Someone reached out to me today who is trying to pursue a career change into tech.
They asked if I could help them get their first role in tech.
When I get requests like this, before I even consider taking them on as a coaching client, I always take some time first to look at their current profile, just to see how they are currently promoting themselves.
I do sometimes wonder why people are not utilising the free online tools to their advantage to help them achieve their career change into tech goals.
For example, LinkedIn is a gold mine of career change into tech opportunities if used correctly.
If you are on a career change into tech journey and you’ve gone to the trouble of spending weeks and months investing time and/or money into learning the skills you need for your dream role in tech, please consider investing a bit more in updating your online profiles to help attract the opportunities you are looking for.
Here’s 5 tips to help you stand out a bit more from the crowd when pursuing a career change into tech and looking for your first role in tech:
Linkedin is like a shop window for recruiters and hiring managers to see what talent is out there, so it only makes sense to utilise this free tool effectively, certainly while they are still offering quite broad useful functionality for free.
Update, Update, Update
Before you reach out to people asking if there are any opportunities, please, please, please update your profile to reflect the current state of play.
Have you recently completed a 6 month coding bootcamp? Show that you achieved this. Heck, add a photo of the certificate as proof if you are open to sharing.
Have you just completed an internship? Paid or unpaid it doesn’t matter. Add this to the experience section.
Did you volunteer on a tech project to help your local church, charity, local small business or even your sister’s side hustle? Update your profile to reflect this. Just because you didn’t get paid and it my have took longer to complete than expected, it doesn’t mean it’s not valuable experience?
If you think hard enough you will have some previous relevant experience somewhere somehow that you can add to your profile. If you haven’t, think of a personal project that you can focus on building and learn the skills you need as you go along. There’s plenty of resources out there to get you started. Showing a bit of vulnerability by documenting the journey from the start may bring a lot of opportunities your way.
Work That Headline
Please, if you have just completed a tech related degree, bootcamp or you did a self taught course that has given you the skills to write code, you are not an ‘Aspiring’ Developer or ‘Training to be…’
Please call yourself what you want to attract ‘Full Stack Developer’, ‘Backend Developer’, ‘Mobile Developer’, etc.
Showcase Your Sh*t
If you have worked your behind off putting a portfolio together, please stop hiding it. Put a link to it on your profile so recruiters and hiring managers can check it out.
Whether that’s your own portfolio website or something like Github, please share the link.
You can simply add this link in the Contact info section of LinkedIn. To stand out even more you can use the Featured Section on your LinkedIn profile to Highlight it. Also consider listing any projects you have worked on (personal projects or projects for companies/churches/charities, etc) into the Projects section.
Open for Work
Utilise the Open for Work indicator on your LinkedIn Profile. People are not psychic and will not know you are looking for a role in tech or the type of role you are looking for if you won’t tell anyone about it. There is no shame in putting yourself out there and telling people you are looking for your first role after completing your degree, bootcamp or self study course.
Did you know that around 70% of jobs in tech are never even advertised so it pays to network and use whatever tools you can to show you are ready. The least you can do is consider switching on the Open for Work indicator and updating your headline and About section with what role you really want.
The majority of people on LinkedIn seem to be lurkers. If you’re looking for your first role in tech you need to come out of the shadows. I also encourage my coachees to post a declaration on LinkedIn and other social media platforms when they kick start their tech career journey.
A lot will shy away from the challenge, but the ones that do open themselves up to a multitude of offers of support and potential opportunities. You never know who is lurking who can help connect you to someone who can help you get your first role in tech.
Hope this helps you get a little closer to achieving your first opportunity in tech.
If you need more guidance for creating or enhancing your LinkedIn profile for career change into tech success, I’ve created a very easy to follow LinkedIn Audit Checklist to help you achieve this. It is printable or you can download in and fill in it on your computer and save it.