Following on from the industry insight from Travelfusion, part two of our Working in Tech blog draws on advice from our knowledgeable team of Careers Consultants to help you put your dreams into action and break into the tech industry.
So what is the tech industry?
The tech industry covers a huge range of work – from using data science to make management decisions, to artificial intelligence and machine learning. It’s at the forefront of future change and a major expanding market in the UK – so now is a great time to get stuck in. Check out our sector guides to learn how to start discovering the industry and focussing your ideas.
But when it comes to the action stage, of your career journey, it can be tricky to know where to start crafting a technically-focussed application. So, our Careers Consultant Laura has shared what to expect.
- Craft a tech-focussed CV
As with any CV, you should make it relevant, evidence-based and easy to read.
In a technical CV, your technical capabilities will feature heavily, but you should be careful not to neglect your soft and transferrable skills. Employers want to hire people who will be good at their job AND good to work with, so show them when you’ve worked in a team, successfully communicated, or extended your interpersonal skills.
- Practice and show off your work
If you’re into programming, you should practice these skills through online coding platforms or repositories. The ones to use are:
- GitHub : with over 28 million users, GitHub is a leading hosting service for repositories. You can use it to make your programming public and visible to potential employers
- Bitbucket: a competitor of GitHub
- HackerRank: use this online coding platform to answer coding tests in several languages (python, java etc) and practice and prepare for interviews
- Codewars: similar to HackerRank, Codewars is a really useful resource for sharpening your coding skills
- Stackexchange: a Q&A community where people who are specialists / experts can earn ‘trust’ by answering questions in their specialist areas
- Kaggle: an online community of data scientists and machine learners where they can publish and search for datasets, work collaboratively, and share code and algorithms
- Topcoder: similar to Kaggle, Topcoder uses crowdsourcing to sell services, paying community members for their work
- Codecademy: an online interactive programme that offers free coding classes in 12 different languages
- Prepare for technical interviews
As with any interview, you will have to prep – and read our comprehensive guidance here. Interviewers will want to see passion for tech and knowledge of the industry, which you can show by learning and evaluating programming languages, for example.
You’ll probably be asked technology-related questions, such as:
- What would you improve or change about mySQL / PostgreSQL / Python?
- Compare mySQL to PostgreSQL. When would you use one or the other? [other technologies can be substituted e.g. Perl / Python / Ruby.]
- What does it mean to encrypt something? What are the different types of encryption?
- What’s the most challenging project that you have worked on?
Don’t worry if that feels daunting – it is possible. Check out this advice from King’s students who recently completed tech and finance internships and spoke about these at our networking event “Getting those Technology and Finance Internships” in November:
- “I applied for 17 and I got rejected by 16 – don’t give up! Treat every application individually – you will get lots of rejections.”
- “Don’t apply to 300 internships – there’s no point. Focus your energy.”
- “Apply in batches – otherwise you’ll have loads of online psychometric tests to do all at once in your inbox!”
- “Quality – Do your research on the culture and values of the firm – I focused on quality and it works.”
- “Make around 30-40 applications and focus on types of work/industries you want to work in.”
- “Use a spreadsheet to keep track of your applications.”
- “Think about smaller companies and the ‘challengers’ in finance and technology too, such as Deliveroo, Starling Bank, Monzo – the apps on your phone could be a good place to start!”
- “Don’t assume that because you’ve been rejected by some of your least favoured organisations, you’ll be rejected by your favourites too. It doesn’t work that way!”
So don’t despair – and go get that tech job!