Anne-Lore De Vreese is a Freelance Career Coach who focuses on helping mid-level professionals in tech land interviews so they can get the remote, high-paying roles they have been dreaming of – fast. She does this by helping them craft a compelling career story and master smart networking and we were lucky enough to sit down with her and pick her brain on the subject of finding your first job in tech in 2023.
Software development roles in Germany are expected to grow 21% by 2028. But around 75% of applications are rejected before they even reach a hiring manager.
In this article, we talk with Anne-Lore's and she shares her insights into the tech job-hunting world and how just sending in your CV is not the best approach for applying to tech jobs, especially when there's so much uncertainty, like today.
We're going to talk about how you can improve your chances of making it to the final interview stage for tech jobs in 2023 and what we will see in the job market in the coming year.
The example of Emily the Data Scientist
Anne-Lore started her career back in 2018 and a few years ago she was helping Emily, a Data Scientist, find a job. This is a job search she will always remember.
Emily came from a nursing background but had been working for two years as a data scientist. However, she started to realize that even though she liked learning new skills in data science she was missing the impact that she had in her work as a nurse.
When she came to Anne-Lore she was looking to find a job that could combine the two things –work as a data scientist, but make an impact, and ideally in the healthcare industry.
She struggled to find job opportunities because there were just not that many available and spent three months searching with no success.
After working with Anne-Lore, she successfully secured a job in just eleven weeks.
Anne-Lore says she likes to remember this story because she knows a lot of people right now are feeling like there are just not enough jobs out there, and it's going to be impossible to land something.
But Emily was looking for something very specific and managed to make that happen.
Major tech hiring trends we are seeing in 2023
While the tech job market might not be the brightest it's ever been, it's not all doom and gloom. No matter what type of tech job you are searching for, with a little determination and strategy in your job search, you can land the role you are looking for.
One of the things that will help you most in your tech job search is understanding the current trends in the tech hiring world.
What tech jobs are companies hiring for right now?
When you start searching for your first tech job you need to know what your strengths are, what your interests are, but also what the current availability of roles is.
Software development and web development continues to grow as all types of business invest in new software, new apps, and everything digital.
In particular, we are seeing an increased demand for information security roles. This industry has really boomed in the last few years.
There is also an increased demand for data scientists as companies are continuing to make data-informed decisions using predictive modeling to understand what consumers will purchase.
Then we have UX designers continuing to grow as technology becomes more complex and being customer-centric is more important than ever.
So these are the ones where we're seeing lots of opportunities available and continuous growth so far in 2023:
What trends are affecting the tech jobs market?
Knowing what roles are being advertised can help you refine your job search, but it's not the only trend to look for.
We are seeing some other notable trends in the tech job market that are worth paying attention to.
Layoffs and the Great Resignation
Recently, all the big tech companies, such as Meta, Google, and Amazon have been making headlines for letting people go. So there has been a big decrease in the number of companies hiring. And those layoffs also mean more people are looking for jobs which creates more competition.
But we can also focus on the positive other side of this coin. A lot of tech workers have also been quitting and you may have been hearing about The Great Resignation.
For you, this means that companies now have to fight harder to keep their employees as well as replace the ones they have lost. This means they're going to offer more perks, flexibility, and befits – which is all great for you.
Remote work is another hiring trend we are seeing. Again this presents both a positive and a negative. As a tech worker when you land a remote role, you get a lot more freedom and flexibility with your work. However, remote hiring means companies can look further afield for candidates which increases your competition.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past six months, you will have felt the effects of inflation. From increased energy costs to spending more money at the supermarket, you are probably seeing that your euros don't stretch quite as far as they used to.
Well, the same is being felt by businesses. Inflation can mean that some companies cut back on hiring to mitigate costs. But fortunately, according to Gartner, IT budgets are forecast to increase by 2.4% in 2023. This means that while other departments will have to do more with less, tech teams will see their budgets increased.
For you, this could mean a higher salary as companies accommodate the rising inflation and try to attract top talent for their roles.
Tips to improve your tech job hunt and land more interviews
There are a lot of trends to consider and use to help you find your first tech job. But over the years Anne-Lore has also learned a thing or two about how to make yourself stand out in that search.
