Sick of seeing jobs require senior-level experience for an entry-level role?
Here’s how you can break out of that no-experience, no-job cycle to land a job in tech.
But isn’t it getting too saturated? And don’t I need an IT degree? You might ask.
Don’t worry - there’s still space for you if you’re committed to breaking into tech.
And here are 5 unique ways you can do it.
Let’s go through each method in more detail.
Psst: if you read till the end, there’s a top-secret tip waiting for you…
A huge part of getting hired is having the right experience.
And having the right experience means you need relevant and unique projects.
But what does that have to do with random word generators?
Well, earlier you wondered if tech is getting oversaturated. You can stand out from the rest if you have an interesting project, and random word generators help you with ideation.
Let’s say you’re interested in edtech. When we plug “edtech” into RelatedWords.org, a huge list of ideas come up.
Perhaps you can make an abacus-related project. Dig deeper into what problems this could solve. If you’re interested in design or product, perhaps you can create an abacus app to teach children math skills.
Pretend you’re a contractor for your dream company while doing this. What documents would you prepare? How would you present your work?
You can even ask friends and family to pretend to be the company and judge your work.
Remember: doing the project is only half of it. You must also share your project online - even sharing your progress can help you stand out in the job search.
Note: I actually did a unique project for my EntryLevel Data Analyst program. I tracked my time manually for 1 month then analyzed where I spent my time and how it impacted my happiness ratings. One day, I will share the project on EntryLevel’s Instagram.
“Network like your life depends on it.”
This was someone’s main takeaway at EntryLevel’s “How to Break into Tech” event.
But how do you even start?
Events is an easy way to do it. Not only will you learn something and have fun, you’ll also meet lots of like-minded, ambitious people in the tech community.
But don’t just attend the event. Share your learnings, your struggles, and your questions. Be very engaged so you can build those relationships with others. Maybe the company hosting the event will notice and hire you (this actually happened with an event attendee of Pangea.app, a Gen Z freelancer marketplace).
To find the best events:
For example, if you’re interested in working for an edtech company as a Data Analyst, here are all the events you could attend:
Ever been ghosted? 👻
Yes, it sucks.
But people are busy. Maybe they forgot to get back to you.
That’s why you need to follow up. Aim to follow up at least 3-4 times (spread out over 3 business days).
Remember: if you want something, you need to give it your best shot.
Don’t send 1 message, assume you got rejected, and give up. Try your best by following up, and if a potential mentor or recruiter still doesn’t respond, then you can improve your outreach strategy and move on.
Here’s a story to drive the point home. Recently, someone asked me to give feedback on their amazing UX design case study, but I had forgotten to respond to her. Today, they messaged me on another platform to remind me of their request. I gladly looked over the case study and gave feedback, all because of a quick follow-up message that took them only 5 seconds to send.
Psst: looking for mentors? Check out resources from EntryLevel’s Break Into Tech event for tips.
If you’re older than 18, you probably already have lots of experience.
Maybe even tech-related experience - but you don’t know it. Yet.
Here’s another story.
I once knew someone who worked in marketing for a healthcare company - let’s call her Nora.
Nora wanted to break into UX design because she liked solving problems, being creative, and improving the product for users. She was worried the field was oversaturated and it was too late for her - she only had years of experience in marketing, and not UX design.
But what Nora didn’t realize was experience is still experience.
Here’s how she can reframe her marketing tasks into UX tasks, just by changing the vocabulary used on her resume and LinkedIn.
Before (marketing vocab)
I was responsible for the end-to-end content creation process and analyzed post performance to optimize them for the target audience.
After (UX vocab)
I engaged with target users on multiple social media platforms to identify their needs, using data-informed decisions to iterate on solutions.
Nora also leveraged her work at a healthcare company to stand out as an authority on all things healthcare, marketing, and design. Her unique experiences made her an asset to the company she eventually joined as a UX designer.
Psst: if you’re wondering how to reframe your previous experience for a new role, this article for UX designers has more examples.
Close your eyes (after you read this sentence) and imagine you landed your dream job in tech.
What type of company is it?
What work are you doing?
Now, go out there and search for that dream work environment.
Don’t think it’s that simple? I’ll break it down even more - and once you answer these questions, hopefully you have more clarity on your job search next steps.
If you’re in the interview stages, send LinkedIn connection requests to current employees. (But please remember to leave a personalized connection note.)
Then, share something unique and interesting about the way you use the company’s product.
Example: I once interviewed for a time tracking app (coincidentally the same app I used for my EntryLevel data analyst project). Instead of asking employees to give interview tips, I asked “what’s the most unique way someone has used this app?”
Then I shared how I used the time-tracking calendar to draw a heart and their logo.
Maybe they’ll be so delighted they share it with the people in charge of hiring 👀