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EPISODE #12 Insider Advice for Tech Job Seekers




If landing your dream job in tech is a goal for 2021, this show is for you!

On the latest TechTalks Podcast, I’m joined by two industry veterans with years of hiring experience at software companies. Brian Dunphy, senior director of product development at Cvent, and Ryan Strynatka, SVP and COO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, offer up a goldmine of insights on how to wow potential employers.

We dig deep, exploring the breadth of opportunities and so much more. Too often, students or job seekers get hung up on their technical or engineering experience. But careers in tech go far beyond programming as we’ve been highlighting in our podcasts. I loved how Brian described each job function as a pillar of the software development process that’s tracking towards a common goal. And how Ryan said that when it comes to working in this sector, it’s not one career, but many, so adaptability is critical for growth and career progression.

In fact, some of the most valued skills they described might surprise you. I’m talking about those so-called “soft skills” or as I like to call them “employability skills” like emotional intelligence, empathy, passion, hustle, drive and humility.

Brian Dunphy

Brian Dunphy

Ryan Strynatka

Ryan Strynatka

This episode is jam-packed with actionable advice. From resumes and the power of your LinkedIn profile to the value of your community and life experience, the need to embrace lifelong learning and some cringe-worthy candidate fails you will want to avoid in interviews, it’s all here.

Ryan and Brian’s Top Tips to Land Your Next Job

Resume Dos

  • Share your “lateral” skills/experience, including team-based and extracurricular activities.

  • Cut the fluff: Don’t inflate your experience or add irrelevant details to puff it up.

  • Pay attention to detail: Edit typos and formatting inconsistencies.

  • Illustrate your passion for the field through your volunteer and work experience.

  • Demonstrate your adaptability and willingness to learn and try new things.

  • Show how you bring a “servant leadership” approach.

  • Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date.

Interview Advice

  • Think of the interview as a pitch: You’re the salesperson and the product is you. What value do you bring? How does your experience show this?

  • Do your research: Learn about the company, products, industry, emerging trends, competition, etc. This is a must-do.

  • Don’t be modest: Without seeming egotistical, you need to articulate how your experiences would benefit the role.

  • Define your goals: Be prepared to talk about the kind of job you want and the type of team you want to work with.

  • Be patient: Hiring can be a long process that may include a screening call with a hiring manager, testing for skills and things like cognitive aptitudes, and multiple interviews.

  • Brainstorm questions: Prepare for both theoretical, scenario-based and experience-based types of questions.

  • Get personal: Share how your volunteering, travel and other life experiences relate to the role.

  • Be honest. Don’t misrepresent your experience or degree of expertise. Admit what you don’t know.

  • Don’t bad-mouth previous employers: This makes you seem difficult and hostile.

  • Think about times you felt pride: What goals did you achieve? What value did you bring to the team?

  • Don’t fixate on compensation: Pay is important, but too much pay talk can make it seem like you’re only interested in the money, not the role.

  • Show your passion: Bring your energy, enthusiasm, hustle and drive to the interview.

  • Understand the size/stage of the employer: Startups are often seeking generalists, while established firms may be looking for more specific skills.


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