In 2023, the numbers are even worse. Tech layoffs claimed over 100,000 jobs in the first quarter alone, affecting workers at more than 500 companies. Announcements in recent weeks from companies like Meta, Amazon, and Accenture reveal the layoffs will continue as 2023 unfolds.
To say it’s an uncertain time for tech workers is a gross understatement. Regardless of the department you work in, if you get your paycheck from a tech company, it’s time to start thinking about how to market yourself. Here are some tips that can help you find your next tech position.
Take Steps that Will Make You Stand Out
There are a number of steps most laid-off workers will quickly take when starting a new job search, including updating résumés and becoming more active in professional networks. Those who are especially motivated may even add to their certifications.
While all of those are important, they won’t be enough to make you stand out. To capture the attention of a hiring manager, you will need to show you bring something unique. Examples include:
- Sharing your failures: When marketing yourself, talk about times when you failed and how you grew through the experience. This will show that you aren’t afraid to take risks, make mistakes, and move forward with new wisdom and strength. In the sea of humble bragging that exists on LinkedIn, you’ll stand out by being vulnerable and sharing a personal story. You can also share the experience in a blog post or social post or during face-to-face networking.
- Pursuing a passion project: Volunteering your skills for free, starting a podcast, or taking part in industry events will show the passion you have for your work. Put yourself out there in the circles and the conversations that get you excited, and seek opportunities to work with others in your field. Whether it’s joining a study or starting a lunch club, it will open doors that others aren’t even knocking on.
- Going to therapy or getting a coach: Self-awareness is the most undervalued skill an employee can bring to the workplace. Time with a therapist or coach can help you discover what makes you tick, as well as help you understand what it will take to achieve the career you’ve always wanted.
Become an Always-On Learner
Tech certifications rarely deliver what they promise. They may get you an interview, but they won’t get you the job, nor will they set you apart from the hundreds of thousands of other tech pros who have the same certification. Seek certifications when they make sense, but balance them with a commitment to approach learning as an always-on activity.
Diving into a social learning platform will bring you balance and boost your marketability. These interactive platforms provide a forum where you can explore personal and professional goals by learning actionable insights from real-world leaders, as well as allow you to connect with and get support from colleagues in your field. They are a place to pursue professional upskilling that’s accessible and always up to date.
Leadership development and sales enablement are two highly marketable topics to pursue through social learning—no matter your area of expertise. Navigating change is another skill that’s valued in the fast-paced tech world.
Regardless of the topics you choose to focus on, the key is making a commitment to be an always-on learner. If you rely on tech certifications, you become out of date and irrelevant as quickly as they do.
Make Sure That Your Brand Is Accessible
The work you do to enhance your personal brand will be wasted if it isn’t easily accessible, so make sure to promote all of your efforts. Having a personal website is a good start for those looking to showcase their work, share thought leadership, and provide contact info. Guest blogging, podcasting, and media appearances are all ways you can drive people to your site or other public profiles.
Connecting with other professionals in your field is also important for improving your visibility. Joining a professional organization will help to build your network, showcase your expertise, and gain access to resources. You should also spend time on social networks that make sense for your area of expertise. LinkedIn, for example, isn’t a great place for viral content but is still highly effective for connecting with other professionals.
Avoid Common Marketing Blunders
No matter how desperate the situation may feel, there are definitely some things you shouldn’t do when marketing yourself. Spamming, for example, is definitely out, and sending unsolicited messages that aren’t personalized or relevant will damage your credibility. In general, generic messaging is a waste of time. You will get higher open and reply rates to messages that are thoughtful and crafted specifically for the person or company you’re targeting.
Additionally, applying to every job posting you see is never a good idea. If you don’t know what you want to pursue next, you will only waste time and run the risk of landing a job that won’t be a good fit for you or your employer in the long run. Instead, identify positions that are best tailored to your skills, interests, and goals, then focus all your efforts in that direction.
In the end, no amount of marketing will help you if you aren’t marketable. If you don’t have the skills, experience, or connections to make you a stand-out applicant, seek ways to obtain them. Connect with a professional organization or a social learning platform, or become known as a podcaster or guest blogger. Take some steps that will show a prospective employer you’ll bring expertise and passion to the organization.
Nellie Wartoft is a Swedish entrepreneur who launched social learning platform Tigerhall in 2019, revolutionizing how professionals learn from one another in the real world. Under Wartoft’s leadership as CEO, Tigerhall has quickly gained traction, with users across 32 countries and employees in 12 markets. Wartoft has raised over $10 million in venture capital from visionary investors like Sequoia Capital and Monk’s Hill Ventures, and Tigerhall’s customers include global Fortune 500 firms in technology, FMCG, professional services, and financial services.
Before founding Tigerhall, Wartoft was a top biller at Michael Page, where she led the sales and marketing practice and saw firsthand the issues in talent development and enterprise learning and how the technology used in corporate learning led to employee dissatisfaction and disengagement in their own professional development. Her experience led her to launch Tigerhall, which bridges the skills gap by providing actionable insights from industry experts, or Thinkfluencers, delivered in ways that leverage common user behaviors familiar to people from their favorite social apps.