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    Ready to Start Programming with AI? A Quick Guide for Software Engineers

    Though we’re still a ways out from building machines that will take over the world with artificial superintelligence, AI is on the rise. To sum up the recent explosion of generative AI, Vijay Pande, a general partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, tells the Washington Post:

    “There’s a lot of excitement about AI right now. The technology has… gone from being cute and interesting to where actually [people] can see it being deployed.”

    AI has found its way into a myriad of applications (think: innovative approaches to coding reviews, testing, debugging) and is quickly becoming an advantage for staying competitive. Talent will likely be expected to leverage AI tools in their workflows to be more effective and efficient. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 37% of job descriptions listed AI work and skills in the emerging tech category. 

    This includes building programs to understand and help us humans in our day-to-day lives, like Siri, Alexa, and countless chatbots. It can make operations networks, like Amazon’s, hyper-efficient by predicting who will want what, when and where. It can also focus on research, with programmed learning able to evaluate results against hypotheses, and adjust and retest to advance our understanding of the world.

    Tip: Try some courses on AI and Machine Learning

    If nothing else, having some familiarity with AI could give you some Thanksgiving dinner fodder to blow your grandparents’ minds. But it also could lead to promising new career opportunities.

    Why AI?

    If you’re looking to add to your repertoire to boost your marketability as a software engineer, artificial intelligence is a safe bet. According to Hired’s 2023 State of Software Engineers report, demand for machine learning and data engineers ranks among the hottest software engineering roles.

    Here are a few lucrative roles for which AI programming may get you noticed:

    The other reason for picking this up is pretty simple: it’s cool as hell!

    The field of artificial intelligence is an exercise in replicating the very thing that (most of us would consider) makes us human. The emergent property of our trillions of synapses firing in a symphony gives me the sense that I am “me,” and each of you the sense that you are “you.”

    Though most applications facilitate learning-focused, singular tasks or making predictions based on massive data sets, there is still something special about working to bring machines to recreate biological capabilities. And even in weak AI, the possibilities are endless to help the world become a better place with creative, elegant software. And isn’t that what we all want?

    How to start programming with AI

    When it comes to picking the right language to get your career on an AI track, you need to decide what type of work you want to be doing and evaluate that against the support and pre-built libraries that can assist you along the way.

    Start with a general language that works well with data processing and analysis. The most prominent and in-demand at tech companies are Python, Java (or Scala), or R (if you exclusively want to be a data scientist). Choose just one.

    Learn a language for interacting with a database management system (DBMS) that will help you access and organize the data you’ll use in your algorithms. Knowing SQL and understanding basic NoSQL is highly recommended. If entering a larger company, Hadoop, Spark, or similar will also be helpful.

    Understand the key frameworks and libraries for building AI solutions. Some that are important for common AI problems are:

    TensorFlow (a must!): used for high-volume, complex numerical computations used for things like classification, regression, and clustering

    Caffe: used for image recognition

    Scikit-learn: used for common AI problems and data mining

    NLTK: used for natural language processing

    Try online courses for programming with AI

    It’s also helpful to experiment with the growing AI packages provided by online course providers like Coursera.

    Getting started with AI

    Getting deeper into machine learning:

    And some additional resources:

    Like any new skill, it will take discipline to master programming with AI. But from the practical to the theoretical, from the present to the future: programming with AI is a worthy practice to add to your tool belt.

    Originally written by Mike Parker in May 2019. Updated by Hired Content Team and Coursera in October 2023. More

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    Why Your Career Narrative Is Just as Important as Your Work History

    To maximize your chances of making a meaningful impression and landing a phone screen with the recruiter, offer a clear career narrative upfront. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy reviewing dozens or even hundreds of applications for a single role. They only have a few minutes (if that) to look at your resume, LinkedIn, portfolio, or Hired profile.

    In today’s competitive job market, simply having a list of past roles and accomplishments isn’t enough. The most successful jobseekers tell a compelling story — a career narrative — that positions them as the ideal fit for the roles they pursue.

    Here’s how to do it.

    Connect the dots

    First things first, a career narrative isn’t just a retelling of your job history. It’s a strategic story that connects the dots between where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go. Its purpose is to help potential employers see not just what you’ve done, but who you are as a professional and how you’ll add value to their organization.

    Begin by making a list of the roles you’ve held, projects you’ve undertaken, challenges you’ve faced, and accomplishments you’ve achieved. Go beyond the resume bullet points and think deeply about what each experience taught you, how you grew, and how each step led you to the next.

    As you reflect, you’ll likely notice recurring themes or patterns. Maybe it’s a passion for leading teams, an ability to optimize processes, or a knack for solving complex problems. This common thread will be a cornerstone of your career narrative.