Here are her top tips to help you in your job hunt.
At the end of the day, if you're not reaching out to people or applying for jobs, you're not going to get any interviews, and no one is going to see your portfolio. So her first tip is to take action and make a plan.
When you start your day, make it clear what you want to do on that day.
What are you going to work on today?
What is important?
What's your first priority?
Your actions need to have intention. Decide when you're going to work on what and for how many hours. This way you can have structure in your day and you know when you're going to be working on what.
You will find this gives you more clarity, reduces stress, and reduces anxiety because you're going to know how to move forward.
Another thing is to be aware of context switching. For example, you start your day, you're going to finish a report. Then you're working on Instagram, reading your emails, looking at Facebook, and reading Slack. By the end of the day, you've barely done anything.
This type of context switching is very common when you're job searching. First, you're going to work on your CV. But then you think maybe you need to look on LinkedIn for jobs. So you look on LinkedIn for jobs, and you think, maybe I need to be networking with people. So now you're moving on to networking.
Then you're checking Instagram. Later someone calls you or you're getting WhatsApp notifications. All these results in you only working for maybe 30 minutes at a time.
To avoid this set yourself a clear schedule and try not to fit too many things into your day.
Leverage the job search community
Anne-Lores third and final tip is to leverage your community. If you have three rejections for tech jobs in a row (which happens sometimes) you can quickly get disheartened.
You start to wonder if you are the problem or that maybe you are missing some skills.
In fact, a lot of times, it's about the other person who happens to have a better connection with the interviewer. Maybe they have a friend that works at the company or they went to the same university.
There are so many things you can't control when it comes to the other applicants. But what you can do is partner with the community, work with a career coach or create your own accountability group to work with and share wins and challenges.
4 steps that you can take to stand out in a competitive market
Anne-Lore stresses that there is a lot that you, as a candidate looking for tech jobs, can do to improve your chances of landing an interview. But it would take ten blog posts to cover everything so here is her four-step process to start looking for a tech job.
1. The first thing is LinkedIn networking.
2. The second thing is to emphasize your transferable skills.
3. The third thing is to have an online presence.
4. And the last thing is to show eagerness to learn and the ability to collaborate.
A common mistake that job seekers make is to only apply by sending their CV. This doesn't work because per job opening there are sometimes up to a thousand applications. This is especially true if you're looking at very competitive companies, for example, Airbnb.
So you need to work on your portfolio and online presence to give yourself an edge and truly demonstrate your skills and what you are capable of.
Connect to hiring managers
The last thing that Anne-Lore covers is the importance of networking and connecting with hiring managers.
But you can't simply send a connection request on LinkedIn and ask for a job. That won't get you anywhere.
When you start making connections with hiring managers, always make it about them. Comment on their profile, and prove that you've researched what they do. Organize a call and then tell them you want to learn something from them. At the end of the call, if you build a good connection, you can mention that you have seen that they are hiring for the tech role you are interested in. Then ask them if they have any recommendations they can give you to increase your chances of landing an interview.
Can I be good at networking if I'm an introvert?
For some of you, who are introverted, the above might sound terrifying. Introverts typically think that they won't be any good at networking, but that's often not the case.
Networking does not solely rely on extroverted social skills. It is often more about preparation than having this natural ability to pitch yourself or to be very outgoing.
You have to prepare and know what the other person does, and where they work. Have questions prepared that show you really understand what it is they do.
On top of that, there is also listening. Introverts tend to be better listeners and at understanding what the details are. So, for example, someone might talk about, going skiing in Switzerland, as an introvert, you might be better at remembering that detail.
Get ready to use your network for your tech job search
That's all of the major insights Anne-Lore had to share with us. There is a lot for you to take away and apply to your search for your first tech job. If you are someone that has typically only sent in a CV and hoped for the best, you now have a lot of actions you can take away and start applying to your job search – the most important being to start networking.
If you want to learn more about how you can leverage your network to land your next tech job, you can watch the full webinar that Anne-Lore gave in partnership with Ironhack here.