I have experienced nearly every emotion since starting my software engineer job search a few months ago. This past week, I was feeling ‘stuck’ and reached out to my career coach for help. We brainstormed activities and strategies to generate more interviews and outlined a July game plan. Since our meeting, I have been chipping away at each action step and am feeling reenergized and refocused.
1. Make a tiered list of 30 companies that interest you
Spend time researching companies in your desired locations (or remote) and generate a list of potential employers. Start with your dream companies at the top and work your way down, ranking companies from highest to lowest. After making your list, reflect on where you have been spending your time searching for jobs. I realized I was devoting 95% of my time to lengthy apprenticeship applications for my dream companies. While it would be incredible to be accepted into a top program/company, these roles are extremely competitive. Aim to spend 10–15% of your time on top companies and the rest on mid-lower.
2. Contact companies from your list, even if they don’t have open positions
While a company might not have any current openings, something might pop up in the future. Find and reach out to a company contact and ask to chat. Talking with employees allows you to learn more about the company and what they are looking for. In addition, it is a great opportunity for you to get to know them and vice-versa. These connections can help land interviews in the future.
3. Search for openings on multiple job boards
Prior to our meeting, LinkedIn and Indeed were the main places I was finding jobs. My career coach and I discussed diversifying my resources and trying out tech job boards and startups. After researching openings, look for mutual connections using LinkedIn filter options.
I have realized that a successful job search looks different for everyone. As with anything, it is a continual process of learning and adapting based on outcome. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, reevaluate, and pivot to new strategies. I am optimistic and excited to continue my job search.