What's the job search really like for entry-level tech jobs?
The job search for tech roles can lead to a jumble of feelings. You might feel eager for a change, under pressure to perform, and stressed out, particularly during a pandemic. You could be feeling uncertain, too, wondering what the job search is like for entry-level tech jobs.
First of all, now is a great time to consider switching careers and jumpstarting a tech career. In the last two years, the tech sector has seen steady growth and some of the lowest unemployment rates of any industry.
Pandemic-related changes in the tech field have created exciting opportunities for flexible work and career advancement. Demand for technical skills are on the rise, thanks to rapid innovation, product development, and a high demand for flexible, remote work. High demand for job applicants with the skills to fill technical roles creates opportunity for people ready to make their mark in the industry.
If you’re new to the field, though, you might not know where to start or what to expect. The job search can be overwhelming.
Now that you’ve found this post, you can stop sweating it. We’ll walk you through what you might experience while hunting for and applying for jobs in tech.
This post answers the question, So what is the job search really like for entry-level tech jobs right now?
Let’s take a closer look at applying for jobs in the tech field today. Read on for tips so you can maximize your skills and prepare for the job search.
What to expect in the entry-level tech job market
If you are considering a career in tech, now is a great time to break into the industry. Companies today are looking for creative, driven, and adaptable talent from diverse backgrounds with the skills to fill hiring gaps.
Curious about what the job climate is really like for entry level tech work? To start, the job market may be ripe with opportunity, but landing a job at your dream company will be competitive and require time, preparation, and proactivity.
Thankfully, if you come into the application process with a polished resume, LinkedIn profile, and evidence of your skills (more on that below!), you’re ahead of many other applicants. If you’re prepared to interview and complete problem-solving challenges, you will have an even greater leg up on your competition.
Let’s explore common steps to applying for entry-level tech jobs.
What to expect when applying for tech jobs
The application process at any company can be long and can include multiple steps. Being prepared can make the process easier on you. Knowing what to expect also enables you to apply faster and to a greater number of postings, improving your odds to land an interview.
Here are six steps to get you ready to apply to tech jobs:
- Review job postings. Even if you are not yet prepared to apply, begin reviewing job postings in the specific tech sector or role you wish to work in. This will give you a sense of the job requirements, salary range, and the frequency of posting entry-level positions. Identify areas where you might need more experience and begin to build those skills.
- Follow companies and individuals. Following companies you’d like to work for, individuals within those companies, and even leaders in the industry can give you an advantage in the job search. Insights from their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts can give you a sense of tech sector trends, hiring needs, and future opportunities. Early networking like simple outreach to tech workers at the company you are interested in may open doors or alert you to job opportunities before they are externally posted.
- Fine-tune your resume and LinkedIn profile. Ask tech professionals to review your LinkedIn profile and resume for content and grammatical errors. Ensure your strongest and most applicable skills are highlighted, and that you are able to discuss them with clarity and confidence as you practice for interviews.
- Prepare your GitHub. Your GitHub portfolio is a reflection of your vision and abilities, so make sure it showcases your talent (and your attention to detail). Review your portfolio through the lens of a potential employer, and ask others to scan your projects for feedback. Remember, employers want to see your versatility as well, so prepare varied projects.
- Create written templates. Although every position will have different application requirements, create adaptable outreach templates such as a cover letter and outreach email to make the job search more efficient. Ask others in the industry to review these written templates for grammar, content, and industry keywords. Polished templates enable you to customize them quickly when it’s time to jump on a job opportunity. Don’t forget to modify them as you learn more about what employers want and what you have to offer.
- Connect with recruiters and industry professionals. Start forming relationships with recruiters early and check in regularly. Industry professionals want applicants who are excited about working in the field, so take the time to connect and convey confidence, honesty, and enthusiasm. Share what you can contribute and how you bring value, even if you don’t yet have every skill the employer is looking for. They will remember you if you care about them, too, so be sure to thank them for the time spent connecting with you.
You’ll need to show your skills to get an entry-level tech job
Advanced degrees are no longer a requirement in many roles. That means that nontraditional education, such as online tech training programs like BloomTech, can prepare you for your dream job.
So if employers aren’t looking for a certain GPA or specific type of degree, what do they want?
What counts is your ability to show your skills in real-world situations.
“Recruiters look to see what you have actually built, that you have the skills to be successful on the job or know at least half of the requirements in a job description,” says Rachel Cohen, Senior Manager of the Bloom Institute of Technology’s Job Search & Career Coaching program.
Cohen says applicants often assume employers will hire based on the ability of a candidate to learn and grow. While this is sometimes true, she cautions that applicants today must show they are willing to find answers to questions they don’t know by utilizing the resources and experiential knowledge they already have.
According to Cohen, employers hiring junior talent often look for soft skills like teamwork, collaboration, reliability, communication, and asking for help. For instance, during the interview process applicants are often presented with case studies. Applicants can show their understanding of what’s needed in the job by asking the right clarifying questions. This can be particularly helpful to a remote employer and can reinforce trust in the applicant’s ability to communicate their needs.
Although running through a scenario in an interview is one way to showcase skills, applicants can highlight their knowledge in other ways as well.
Job seekers can demonstrate their skills through:
- A GitHub profile
- A resume
- A LinkedIn profile
- A cover letter
- An outreach email
- A job application
- A technical interview, whiteboard, sprint, or problem solving challenge
- A non-technical interview
Don’t forget to network during your job hunt
Networking, especially in a remote environment, can be a key component to getting your foot in the door. It not only builds skills and makes connections, but can give job seekers the practice, experience, and feedback needed to improve your resume and interviewing skills.
Engaging with different communities can support the job search as well. Joining Slack, online tech communities, and local groups can foster new connections. Through these communities, you might find even more job boards, networking events, and resources to help your job search.
“Make sure you're engaging with other seasoned professionals in the field, not just other entry level professionals, and learn from them,” Cohen says.
How BloomTech can help you find a job
Although the initial tech job search can be intimidating, having support when you first enter the field can be paramount to your success.
Just ask Clint, who studied in the Web Development and Backend Development programs at BloomTech. Toward the end of his web development curriculum, Clint utilized career services to improve his resume, LinkedIn, and portfolio. After working one-on-one with his career coach to prepare his job search documents, Clint connected with BloomTech’s hiring partners to schedule several interviews.
Clint’s interviews resulted in two offers and one accepted position. He credits his success to the practice and confidence provided by those early interview opportunities at BloomTech.
In addition to interview practice, Cohen says having real-world examples of your technical capabilities can help employers understand what unique skills you may bring to the table. The BloomTech Labs program allows learners to work collaboratively on teams with real organizations to produce projects. BloomTech graduates often discuss Labs projects in their interviews as an example of real-world problems they have solved.
“In Labs, learners have the opportunity to work with real stakeholders on real teams in an agile remote environment in a way that non-traditional educational institutions may not have space for,” Cohen says.
When it comes to preparing for the job search, applicants must be willing to put in the necessary time and effort to network, apply, and showcase their skills. Although much of the job search is focused on applying the skills you know, momentum is crucial for landing a position.
“At BloomTech, we encourage and support learners and graduates to apply to jobs and reach out to professional contacts multiple times each week. Regular and consistent applications and outreach makes you more likely to get a job offer sooner,” she shared.
BloomTech is designed to support learners in getting to their real goal: finding a well paying job in tech.
Sound intriguing? Do you want the kind of job hunt support that helped Clint land a tech role? BloomTech can help get you there. Check out our programs to find the best fit for you and your career goals.