    Don’t be afraid to mention challenges head-on in your career narrative too. Highlight what you learned from them, how you overcame them, and how those experiences equipped you for future roles.

    Finally, while it’s important to know your entire history, you don’t have to share every detail in your narrative. Instead, pick out 3-4 defining moments that exemplify your professional growth, showcase your skills, or highlight key transitions. These will serve as the main “chapters” of your story.

    Have a catchy headline

    You know that sentence at the top of your resume or below your name on your Hired or LinkedIn profile? That’s your headline. It provides a snapshot of who you are, what you do, and how much value you might add to an organization in just a sentence. It should be impactful, catchy, and clearly state what job you currently have and/or are pursuing.

    A few things to keep in mind:

    If you’re a new grad, your headline should clearly communicate the role you are looking to be in.

    If you have multiple years of experience, your headline should highlight key skills and what you’re looking for in your next opportunity.

    Here are a few examples to start:

    A headline for a mid-level software engineer with an interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning could be: “Java engineer with 5+ years of experience, seeking roles in AI and ML.”

    Let’s break it down. The headline states:

    The language they’ve worked with the most often and recently (Java)

    How long they’ve been doing this (at least 5 years)

    What they’d like to focus on (artificial intelligence and machine learning)

    A recent grad who just earned a visual design degree should have a headline reflecting this experience: “Junior visual designer with strong interest in typography seeking role in edtech.” It might be tempting to include personal interests. However, you only have one chance to make an impression on the recruiter.

    Be strategic about your summary

    Think of your summary as an extension of your headline. This section allows you to build out the details of your headline. Do so by including context around your past experience (if you have it) or talk about your motivations for the role you’re looking for. This is your opportunity to provide a glimpse into your three-minute elevator pitch before diving into your work history.

    In your summary, write up to three paragraphs touching on the following points:

    What job you want

    What you’ve done

    What skills you have

    Why you are the perfect candidate for the role

    Remove the guesswork

    If you have a diverse skill set spanning several disciplines, tell them which you’re most interested in and try to zero in on one or two roles at most. For example, if you’ve worked as both a backend engineer and a data engineer, make it clear you’d like to continue pursuing a career in data engineering.

    If you have a background in graphic design and just completed a user experience design bootcamp, tell them you’re looking for user experience design roles. Employers can only guess what interests you. Make the job easy for them by explicitly stating the roles you want.

    After discussing the job you’re looking for, explain how your previous experience explicitly relates to the role you’re pursuing. Provide a few lines about what you’ve worked on, what languages, skills, programs, or tools you’ve used, and any achievements.

    Next, state how your experiences make you the perfect candidate for the job. Don’t hesitate to mention professional attributes. That could be adaptability and strong communication skills that make you stand out and contributed to your previous successes. Your objective is to keep the message focused so it retains the hiring manager’s attention.

    Inject personality into your profile

    After establishing your career narrative in your headline and summary, give your resume and online profiles a breath of life by adding your personality. Bringing your application to life will make you stand out among dozens of other applicants. Plus, it will also make you more memorable to hiring managers.

    Your application will be judged in part by how well you convey the qualities that would make you successful in the role. As an engineer, you’re supposed to use logic, rationality, and consistency. If your work is primarily client-focused, attributes such as being personable and relatable will be prioritized. If you’re applying for a role in design, you should represent yourself in interesting, unique ways.

    Show employers what you do best

    But how do you insert your personality? If you’re a good writer, show off your skills. Being able to write well is not an inherent skill. For example, if you’re a product manager, it’s important to communicate effectively since time is often not a luxury. While you can probably write a lot about your experience, whittle each role down to five points. They should touch on each aspect of your job in the work experience sections.

    If you’re a designer, prove it. Don’t just use a generic resume template. Instead, make your own résumé with the design programs you rely on every day. Designers need to know how to organize information clearly. So make sure to keep the design fundamentals of type, space, and color in mind. A visual designer will be judged on the quality of their visual layout. Your resume and portfolio should accurately reflect your skill level.

    As always, stay on topic. If it doesn’t make sense to talk about your love of coffee as it pertains to your desired role, exclude those details from your resume. Add anything that relates to the role in question and nothing more.

    Moving forward with your career narrative

    Be sure to practice telling your narrative. Whether it’s in a job interview, a networking event, or a casual conversation, being able to articulate your story confidently and coherently will leave a lasting impression. With these tips in mind, you’ll grab the attention of hiring managers and be that much closer to getting your dream job.

    As you progress in your career, gain more experience, and achieve new milestones, revisit and refresh your narrative. Your story is ever-evolving, just like you.

