Let’s Get You Hired: This Is How To Get A Job In Tech

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This week on Let’s Get You Hired we cover how to get a job in the Tech industry. That means, we are looking at the profile that you should have, and some CV tips that will get you through the door. Even if you don’t have hardcore Tech skills, there are positions for humanities majors in the Tech world.

Our expert for this week is the Ghanaian-born Charles Wartemberg who happens to be the Senior Product Manager at Microsoft. And before that position, he was the Senior Vendor Manager at Amazon. Charles is also a part of the hiring process at the company. As such he understands what Tech companies are looking for in new employees.

Rule Number One: Be Humble

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According to Charles, a lot people finish school with a dream job in mind, or a dream company that they want to work at. However, Charles believes that it is very important as a new graduate—a job seeker—that you be humble.

When Charles completed University, he spent 7 to 8 months at home—unemployed. And then he got a job that fell short of those dreams that he had for himself. It was a Sales Journalist role that basically required him to call customers and tell them the status of their orders. This was someone with a Mechanical Engineering degree.

In the long run though, Charles learnt to appreciate that job, and it helped him grow his work ethic. He learnt core skills that are important to performing well at any job. Incidentally, the company also covered the fees for him to go to graduate school.

If You Don’t Get Into The Work Space Early, It’s Harder To Get In LAter.

—Jemila Abdulai

So, what we’re saying is, if you’re unemployed, be open-minded in terms of the opportunities that you are considering. It’s also a good idea to find something to do in the mean time. Learning a skill is so accessible in the times that we’re in. Just hop on the internet, and build yourself, in your areas of interest.

This Is What It Takes To Get A Job In Tech

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When asked what the most important skills are for someone working in Tech, the answer was not exactly what you would expect.

According to Charles, there are so many people with the technical skills to do the job. Whatever coding skills or Tech skills that you think that you have, other people have them too. What a company like Microsoft is looking for is people with Emotional Intelligence (EQ).

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is also called being life smart. It means taking a human-centered approach to work, which is what a lot of companies are looking for in an employee. To demonstrate this point, Charles explains how performance is graded at Microsoft.

  • The Impact That You Have
  • How You Leverage Other People’s Work
  • How Other People Leverage Your Work

From that, you can tell that a huge part of the way that employees are evaluated at the company involves how they interact with other people.

Not Everybody Codes At A Tech Company

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Charles’ number one tip for landing a job that you want, is showing the company that you want to work there. Fundamentally, companies want to hire people that want to work there. So during the hiring process, you will be asked ‘Why do you want to work here?’ And the answer to that single question, can determine whether you get the job or not, according to Charles.

That applies to everyone that wants to work at a Tech company, not just the coders. In fact, Charles estimates that only 30% of the people who work at a Tech company actually code. The rest of the employees support the people who code. A Tech company needs to sell its product, to find investors, to manage money and financial decision. And for all of this, the company needs people in sales, in finance, in marketing and in audit and so many other departments.

The employees at a Tech company are both people with Humanities backgrounds as well as people with Tech backgrounds.

CV Tips

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Charles also makes hiring decisions at Microsoft. He has looked at about 10,000 CVs over the course of his career. And according to him, he spends roughly 30 seconds looking at a CV.

He scans the top of the CV and the bottom. The most important of your working experiences (in relation to the job that you are applying for) should always be at the top of your CV. In the US where Charles is based, the ideal number of pages for a CV is one. Just a single page. Here, however, CV experts suggest keeping your CV at a maximum of 2-pages.

Finally, Charles couldn’t stress this point enough. Do not send the same CV out to multiple places and hope for a call back. Instead, tailor your CV to the jobs that you want. Go through the job description and make sure that you are mimicking some the words the employer has used to describe their ideal candidate.

Let’s Get You Hired is a weekly manual for job seekers. The series contains guides and tips on CVs, Interviews and other resources to get you hired.

This article was brought to you thanks to CV Convos (by Circumspecte and The New Career Platform). You can catch CV Convos on Instagram Live every Wednesday at 6pm. Follow @circumspecte_ to watch CV conversations with experts, and have your questions answered.

Source: Charles Wartemberg: Senior Product Manager, Microsoft via Circumspecte


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