Fresh Grad: The Silicon Valley experience with Sumi – IV

Hope my articles have gotten you all revved up to start applying for those Fresh Grad, Silicon Valley jobs!

Not sure where to start? No worries! In today’s segment, I’m going to give you a sequence of tips to follow to get you on your way to that job:

Step 1: Size it up! Before anything else, understand the pros and cons associated with companies based on size: big, medium, and small. Focus on applying to companies that, based on your understanding, are the right size for you. If you’re fresh out of grad school and aim to learn the ropes of the industry fast and take on more responsibility quickly, you would likely prefer smaller companies. However, if you’re looking to learn the ropes of the industry at a slower pace in an environment with more of an established process and lesser responsibility to begin with, you would likely prefer bigger companies. If you’re unsure about a particular company, ask your recruiter or its employees questions about its size and work culture.

Step 2: Get your résumé in shape. Have several pairs of eyes (trusted friends in the industry and more importantly, your school’s career development center) take a look at your résumé so you can restructure it to look neat and showcase your skill-set to capture what recruiters are scanning for.

Step 3: Send in those applications. The most reliable ways to apply are through your school’s online career portal, career fairs, or your own personal network, but you can also apply through AngelList, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor (my 3 recommendations). Start reaching out to recruiters at companies you’re genuinely interested in with a brief introduction and your résumé. I’ve said this in my previous article, and I’ll say it again: Do some research on your favorite companies and show them how passionate you are for the role by telling them how you can contribute to make their product a success. The best way to do this is to actually use their product, if you can. Companies highly value insightful feedback into their products and will be much more responsive to you.

Step 4: Create a prep calendar. And now, since I trust you’ve been getting those interview calls after following steps 1, 2, and 3, keep yourself organized. Especially for tech jobs in the Bay Area, interviewing is itself a skill that takes time to master- it takes practice to collect your thoughts and present yourself and your problem-solving skills in the best way possible. To get this practice, have friends, preferably ones who’ve been through the interview process at least once, mock-interview you. Many school’s career development centers also offer mock interviews, so make an appointment with them. If there has to be one takeaway from this article, this is it. You’re much more likely to practice if you formally set up mock interviews on a calendar, so just do it! Keep it up regularly (once, or twice a week) to keep yourself in good shape to interview.

Okay. Now that it’s time to interview, what can you expect?

Stay tuned for my next article on gauging a company’s vibe during an interview to see if it’s the right fit for you!


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