With accelerators like Techstars and Atlanta Tech Village housing up and coming startups and with high rankings in the tech category, Atlanta is an excellent location if you’re in need of a tech job. The key to getting a tech job in Atlanta(or anywhere) is to know which jobs are in demand, know how to make connections with the right people, and know how to market yourself.
Get the lay of the land
The job market is a market like any other market. There are goods that are in high demand and there are goods that are in low demand. The commodity that job seekers want is relevant skills matured by experience. The first thing you want to do is find out what employees are looking for in order to solve their pain point. The quickest way to accomplish this is to read statistics. For example, according to a TechRepublic article, cybersecurity is the highest in demand followed by AI, full stack development, and so on. What you can do with statistics is use it to heighten or temper expectations. For example, since Atlanta is known to harbor a large quantity of fintech companies, a COBOL programmer may have a higher chance of landing a job there than in a city like Saint Louis.
Knowing the peaks and valleys of a job market can also allow you to set up a realistic runway. This knowledge can allow you to set up subsidiary goals if your main goals have not been met. The problem is that knowledge of a market is not enough to succeed in a market. You have to become familiar with the players in the market. And the best people to lead you to the players are those who’ve been hired by them.
Job boards are constantly flooded with faceless applicants. And only 2% of all applicants are ever called in for an interview. Then, those who are interviewed have to jump through hurdles like phone interviews, behavioral interviews, and technical interviews. All of these interviews, including the formal lunch sessions, are to gauge talent level and personality fit. Basically, you’re dating an employer and if it works out, you enter into a long term relationship akin to marriage.
Unfortunately, a company is not a human being and would love to be as efficient as possible. It would prefer to know the person before they enter the interview room. That means a company would love if one of its employees vouched for you. According to a LinkedIn report, employee referrals are “the top source of quality hires.”
However, the connection-building activity can be a wasted effort if you don’t know how to market yourself throughout. You have to have a sort of elevator pitch. In that way, when someone recommends you, they might say that you are, for example, a “CSS master.” That sounds a lot better than “X is a good programmer.”
They way to best market yourself in this way is to specialize. Your Stack Overflow contributions should show that you’re really knowledgeable in X. Specialization forces you to crack open books to explore the nuances of a language. As you post blog articles about this knowledge, you’ll find that you’re beginning to also hone your communication skills in regards to your specialization. So, by the time you meetup with like-minded people, you’ll find that you would’ve gained their respect. The passion you have for your specialization will show through your level of knowledge in the subject matter. It would then be much easier for people to receive your business card favorably.
In the end…
Getting a job isn’t easy, but at Codesmith Dev, we bridge the gap between Technology Staffing and Application Development. We can help you succeed in today’s changing environment. Visit out job board for opportunities.