The Virtual CISO with Brandy Harris

Professional Certifications & Continuous Training , Recruitment & Reskilling Strategy , Training & Security Leadership

How to Land Your Dream Job in Tech

Tips to Get You to the Place in Your Career Where You Really Want to Be
How to Land Your Dream Job in Tech
Image: Getty Images

LinkedIn recently released its list of the top companies to work for in 2024, and it highlights organizations that excel in career growth and employee satisfaction. The list is based on eight key pillars, including the ability to advance, skills growth, company stability and gender diversity.

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Securing a technical position at a top company, such as those listed in LinkedIn's 2024 top companies, requires a strategic approach. These companies are known for their strong focus on innovation, employee growth and leveraging advanced technologies such as AI. And companies such as Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Google aren't just leaders in their industries; they're also places where employees thrive and develop.

How can you make your dream job a reality? As always, tailor-fit your resume and cover letter, but it takes more than that. Here are some practical tips to help you get started.

  • Build relevant skills in high-demand technologies. Familiarize yourself with AI tools and how they apply to the specific role you are looking to fill. Gain experience with cloud computing platforms such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. Consider building proficiency in programming languages relevant to your target role. Do a bit of research into which highly technical skills you will need, and build out your portfolio demonstrating those skills.
  • Get certifications and training. Training and education is not one-size-fits-all; there are multiple pathways to get there. Consider obtaining certifications from reputable institutions, such as AWS Certified Solutions Architect or Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer. Participate in online courses or boot camps that offer hands-on experience. You can even enroll in that degree program you have been thinking about. There are options; get out there and explore what is actually required for the role you want.
  • Gain practical experience. Work on as many projects as you successfully can. Engage in personal or open-source projects that showcase your technical skills and contribute to GitHub repositories. Network to find collaborative opportunities to work on projects that demonstrate your ability to solve real-world problems. You can also seek internships or co-op positions to gain practical industry experience or volunteer for technical roles in nonprofits or startups to build your portfolio.
  • Optimize your online presence. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Ensure it is complete and reflects the role you are trying to obtain. Be sure to highlight relevant skills, projects and experiences. You can also request recommendations from colleagues and mentors. This all serves to promote your credibility as an expert in the space.
  • Create a personal website or portfolio. You absolutely need to create a personal website to showcase your projects, resume and technical blog posts. Include links to your GitHub, LinkedIn and other professional profiles. Showcase and, when possible, quantify your achievements with metrics - e.g., "Improved system performance by 20%." Be sure to highlight any leadership roles you've held or significant contributions you've made to projects.
  • Network strategically. As much as we would all love job hunting to be only about the most qualified person getting hired, that's not reality. Networking is critical, and no one will do it for you. Connect with industry professionals by joining professional groups and forums related to your field. Attend industry conferences, webinars and meetups to expand your network and - this part is critical - talk to folks who already do the job you want to do.
  • Prepare for the interview. Research the company and familiarize yourself with recent news and developments related to its business. Be able to speak about the company's products, services and culture. Practice technical interviews using applicable platforms. For example, software developers can use LeetCode, HackerRank and CodeSignal to practice coding problems. Be prepared to explain your problem-solving thought process during the question-and-answer session.

Landing a technical job at a top company requires a combination of the right skills, practical experience and strategic networking. Let’s face it: Often you also need a little bit of luck. Following these steps and continuously improving your technical capabilities will increase your chances of getting noticed and hired by leading companies in your field.

About the Author

Brandy Harris

Brandy Harris

Director, Learning And Organizational Development,

Harris has more than 20 years of experience in education and is dedicated to evolving the cybersecurity workforce. She develops and evaluates cybersecurity programs. Harris promotes diversity and inclusion in cybersecurity by fostering collaboration between industry and academia, aiming to bridge the talent gap and drive positive change. She previously served as assistant dean and faculty member in the graduate cybersecurity program at Grand Canyon University.

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