Select a guide below:
How to get a job in tech
We have helped 700+ people land great jobs in the tech industry. No matter what type of role you are interested in, our data-backed tips can help you succeed.
Step 1: Optimize your resume
You have only 7.4 seconds to make a lasting impression on a recruiter with your resume, so it’s essential to stand out to get noticed by recruiters. When you write your content, keep these tips in mind to impress recruiters:
The impact of the work you did should be showcased.
Use numbers for the scale and results of your work.
Tell the complete story by explaining why you did each task.
Here are some examples of resume experience bullet points and project descriptions that we revised to improve their strength:
Developed a regularized 2-step sequential model to optimize channel-wise sales spend for a global campaign, reducing yearly sales spend by 20% to save $4M+ in total.
Developed model to optimize sales.
Worked with team to decrease company waste.
Led team of 5 interns to develop a Flask application that scraped internal Slack channels to map out leftover foods, decreasing company waste by 20% and employee hunger by 50%.
Like your resume, you need to ensure that your LinkedIn is as strong as possible. Companies are requiring LinkedIn profiles more and more, so take the time to optimize yours for success. Some quick tips:
- Use a professional photo as your profile picture
- Write a succinct bio and About section
- Spend the time to provide context and tell the full story for each piece of experience
- Include volunteer work and side projects, if applicable.
Step 2: Find the right opportunities
Narrowing down your search will help you find a job more quickly. To start, try asking yourself a few questions to help you find the right job boards for your goals:
Do I want to work in a big, well-established company or a small startup?
Am I looking for a wide range of responsibilities or do I prefer to work on 1-2 main tasks?
Is a collaborative work environment or an independent one better for me?
Do I want to work in an office or remote?
Step 3: Send cold emails
Don’t be a victim of the online portal black hole. If you don’t follow up after sending an application, you are not going to get results. Instead, try sending a compelling cold email each time you apply to a new role. This often leads to triple the response rates. So, how do you make that happen?
Find a recruiter, hiring manager, or senior team member from the company on LinkedIn
Use a free service like Clearbit or LeadFinder to get their email address
Write a compelling, concise, and personalized cold email
Sample Cold Email
I hope you’re doing well! My name is [your name] and I’m reaching out because I recently applied for the [position] position I saw on [platform] and noticed you are a [role] at [company].
While I am not sure if you are the right person to contact, I wanted to reach out to you specifically because I was interested in the work you are doing, specifically [something from their LinkedIn or something the company is working on]. I am a skilled [role type] with experience in [specific role experience] and I believe I would hit the ground running and be a great fit for your team.
I would appreciate the opportunity to learn more about you and the company. Would you be free for a 15-minute call, either at [timeframe 1] or [timeframe 2]? In advance, I have attached my resume for your review. I really appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
Check out our guide to cold emailing, which includes even more tips on how to find recruiters' and hiring managers' emails.
Step 4: Research each company
Successful interviewing not only requires a good understanding of yourself but also the company. Beyond the classic strategy of taking a look at Glassdoor, there are a few key pages that you should review on the company website so you can go in with confidence.
The About Page
Learn important information about the company mission, history, the solutions that they are using to accomplish their mission, and their goals for the future on the About page. When you are preparing your elevator pitch, include how you fit into their mission as your conclusion.
The Jobs/Career Page
This is a one-stop-shop full of information about what qualities go into successful candidates at this company. Now that you know what they want, you can add these key elements to your answers and show them that you are the right fit for the role and the organization.
The Culture Page
Sometimes these pages are called Culture or Life at Company Name, like Life at Stripe, but you can usually find them easily. This is where you can learn the company values, which you can insert into your responses. Some companies, like Amazon and Netflix, will even ask you about their values, so it is extremely important that you are informed.
We compiled data on 200+ tech companies that you can review as you prepare for your interviews. Review interview processes, questions, and insider knowledge from these companies and more:
Step 5: Prepare for interviews
After you have researched the company, you can add that information into your behavioral interview responses to make them personalized and ensure that you fit in with the company culture.
To start, prepare your elevator pitch. Use this structure and modify as you see fit:
1: Education or Expertise
This gets the ball rolling and lets the recruiter know what type of positions are a good fit.
For new grads, introduce yourself, your major, and your graduation year. More experienced folks should start with a general description of their area of expertise.
Talk about the past work that you have done in previous positions and internships. If it relates and is impressive, you can include volunteer and extracurricular work.
This is the critical part of your pitch. It shows the breadth of work that you've been able to accomplish.
If you don’t have much experience, or if you have especially impressive personal work, include those projects here.
Optionally, supplement your elevator pitch by mentioning 1 or 2 personal or professional projects. Any side hustles will show initiative and capability.
End with a preview of your response to “why this company” by adding how you fit with their mission.
This lets you end on a strong note and connects you to the company. It makes them understand that you're interested in this job for more than just the paycheck.
You should also prepare for your behavioral interviews by practicing the types of questions you will see. Start by writing down responses and saying them out loud to yourself in a mirror or to a friend. You want to sound polished, but not rehearsed or memorized. Here are some examples of popular questions from tech companies:
Talk about a time where you had to make a decision despite a lot of ambiguity.
Describe a situation where you had to lead a group that had difficulties. How did you handle it?
What would you do if you didn’t know the solution for a certain problem and nobody could help at the moment?
For more questions from real tech companies, check out our list of 45+ behavioral interview questions.
Step 6: Negotiate
If you want to be successful in your negotiations, you need to make sure you do not give out any numbers or ranges throughout the process. If you do, you might end up pigeon-holed. Here are some good responses you can use if you are faced with any gotcha questions:
Q: What are your salary expectations?
“You know, I haven’t fully considered that yet, I’m just really excited about this company right now and am really focused on these and other interviews.”
Q: Do you have a minimum salary requirement?
“I would need to do some research to get a sense of the average compensation for this type of role. I’d also need to consider my living expenses and other costs.”
When you do receive an offer, make sure you take a deep breath and politely get off the phone. We suggest negotiating over email because it lets you take your time. This helps you avoid getting flustered. You can see examples of collaborative statements and an annotated negotiation email template in our guide to negotiation.