As we head into the new year, remote hiring remains the norm for hiring managers and recruiters everywhere. For technologists, that means you must continue to refine your remote-interviewing and testing techniques, as well as your online presence. Here are some tips for doing so.
Tweak Your Social Media Profiles
Because the continuing COVID-19 pandemic means far fewer (if any) in-person meetings with prospective employers, it’s also important to ensure that your online presence (including social-media profiles and your websites/portfolios) is constantly updated and presents the best professional version of yourself.
“Make sure your LinkedIn profile—or any social presence you have—is optimized to help you in your search, and to make you and your skills more visible to the kind of employers you’d like to work for,” said Nabila Salem, president of Revolent Group, the sister division of Frank Recruitment Group. “From your Headline and Current Position down to Skills, Job Preferences, and Endorsements, take every opportunity to make your social presence and personal brand really work for you.”
If you’re using other social channels in a professional capacity, Salem recommends that you “follow and engage with influential people and brands relevant to your technology, as well as other professionals who share a passion for what you do.” Not only will this allow you to strike up a conversation (and possibly start a beneficial professional relationship) with other technologists in your field, but it will show any recruiters or hiring managers scanning your social-media profiles that you’re serious about working in the tech industry.
Polish Your Online Portfolio
Robert Half Technology’s Joshua Drew said the shift to remote working has seen organizations across the country widening their search geographically, which is a great opportunity for employers and job seekers alike.“You’ve got increased competition, but for someone searching for a job, it opens up outside your local geography,” he said. “Let’s say you’re a Ruby on Rails developer in Boston, you can now look maybe in New England.”
When researching opportunities online, pay attention to message boards and forums where technologists talk about their experiences at certain companies, such as Reddit and Hacker News. Also, other platforms, such as Glassdoor, are good places to research not only past employee experiences, but also crowdsourced compensation data.
Drew added that it’s also important to use online platforms such as GitHub to show off your work. A digital portfolio will demonstrate your skills in a polished, impressive way.
Prioritize Online Networking
“Many companies have moved to a virtual setting for many IT professionals,” explained Erin Lovern, CloudBees’ senior director of global talent strategy. “This is a great benefit for many candidates, but it also allows companies to expand their search, which in turn expands the talent pool. Staying persistent, being prepared and networking is more important than ever.”
In terms of keeping job searches, outreach efforts and correspondence organized, Lovern says her go-to app recommendation would be Google Docs, especially if a candidate is actively talking to a number of different companies. “This will allow you to keep track of your follow-ups, interview schedules and other details about each opportunity,” she said.
Beyond the common digital job search tools, Lovern stressed that networking is key. “The war for talent is real,and although a candidate may be qualified for a role, talent acquisition teams are being inundated with applications,” she continued. “If a candidate is able to connect with a member of the talent team, hiring manager or another employee at the company to make an introduction, it will go far.”
Taking that one extra step to reach out through social platforms or email may be just what it takes to get that initial interview; making direct contact with someone at a company is your opportunity to tell your story and what makes you qualified for the position. When it comes to make an impact during a digital interview, Lovern said candidates should come to a virtual interview just as they would to an in-person interview: Camera on, professional attire, quiet setting.
“A follow-up email following each interview is also an important step that some people tend to forget,” she said. “It shows the takeaways from the interview and reconfirms the candidate’s interest in the opportunity. Employers want to hire someone that is genuinely excited about the opportunity and know that they will be invested in the role.”