Finding a job isn’t easy. Finding a job in Austin, a market saturated with tech talent, great weather, lots of small to large companies, is even harder. I recently left a job at a large company and had to spend some time soul searching and finding a place where my particular skill set and product style could be of value to a company. I was lucky enough to find that role at SocialCare.

When you are looking for a job in this market, the important thing to remember is that it is a process. You will have ups and downs and you have to maintain an equilibrium of emotions to make sure you stay positive. Use the time to your advantage by reading, educating yourself on new things that expand the breadth of your skills, and networking. All those things that you never had time for when you were in the working market.

Now, here are some tips that might make the difference in getting that first interview and/or the job itself.

  1. Build the “right” resume. – KNOW what you want and build multiple resumes that are focused and show specific experience for a role. Submit the right resume for the job.
  2. Document your search. – Be sure to log every job you apply for (date, time, recruiter, etc). You will be happy you did. Also, learn the etiquette involved in reaching out and follow ups on resume submission. Persistence is good.
  3. Network, network, network. – Reach out to your contacts. All those people in your LinkedIn network are a valuable asset. Connect with recruiters, connect with talent scouts (if you want to work with an agency).
  4. Go to meetups. – Make the time and go to meetups. This is one of the most important things you can do. Meet people in the industry and sell yourself.
  5. Be positive. – A rejection is not the end of the world. Sure, it is disappointing but the right job for you is out there.
  6. Play the percentages and apply. – Many companies are looking for the right person, more than someone to fill a role. Apply to companies that appeal to your values and have roles similar to your experience. The more resumes you send out, the greater the chance of getting a call.

When you do get that interview, research the company. Nothing makes a hiring manager happier than to know you are excited at the opportunity and you did your homework and had good questions. The things I look for depend on the level of role but you always want people who have a willingness to learn, aptitude and personality.

Don’t lose faith. The market is over-saturated because the jobs are here. You have to find a differentiator. Don’t focus on buzz words, stay true to yourself and know going in what your search parameters are. Things like salary, details, interview question answers, ice breakers, you should prepare everything. You can do it, most candidates are just going through the motions and you can really set yourself apart by being prepared.

Some interesting facts about the job market:

  • There are about 40K jobs open in the Austin area. Knowing what I know, I would say only about 40-50% of those jobs are actively being filled. The rest are out there because employers know it takes a couple of months, on average, to fill a role.
  • For a company, not all roles have the same importance. Follow ups by recruiters will be prioritizing role follow ups based on need (even when they are open).
  • Recruiters are not designers, developers, product managers, etc. Keep the details to a minimum on initial phone screens and have loose conversation that proves you are a personality fit.
  • Perception: Everyone “wants” a senior level applicant. Reality: Everyone “needs” people with high aptitude and a great understanding of fundamentals.

It takes longer than a week. Many times, it takes longer than a month. Set yourself some goals during your time of “funemployment”. Use the time to learn and grow and make sure that you always find time to enjoy life. Your positivity shows and will absolutely affect your search. There are plenty of jobs out there and one is there for you.