    Originally written by Brittany Curran in March 2018. Updated by Hired Content Team September 2023. More

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    Why Young Professionals Are Going to AeroVironment to Launch Their Careers

    When you’re preparing to start your career, few decisions carry as much weight as where you go to school, what you study, and who you choose to work for after graduation. Among these choices, choosing the right employer requires some of the highest consideration.

    Aside from company culture, compensation packages, and job specifics, there is an incredibly important requirement everyone should look for: an environment that fosters personal growth and professional development. 

    AeroVironment (AV), a technology company specializing in the design and manufacturing of unmanned aircraft systems, is dedicated to empowering and promoting their employees and ensuring they thrive in their roles. This has led AV to attract and retain some of the top talent in aeronautics and engineering.

    In our conversations with three different team members who went from interns to full-time at AeroVironment, we learned about everything the company does to nurture their staff’s professional growth and the reasons why they have been so successful in building their careers with the company.

    Experiences That Go Beyond the Books

    Whether it’s putting a helicopter on Mars or creating satellites that bring Wi-Fi to remote parts of the world, AeroVironment interns and employees get to work on some of the most fascinating projects in aeronautical engineering. One of the main allures of doing this kind of work, especially from an intern level, is the confidence, insight, impact, and knowledge you get from it.

    After just one summer with AeroVironment, Savanna found herself far ahead of her classmates at The Georgia Institute of Technology. While that confidence and additional knowledge helped make her school year a little easier, Savanna was also able to use that insight beyond the books when she returned to AV the following year as well.

    Forged by Fire

    Another interesting detail about these experiences is that there is an abundance of new concepts or ideas – even for some of the most seasoned team members. This often leads to group problem-solving and a communal, forged-by-fire environment where collaboration and ingenuity thrive.

    As many students have come to know, formal training programs can get old fast. Not only that, the new Gen Z workforce is demanding that employers offer more than archaic training protocols. At AeroVironment, you are thrown into real aero and mechanical engineering scenarios with tenured professionals all working towards a common goal. This kind of boots-on-the-ground environment is exactly what creates people who know how to problem-solve, get things done, and make an impact on the world.

    Challenges That Lead to Growth

    One thing Chase mentioned is that a lot is learned “from the experience of doing, and sometimes failing.” In other words, employees at AeroVironment acquire skills and enhance their abilities not only by getting things right but also by embracing the lessons from their mistakes.

    This perspective on learning from your mistakes allows him to see it as a valuable tool for personal growth and development, which further emphasizes why AeroVironment is such an ideal place for young professionals to grow their careers. 

    It is incredibly difficult to test new limits and try new things when you’re afraid of making mistakes, especially at work. AeroVironment has created an environment that doesn’t look down on employees for their mistakes but instead uses it as a building block  to learn and grow from. This is what makes AV an ideal employer for someone looking to break into the industry and grow their skills from the bottom up.

    Friendly Environments That Foster Growth

    One of the best parts of starting a job is all the new people you meet and the connections you make. While everyone has different preferences regarding the degrees of coworker relationships, everyone can agree that being friendly and amicable with colleagues is much more enjoyable.

    AeroVironment is a place full of individuals who are really passionate about the work they do and the industry they’re in. After my conversations with a few employees, one thing I also noticed is that they were just as passionate about helping one another succeed. This being the case, it makes it really easy for everyone to get along. 

    One of the main benefits of this comradery is the effect it has on the work employees do with one another and the results that come of it.

    At AeroVironment, there are no outsiders. The team-oriented culture and the all-for-one mentality enable employees at every level to truly give their best effort.

    If you’re looking to get your start at a company that wants to see you succeed and gives you the tools to do it, consider checking out some of the open roles at AeroVironment. The projects they work on are impactful, the positions they have are lucrative, and their culture is unbeatable. More

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    Insider Tips for Marketing, Business, Sales, and Advertising Professionals

    So you’ve nearly got your degree and you’re ready to make waves in the world of marketing, advertising, business or sales. You’re familiar with concepts like market segmentation and you can break down the pillars of supply chain management and you’ve watched movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and The Social Network more times than you can remember.

    What you don’t learn in school or movies, however, is what moves to make as you attempt to breach the world of business and how to make a career for yourself. What we mean by “moves” are the decisions you make regarding the way you present yourself, how you choose to grow and learn, and the mindset you carry with you into your endeavors. 

    With so much to keep in mind when making this major leap into the professional world, it can become difficult to choose what advice to follow and what to ignore. Instead of leaving it up to AI software and chatbots, we decided to host a virtual event with some real-life employees about what their marketing, advertising, business, and sales departments look for in a candidate. 

