Many people don’t start applying for jobs before graduating. Those in the tech field, however, can take advantage of the insatiable demand for talent and find a job while still in school. Here are three tips for landing a job before graduating.
Build Your Portfolio
Tech jobs demand ongoing learning, and perhaps the best way to demonstrate your expertise is to start building a portfolio while in school. Above all, employers hiring people without experience want to hire those who demonstrate an ability to code, and putting together a portfolio provides valuable evidence. Furthermore, having a portfolio, even if it’s small, demonstrates your willingness to put in extra effort. Portfolios also let you work on whatever you find interesting. Even if you’re interest is in IT instead of software development, showing off your programming skills can help you stand out from other applicants.
Employers value college diplomas, but most tend to be more interested in experience and certifications. Since most graduates have little or no real-world experience, one of the best ways to show you’re ready to begin work is to earn certifications. In general, the A+ certification is the best place to start. Although these degrees are most valuable in IT jobs, software developers can benefit from earning them as well. As the line between software development and deployment becomes more blurred over time, thanks in part to DevOps and other new tech paradigms, demonstrating knowledge of hardware and networking infrastructure can help software developers stand out from their contemporaries.
Plenty of people land their first jobs by applying for jobs online, but many have greater success by networking. Meeting others in the tech field can grant you first access to new job openings, and the people you meet might be able to serve as references as well. Look around for local tech meetups, and feel free to attend even if the subject isn’t one that aligns with the degree you’re earning. Simply showing up demonstrates your interest in tech, which sets you apart from typical employees. Furthermore, you may find that people you meet are looking for employees or coworkers with your set of skills.
The tech field is growing, and all signs point to continued, sustained growth and demand for skilled employees. While there’s nothing wrong with waiting until graduation before seeking out employment, landing a job before graduation can help you transition into your next phase of life more smoothly.