Kyle Elliott, the Founder and Career Coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com, joins the pod on his quest to transform boring job searches into something fabulous. Kyle specializes in helping job seekers, especially those in technology and cybersecurity, find jobs they love and express the value they bring to potential employers. Need to know the secret to acing your next tech job interview? Look no further than Caffeinated Kyle.
[00:00] Finding your own definition of fabulous
[06:06] Standing out in a tech job interview
[12:19] Dealing with and learning from job rejection
[16:41] Targeting your dream tech job & telling your career story
[21:33] Breaking into technology the easy way and the hard way
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From your perspective, what makes someone fabulous?
Being “fabulous” can sound grandiose to most tech practitioners, but Kyle believes that everyone has the potential to be fabulous, especially when they’re forging their career path. There’s a lot of competition amongst large tech companies to find the employees that close skill gaps and stand out from the massive group of hungry job seekers. To be fabulous, one has to know how to stand out and what sets them apart.
“When I think of fabulousness, I think: What sets you apart from other people? I work with job seekers, so I think: What sets you apart from other job seekers or other applicants?”
When you look at standing out in a job interview, what are some of the key components that go into that?
Many job seekers that Kyle works with have the skills, meet the position requirements, show up for the interview, and still struggle with getting a job in tech. While this can happen for a variety of reasons, Kyle explains that a simple mistake job hunters are making is regurgitating their resume without backing up their experience. A strong story about the experiences you had and the value you delivered makes you memorable and explains what you can provide.
“When you're doing this, you want to think in the mind of a hiring manager. How have you added value to the organization? What sets you apart? I didn't just code, I didn't just have cross functional collaboration, here's the value to the organization and what sets me apart.”
How do you coach someone through being able to tell their story in an interview?
Career storytelling skills separate a potential employee from a pack of qualified applicants. However, a lot of technical people aren’t known for their storytelling skills or knack for creativity. Instead, Kyle recommends his clients in tech and cyber practice their storytelling through a more familiar world of spreadsheets. Each spreadsheet helps job seekers break down the value they bring with their skills, so they can tell a story that connects their past experiences to their future position.
“A lot of the people I work with in tech, they're amazing at their job, but they're just not used to practicing storytelling…It feels awkward. It feels different. It feels weird, because that's not something they’re used to.”
From your experience, what have been the easiest and hardest fields in technology to break into?
In Kyle’s opinion, there isn’t one field of the tech industry that’s easier or harder to break into. Instead, breaking into the tech industry relies more on professional experiences, background, and skillset. If the leap to tech feels like too many transitions at once, Kyle recommends slowing down to one transition at a time and building each experience off of one another. Instead of hiding that this may be a new path for you, embrace your past when job searching and explain why a potential employer should hire someone transitioning into the tech world.
“Everyone's like, ‘Kyle, how do I get a job in tech?’ I would start with your background, and I think that's gonna determine what's easiest or hardest for the person. What I always recommend is, try to make the least amount of transitions possible.”
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