As Summer 2019 fast approaches it’s time for a lot of University students to start looking for their first graduate tech job! When you don’t have prior experience of searching, applying and interviewing for jobs then it can be a pretty daunting experience, so we have rounded up 8 key job search trends within the current graduate tech recruitment world to help you along the way.
The job search trends that tech graduates need to know...
The search is moving outside of the job boards
Job search used to mean one thing, taking to sites like Monster and Totaljobs to look for a job, uploading your CV and waiting for a recruiter to call back. This of course still happens but there are a lot more avenues that you can use to conduct your search. Google launched “Google for jobs” last year, so you can even find a great job opportunity by typing your search criteria (e.g. Graduate Software Developer Manchester) straight into your Google search! Facebook jobs feature has also improved a lot over the last 12 months so this is worth checking out, and you may even spot targeted adverts for relevant tech jobs on social media too. If you haven’t done it already, we suggest you create a profile on LinkedIn, it’s free and it can help you get spotted by thousands of employers and recruiters. We have a historic blog post on Gradability with advice on populating a LinkedIn profile – you can check it out here.
Comprehensive company research
Whilst researching a company once meant checking out their website to learn a bit more about them to prepare for your application / interview, it’s now all about seeing if you think that company is going to be right for you as a potential employer or not. Sites like Glassdoor have created transparency in everything from the employees’ opinion of their CEO, their salary brackets, the benefits a company offer as well as feedback from past and present employees there. You might also want to check out their social media platforms to get an authentic insight to the working environment and company culture, which is something that a lot of companies won’t promote on their corporate website.
Graduate tech jobs across more industries
There was a time when a graduate with a “BSc in Computer Science” would look only to tech companies and software houses for their first graduate job, but with so many advancements in tech and new industries emerging it seems that there are so many options out there. In some instances there are emerging industries such as FinTech that offer great opportunities to graduates that didn’t exist 10 years ago, in others it is simply that more companies have a demand for tech talent whether tech is at the heart of what they do or not. Don’t be afraid to widen the goalposts and consider graduate tech jobs within different industries.
Companies are focusing more on personality fit
Previously most companies’ focus was on a candidate’s skills, experience and CV when considering an application, but in recent years we have seen more companies considering personality fit as a key decider in the process. Psychometric testing is becoming increasingly common, and companies are also using the interview as an opportunity to introduce candidates to the wider team to ensure they have the right personality fit too, so be prepared to interview on more than just your tech skills!
Part of the process may take place via tech
A lot of companies use an ATS (applicant tracking system) to process and manage applications, and in some instances these systems will scan CV’s to determine if they are a good fit for the job role or not before a person has actually even opened and read your CV. For that reason it is vital that you populate your application and CV with relevant keywords for the job (as long as these are skills you hold of course). You may also be asked to carry out an interview screen via a video call such as Skype, BlueJeans or Zoom, in which case you’ll need to ensure you have a laptop / computer / tablet you can use, have the relevant software downloaded to carry out the call and of course that you treat it with the same presentation as you would a face to face interview. Dress the part, make sure your background isn’t too distracting and ensure the space is quiet enough to carry out the call.
Companies want to see applications that stand out
A popular company advertising a graduate tech role can receive hundreds of applications from interested graduates, and when most graduates have a similar background in terms of the course they studied and the experience they have so far it can be difficult for a hiring manager to choose which applications to consider. With this in mind we are seeing more applications outside of the traditional CV, with everything from websites, to videos to visual infographics. If you want to get noticed it’s worth trying something a little off the wall – here are a few ideas to get you inspired!
Companies want to see you using tech in your spare time
A degree in Computer Science is a great basis for a graduate tech application, but if you can demonstrate that you dedicate your spare time to developing your technical skills and understanding then it will help show the employer that you have a great work ethic and desire to learn. If coding and development is your thing, check out Codecademy for free courses, tech topics and the opportunity to develop your skills.
A more enjoyable interview style
With a “tech skills shortage” companies are recognising that they no longer hold all the cards when it comes to interview, and candidates actually use the interview as a chance to decide whether or not they would like to work for that company too. Interviews are less likely to be gruelling, scary experiences and instead a chance to openly discuss your skills and future ambitions. A competitive edge in an interview is still an advantage however so make sure you prepare with plenty of company research and rehearse a few good points to explain why you are a good fit for the position.
If you are a student / graduate looking to begin your tech job search then visit our job portal for the latest opportunities or drop your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the ball rolling on your new career.