This is a guest post from Ali Diamond. Enjoy.
Dear new developer,
Where should you look to find job listings?
With so many tech companies coming and going, how do you find a company that you want to work for?
Traditionally, I’ve been told to look at the tech I use, and look for jobs at those companies. You’re one person, that list exhausts really quickly. Especially if you’re new to the tech industry – you’re probably not religiously using a product like Notion or Alfred. (I’m still unsure how to use Alfred and I’ve had it for months). If you’re not in the know about companies it might be really hard to find a company to work for. It’s frustrating – you don’t know what to look for because you don’t know what you’re looking for.
So how do you find companies?
First, remember, almost every company – whether that’s in Silicon Valley, or a company like Target and Walmart – generally has a tech department that is probably hiring.
Beyond that, there are resources online to help find companies to work for – and yes, I’ve compiled a list for you!
How to Approach Researching All These Companies
In this article, you’re going to be bombarded with a vast number of resources for finding jobs, so it might be overwhelming. My tactic for tackling lists like these is to read through all the summaries and industries of each company, and opening up the link to the companies that interest you in another tab/window in your browser.
To quickly bypass scraping the website of every company for their jobs page, I run a quick search using CMD + F and look for words like “Careers” “Jobs” and “we’re hiring”. Usually these point to the jobs pages – from there I can see what kind of roles a job is hiring for and if there’s an opportunity for my skill set.
I will use the term “stage” to describe a company. Stage usually refers to a funding rounds and is a term that comes from venture capital – seed, series a, series b, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with venture, that’s ok. What you need to know is that the later the series, the larger the company is, the more stable the employment, and the more customers you will be supporting. You can learn more about stages via this page on Investopedia, but the bottom line is that the later the stage, the more money is available for the company to grow with.
In this article, I’ll also use the term stage to refer to a couple of different things, not just funding. How large the company is, how large their customer base is, how many engineers are there, how build out the work routine is, how advanced into becoming a stable company they are. For context, an early stage company may be only 5 people with 11 customers, 3 engineers, and their work routine is just getting together and talking about what needs to be done. A mid stage company can have 100 people, 30 engineers, 400 customers, and they are using a tool like ZenHub to track work. A later stage company can have 1000+ people, 1000s of customers, and use Asana to track work.
You’ll have the absolute breadth of experiences at companies of all stages and sizes. Great perks, few to no perks, budget for growth, no budget at all.
Mentorship at these companies can vary greatly – you can get extremely hands-on and personal mentorship at earlier stage companies or you can get the opposite of the spectrum and get absolutely no mentorship at earlier stage companies. Let’s just be honest here – you can have the same thing at later stage companies, too.
Finally, I reveal some great ways for doing due diligence for a company and evaluating if the company is a good match for you and the expectations of the company.
Where should I look for Jobs
Here are my go-tos that I always recommend checking out:
If you don’t know, Y Combinator is one of the premier venture accelerators – it’s known for having a high success rate on the companies that go through its program.
I recommend checking out this list for a few reasons – first, you can immediately and quickly see a summary of the company, the company will definitely be a larger sized company, and it is confirmed that the company is generally stable/high interest.
The one thing about this list is that it only contains companies that are backed by Y Combinator – and there are many other successful companies on the market that do not have Y Combinator funding, so let’s check out some other places.
Workatastartup is a job board for companies that have gone through the Y Combinator accelerator. There is a difference between the top 100 companies list and this grouping of companies, but both contain only companies backed by Y Comibinator.
Companies on this platform will be at all stages – they could be hiring their first engineer or hiring their 100th. Companies can be 1 person or have hundreds of people – you will get a wide range of stages. This could be amazing or terrible depending on what you’re looking for.
⭐️ Job Search Tip ⭐️ When looking at a company, you need to be sure of what you’re looking for in a job, prior to starting. Are you willing to be the first engineer? How much mentorship do you need? What kind of work style makes you the most successful? Working at startups is an extremely gratifying experience, but if you’re not 100% okay with all the trials and tribulations that come with startups, you might want to look for something that’s at a later growth stage.
