Notes on Getting Your First Tech Job

My notes for Mayuko Inoue’s video on how to get your first tech job.

December 16, 2021


Here are some notes I took while watching Mayuko’s video on how to get your first tech job.

Social Media

  • Stay updated with social media
    • When a job opens it usually goes really fast

Recruitment Events

  • Go to recruitment events
    • Companies put a lot of effort into these events
    • Often will automatically get a link for the take-home assignment for the interview
    • Recruiters want to talk to candidates who can at least pass the computer science fundamentals
    • Big companies can have lots of events
    • Check LinkedIn for news about upcoming events by specific companies
    • Check the company’s YouTube channel for news as well
    • Check Eventbrite

Job Sites

  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized with key words

    • Example: Make sure you have the words “Software Developer” if that is the job you are looking for
    • Be specific in the About section about the specific type of software engineer you are or aspire to be.
    • Doing hackathons counts as experience
    • Working on open source projects counts as experience
    • Internships
    • Projects you have worked on
      • Name of the project
      • Bullet points
        • Your accomplishments
        • What you did
        • How you got to that point
  • Use Triplebyte: Engineer Job Search, Refactored.

    • Engineering job search
    • Companies pay to source for candidates
  • HackerRank

  • Hired - Job Search Marketplace. Tech Job Hunting Simplified!

  • Remote Tech Jobs

Build Relationships

  • Build relationships with people
    • Join hackathons

    • Build relationships with hiring managers and other software engineers

    • On LinkedIn, don’t just reach out to managers, reach out to people who were in your shoes

      • Reach out to people who have been in the role you are interested in
      • See what you can learn from them

Preparing for the Interview

  • Technical skills are important, but not the only way
  • You might still get the job if you demonstrate strong soft skills, even if you don’t nail the technical portion
  • Soft Skills
    • “Can you tell me about a time that you _____?”
    • “What did you do?”
    • “What was the end outcome?”
    • Not a lot of candidates come prepared for this.
    • Students end up sharing personal stories
      • Interviewers cannot document personal stories, from a legal perspective
      • Interviewers want concrete examples and how you navigated that situation
        • Prepare 5-7 examples

        • Structure them in a STAR method

          • Situation
          • Task
          • Actions
          • Results
        • rehearse them a few times

        • be prepared for follow up questions

      • Do not give hypothetical examples
  • Technical Skills
    • Need to be able to talk through your approach and solution
    • You don’t need to have the best technical answer
    • Be proactive about asking good clarifying questions
      • Sample Problems are intentionally vague
    • Be open to hints and feedback
    • How coachable are you?
  • Focus on more specific roles for resumes and LinkedIn
    • Put the best on there

    • Whatever you put on your resume is fair game for the interview

      • Make sure you are actually good for the skills listed
      • Interviewers will calibrate interview questions based on what is in the resume
      • It is better to list one thing you are actually good at than 10 things you are iffy on
    • When you don’t have a focus, it is hard for the hiring manager to say yes to you

      • They need to know how to best utilize you on their team