In this week’s Fresh Grad segment, we go on to ask our recent grad panel the secret behind how they landed their jobs in Silicon Valley and tips for scoring your first post-graduate job. Check out the first article on what brought them to the Bay Area here:
Step 1: Create your network. Deepti, who currently works at leading regenerative medicine company SanBio, landed that big Bay Area offer fresh out of grad school, all the way from Minnesota. While still in school, she says, it’s important to figure out your areas of interest in your field of study. Then, aggressively network with people in these areas. It always makes an impact when you connect with someone you’re already familiar with or know through mutual friends for a job. Meet in person if you can, it lends that significant personal touch.
Step 2: Cast a wide net. Currently a business process analyst at a semiconductor giant, Suneesh recommends applying to a variety of positions related to your areas of interest. Because the Silicon Valley has a thriving industry with plenty of options, you may find jobs you like that you hadn’t earlier considered. In fact, meeting with a career counselor at your school or keeping active on AngelList (https://angel.co/, a neat portal to find hot new companies) is also an excellent way to find out about new and exciting career paths related to your field of study.
General tip: Got an idea? Pitch it! Suneesh also mentions that it’s cool to be a self-starter. Think proactively. Do you have a dream company? What feedback do you have for them, good and bad? How, on a high-level, would you implement an idea to make their product better? What’s their competition like? And of course, what makes you a good fit for them, and how can you contribute? Reaching out to companies with answers to these questions show them you’re passionate about their work and makes you that much more of a worthy candidate to them.
General tip: Use an existing job offer to your advantage. If you have an existing job offer, companies will very likely realize your value as their prospective employee, as well. Make sure you mention this at the beginning of the interview process. For instance, in my case, I’ve had companies go out of their way to show interest in me and fast-track my interviews just because I had a competitive offer in hand.
The job market in Silicon Valley is constantly changing, as are the needs of the startups or companies who may be hiring. That’s why it’s more important than ever to use your social network of contacts to stay connected to who’s hiring or may be offering an internship. Stay positive and eventually it will lead you to landing your first dream job.