Every month on Y Combinator’s messaging board, Hacker News, there’s a thread called Ask HN: Who is hiring? (Month Year), dedicated to sharing available jobs. Members from the community will post about the opportunities available at their company and descriptions of the work. Sometimes the hiring manager / person who is doing the hiring will share their email so you can reach out to them directly. If you do directly email them, be sure to let them know you found the opportunity via their Hacker News post.
With the who’s hiring post, there is no pre-qualification and no vetting – it’s just like a normal job board, where you will have to do some heavy lifting to learn more about the company.
It’s another job board? I personally have not had much success with applying to jobs via LinkedIn. Linkedin makes it very easy to apply to jobs, most likely leading to a high number of candidates and a very large hiring pool. However, you can definitely find some gems of jobs via LinkedIn – if you’re keen on getting a job that isn’t part of the Silicon Valley Tech Diaspora – LinkedIn is an excellent place to look.
One of the awesome benefits about applying to jobs via LinkedIn is the ability to do research. LinkedIn is a highly valuable platform for being able to learn about potential coworkers, who you might know that work there, or even if someone you know may know another person who works at the company (and these are all referral opportunities, which I’ll talk about in another post). LinkedIn should be used as a tool to help you learn – it’s always great to see if you have something in common with your interviewer, whether that’s schools or potential mutual friends. I’m quite shameless about my LinkedIn usage during interview season, because… it’s there. You should always use all tools available to you!
Another job platform to use is AngelList. AngelList originally is a platform for investing into startups and companies, but given how many companies are on their platform, they now offer a job board. One of the nicer features of AngelList’s job board is their robust search engine. This search engine really allows you to narrow down your search into exactly what you’re looking for, and you can have multiple searches at once. Even better, if you want to stay up to date on your searches and if new opportunities get added, you can set up email alerts.
An added bonus about AngelList is information – since it’s an investment platform, you can use it almost like you use LinkedIn. Each business has a page on the platform that gives information about the company – who works there, open jobs, culture, investors, and even funding.
A way that AngelList and LinkedIn differ is that AngelList is mostly tech companies, while LinkedIn has jobs at all kinds of companipes. In addition, companies found on AngelList are generally more youthful in their culture. You can definitely find both youthful and traditional companies on both platforms, though. Since AngelList is a platform for investing, you’ll find all kinds of companies, especially extra early stage companies.
The Breakout List curates a list of high-growth/high-impact startups that are gaining traction. It gives a strong overview of what the company is working on, what kind of talent they’re looking for, and the company size. What’s even more amazing is that the team behind the Breakout List writes a small blurb about the opportunities, backing, and even sometimes have a contact email. They do a lot of the heavy lifting for the job hunt – including reference checks, connecting with the hiring team, and a full evaluation, so I’d recommend checking it out. This list is a more stagnant list, but very useful for finding companies.
If you use the Breakout List to learn about a company, when reaching out to the contact email, I’d recommend stating you found the company via the Breakout List – it gives the recruiter insight into their hiring pool sources and continues to allow projects like the Breakout List to continue to exist.
The VCGuide wishlist is a listing of companies that are deemed to have high growth and promising futures ahead of them. They give a summary of the company and reasons why you should join the company – like what kind of topics you should be excited about, what you’re looking for in a team, etc. Once again, this is a stagnant list, but definitely a must review.
A unicorn is a company with a valuation over 1 billion dollar – there are hundreds of these companies now, so it is nice that there’s a comprehensive list somewhere that we can look at them all!
- Found this great list of companies that hire without whiteboarding!
- Here’s a list of companies who are hiring that do 4 day work weeks!
This post was originally published here, with a few bonus videos.
Ali Diamond graduated from MIT with a Master’s of Engineering and Bachelor’s of Science in computer science and electrical engineering. She worked in a plethora of industries from healthcare to cryptocurrency, but always focusing on developer relations. Ali is driven by innovation and loves security, developer tools, and startups. But really, she considers herself a “jack of all trades,” as she is always striving to learn new skills and new topics. If you want to strike up a conversation with her, ask her about YouTube. You can find her online at @endingwithali on everything including minecraft and can catch her live streaming at live.ali.dev!