Prove your worth by writing great tech content and gain the credibility you deserve. By Arianna Simpson (Account Specialist, BitGo, Inc.)
I’ve never met anyone who likes applying for jobs, and with good reason. You send out what seems like an endless stream of applications, resumes and cover letters, only to be met with a lukewarm response – or worse – the dreaded silence.
You’re smart, you have a polished resume and, most importantly, you know you can do the job. So why isn’t anyone getting back to you?
Chances are, it’s not your fault. A study from TheLadders shows that recruiters spend an average of six seconds on each individual resume they review – that cursory glance is hardly enough time to get a good grasp of all your work and experience.
While it’s frustrating to hear, luckily you can still win by being smarter than the system.
Whether you’re technical or not, writing can be a particularly powerful tool to launch yourself into a new field. It’s a great way to get around the resume issue.
Particularly in a fast-moving industry like tech, the most talented or knowledgeable people don’t often have years of experience to match their skills – often because the field didn’t even exist a few years ago. The result is an evolving professional circuit in which academic credentials and years of experience often don’t correlate closely with ability.
Take Swift, Apple’s new language for iOS programming, for example. Although iOS apps are certainly not new, Swift was only released in July 2014, so no one has resume-worthy credentials to back up their knowledge of the language. Still, a number of developers have emerged as experts by providing great online tutorials and resources for others trying to learn.
Do A Bit of Research
The newly developing bitcoin industry is an even more dramatic example of this. Six years ago bitcoin hadn’t even been invented, and in 2014 alone more than $300M in VC investment has poured into bitcoin companies. I became very interested in bitcoin’s potential about a year and a half ago and, since I was spending a lot of time reading about it, decided to make my learnings more widely available.
Having a background in subject areas like cryptography and programming is of course helpful, but when I started blogging about cryptocurrency I had neither. A great many hours of research and several months later, I had built a blog with a substantial following.
Despite not having a single line about bitcoin on my resume, through my writing I met and received job offers from many of the top companies in the space, and ultimately was delighted to join BitGo.
Breaking New Ground
In cases where an entirely new field is being created, demonstrating domain expertise through writing is even more important. It’s a great opportunity, because almost anyone who is sharp and invests the time can emerge as a thought leader and valuable contributor.
Whether you’re looking to launch your career as an expert in a nascent field, or simply move into a different role, here are a few points to keep in mind:
The web is a crowded place and people’s attention is very fragmented. You’ll do best by picking one or two key subject areas and sticking to those.
2. Share Knowledge
Writing about your experiences has value of its own, but readers are usually looking to learn from what they read. Whether it’s a tutorial or more of a thought piece, make sure you’re adding more value than just your opinion.
3. Take Advantage of Other Platforms
Distribution is key, so don’t forget to make use of other channels. Writing on sites like Medium or Quora can get your expertise in front of an audience right off the bat.
4. It’s Going to Take Time
Don’t expect this to happen overnight. Even if you are consistently producing great content, it will likely take at least several months to build a solid repository of content and a loyal following of readers, both of which are important aspects of your effort.
As you spend time learning and writing about a given topic or field, you’ll also have the chance to decide whether it really interests you as much as you thought initially, saving you time and avoiding costly career mistakes. Now go snag a domain, do your homework and start publishing. Happy writing!
Who are your favourite tech bloggers?
Photo credit: Pressmaster via Shutterstock.
About the guest blogger: Arianna Simpson has spent her career to date working in tech, previously at Facebook and currently at BitGo, the industry leader in bitcoin security. Arianna is particularly interested bitcoin and various applications of the underlying protocol, and often speaks and writes on the topic.