Preparing for Applying
The next step is to prioritize the requirements that you need to fulfill in order to apply for the jobs that you're interested in.
Finding Positions and People
Before you start preparing, you need to understand the requirements that you need to work on. You can use the same channels that we've discussed in Finding Jobs that Match your Motivations to find relevant people, positions and activities.
Since you're preparing for the applying process, you should mainly focus on the input you get from the following sources:
- Hiring Managers
- People on your level who recently applied for similar positions
Prioritizing and Preparing Requirements
Since we don't have unlimited time, we need to prioritize the requirements that you need to work on and prepare for. Based on the career paths of people in your desired field, you can prioritize the necessary requirements to apply for the jobs you're interested in. This can be a combination of the following especially if you're applying for entry-level positions:
- Creating a portfolio
- Getting certificates
- Learning new skills
You can use roadmap.sh to get a general idea of the skills that you need to learn for your desired career path.
If you're applying for entry-level positions, you need to put in more effort to convince recruiters that you're a good fit for the job. You need some material to pass the first filter of the recruitment process.
Creating a portfolio is an iterative process. It doesn't matter if your initial work is not up to your standards. It's more important to get started, gather feedback as soon as possible, and define your roadmap based on that.
Showcasing Your Work
If you're creating a portfolio, it's important to showcase your work as well. This not only aids in improving your work, but also increases your visibility, thus boosting your chances of getting hired. You can use the following channels to showcase your work:
- Personal Blogs or Medium
- Platforms like Kaggle, Devpost, etc. that are relevant to your domain
- Social Media, especially Twitter and LinkedIn
Applying for jobs with a referral is the best way to get a job. Based on my experience, it has much higher success rate than applying for jobs without a referral.
Aside from asking your network for referrals, I don't have additional suggestions. The more connections you have, the better your chances of obtaining a referral.
Finding Open Positions
In addition to reaching out to your network, you can also look for companies that are hiring. You can use the following resources to find open positions:
- Job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, etc
- Companies that have a presence in your desired domains
- Companies specializing in your desired domain
- Companies with a presence at events within your desired domain
- Growing companies and startups within your desired domain
- Public lists of companies that are hiring like this Github repo
Preparing your Resume
In a perfect world, we would have a well written resume with eye-catching style that includes plenty of impactful experiences. But, we need to work with what we have. Don't worry if you don't have a perfect resume. Your resume is just one part of the recruitment process. As long as you can convince recruiters that you're a good fit for the job, you can compensate for this in other parts of the process.
Take a look at Resume for more information on how to prepare your resume.
I'm not good with cover letters and so far, I got away with not writing one. However, if you need to write one, here are some places to start:
- ChatGPT 😄
- Yale's Cover Letter Guide