The Bay Area is home to many of the world’s most important technology companies and demand for high-tech jobs is expected to remain high well into 2014. With many companies averaging hundreds of applications for a new job posting, sometimes it is helpful to seek the assistance of a recruiting strategist. Alston Chiang, Lead Recruiter for Jobspring San Francisco, offers insightful advice for Bay Area job seekers.
What is your background and education?
“I grew up overseas in Asia, but attended schools in Walnut Creek, CA. I have a B.S. from UC Irvine in Cognitive Psychology and Economics. My Jobspring team focuses on placing LAMP stack engineers (PHP, Python, DevOps and Systems Engineers), but there are additional teams who recruit for Java, QA, Ruby and UI/UX. “
What advice can you offer for new job seekers in the Bay Area?
“Keep your LinkedIn up to date. Employers and recruiters often use LinkedIn as the first point of contact. Think of it as an interactive resume, you can provide links to your portfolio, personal website, etc.”
“Networking is the most effective way to learn about unknown companies in the area that might be hiring. Most people in the Bay Area are connected to technology-focused companies, so whether you go to a bar or restaurant, there is a lot of opportunity to make connections. There is also a great website called Meetup (www.meetup.com) that displays interests groups.”
“Be prepared to accept an offer after an on-site interview. The hiring market for software engineers in the Bay Area moves quickly and you can expect an on-site interview 24 to 48 hours after your first interview. This means that job seekers should know the history of the company and who they are meeting.”
“Waiting to collect offers is not an effective way to get what you want. Oftentimes, job seekers want to collect as many offers as possible and then decide on the best one. Hiring managers want you to be excited about their company regardless of salary, and if they’re put in a position where they have to “bid” for you, companies will likely continue interviewing other candidates. This mentality conveys that you are non-committal and are money motivated.”
“The most attractive quality of a software engineer is the ability to embrace and learn new technologies. Being active on Github or having your own projects is really attractive to hiring managers because it shows that you are passionate outside of the workplace.”
What industries are seeing a rise in job postings?
“Technology. There is a huge demand for software and systems engineers in the Bay Area. Just this month, my team placed eight engineers; the demand for technical people is vastly greater than the supply. In particular, we’ve seen a huge demand for Big Data, DevOps, Ruby and Python.”
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.