One of the most difficult aspects of college is what comes after graduation: trying to land that first job. This can be especially difficult in the increasingly competitive tech industry, where major companies are constantly searching for future employees that are the best in the business.
Pathrise, a “Y Combinator backed startup,” aims to “[help] college seniors and recent grads land great first jobs in tech,” giving students and graduates the tools they need to set themselves apart from the rest of the applicant pool.
“The biggest hiring months for new grad tech jobs are actually August through November,” explained Lizzie Kreitman of Pathrise.
Since this is the prime time of year to get hired in the tech industry, it is important to have an idea of which sort of company you would like to work for in mind. If your goal is to work for a major company, it is especially crucial to plan ahead, as “large companies (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.) plan a year in advance because it is so competitive. They need to get to the good talent before others do,” said Kreitman.
“This is not usually the case with startups and smaller companies (under 200 people) because they do not typically plan so far in advance when it comes to hiring,” added Kreitman.
There are several things a senior preparing to enter the job market can do to ensure they stand out to potential employers. Seniors should “ensure [their] resume and LinkedIn are strong before applying for positions … most recruiters only look for ten seconds, so make them count,” recommended Kreitman.
Another thing seniors can do to stand out in the applicant job pool is attend career fairs. According to Kreitman, “Often, these companies are hiring directly from the career fair … research the companies that you want to talk to beforehand and prepare your ‘elevator pitch’ based on their mission, values, products and teams that you are interested in. Come with your resume in hand and pass it to the recruiter at the beginning of the conversation so they can mark notes on it and remember you.”
Even if you are not yet a senior, it is still important to look ahead at what you might want to pursue as a future career and begin to prepare in advance. Juniors, sophomores, and even freshman can plan ahead by “mak[ing] connections on LinkedIn and foster[ing] those relationships; tak[ing] a look at past California State University, Monterey Bay alumni at companies you are interested in or people working on teams that are similar to your classes/projects/internships and connect[ing] with them,” said Kreitman.
Kreitman also recommends “work[ing] on projects and/or at internships that connect to your future career goals; it is never too early to build up your resume, portfolio or GitHub with work that makes you look like a good fit moving forward … explore and build up your skills so that when it comes to your senior year, you stand out from the crowd.”
For more information and useful tips, check out pathrise.com.