If you’ve set out to uplevel your career and are looking for a $500k tech job, there are many factors you’d need to consider. While you may figure out the best companies or in-demand roles you want to go for, actually finding openings for these jobs and getting shortlisted for the interview is a task on its own.
At Interview Kickstart, we’ve helped over 9,000 software engineers land their dream jobs. We know exactly what needs to be done to get noticed by recruiters. In this article, we’ll share some handy tips to help you out with your hunt.
FAANG recruiters employ multiple channels to identify potential candidates for open positions. This means you have multiple routes by which you can identify and apply for roles of interest. Understanding how each of these channels works can help optimize your job search and application process, which, in turn, can help increase your visibility to FAANG recruiters. Here are the routes that we’ll cover:
- Informational interviews
- Job portals/tech job boards
- Company websites
- Emailing recruiters
1. Leveraging LinkedIn for FAANG Opportunities
LinkedIn is a key channel to find and apply for software engineering jobs at large tech companies, including FAANG companies. Utilize LinkedIn to discover opportunities at tech companies using the job search feature. Following are some ways to leverage LinkedIn.
Search Using the Right Keywords
Input relevant keywords to optimize your job search results on LinkedIn. These can be industry-related keywords or job-specific keywords.
- Common keywords include roles, titles, levels, skills, technologies, education qualifications, industry, location, and company.
- Use a combination of keywords to narrow your search, e.g., “senior software engineer + location + company.”
- Identify keywords from job descriptions and profiles of people in similar positions.
Check Company Career Pages on LinkedIn
You can learn more about open positions at companies you’re interested in by visiting their careers pages on LinkedIn. These are similar to career pages on company websites.
Follow your preferred companies to have their posts show up in your feed and get alerts for new openings.
LinkedIn is, essentially, a professional networking site. Developing the right connections can help you unlock opportunities at your preferred companies.
Recruiters often scan your connections for your associations within the industry. Having a network in your industry tells recruiters of your interest in the tech community. Too few connections can make you appear non-personable.
Connect With Recruiters
One way to get your application to FAANG recruiters is to establish a connection and reach out to them on LinkedIn. To identify recruiters at a company of your choice, perform a search using the keywords ‘recruiter’ and ‘the company name.’
You can also narrow your search by looking up recruiters in a location of choice. Once you’ve identified a recruiter, reach out to them in one of these ways:
- View their profiles: They may, in turn, view your profile and identify you as a person of interest.
- Request to connect: Large tech companies employ a large number of recruiters. Connect with as many recruiters as possible from each company of choice to improve response rates.
- Send a personalized message: Include a personalized message introducing yourself establishing why you’re connecting with them. Mention a specific role or open position you’re interested in.
- Send an email with your resume: If a recruiter lists an email id, you can send an email introducing yourself for any suitable positions or pitch for a particular position you’re interested in within the organization.
- Follow-up messages: If you don’t get a response, follow up after a while, restating your interest in the company. If you get a rejection, follow up to understand the areas you can improve on.
Connect With Employees
Check your contacts and identify people who work at companies you’re targeting.
- Reach out to these contacts to enquire about open positions.
- Find out who you should connect with in the company to get your application noticed.
- Try to get a referral.
If you don’t have contacts in a target company, look for employees at similar or higher levels for roles you are interested in. Add them as contacts. Reach out with a message stating your interest in a particular role within their organization.
Try to connect with employees who can influence hiring decisions, such as hiring managers or senior-level engineers who can generate a lead or give you a referral.
Increase Your Visibility
Recruiters use LinkedIn to scout for talent. Since senior tech talent is not as competitive as mid and junior-level talent, chances are, if you’re qualified, recruiters will reach out to you.
Besides proactively discovering and applying for positions at various companies, optimize your profile to appear in recruiters’ search results.
Complete and Update Your Profile
Ensure that your profile is complete and up to date:
- Upload a professional photo.
- Write a headline that immediately tells a recruiter who you are.
- Include a summary that entices recruiters to look at the rest of your profile.
- Specify your location since recruiters search for talent at specific locations.
- Since recruiters search or filter profiles based on these aspects, complete all sections, including education, skills, and endorsements.
Recruiters are constantly scouting for and reaching out to talent, especially senior talent. Keep your profile up-to-date so recruiters don’t pass you over because they can’t see your most recent experience.
Ensure your profile and resume are in sync and that all information provided is accurate.
Use the Right Keywords in Your Profile
Recruiters perform searches using keywords. Ensure your profile is optimized to show up in search results by including relevant industry and job-specific keywords. Identify keywords from job descriptions and profiles of people in roles you are interested in.
Utilize the summary, skills, and endorsement sections to make your profile keyword-rich organically.