    In our Job Search 101 virtual event, we spoke with Kalina Popova, a Campus Manager at Dell, Madison Ahmadi, a Talent Acquisition Partner at Expedia, Jennifer Voss, the Director of Early Careers Talent Acquisition at Visa, and Tangela Woodley, a Talent Acquisition, Marketing, & Digital Early Careers Manager at L’Oréal. In our conversations, the panelists reveal the tips and tricks needed to succeed in the world of marketing, advertising, business, and sales.

    [embedded content]

    Don’t Limit Yourself

    One of the great things about the marketing and business industry is the variety of roles that exist within it. You could be a copywriter making taglines, a graphic designer creating brand logos, an account manager closing deals and finding new clients, and a whole lot more. 

    This being the case, it is critical to keep an open mind when you’re trying to decide what kind of role best fits you. In our conversations with experts, Tangela Woodley from L’Oréal sheds some light on just how many different opportunities exist within their marketing department.

    From analytics to creative, the world of marketing has opportunities for people interested in all kinds of things, especially at L’Oréal. So when you’re preparing to make your foray into the marketing, business, advertising and sales world, it’s important that you don’t pigeonhole yourself into one subcategory or another!

    Follow the 5 Dimensions of Potential

    While every company and its employee expectations are bound to be different, L’Oréal has a specific set of criteria that candidates can keep in mind wherever they apply. L’Oréal calls it the five dimensions of potential and with these rules, you can better your chances of succeeding in the world of business.

    Whether it’s learning agility or your judgment and decision-making skills, L’Oréal’s Five Dimensions of Potential would apply to numerous top-tier companies and what they’re looking for in employees.

    Leaders > Participants

    As a company that specializes in helping early-career candidates and college students find jobs, we have seen young professionals make a lot of mistakes. One of the big ones we’ve seen them make is signing up for a club or organization just to get it on your resume.

    It doesn’t take much to sign up for a group and show up to a couple of meetings. What does take some effort is actively contributing to these groups and taking on leadership or executive roles. This is something to keep in mind when you mention your involvement in groups and extracurriculars in your applications.

    Our suggestion is to be proactive. When you join a group, don’t just be a bystander! Make sure you’re participating and doing things that give you stuff to talk about later on when you start applying for jobs. If you have an idea, speak up! If you feel inspired to take on a position.

    You Gotta Have Grit

    A lot of people outside the marketing and sales industries perceive it as this glamorous world with photo shoots, hot-shot business people, and high-profile deals. What you don’t see are the challenges and obstacles that marketing professionals face on a daily basis.

    Any marketing veteran you meet is likely to have just as many stories about unhappy clients and discouraging rejections as they are to have stories about massive wins and incredibly successful campaigns. And that’s just a part of the business.

    This being the case, it is critical that anyone trying to enter the marketing, business, and sales worlds develops a tough chin and plenty of grit.

    While Kalina’s anecdote relates to sales, the same thing goes with marketing, advertising, and business. What if you pitch a marketing campaign to a client and they don’t like it? Or propose a solution to your boss that he chops down? Having the grit to face this type of rejection and come back stronger is what will make you successful in the long run.

    Take Advantage of Resources

    One thing that every one of our panelists in our recent Job Search 101 virtual event agreed upon is the importance of utilizing the resources at your disposal. If you go to college, whether it’s community or Ivy League, chances are there is a career office working to connect the student body with potential employers.

    In these offices, work has been done to establish relationships. All you need to do is take advantage of it.

    These types of resources are oftentimes free and extremely beneficial, so there really isn’t any reason not to take advantage of them.

    Looking for another free resource you can use to score the job of your dreams? Create your account with WayUp and start browsing open roles today or head over to our blog for more career tips and job-search advice! Watch the full session here.  More

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    2023 Tech Hiring: 7 Ways to Stay Competitive in Tough Job Markets

    It felt like not long ago employers were eager to fill open roles in anticipation of accelerated growth. Now, jobseekers are feeling the pinch of layoffs and a hiring slowdown due to market shifts. 

    Whether you are unemployed, underemployed, or feeling complacent in a role, it’s easy to feel the effects of a lackluster job market. That goes for jobseekers on Hired or out in the world when they don’t see an influx of interview requests or responses to applications. 

    While it is tough out there right now, it’s important to remain proactive and not let the weight of the hiring market bring you down. In this blog, we provide transparency on the state of the market, practical guidance for the job search, and resources to boost your employability during harder times. 

    It’s not you, it’s me the 2023 hiring market

    So, why is it so hard to find a job right now? The answer boils down to a number of reasons including economic instability, the Federal Reserve’s policy decisions, cloudy hiring processes, and industry-specific trends.

