The other week, we asked about your plans for 2020. What are your job goals? Do you want to boost your skills, find a new job… or are you thinking of leaving the tech industry altogether?
Roughly 44 percent of you plan on hunting for a new job in the New Year, while 40 percent plan on boosting your skills. Much smaller percentages plan on getting a promotion or leaving tech altogether. Check out the breakdown:
If you plan on kicking off January with a good old-fashioned job hunt (or even pursuing an internal promotion), make sure that your cover letter, résumé, social-media profiles, and other public-facing materials are all in order. Let’s break it down:
January 1 is a good excuse to polish up your résumé, and there are some key things to keep in mind. Unless you’re applying to a small company, chances are very good that your résumé’s first reader will be automated résumé-scanning software. Because of that, it’s imperative that your résumé feature all the keywords relevant to the job.
While résumé templates are great, it’s also important to customize your materials to the particular job you’re applying for. Keep in mind that hiring managers and recruiters know what a generic résumé looks like—and they’ll reject it! Make sure that every part of your résumé, from your listed skills to your accomplishments, is tailored to show why you’re the best candidate for the position.
While customizing and shaping your résumé is vital, make sure you never lie. There are ways to explain things like gaps in your employment; but try to cover something up, and sooner or later you’ll be found out (trust us).
Some application portals position a cover letter as “optional.” This is a trap: Whenever you’re applying for a new job, you should always include a cover letter, which can help fill out your story and add some valuable context to your résumé. When sitting down to write that letter, keep these points forefront in mind:
- Keep your cover letter to one page.
- Make sure to include links to repos/websites/etc.
- Get a proofreader to give your cover letter a “typo killer” read.
- Don’t adhere too closely to a generic template; customize to the job.
- Make sure the details in your résumé align with your cover letter.
Always personalize your salutation; a generic “To Whom It May Concern” will murder your chances with a particular recruiter or hiring manager. Open strong in your first paragraph, and explain why your particular skills and background will benefit the company and proposed role. And no matter how deep your experience, don’t come off as cocky or arrogant.
Social Media Profiles
It’s easy to forget about your social media profiles and let them slip out-of-date. Before applying for jobs, make sure that you update all of your profiles to display your current company and position, along with any skills you want highlighted during your job search.
Other Job Materials
Applying for a developer or software engineering gig? Clean up and update your Github repo. When hunting for any position, make sure to give your website a polish (all of your web pages work, right?), and generally see to it that every public-facing trace of you online projects an image of competence and professionalism.