Job searching can be a stressful and daunting experience. But it doesn't have to be.
Getting connected with the right people and the right places can help make your job search a lot easier and a lot more exciting. In other words... networking.
Networking gives you the best chance at landing a great stepping-stone opportunity in tech. Why? Because relationships matter.
At its core, networking is really about building good relationships in and around your industry. Those relationships often allow new doors of opportunities to open.
Having a good network gives you the ability to get closer to the people who are at the companies you're interested in and shows your credibility to potential employers, making you a more trustworthy candidate.
There are a 3 key things you'll need to do to successfully network your way into tech:
1. Get Connected
You're going to need to get connected to the people and places who are already doing what you want to be doing.
One of the best places to start is by connecting with your V School community. You'll be surprised how deeply connected V School is in the tech world but you'll quickly see how close you really are to your dream job along the way!
Start simple by connecting with V School staff and alumni on LinkedIn and getting active in your existing V School Slack channels.
While you're growing these connections in the background, you'll also need to join a few networking groups. These groups are a special part of the recipe as they often foster a unique way to meet new people, safely ask behind the scenes questions, and hear about new job openings (often times before they're even posted online).
Since there are literally thousands of groups out there that you can be a part of, we've provided the top communities we recommend to help you break into tech:
Top 3 Communities for ALL Students:
Top 3 Communities for Web Developers:
Top 3 Communities for UX Designers:
Once you establish yourself in these credible communities you can then join additional groups to supplement your unique goals and interests. There are many platforms to choose from. Some of the most popular go-to networking platforms are Meetup, Slack, Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn Groups.
Conferences are also still an effective way to meet new people in your field, grow your contacts, and learn about job openings. Many traditional networking conferences are now being held online, making it easy to attend no matter where you live! For example, we recommend: https://recruitersofutah.com/
2. Ask Good Questions
Many people may think that good networking is all about growing your numbers. While having a larger network is helpful, the real key to good networking is asking good questions.
The people in your network often hold the answers to your questions for the kind of jobs you're interested in. They're also usually more than willing to share their knowledge -- if you simply ask!
These are the kinds of questions to ask:
- What company do you work for?
- What do you love about your job?
- What was your interview process like?
- What types of people win at your company?
- What's the toughest question you've answered in an interview?
- What's one thing you did differently to get to where you're at?
- What's one thing most people don't do that could help them a job?
3. Be Direct
You might feel Impostor Syndrome nagging at your shirt when you join a networking group. Instead of feeling like you don't belong, simply be direct and share who you are, where you're in your journey, and what you hope to get out of the group.
People are very willing to help you get to where you're trying to go if they understand where you're at now and what it is you want to do.
Are you ready to start networking?! Trust us, this is much easier than it seems. Just start by taking a few small steps forward and the rest will follow. We'll guide you with those initial steps so you can get it down and start growing your network!
- LinkedIn: Connect with at least 25+ VS staff and 35+ VS Alumni
- Join at least 3+ of the recommended networking communities
- Introduce yourself and ask at least 1 question in each of your new groups