    Tech hiring landscape

    Following a high of over 4 million for tech hiring in 2022, we are now seeing the dust settle into some lows as tech faces particular hardship when it comes to the labor market. The plethora of headlines on thousands of tech layoffs has been hard to miss in the past year. 

    As you probably know, competition is tight for tech candidates. Tech companies are still hiring for positions but at a slower rate than before. In contrast to the beginning of 2022, you’ll find on average, one job opening for every two candidates on LinkedIn. Last year had a more even ratio of one opening per candidate.

    Quit rates 

    In this market, more workers are also staying put – thanks to factors including those mass layoffs, interest rate increases, and inflation. 

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number of people quitting dropped by 49,000 from March to April. The decreased quit rates indicate low confidence in the market. 

    Unstable hiring processes

    The abundance of jobseekers applying to positions adds pressure and time to many hiring processes. We’re referring to a 40% increase in applications compared to this time last year according to LinkedIn.

    There is also a lot of shakiness at the moment for numerous HR and recruiting teams as economic uncertainty has a ripple effect on budgeting and of course, hiring. 

    Many companies also have more team members incorporated into the hiring process (to boost equity and collaboration) but more people typically means a longer interview cycle. In fact, this year, it now takes 44 days to hire a new team member, setting a record high.

    What the experts are saying 

    During Hired’s Breaking Through Bias virtual event, career experts candidly weighed in on the leverage jobseekers have in the current job market. Read their firsthand insights below for a better grasp of the big picture and advice to empower your search. 

    Nina Roussille, Assistant Professor, MIT

    “Specifically, in the tech sector (defined narrowly as the Silicon Valley tech roles), it’s been more dire than it used to be… Try to redefine for yourself what a tech role is. There are now opportunities in tech occupations in companies that are not defined as tech firms. Every firm out there, even in the older industries, needs tech workers. Those industries have been way less affected recently than Silicon Valley firms. Broaden your perspective. Think a little bit more creatively about what a tech role should be. 

    The other one is remote work, which makes it so you don’t need to find a job exactly where you’re located. A lot of these dinosaur industries are more open to remote and flexible workers. My optimistic take is it will require more creativity and a broader search but there are still opportunities out there.”

    Maria Petnga-Wallace, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Consultant, Colorintech

    “There’s still a need for particular skills, especially in AI and machine learning. Within the company I work with in cyber, there’s still a real drive to have, for example, female and underrepresented group representation. I encourage everyone to network. Identify the organizations you wish to work with in the near future and engage with people in those tech firms.”

    Mercedez Bluebyrd, Program Manager of RISE, Gusto

    “You have leverage in really understanding who you are and what you bring to the table. If you’re a talented person who really understands what you can do for a company, there’s a value add there and that leverage is limitless.”

    New opportunities in new industries 

    Echoing Nina Roussille’s point above on broadening your perspective, there are currently established employers – not typically associated with tech – making a push to hire tech jobseekers. From hotel chains to retailers, investment firms, and the federal government, you might be surprised to find opportunities in other industries you previously hadn’t considered. A company doesn’t have to be in the tech industry to be a top tech employer. 

    1. Upskilling is key

    Identify high-demand skills and industry trends, and learn to align your application (or Hired profile) accordingly. Investing time in learning new programming languages, refining project management abilities, or earning relevant certifications will not only broaden your skill set but increase your marketability and adaptability amidst the competition. 

    Leverage online learning platforms, attend industry events virtually or in person, and engage in hands-on projects. Learning is the cornerstone of employability and a powerful tool to stand out.

    Get more details on why and how to upskill in this blog and check out these Hired partners helping tech jobseekers acquire in-demand skills. 

    2. Refine your personal brand

    What should people think about when they hear your name? What populates when hiring managers or recruiters search for you online? Your personal brand is a reflection of your skills, experiences, and values. 

    In an employer-driven market, it’s more important than ever to articulate your unique value proposition. By developing a distinct and authentic brand, you effectively differentiate yourself from other candidates and leave a lasting impression on potential employers. So, how should you go about it?

    Start by identifying your unique strengths, skills, and values, then tailor your resume, cover letter, and online presence to reflect these qualities. Showcase your expertise through thoughtfully crafted content on professional platforms, engage in relevant industry discussions, and seek out networking opportunities to build a strong professional community. A cohesive personal brand not only boosts your visibility to recruiters but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth.

    Watch this panel discussion for expert advice on how to develop and build confidence in your personal brand.   

    3. Leverage the power of networking

    Your network is your – you know the rest. And with thoughtful networking, it is true! It’s not just about making connections. It’s about building meaningful relationships that can open doors. 

