Wanna land a tech sales job in a ridiculously short amount of time?
We’re about to teach you how to do it in 2018. Buckle up.
How To Get a Tech Sales Job… FAST
- Be Insanely Specific About Your Goals
- Build a List of Hot Tech Companies
- Copy Their Sales Job Descriptions To Find Keywords That Matter
- Update and Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
- Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Matches With Your Resume
- Reach Out / Engage With Members Of Your Network
- Make Alliances With Recruiters
- Role Play Your Interview
- Book the Phone Interview
- Convert to an In-Person Interview
- Ace the Interview
- Negotiate Your Offer
Follow this step by step guide, and you will succeed. I promise.
Don’t just start doing stuff out of order. Read this guide at least twice, then execute one step at a time.
Even if you have no experience, it doesn’t matter. Follow these steps and you will land in glory.
#1: Be Insanely Specific About Your Goals
Most people define a job title they want (e.g. investment banker) then look to see who was hiring.
Now go and do the complete opposite. Define the kind of company you want first, then identify the position you can add the most value.
You will ABSOLUTELY get better results with a more targeted approach, trust me.
Think about location too. Many hot tech companies (especially in SaaS) are located in San Francisco.
Other emerging hubs are booming too though – like Austin, San Diego, Denver, Boston and New York.
What do you want?
#2: Build a List of Hot Tech Companies (Use a Virtual Assistant, Optional)
Build a list of all the possible companies that you think may be a good fit. You can do this yourself or hire someone on ODesk or eLance to do it for you.
I worked with a woman named Jane who lives in Costa Rica (she does great work).
This is the job description I sent her:
Hey Jane –
I could use your assistance to research available job positions at local tech companies.
Can you build a spreadsheet and find job positions available for “Sales Development Representative” and “Account Executive”.
– find local address closest to san francisco: on above websites or foursquare.com
– find employee count and capital raised here: first on crunchbase.com or then angel.co
– find sales role: on their home website under jobs or careers
Can you send this back to me as soon as possible? Like later today?
Use that to get you started!
Business Insider also has a solid list of tech companies who are hiring right now.
#3: Copy Their Sales Job Descriptions To Find Keywords That Matter
Pick your top 3 target companies.
Then copy and paste the text of their job descriptions into this word cloud generator tool.
You’ll be able to find highly recurring keywords aka keywords that matter to your future employer.
Then use these keywords to update your LinkedIn profile and resume.
For more keywords to brush up on, check out this sales glossary of 260 terms.
#4: Update Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is all about story telling and highlighting your best self.
Present your story in a way that illustrates how all your past experiences have led up to the very moment you apply for a company.
Use the keywords from your word cloud above.
This will make your skills and experience more closely aligned with their job descriptions.
Plus, your profile is more likely to appear in recruiter searches.
Whatever you do, don’t be deceptive! It will come back to haunt you.
#5: Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Matches With Your Resume
Nowadays, most tech companies see your LinkedIn profile before your resume anyway.
Make sure you remain consistent across both channels.
Layout and design is important too. Many employers will disqualify you based on this alone (if you bomb it).
I’m serious. Choose a simple design for your resume. Somethings easy to read and understand. You can find plenty of quality resume templates at Creative Market.
#6: Reach Out / Engage With Members Of Your Network
Opportunities can be hidden in unlikely places. And you don’t want to leave any stones un-turned when you’re hunting for your dream job.
Steps one through five are all preparation steps before you can being outbound
But now, it’s time to send out a short 3-5 sentence email to your personal network.
Explain the type of company you want to join and your desired role. It’s hard for people to help if they don’t know exactly what you want.
Also, email your entire network on LinkedIn. You can easily export their contact info into a csv file (complete how-to instructions here). Then email each contact directly or in bulk.
#7: Make Alliances With Recruiters
I think recruiters are great. They are your second channel of warm introductions.
They help you prepare for interviews, they make introductions, and even schedule interviews for you.
A good recruiter should feel like a sidekick.
Here in San Francisco, you can refer to Rainmakers for new opportunities.
Just be honest and transparent when working with a recruiter.
Just tell them about the other opportunities you are pursuing.
That way you avoid any overlap or redundant outreach.
#8: Role Play Interview Over and Over
I’m so awkward during interview role plays. I don’t know why. But, there is one thing I can do about it. And so can you.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Get comfortable telling your own story.
Role play phone interviews and in-person interviews with yourself first. Then with recruiters.
Trust me. This exercise will pay off.
#9: Book the Phone Interview
By now, your network and your recruiters will begin feeding you opportunities.
It certainly helps to supplement this activity with some direct outreach of your own. Especially to any high priority companies where you don’t have a warm intro.
As the opportunities flow in, start to schedule those phone interviews. Typically, I will schedule no more than 3 interviews per day.
#10: Convert the Phone Interview to an In-Person
Remember to tell a story. Here’s the basic story framework:
- Turning Point
When they ask you sales interview questions, think through all your own personal experiences.
Then choose one experience each time to best represent the full range of your skills and abilities.
These stories should come more naturally once you complete steps one through ten here.
At the end, always ask for next steps. I wouldn’t get too caught up in “closing” people.
Just let them know you’re fired up about the opportunity and want to take next steps with them. And next steps are to meet in-person for an interview.
#11: Ace the In-Person Interview
Always wear a suit and tie.
That’s what you you’ve been told, right?
Well, I don’t recommend it for hot tech companies. A jacket is a nice touch, but nothing more is needed.
Remember, most people in tech love flannels and tee shirts. I advise you to dress slightly above your audience, but still look like you are part of the team.
When you sit down, pull out two copies of your resume and one copy of your cheat sheet. Casually, place them on top of the binder resting in front of you.
Engage with them, tell them your story and always ask for next steps.
#12: Receive and Negotiate Your Offer
You want to love where you work. And they want you to love it too!
So, gather as many job offers as you can. Until, you find the right one. Then negotiate that one offer to close.
Traditionally, there isn’t too much negotiating for junior roles. But as I understand it, the more valuable you become to an organization the more leverage you will have.
This takes work. I went non-stop for three weeks straight. I was booking 2-3 interviews per day.
And I’m confident, if you follow these steps above, you will find your dream sales job at a hot tech company too.