You’ve put in the work. Your portfolio looks great. Your resume is formatted. Now… where do you go to look for your first job in tech? The good news is that there are many avenues for job searching, and here are the top places that I recommend.
Check job boards
It may seem old school, but internet job boards continue to be one the top places to search for job openings. When I am posting a job opening for Treehouse, I like to focus on a few specific boards. Almost all of our jobs are remote friendly, so I’ll share our openings on sites like We Work Remotely or Jobspresso because they specialize in sharing remote (and mostly tech!) jobs.
Niche job boards that focus on candidates of specific demographics are also an awesome way to find out about opportunities. You can also bet that a company that takes the time to post on a site like Women Who Code or People of Color in Tech cares about diversity and inclusion.
You’ve probably spent hours researching programming bugs (and answering questions!) on Stack Overflow, but did you know they also have a great job board? Their job board recommends opportunities to you based on the types of questions you’ve been looking up recently. So, if you’ve spent the last 6 months researching mobile Java development, you can probably expect some Android developer jobs to show up in your feed.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Indeed or Google. Indeed scrapes other job boards and company websites, so almost any job on the internet will eventually show up there. Same goes for Google – just enter a query like, “junior front-end developer jobs in Pittsburgh” into the search bar, and the search engine does the work for you.
Finally, do some research and find out if your city has a local tech-specific job board. Here at Treehouse, we love sharing our job openings on the Portland Women in Tech site.
Watch company career pages
Let’s say you see that one of your favorite companies has posted an opening on a job board… but it’s not the in your area of expertise. Here’s a pro-tip – companies typically have to pay a fee to post their jobs on a site like WeWorkRemotely or WomenWhoCode, and they probably won’t post every single job they have available. If you see a company you admire show up on one of those boards, head directly to their careers page to see what other opportunities they have available. You might be surprised to find a perfect match for you!
Companies typically post their own jobs in an About section or Careers page on their site. If you can’t find it easily, just try Googling “jobs at X company,” and the page will probably come up.
I always recommend that job seekers have a go-to list of 5 or 6 top companies they’d like to work for someday and check their jobs pages regularly. Stuck coming up with a list? Think of products or apps that you love, and check their company’s jobs page. Read your local news and find out which companies in your city might be going on a big hiring spree soon. Read tech blogs and listen to podcasts to learn about companies using the technology that you specialize in.
Join communities and network
You may already be a member of a coding meetup group, and there’s a good chance that other members of the group know about great tech job opportunities! Get involved with a group like PyLadies or Google your city + your programming language + meetup to find a group specific to your interests. Attend a few events, talk to the other members, and find out if they have a message board or Slack group you can get involved with.
Conferences are another great way to meet others interested in tech. If you live near a large city, chances are you’ll have a tech conference or two happening over the course of the year. Conferences are also a great way to learn something new!
Now, this may all be starting to sound suspiciously like networking. Never fear! Networking doesn’t have to be an awkward, uncomfortable experience. Once you attend an event or two, it will seem like no big deal. Find a friend and bring them with you!
If all else fails, start following influencers on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Build up your own following, and let your network know when you’re looking for a job! Someone’s retweet could lead to your next big interview.
Picking up a freelancing gig or two is a great idea because it can give you experience, money (of course!), and connect you with someone who may be in a position to hire you or make a referral in the future.
Consider doing a project for a friend, family member, or local business. Or, check a site like Upwork, which specializes in sharing freelance opportunities for developers. You can also build up your portfolio while you’re job searching, and recruiters love to see when you’ve done paid work.
Bonus tip: Keep it up
Job searching can take often take weeks or months, so don’t lose hope. There will definitely be days when you are ready to throw in the towel, and that’s almost always when you’ll get your big break.
One last piece of advice is to focus on all types of companies throughout your search. If you’re an aspiring junior developer, that doesn’t mean you have to work at a “tech” company. All types of companies need developers, digital marketers, designers, and data analysts these days. As our CEO Ryan Carson says, “Every company is a tech company now.”
Have other tips from your own experience? Share them in the comments below!