    Outreach may sound pretty terrifying for some but getting out of your comfort zone might bring more opportunities than you realize. Start with second-degree connections such as friends of friends, acquaintances, and old colleagues.

    Before reaching out, determine the value you offer as a professional, your main skills, and your objective. Keep a consistent narrative across platforms (showcase that personal brand!). And remember, you’ll get in return what you give, whether it’s value, concern, or empathy. Entering networking relationships with a ‘giving’ mindset is key.

    Use this resource as a more comprehensive guide for networking with intention and confidence. 

    4. Make every interview count

    You may have to work harder with what you have on hand. This means preparing more and practicing your code or other technical skills to ensure you ace assessments and interview questions. 

    You may also consider having fewer interviews as less cumbersome to manage than if you were white-boarding thrice a week and not performing your best each time. You run the risk of interview burnout when multiple opportunities are spreading you thin. Consider the silver lining and make every interview count with the added focus you can give to each one at present.

    Check out our interview prep partners for some extra guidance. 

    5. Follow up with companies

    The nature of recruitment can be fairly volatile right now, with a host of factors causing delays in companies getting back to you. You may have to adopt a more proactive approach than normal and be the one to steer hiring conversations forward.

    Add your updated availability to each follow-up note and balance your tone to be cooperative versus demanding. For example, “I enjoyed chatting with you last week! I wanted to share a few times I am free to continue our conversation in case you are as keen to assess a mutual fit…” Overall, be genuine, pragmatic, and most importantly, empathetic in your follow-up.

    You might add a note to your calendar to check in every 10 or so days. If a company happens to share a timeline for its next update, stick to that. Be courteous in referencing previous highlights from your conversation and check in to see if scheduling the next steps is feasible. Do not use these notes to sell yourself. Save the humble brag for the next round of interviewing if and when you land it. 

    Instead, focus your notes on relationship building. Connect your reader to what they care about. Perhaps, add a link to an article on a topic of interest to them. Think back to previous chats and recall what they might have shared with you. 

    6. Practice patience

    Finally, remember that every job search, especially in a tough market, is a marathon – not a sprint. It’s natural to experience periods of slower progress. 

    And keep in mind: even the most qualified candidates may have to wait a bit longer to land their perfect role in these market conditions.

    Remember, hiring teams are often spread thin. The layoffs in the last twelve months included a lot of recruiters too. They’re also sharing that they’re getting a ton of applications right now – many of which are from unqualified applicants. Even with tech tools, like applicant tracking systems, it’s a lot to work for lean teams. 

    So, make it easy for them to see what a great match you are and how you’ll bring what they need to be successful.

    If you’re a tech (or sales) candidate on the Hired Marketplace, use the guidance from the Candidate Experience team. It could help you get better matches and more interviews. 

    7. Adjust salary expectations

    Beyond the general job function, do your research to understand how your particular niche and location might impact your earning potential. Software engineers, for example, can earn wildly different salaries depending on their specialty – and this can differ significantly by city.

    In addition, you may need to calibrate your expectations based on the company in question. Startups may offer a lower salary with higher equity, and the company’s funding status might also have an impact. A startup looking to raise funding, for example, might be willing to negotiate a post-funding round raise.

    Related: Try Hired’s salary calculator

    While you want to ensure the salary you deserve, it’s important to align your expectations with the state of the market too. This is where doing that research and being realistic about the state of the economy comes into play. 

    If you do lower your salary expectations, there are still plenty of benefits to negotiate as part of your total compensation. See our Salary Negotiation Guide, created in partnership with Educative.

    Continue your search with confidence 

    It’s clear the factors we shared here will play crucial roles in continuing to shape the labor market’s direction. While the job market has undoubtedly become more challenging, with the right strategies and resources, you will successfully navigate this change. 

    And speaking of resources, here are some of our popular ones to give you more direction in your search: More

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    Looking for flexibility, personal growth, and competitive compensation? You can have it all at Northwestern Mutual’s industry-leading Internship Program

    Those who take on athletics and extracurriculars in college are individuals with incredible drive who become intensely motivated by their passions and their desire to pursue them. Over the years, Northwestern Mutual has come to understand that these types of people thrive and find success as financial representatives. 

    Whether it’s their desire to make a lasting impact or the ability to have a flexible schedule, there are several reasons why athletes and people involved in nonscholastic activities do so well as financial representatives.

    Recently, we interviewed a couple of college financial representative interns who are also involved with athletics and extracurriculars to understand why the job is so perfect for people like them.

