Looking for a job in tech?
Are you a very new beginner without two years’ experience? In this article, you will discover 6 actions you can take to overcome the lack of two years’ experience when applying for an entry level job.
Is This You?
To begin with I would suspect you are combing through the job boards, digging through the postings and trying to find something that fits you, your skills and most importantly your experience?
You’re not alone, almost everyone does the same thing.
As it turns out in the tech field, finding tens of thousands of companies that are hiring is easy. There is literally an endless supply of high paying 5 and 6 figure job offers that can be found online.
And as it just so happens there are thousands available for entry level professionals as well. Jobs for the beginner, so long as you have on average two years’ experience.
Well, no more, not after today. Today is going to be a day of reckoning. A day where you learn how to overcome an obstacle that can hold you back from landing a job you have little to no experience in. And do it in way, way less than two years.
Now before we begin, I will offer 6 specific actions you can take to overcome your limitations. However you shouldn’t need to do all 6. Read through the list and seriously consider which one fits you best and then take the action.
The 5 Actions to Take
Let me start by saying this action should be started as early in your career training (if you are a student or even if you are a career changer), during the search phase for a new job and even after you have landed your most recent position. A fast track action that you can take would be to become as knowledgeable about the industry as possible, read up on all the new changes, rules, technologies etc. This action doesn’t require you to memorize the newest updates, it does require you to become familiar with them, get to know the what, the why, the who, the when and the where. Be seen as someone who can help them stay current and within regulations and or industry standards. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall behind an industry’s constantly evolving changes. And likely no one in a company is assigned to stay ahead of those changes, which could be the one action that makes you stand out amongst your competitive peers.
This action should also be started as soon as possible in your new career. And the action to take would be to meet people in your industry, try to meet them in a personal way. Really get to know them, try to learn their career path, their current projects and even their ambitions. The action is to literally get to know the influencers, and slowly let them get to know you. Possibly over coffee, or during a week’s industry conference or even during a volunteer event you are both passionate about. Its making connections like these can streamline and fast track your career. In business, it is ‘who you know’ that can make a difference.
Now as we narrow the envelope of actions you could take to stand out and overcome the lack of ‘two years’ experience’ we come to having an insider advocate. Now, I am sure you know that it could help you have an insider, but you don’t, so now what? Well, you go and get one! Remember they don’t know you exist, so meet and greet them. Research key department leaders, not as a stalker but as someone who is trying to build their contacts network, and even tell them that’s what you are doing. Ask for referrals of other leaders in the company and the industry. I know you’re thinking, duh, and asking ‘how do I do it in an authentic way?’ Start by researching something online and find an industry article they wrote or a comment they made on Linkedin that you agree with, almost anything as a conversation starter. Then send an email commenting on the article or post they made. Be open and willing to praise and or ask questions for deeper clarification. Because you can bet that if they wrote an article or made a comment online they have more to say that didn’t make it in their post.
Again, narrowing down the action you can take. This action is all about you, with a twist. One of the least desirable actions anyone can take would be to brag about themselves. No one likes that, and it never works in your favor because people see right through it. Instead I recommend showcasing your work. Now showcasing and bragging can be seen as the same through a certain filter, but instead of throwing around how great you are, I suggest you search around for professionals in the industry who would review your portfolio of projects and offer advice. And that’s what you ask them for, advice. You do not try to sell yourself, you ask how you can do better, what would they do if they were you, what details they are missing etc. It gets your work in front of influencers, who can help you make important connections.
This is one of my most treasured actions, it is only for the bold. The action requires you to study a company or an industry. And find something that can be improved, in a company’s app. Or their website, a better way to do something or even a few ideas to improve a process. While being new doesn’t offer you years of experience in which to find these golden nuggets. Being new does give you fresh eyes, and a new perspective that seasoned professionals just may have missed. Do not believe you could never use this action, it’s actually easier than it looks. And don’t worry if someone tells you ‘yea we tried that and it didn’t work’ because it’s unlikely you will find a nugget so valuable they start to build it or sell it right away. The goal is to get their attention and demonstrate your unique value and insight into their company. You want to standout and show employers you have value equal to and or beyond someone with ‘two years’ experience’.
The Final Action
One of the most important pieces of information to take away from this article is that a job posting and its requirements or expectations is nothing more than a wish list. Almost no one meets every experience, or has experience in every skill set an employer lists in a job posting. If you can meet 60% of the requirements but may be short of the ‘two years’ experience’ threshold and use one of these actions you should most definitely apply for that job.
The best way to use the actions above would be to make personal connections to grow your network. But even that isn’t as powerful as the last action I will suggest you take. Once you have some comfort and a personal connection with them over at least a few months, ask if you can use them as a reference.
Most will say yes, if you truly have a good connection, now don’t ask them to sell you, but just ask them if they would share their honest opinion about you and your ability (if you took the time to share it?).
In closing, there are so many other great actions and tips I could share with you, but I think the above actions are a great place to start.
Finally, I hope these actions help you see the enormous potential everyone has to break into a tech career, with little or no experience.
The Take Away
With this article we’re hoping we’ve answered some questions, sparked your curiosity and shared some useful information. But, we know you may need more, so we invite you to contact us for some follow up questions or to discuss your unique needs.
Just go to our contact page and reach out to us and we’ll get back to you asap!