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JC Smiley
JC Smiley

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7 tips on preparing yourself for the job search process for that first job in tech

I want to share advice on preparing yourself for the job search process for that first job in tech. I hope that these gems of knowledge, that’s been discussed in my tech community, helps you in your tech career. These are tips that should be done before you start job hunting or at the early stages of that process.

  1. Strive to have a career strategy. Are you tailoring your skills and projects around a specialization or job title to achieve the highest likelihood of success. Are you building projects similar to the type of job responsibilities you want on the job? 100 projects or lots of random skills is less powerful than a few quality projects or experiences based on in-demand in-sync skills.

  2. Network with others like your career depends on it (coffee chats, tech meetups, social media, Slack/Discord, LinkedIn, etc.).

  3. Practice mock interviews with lots of different people. This includes behavior and technical (whiteboards). One key to interviewing is sounding confident and not saying negative things about yourself.

  4. Be more than ready for common behavior questions. These are your opportunities to shine and direct the interview, don’t waste them. Remember, "Practice makes Perfect".

  5. Get as many** critiques for your resume** as humanly possible. Not just your mom or spouse, but people within the industry.

  6. Have several good portfolio projects to talk about in the interview. The best projects are ones you are passionate about and have a personal story behind it. Grind hard to create a personal project that is used by others or has an impact on a community.

  7. Build a brand presence through speaking at tech events, teaching others, and writing articles to show technical expertise. Get involved in the local tech community where you gain experience from constant exposure and helping others in tech.


  • Have a career strategy: Make sure the skills you are learning and projects you work on match the title you want.
  • Network with others: People can open doors for you that may have been closed. They can only do this if they know you.
  • Practice mock interviews:
  • Be ready for common behavior questions: There's an saying, "Opportunity + Preparation = Success". So, prepare for success.
  • Get lots of critiques for your resume: The more eyes on your resume the greater the chances it can be tweaked to being impactful.
  • Have good portfolio projects to talk about: Interviewers remember good projects that have a good story, impact, and passion behind them.
  • Build a brand presence: Having a brand presence helps to validate your skills and can open doors as its a 1 to many networking tool.

Please share more tips in the comments or additional thoughts on what has been discussed. Thanks in advance.

Code Connector is a non-profit that organized tech meetups to help people start their journey into tech. You can join our daily conversations by clicking this link: Code Connector slack channel.


I converted several blog posts similar to this one into a free e-book called "Advice for Breaking into Tech". The book summarizes advice from 700 developers about learning how to code and looking for your first job in tech into an easy-to-read narrative.
Click for your free Download

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