    Complimentary Skills and Characteristics

    While athletes tend to have incredible amounts of drive and motivation, those involved in Greek life and clubs are typically very people-oriented. These traits are particularly beneficial to have as a financial representative because of the self-starter attitude and the communication skills that are essential to the job!

    Phillip Li, a varsity baseball player at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, provides his team with quick hands as an infield baseman in addition to holding down a .429 slugging average this past season. During this time, he also helped a couple plan their retirement. 

    Phillip went on to discuss how the drive he has towards training for a successful season was similar to the efforts he put forward with his clients. He visualized his goal, put together a “game plan,” worked with his teammate (senior partner), and saw the objective through to completion.

    Picking Out Your Own Schedule

    As most students know, especially those involved in athletics, college schedules can get really busy. Academics and social life already take up a large percentage of your time but when you start committing to athletics and nonscholastic activities it often seems impossible to do anything else.

    Northwestern Mutual’s college financial representative intern role is unique because it is built to accommodate the hectic lives of college students with busy schedules. Take Jack Thompson for example, a Division 3 lacrosse player at Union College. In our conversation with Jack, he spoke to us about how his mentors at Northwestern Mutual worked with him to make sure his professional life was fitting well with his college life.

    Maybe you have a big test coming up, practice, or a week-long lacrosse tournament in Austin as Jack did. As a financial representative intern at Northwestern Mutual, there is no need to fret. Northwestern Mutual understands that you have other things going on in your life. This being the case, Northwestern Mutual consults with you to find a balance that works for everyone. 

    Real Game Time Experience

    If you are on a team, you don’t want to be sitting on the bench. The same goes professionally when you’re working at a job! But in order to get game time ready, you need to practice.

    When you’re just getting started as a financial representative, a senior representative will have you shadow them on real client calls, gradually getting you more and more involved. The work you do is the same as if you were a full-time financial representative, but you have the support and mentorship from leaders along the way. 

    After a few times, the training wheels come off and you will be on your own making financial recommendations for clients!

    While there is a short shadow period during which you learn the ropes with a senior employee, this only lasts for a little while until you’re on the field getting real experience with real clients.

    Ambitious Minds Thrive Here

    One trait a lot of athletes and those involved in extracurriculars have that makes them particularly successful at Northwestern Mutual is their ambition. Whether it’s waking up early for practice or just the internal desire to grow and better yourself, these types of people are made for the college financial representative intern position.

    In our conversation with Sayawni Lassiter, a Division 1 Women’s College basketball player at the University of Rhode Island and college financial representative intern, she recounted how she connected with her recruiter and how he expressed that ambition is a key ingredient in being successful as a financial representative.

    If you’re a current college student and want to start experiencing real-life work as a financial professional, take a look at Northwestern Mutual’s industry-leading college financial representative intern position.

    Northwestern Mutual Financial Representatives are Independent Contractors whose income is based solely on production.

    Not all Northwestern Mutual representatives are advisors. Only those representatives with the titles “Financial Advisor” or “Wealth Management Advisor” are credentialed as NMWMC representatives to provide advisory services.

    Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries in Milwaukee, WI. More

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    Breaking Through Bias: How to Overcome Tech Discrimination & Get the Job You Want (VIDEO)

    How can jobseekers advance their careers despite systemic hiring biases in tech?

    Watch this on-demand webinar to hear experts discuss key findings from Hired’s 2023 State of Wage Inequality report and share approaches to help you advocate for yourself in the job market.

    You’ll hear from:

    Co-Founder & Author, Ladies Get Paid, Claire Wasserman

    Assistant Professor, MIT, Nina Roussille

    Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Consultant, Colorintech, Maria Petnga-Wallace

    Program Manager of RISE, Gusto, Mercedez Bluebyrd

    Vice-Chair, Techqueria, Marco Lopez

    Read an excerpt of the conversation here and scroll down to access the full webinar. 

    What’s the temperature on the leverage candidates currently have in the job market?


    I won’t deny what the economic situation is. Specifically, in the tech sector (defined narrowly as the Silicon Valley tech roles) it’s been more dire than it used to be. That being said, I’ll try to be optimistic a little bit for the crowd. There are two things I think are interesting. 

    One of them is very actionable: try to redefine for yourself what a tech role is. There are now opportunities in tech occupations in companies that are not defined as tech firms. Every firm out there, even in the older industries, needs tech workers. Those industries have been way less affected recently than the Silicon Valley firms. Broaden your perspective. Think a little bit more creatively about what a tech role should be. 

    The other one is remote work, which makes it so you don’t need to find a job exactly where you’re located. A lot of these dinosaur industries are more open to remote and flexible workers. My optimistic take is it will require more creativity and a broader search, but there are still opportunities out there.