Create a solid professional image by featuring a few impactful endorsements instead of numerous mediocre ones. Endorsements should relate to your prospective roles and top skills.
Choose a mix of reviews from superiors, colleagues, and juniors to show how different people you’ve worked with see you.
LinkedIn algorithms favor active users by featuring them in search results more than inactive users. You can stay active by posting regularly on your home page, engaging through likes and comments on posts by others, and participating in discussions.
Ensure your activity is relevant to your tech interests.
Important Note: Check your settings. Ensure that your settings show that you’re open to new opportunities. This improves your visibility and signals to recruiters that they can approach you.
Referrals are more effective when it comes to getting interview calls than applying for a job yourself. Recruiters prefer candidates referred by internal employees. This is because recruiters believe employees know what the company is looking for and whether their referral will be a good fit.
Employees are usually financially rewarded if a referral is hired. This motivates them to refer the right people and ensure their referrals’ applications reach the recruiting team. Employees can also get valuable feedback about their referral profiles that applicants aren’t usually privy to.
To get referrals at your preferred companies:
- Reach out to people in your social or professional circles who work in companies you’re targeting.
- Look through your LinkedIn contact list to see if anyone in your network works at companies you’re targeting or is connected to someone at these companies.
- Search for employees working in roles you’re interested in at your targeted companies. Reach out to them and add them as a contact or send them a message.
Unless you’re reaching out to someone you know personally and know well, you’ll first have to establish a relationship with your connection before asking them to refer you. This takes time and effort but can yield positive results in getting interviews.
Building a network and cultivating relationships to a point where you can leverage them takes time. We recommend it because having the right network of people can:
- Help you get referrals at multiple companies.
- Keep you updated on the latest opportunities and recruitment processes in different companies.
- Help you learn about what people are working on at their companies and the skills in-demand.
- Help you meet people of influence at various companies.
Here are some tips for building a wide network.
Connect With Colleagues
Deepen professional relationships with colleagues beyond your team; connect with a broader circle of people within your organization.
Connecting with superiors and members of hiring teams can help you gain insights into how to grow into senior roles. Ask for introductions to their network outside your organization.
Connect Through Professional Interests
Attend events that draw people from various companies. It’s easy to connect and build a professional network with people when you share a common ground. Find events online or via social media or meetups. Common avenues to do this are:
- Company-sponsored events and career fairs
- Tech communities or groups
Connect with people of interest via social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and online platforms like tech forums, tech communities, etc. Follow people of interest online, share relevant content on your social media feeds or web pages or blogs, and engage with third-party tech content.
4. Job Portals and Tech Job Boards
Job portals feature tech job postings for various levels at top companies. Tech job boards are dedicated to job openings within the tech industry. Recruiters scout job portals and tech job boards for prospective talent. Submitting your resume to these sites lets recruiters contact you if you’re a match for a job opening in their company.
5. Company Website
Companies feature career pages on their websites, listing job openings for various levels within their organizations. You can read job descriptions and apply directly through these sites. Instructions on how to apply are usually clearly stated on these pages.
6. Email Recruiters
Emailing your resume to recruiters is one way to get your application noticed. If you’ve already applied for an opening, use your email to draw attention to this and pique the recruiter’s interest to learn more about you.
If you haven’t applied, use your email as a cover letter. Introduce yourself, mention how you learned of the job opening, highlight your key skills, and explain why you’re a good fit for the position. It helps to research the recruiter for any common talking points; for example, you may have gone to the same school, have mutual connections, etc.
7. Informational Interviews
Informational interviews are a great way to get insights about job openings, build connections, expand your network, and get referrals. An informational interview is an informal interview or meeting with people from within the industry who can offer advice and information about prospective jobs.
These interviews are beneficial because they can equip you with information you may not find online or from your regular network. Use these interviews to get insights into:
- The types of projects currently being undertaken or upcoming projects and skills companies are looking for.
- Company interview processes and the best way to prepare for them.
- Company culture, career growth prospects, and compensation.
You can set up informational interviews with:
- People in your professional network
- Friends and family, who can provide relevant information
- People of interest via professional networking platforms
A lot of job postings are never advertised or are filled via referrals only. Through these informational interviews, you may learn of career paths or positions you were unaware of or may have never been privy to.
Remember, informational interviews are only to seek information and advice, not to solicit favors or directly inquire about job openings. Utilize them to build valuable professional connections that can lead to a referral at a later point.
Ready to Uplevel Your Career?
Applying for a job is just the first step. If you need help brushing up on tech, behavioral, and interviewing skills, register for Interview Kickstart’s FREE webinar to understand the best way to prepare for tech interviews at FAANG+ companies. IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview.
We’ve trained thousands of engineers to land dream offers at the biggest companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Netflix, among others. Check out some reviews to know more.