Coming out of college and entering the corporate world can be a little daunting. However, with the appropriate preparation, you can easily launch yourself into you first big career move! Especially within the tech industry, business is at an all-time high given we have spent the last 18 months at home, completing almost all tasks virtually. Tech companies are looking at recent graduates with higher standards in mind, given the competitiveness of the job market currently. With this article we will advise you on how to get your foot in the door and commence your career in the tech world!
Update your CV and Cover Letter
Before you even commence the job application process, you need to make sure your CV and Cover Letter are up to date and descriptively accurate. Did you get your final grades from college? Have you completed any certifications recently? What achievements have you currently received from your academic or working life? Who are your current referees, and is their contact information correct? These are the areas you need to keep fresh if you have not had a look at your CV in a while. Your Cover Letter should also go hand-in-hand with your CV when putting your best foot forward. A brief description of you and why you want to work for the company is good, and you should therefore reform this when applying to different tech companies.
LinkedIn is a very powerful social media channel, when used to its best ability. If you have not already, we recommended you create an account on the platform. You can reach out to people who work in the company you are applying for, ask employees on their graduate programmes what the process was like, or simply scope out the company’s posts. LinkedIn is also very beneficial for building a network of connections, which you can reach out to for advice, guidance and to keep in touch. Find individuals with similar educational backgrounds and interests, who knows you might even create friendships through networking.
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Become IT Savvy
From reading through the job description this will give you an indication of the software you will be using in the job. Coming out of education you may not have had the opportunity to familiarise yourself with these specific programs, but there is no need to panic. Normally with your third level institution you will get access to Microsoft Office 365 products, so it is a good idea to explore the services provided and their features, like Word, Excel, Outlook, and SharePoint. You can also take up extracurricular certifications as a lot of software providers supply free online courses on their products, such as Google Analytics and HubSpot. There is also plenty of tutorials online on video platforms such as YouTube, that explain different processes on various software systems. Another handy tip to take advantage of is add-on extensions, for example BuiltWith and SimilarTech. These tools scan websites and put together a report of the software a company uses on their website. With this feature, you can further research how to utilize these operating systems.
You need to perform accurate and relevant research when finding that initial corporate tech job that best suits you. General information on the company’s history, mission and values is fine. However if you really want to knock it out of the park, providing specified details will make you stand out. For example, if the company is a up and coming Small or Medium Enterprise (SME), you could mention their involvement and achievement in Enterprise Ireland’s Start Up Showcase event and report, if present.
You will also want to provide distinct information on the area within the tech industry this company operates. For instance, if the company works in the cryptocurrency market, it will be expected of you to know the basic fundamentals of this topic. To showcase you have gone the extra mile in securing this role, you perhaps could gather information from detailed reports, such as PwC’s Annual Global Crypto Hedge Fund Report.
Transforming your Skills
Just because you have not had that professional experience in the tech sector yet, does not mean you cannot utilize the skills and knowledge from your part time jobs and academic life. Communication, time-management, teamwork, research, and prioritization are just a handful of the qualities all employers will look for from a candidate from the offset. The situation I always mention in interviews is receiving an excellence award from selling the highest amount of a product during my part time retail job. From this, the interviewer can clearly see I can undertake a task diligently, keep on track of targets, and provide excellent customer service. From a task you might not have given much thought to, it could paint you in a very positive light to the interviewer.
Let your Personality Shine Through
One of the most important aspects of the job application process is displaying your uniqueness. You’re coming into a highly competitive market, with many from the class 2021 and 2020. So it is important that you allow yourself the best opportunity to stand out. Whether you enjoy football, investigating supernatural cases or performing arts, it is important to allow the interviewer to see the personal side of you. One funny anecdote I have, during an interview for my first corporate job, I sheepishly blurted out to the department manager that I attended a Post Malone concert the night before. When discussing this with my manager a few months after, they mentioned that this statement made me one of their favourite candidates! I also take pride in knowing my manager started listening to Post Malone’s music because of me. But this story is just to explain that having that friendly small talk and mentioning your interests, can really help boost your impression and application.
With these suggestions in mind, you will hopefully land your first corporate job in the tech world. Keep your CV and Cover Letter relevant, take advantage of LinkedIn, become knowledgeable of commonly used software, stay specific in your research, modify previously skills gained, and be unapologetically you. In these trying times it can be challenging to get yourself out there but remember that the tech industry is booming at the minute. So present the best version of yourself to that dream tech company, and hopefully you will secure that perfect position!
Written by Emma Sheridan
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