    I read recently that despite all of the layoffs, a lot of these companies actually still have more employees now than they did at the beginning of the pandemic. Take data and statistics with context. 


    It is true. Even though there were massive layoffs, a lot of people kept their jobs. We have a certain loss per se of DEI experts in the marketplace but we still need more representation. 


    A number of our members have been impacted in terms of mental health and the experiences of belonging. However, a lot of the large tech firms still do have a commitment to engage in networks with potential employees. 

    If it’s not now, it’s certainly with a view of engaging with talent in the near future. There’s still a need for particular skills, especially in AI and machine learning. Within the company I work with in cyber, there’s still a real drive to have, for example, female and underrepresented group representation.

    I encourage everyone to network. Identify the organizations you wish to work with in the near future and engage with people in those tech firms.


    Of course, we have seen some major shifts in the DEI work in a lot of companies, but I have to double-click on what Maria said. There are still companies very much committed to the work. There has been a shift in availability and what is actually being done on each team to where it can feel very performative. I don’t think we want to ignore that some companies are just doing what needs to be done to hit numbers. 

    But you have leverage in really understanding who you are and what you bring to the table. If you’re a talented person who really understands what you can do for a company, there’s a value add there and that leverage is limitless. 

    What’s really important is understanding what you can do for a business and using that as well as any demographic aspects or DEI work to create value. 

    There are some performative companies out there but if they are at least being performative that’s another notch for you to utilize as a way to get a job. So either way, figure out where you want to be and what you bring to the table and use that. 

    Also, make sure you’re working somewhere where you want to work. Are you just taking a job because you need a job? Some of us are and some of us are looking for the perfect unicorn job. Be aware of what that really is so you’re holding yourself to those parameters and doing something that works for you, whether it’s to pay your bills or because you really want it to be the perfect place.

    What else does the summit cover? 

    Why networking is essential 

    How to ask about a company’s DEI initiatives 

    How to negotiate a fair salary

    Culture fit vs culture add

    And more!  More

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    Building a Career at Capital One

    When first starting out, you’re going to want to look for an employer that enables you to perform and gives you the tools you need to grow. For Chesdin, a product manager at Capital One, these were the very same elements he noticed when he was introduced to the company.

    Over a cup of coffee with a Capital One associate, Chesdin learned about our Management Rotation Program (MRP), where recent grads gain business acumen and leadership skills by working with two separate teams, each for a one-year stint. Chesdin—who wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do with his career—was intrigued by the opportunity to try two different jobs with the same company. 

    He successfully applied to the MRP and started in 2020. 

    “Capital One brought me in and hired what they’ve deemed is a good person with a lot of potential,” said Chesdin, now a product manager. “This place will help you grow and build a solid foundation for an incredible career.”

    Finding career direction

    Chesdin was nervous to start his first rotation as a project manager and analyst for a cybersecurity team. He had no tech background and was afraid of making mistakes.

    His team and manager quickly squashed those fears. They explained their work to Chesdin and were always available for simple and complex questions. Chesdin grew confident enough in the position to help the team plan and mobilize an education program to help Capital One customers improve their cyber security. 

    “There’s a culture here where people want to put you in a situation where you can be great,” Chesdin said. “People respond well when you show a willingness to learn.”

    During Chesdin’s second year with the MRP, he worked as a product manager for a software engineering team that handles a messaging platform for texting and emailing customers. He helped manage projects that improved the quality of messages to customers’ phones.

    He realized—through his time in the second program rotation—that he wanted to continue working on products that help with customer care. So when Chesdin’s time with the MRP ended in 2022, he accepted a position as a product manager for a Capital One team that manages the platform our agents use when speaking to customers.

    “In two years, I figured out some things I did and didn’t like. Both of which are so helpful,” Chesdin said. “It was a big accomplishment for me to finish the MRP and have such a clear idea of what direction to take for my career.”

    Investment for the future

    Chesdin has continued learning well past graduating from the MRP in 2022.

    He regularly sets up Meet & Greets—casual conversations with colleagues across Capital One—to learn about people’s careers and job fields. He blocked off work time to study for and earn certifications in Amazon Web Services and product management. 

    Chesdin also volunteered at a Capital One diversity, inclusion and belonging summit, where he answered questions from high school students and shared how he has found a fulfilling career at the company.

    “Anytime I had a class, a certification I wanted to study for, or any type of learning, my managers and team were all in on me doing it,” Chesdin said. “I haven’t found just a job, but a career. It’s exactly what I was looking for as a student.”

    Head over to Capital One’s profile to learn more about the company and browse open roles, upcoming events, and more. More