually, just don’t do that anymore). These make up your story. But how have those experiences prepared you for this role? Get creative. Show them that you have something unique that no one else has. Because you do. No one else has the same set of experiences as you.

2. Learn everything about the company: It’s baffling how many people omit this step. Tech companies are all over the web (obviously). They have websites, blogs, and all sorts of social media. You need to tune into all of those. They are telling you exactly what they believe in and exactly what they are after. It’s up to you to connect with that. And if you can’t find a way to connect, then you probably aren’t a good culture fit anyway.

3. Be freakin’ delightful: Be interesting, please. Ask questions and actually listen. And smile. Seriously. Smile. You may not realize that you look miserable or terrified. If they say something funny, laugh. If you say something awkward because you’re nervous, laugh it off. Make fun of yourself and move on. Take a breath and remember: they want you to succeed. You are the solution to their problem. They don’t want to keep looking for someone to hire.

Oh. And most importantly demonstrate that you will work hard and you are dedicated to their cause. Interviewing someone that believes in the company’s purpose is game changing for managers. They will realize you are in it for far more than money. Show that you love what you do.

And as with anything, if you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work. And that’s the goal, isn’t it?

This post was written by Katlyn Whittenburg, the Social Media Manager at Lamp Post Group. Want more interesting updates from LPG? Follow us on Twitter and Instagram