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How I got my first job in tech.

Heshie Brody
Heshie Brody is currently fixing health at CapableHealth.com as a Software Engineer working with Ruby On Rails, JavaScript, and React.
・2 min read

As a bootcamp grad(Flatiron School) I constantly get asked how I landed my first job in tech.

Here's what i've learned from that experience.

Applying to jobs online.

As a recent grad applying to jobs online directly on the company website is almost always a waste of time. Unless you have years of experience or a top tier collage listed on your resume you’ll almost never get an interview, their resume system will almost always reject you.

I learned this the hard way after applying for almost 150 jobs online and rarely hearing back.

Networking, networking and networking.

Networking is what worked for me, after applying online with no results I turned to my community, friends and schoolmates.
My job at Sitepod came from a high school friend who was working there and they happened to be looking for a full stack Rails developer.
Meetups and job fairs are also really great for making these connections.

"It's not 'what' you know but rather 'who' you know"

Get work experience ASAP.

As a recent grad, unless you're applying for unpaid internships, recruiters need to really believe in you to give you that first shot since it’s their reputation on the line.
Try to get real world work experience on your resume/LinkedIn asap.
Volunteering for public projects or just building stuff for friends and family will give you that experience to put on your resume, plus you’ll have so much more to talk about when interviewing for that first job.
Make sure to put start and end dates on those freelance gigs and list them as experience on your resume, not projects (Resume Hack...).

Getting interviews from Linkedin

I’ve successfully gotten interviews by direct messaging developers, hiring managers and recruiters.
Try to find people that are close to your network or may have attended the same school etc.
Commenting on recruiter posts is also a great way to get their attention.
Make sure to message only those that have entry level positions listed on their company website or posts so not to waste your time.
Also ensure that those companies are looking for similar technologies to those that you have so as to eliminate any friction.
Many companies give employees the ability to refer people to their available positions which will almost always get you at least a phone call .

Here’s a template i’ve successfully used over time when messaging recruiters on LinkedIn:

Hi [name],
I saw that you're hiring for software engineering positions in NYC.
I’m currently a full stack web developer with experience in [technologies].
I’m looking for a position in a company like [company name] where I can grow and utilize my skills to the fullest.
I would love it if you can give me a few minutes of your time to get to know each other and see what value I can bring to [company name].
Thanks In Advance!

Hope this helps!

Discussion (9)

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martinvaldivia profile image
Martin Valdivia

Thank you for your feedback.

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shubhamkshatriya25 profile image
Shubham Singh Kshatriya

Congratulations Heshie. Way to go 🔥

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margo_hdb profile image
Margo McCabe

This is so true! Networking is a great way to get connected, and when you receive a referral from a trusted source it's helpful to know that the company / team is legit.

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heshiebee profile image
Heshie Brody Author

Great point!

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hasnaindev profile image
Muhammad Hasnain • Edited

You said that applying to companies online is a waste of time but you put Linkedin in there. Could you please clarify what you mean by applying online? What platforms you used for applying to those companies?

I've successfully applied and got jobs, two of them online (except the current one, which is due to networking). Never used Linkedin either. P.S I'm self-taught, I don't have a degree and never attended any bootcamp or anything. If you have great projects, sometimes they can even overlook "lack" of experience.

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heshiebee profile image
Heshie Brody Author

Applying directly on company websites. I had an extremely low success rate with that.

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hasnaindev profile image
Muhammad Hasnain

Can you please share what kind of messages you usually wrote to them via their website?

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heshiebee profile image
Heshie Brody Author

I just applied via their careers page.

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hasnaindev profile image
Muhammad Hasnain

Interesting. For some reason, applying to their careers page landed me jobs.