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Navigating the tech job market in 2024: How to stand out among growing competition

Navigating the tech job market in 2024: How to stand out among growing competition

  • Understand your unique brand
  • Have a specific job goal in mind
  • Develop a plan and track it 
  • Work on your job search daily
  • Optimize your resume, LinkedIn, and portfolio
  • Adapt your resume and cover letter to each job
  • 5 Steps to optimize your search in the 2024 tech job market 
  • 1. Contact recruiters 
  • 2. Talk to people you know
  • 3. Use your time wisely
  • 4. Interview strategically
  • 5. Never stop following up
  • Key Takeaways

Worldwide, the job landscape has become more competitive, especially for remote roles. The hiring rate is down in some industries while others like technology and media experienced growth. Regardless of the challenges, it is possible to get a tech job.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the current tech job market? Not sure how to land your next remote role? Don't worry, you're not alone. We're here to help with actionable strategies and insights to help you carve out your place in the bustling tech industry.

On the global stage, job vacancies are taking a bit of a dip, paving the way for a highly competitive job landscape in 2024, especially for those eyeing remote positions. However, almost one in two positions offered in the technology, information, and media sectors are remote or hybrid. So, if you’re interested in working remotely, we’ll explore the golden rules that’ll help you land a great job despite the challenges.

In this blog, we’ll discuss:

  • How to organize and structure your job search

  • Customizing an eye-catching resume

  • 5 tips to maximize job opportunities

Statistical Insight

In the US, purely online jobs were down to 10% of all offers in December 2023, and hybrid positions were holding steady at 13%. Despite the decreased odds, working remotely is still a favorite for job seekers, with 45.9% of US job applications targeting such roles, per LinkedIn. Also, the hiring rate for the technology, information, and media sectors had a remarkable 11.6% growth compared to July.

Understand your unique brand

It’s critical that you identify and communicate the key characteristics that make you unique in the job market. They could include your experience, education, training, skills, and traits. Once you've understood what makes you stand out, it's essential to effectively showcase these qualities. For instance, highlighting your attention to detail in creating user-friendly websites and actively sharing your projects on LinkedIn can significantly attract recruiters' attention within your network. 

Have a specific job goal in mind

Research jobs you are qualified for and that also interest you. Document the skills that match or exceed what each job requires. For example, if you are applying to full-stack-development jobs, disclose your skills in building both the front and the back-end. 

Develop a plan and track it 

A goal without a plan is just a wish, so once you have identified your job goal, develop a plan to achieve it. This should include detailed steps such as a list of things to prepare, identifying interesting offers, tracking your interviews and technical tests, and collecting feedback. It would even be beneficial to note how many offers you received. Documenting these steps will create structure and ensure you stick to your plan.

Work on your job search daily

After developing a plan, it’s time to get to work. Your next step should be to pull out your calendar and set a daily job-search agenda. No day should pass where you do not achieve something related to your job search. These can include: applying to jobs, networking at a meetup, following up on a job lead, or researching prospective employers.

Optimize your resume, LinkedIn, and portfolio

Your resume (and portfolio) is key to getting an interview. Review yours, including your LinkedIn, making adjustments as necessary. If you are enrolled or about to enroll in a coding bootcamp, be sure to take full advantage of their career services to prepare and polish your presentation materials. Get as much expert feedback as you can!

Adapt your resume and cover letter to each job

Every resume and cover letter you submit to an employer must show your unique fit for that specific position. If you are looking for a position in Data Science, for example, convey your understanding of the role and show how you master the required skills. 

Here’s how you can customize your resume for a specific position:

  • Analyze the job listing requirements and make a list of the keywords repeated or emphasized in the job duties. Focus on hard skills (industry specific) over soft skills (could apply to any role). 

  • Continue your research by looking at job postings for similar jobs or Linkedin profiles of people who have the job title you’re aiming for. You will probably notice the same keywords appearing. 

  • Connect your skills with the company’s requirements and those found in your additional research. Which skills do you have? Which ones do you need to gain or improve on? For the ones you have, sprinkle them throughout your resume!

  • Apply. Finally, after thorough research and tailoring your resume, apply to the job posting.

5 Steps to optimize your search in the 2024 tech job market 

While an effective resume is going to help you land an interview, there are more strategies that can help you maximize your opportunities. 

These five strategies are:

1. Contact recruiters 

Do your research and personalize your message to the specific company and position. Be concise and professional in your communication. Avoid being pushy or demanding. Choose the right timing; wait a reasonable amount of time after applying (usually one to two weeks) before reaching out.

By strategically and politely approaching recruiters, you can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed and considered for the job. Remember, a well-timed and well-written follow-up can be the difference between getting lost in the applicant pool and landing an interview with your dream company.

2. Talk to people you know

Repeat this mantra to yourself: “Networking is one of the best tools for finding a new job.” All the other job-search tools combined don’t equal the power of networking in helping you find that next great job opportunity. 

3. Use your time wisely

Don’t waste time with weak and ineffective job search techniques. For example, something like job boards should be low on the priority list. An open entry-level position could receive more than 100 applications per day!

So, get out there, network, and think out of the box!

4. Interview strategically

Always prepare for a job interview. Ask your employer's contact about what to expect. When possible, research the interviewers. At the interview, gather contact information on each person who interviews you so that you can follow up with an email. And always have questions ready for them—remember, the interview is a two-way street; you are interviewing them too.

5. Never stop following up

Don’t be afraid to be seen as pushy or too eager. As long as you are professional in your follow-up, this should not be a concern. Following up with employers shows your continued interest and allows you to provide more information and make your case to be hired.

Stay agile, prepare, think out of the box, and start searching! With these strategies, you'll be well-equipped to succeed in the dynamic landscape of tech careers in 2024 and beyond.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tailor a resume that features your key characteristics and the skills employers are looking for.

  2. Developing a plan creates structure and incentive to follow through with your plan.

  3. Networking is one of the best tools to help you find your next job.

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