Mastering the Job Search: Strategies for Landing Your Dream Job

While mass layoffs in the tech industry have hit the headlines this year, the demand for good IT professionals remains strong in mainstream business, as companies globally invest in modernisation and digital transformation.

But the stakes are high. The use of data analytics, AI, and machine learning has never been greater, partly fueled by the viral popularity of ChatGPT, leaving many organisations seeking tech leaders and other specialists for new roles.

With an increase in candidates vying for hot positions in a competitive field, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips that I think will raise your chances of getting hired in the IT space.

Choose Your Target Wisely

Finding a new job is akin to embarking on a unique project. If you’ve ever participated in any project throughout your career, you’ll understand the significance of approaching it with a professional mindset and setting clear goals for future success.

Taking the time to explore what truly ignites your passion within your current job and identify what you’re seeking in the next is truly beneficial. Having a chat with an industry expert (like the 50+ we have at Durlston Partners) will result in an understanding of the market, companies, products, and current hiring trends. By aligning these, you’ll discover the intersection that leads to your dream job.

Don’t hesitate to apply for positions that may not have a 100% match. Recall the examples of side projects you’ve worked on, self-taught programming languages, and other activities that showcase your skills and growth potential. It’s important to note that over 50% of successful hires are made without a complete match.

Do Your Homework

It goes without saying that conducting thorough research on your potential employer, their business, the specific role you’re applying for, and the hiring manager is crucial. Durlston Partners can offer this sort of information thanks to the partnerships and relationships we have built over a number of years of working in the industry.

Failing that, nowadays, many companies maintain a news page on their website and boast a strong social media presence to showcase their latest announcements and updates. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the company’s values and history, aiming to find genuine alignment.

Prioritise Your Technical Skills

According to a recent survey by TechCareers, 75% of hiring managers in the IT industry prioritise technical skills over any other attributes when considering job candidates. While this may seem an obvious approach, many job seekers get wrapped up in the need to demonstrate their personal competencies instead of digging deeper into their technical abilities.

It’s important to make sure your CV and online profiles emphasise your specific expertise in programming languages, software tools, and other relevant technologies, as well as any accreditations or online courses you have completed.

According to the World Economic Forum, an analysis of 228 million job ads showed that the fastest emerging skills set are AI, machine learning, cloud computing, product management, and social media.

Showcase Your Results

There’s no escaping the fact that results matter. It can be easy to forget the part you played in a successful rollout, an infrastructure network upgrade, or a test plan. Be sure to highlight specific projects you have worked on, and the results achieved. Did you improve system performance, reduce downtime, or increase user satisfaction? Use concrete examples to convey your impact.

Network, Network, Network

According to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. In fact, CNBC reports that 70% of jobs are never published publicly, with one in eight of all vacancies filled through personal and professional connections.

So, don’t hesitate when connecting with industry leaders on social media – get out there! Attend meetups, join professional organisations, and take part in webinars or round tables. Building relationships with others in the field can not only lead to job opportunities but bring valuable insights and opportunities.

Don’t hesitate to seek assistance too. If you feel like you need it, ask – we are more than happy to conduct a mock interview with you, helping you prepare for the real deal.

Stay Up to Date with the Latest Trends

Attend conferences, read industry publications, and participate in online forums to stay abreast of emerging technologies and best practices. Although sometimes not relevant to the role you’re seeking, being knowledgeable about the field you work in will definitely underscore your passion and give you kudos from the hiring manager. Also, there are lots of platforms that are useful and can help — showcase your work. Here are a few:

  • GitHub — Great for version control and collaboration on software development projects. You can store and manage your code, track changes, and collaborate with other developers.
  • Stack Overflow — A question-and-answer platform for programmers.
  • Behance — Allows you to display your work as a creative professional, including designers, photographers, and developers. You can create a portfolio of your work and share it with potential employers or clients.
  • Dribbble — A similar platform to showcase your work as a designer, including UI/UX design, web design, and graphic design.
  • CodePen — A social development environment for front-end web developers. You can build and share your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code snippets, and view and comment on other users’ code.
  • HackerRank — A platform to improve your coding skills by solving coding challenges and competitions. Employers may use the platform to assess your technical skills.
  • Kaggle — Ideal for data scientists and machine learning engineers.
  • GitLab — Use this web-based Git repository manager to collaborate on software development projects. It includes features like version control, issue tracking, and continuous integration and deployment.

Most Importantly

Ultimately, employers seek to hire people — real individuals who are authentic and genuine. There’s no need to pretend to be someone you’re not or embellish your skills and experience. Instead, be honest and transparent, and let your passion for technology shine through. It’s also important to be open about areas where you may need to improve a skill or where you lack as much experience as you’d like.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end with the hiring process. It can be exhausting to constantly pretend instead of engaging in meaningful work that genuinely interests you.

Written by Karolis Kundrotas

📅 This Week in Crypto 📅

Solana, a layer-1 blockchain that launched in 2020, is one of the biggest chains that developers are building on. Excluding stablecoins, Solana is the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation at around $7.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data. “Solana has the potential to be the Apple of crypto,” co-founder Raj Gokal told TechCrunch+, operating by the beat of their own drum and not worrying about whether a big label is with them.

The academic world is seeing a surge in blockchain and Web3 studies, and universities worldwide are embracing this evolution. Major academic institutions are becoming active contributors to the growth of this groundbreaking technology, fostering advanced research and promoting education in the blockchain sector.

Worldcoin brought in the vast majority of the capital this week, but there were other standouts. Approximately 12 crypto startups raised over $151 million this week, with Web3 gaming taking centre stage.