Have you ever dreamed of getting a job at great companies like Google, Facebook?
For many people, their dreams is to get a job at Google some day and they don’t even consider it right after graduation.
Although new grads don’t have much industry experience, graduation is still one of the best opportunities for them to land a great job.
The number of full-time job openings for new grads has increased more than 20 percent since 2014.
In fact, students have a lot of advantages over experienced engineers when finding a job as we said in this post, for example new grads tend to have fresh memory of data structures/algorithms and companies usually have lower threshold.
In this post, I’d like to share with you tips that can help new grads get jobs at top companies.
Although it’s mostly specific to students, many tips and ideas also work for people with only few years experiences.
Tip #1: Internship
I guess most of you haven’t seen Google’s movie called Internship where two “old” folks got their full-time job after their three-month internships.
It’s for sure that internship is the shortcut to get a full-time job for that company.
Here’s why. First of all, it’s much easier to get an internship than a full-time job for the same company.
Take Google as an example, you only need to pass two phone screens to get an internship offer, while for full-time position, you need to have 4-5 on-site interviews after your phone screens. Let alone intern interviews are relatively easier and the bar is lower.
Secondly, companies like Facebook, Amazon have a very high intern full-time conversion rate.
The number depends on different companies and different year, but roughly it should be above 30%. If you compare 30% with the overall chance of getting the full-time job (0.2% for Google), you’ll realize how amazing it is.
Lastly, even if you failed to convert to the full-time position, your internship experience, stuffs you learned during the process can be extremely helpful to find another job.
Tip #2: Career fair
Career fair is another advantage of students. The tip here is not telling you that you should attend career fair, but you should be well-prepared for career fair.
More than 90% of students go to career fair without any preparation.
Remember that career fair is a great chance for you to impress recruiters in a face-to-face communication, which is way effective than submitting your application online.
When I say well-prepared, I mean you should be at least be prepared for the following items:
- Very familiar with companies you apply for. If it’s a small company, you have a great advantage if you know more about it. If it’s a large one, try to know more info than average people.
- Prepare your elevator pitch. You only have one minute to make yourself stand out.
- Prepare some coding questions. It’s more and more common to be asked about a coding question in career fairs. Most of them are not difficult, but it’s always better to prepare well for them.
- Of course you should have a well-formatted resume.
Tip #3: Ask for referral
Most people have the same experience that you’ve spent hours polishing your resume and submitting an online application to your dream company, then you are waiting for the recruiter’s call that will never happen.
This approach works sometimes, but a much better way is to ask for referral.
76 percent of job seekers ranked employee referrals as being of high to extremely high importance. This resource ranked higher than company career sites, job boards and even LinkedIn.
Also the higher the person referring you is on the corporate ladder, the better your chances of getting hired.
Almost all candidates (91 percent) referred by a director level or above were hired, versus 53 percent of hired referrals from an entry-level candidate, which is still incredibly high!
Go through you Facebook/Linkedin/Twitter/G+ connections and find someone works for your target company. As a student, you can also take advantage of your alumni even if you don’t know him/her directly.
The point is that there’s no shame to ask for referral and it doesn’t hurt if you are rejected. From my experience most people are willing to help especially you guys know each other directly or indirectly.
Tip #4: Data structure and algorithms
You won’t be able to get an offer if you screw up the interview. I would suggest people spend most of their effort and time on interview preparation.
For student, it’s even easier. Since they don’t have much working experience, they can make 90% of their preparation time focusing on data structure and algorithms.
I highly recommend you take a look at How To Ace Your Code Interview In One Month for details about preparation, and the general strategy is first be familiar with what you learned at school (basic knowledge), second have enough practice with coding questions.
Also this process is exactly the same as internship preparation and you can apply same strategy if you still have one year to graduate.
Tip #5: Mock interview
I don’t want to sound like self promotion, but it’s really important and helpful to have mock interviews when you have no experience or limited experience about interview.
Many students have no idea what will be asked in an interview and what/how to prepare.
It is not the case that they are not hard working enough, but they just don’t know the right direction to fight for.
On the contrary, if you have a clear expectation about the interview, you will definitely be able to prepare more efficiently by working on the right thing.
For instance, a lot of students don’t pay enough attention on big-O analysis, which however is one of the most important concepts in an interview.
Another advantage is that a mock interview will give you a chance to practice and evaluate your communication skills.
Certain soft skills like analysis and communication skills are also evaluated in an interview, which can hardly prepare by yourself. If the interviewer is experienced enough, he can easily discover your drawbacks and amplify them by digging into your uncomfortable zone.
Tip #6: Course projects
If you still have more than one semesters to graduate, I would suggest you spend more time on different projects. It can be course projects from your school, or you can just work on some side projects that interest you.
The benefit is quite obvious. You won’t be able to really understand what you learned at school until you use them in real life.
Once you have worked on many real projects, a lot of computer science concepts that you were dreaded at first just become very natural to you.
Also when you are working on a project, it’s for sure that you need to learn a variety of techniques. Not only will this help you prepare an interview, but you’ll also benefit from this in your future work.
Many experienced engineers believe that graduation is the best time to get a job in top tech companies due to a bunch of advantages like fresh memory, lower bar etc..
For students, the most important thing is to have a clear expectation about your roadmap and your plan. If you are targeting a summer intern, then you’d better prepare at least several months to half a year in advance. If you are preparing a coding interview, you should start as early as possible.
What other tips to get a great job after graduation?
We first match you with an interviewer based on your preference, target company etc.. Then mock interview will be conducted in exactly the same way as a real interview. Finally you will receive authentic feedbacks from our interviewers about your performance and you are free to ask any questions. Check FAQ section for more questions.
Leave your name and email to learn more about Gainlo below.