Monday, June 30, 2014

How To Get A Job At LinkedIn

Last week I started a full time job at LinkedIn. I feel very fortunate to work for such a great company. I learned a few things as I went through the process on how to get a job at LinkedIn, so I thought I'd share the knowledge with future LinkedIn employees out there.

Picture at LinkedIn Beijing office
This is a picture of me visiting LinkedIn's Beijing office when I was traveling through China a few weeks before I started. 

A disclaimer to my readers, this is my personal opinion and is in no way endorsed by LinkedIn. This advice is based off my personal experience and observations.

Here are 4 steps that will guide you on your journey to get a job at LinkedIn.

1. Have the right skills- Like most places, if you read through the job description and you do not have the skills required it will be extremely difficult to get that job. If you do have those skills, make sure they are explicitly stated in your resume using the same vernacular as in the job description. If you don't have them...well get busy!

2. Leverage relationships- When I was trying to get a job at LinkedIn, I found a second degree connection on LinkedIn that was working in the group I wanted to work in and got an introduction. He is now my boss's boss. You can read more about how I did it on a post I wrote for the LinkedIn blog last summer here. A personal connection to the company and employee referral is probably the most important step to get a job at LinkedIn.

3. Show your passion- At LinkedIn people are really passionate about what they do and they want to work with other passionate people. Make sure it comes out in your resume and interviews.

4. Do your homework- While this is probably a little more general advice for any job, I think it is still worth mentioning. Find out as much as you can about the company, the team you're interested in, the products and the individual decision makers. This will help you impress those looking at your resume and interviewing you.

If you'd like to work at LinkedIn or have more questions about how to get a job at LinkedIn, feel free to contact me. I'll try to help you as much as I can. There are many people that helped me find my dream job and I'm happy to pay it forward. You can contact me through this blog or on Twitter. I hope this post on how to get a job at LinkedIn helps you land your dream job!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Why You Should Think About Moving To Silicon Valley

After leaving Silicon Valley to go to business school in Utah, a lot of friends and classmates have asked me my thoughts about living and working there. I've accepted a job back in the bay, so of course this is my opinion and completely biased, but here are the top reasons for heading back.

Picture of the golden gate bridge from underneath

The companies. Check any list of top places to work in the US (CNN, Forbes) and you'll see many companies from the bay area. Not only that, but many of these companies are experiencing fast growth. My experience has been where there is growth, the opportunities are all around. There are few places in the world where so many great companies are in such close proximity. This makes it extremely competitive for talent, so companies have to treat you well to keep you.

Logos from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Apple

The people. The bay area is top in the nation for overall education level. I have found that people in the bay area are driven, educated, passionate and generally open minded. I remember shortly after moving there, when for first time I met someone at work that went to an Ivy league school, I was really intimated. After a few months, I stopped being intimated and tried to learn as much as I could from the smart people around me. Surrounding myself with such talented and ambitious people really motivated me to step it up. Just living there broadened my vision of what I could accomplish in my career and life.

The weather- It's amazing. Check out the average temperatures. I rode my bike to work year round. You won't have to deal with scorching summers or frozen winters, it's a very moderate climate.

average monthly temperatures for mountain view, CA
Mountain View, CA

The fun- There is a whole lot to do, almost no matter what you're into. Geographically, there is surf, mountains, cities, snow and lakes all within a short drive. It's a great scene for food, music, art, philanthropy, nature, tech and just about whatever else you like.

4 guys on the beach about to surf in pacifica

Oh and of course, to be fair, here are the two biggest cons so you know what you're getting into. 

It's really expensive- Check out this cost of living calculator. It's one of the most expensive places to live in the country. This makes it really difficult to buy a house. Though, companies in the bay generally pay more and your salary is likely to increase much faster because of how competitive it is for talent. I've found that besides housing, a lot of the cost comes down to your lifestyle choices. If you only spend on what is most important to you, it's possible to save.

It's a bubble- You know, when the general population forgets that anyone else lives or thinks any differently? It's not always like that and not everyone is trapped, but check out this funny article about some serious bay area first world problems.

If you can handle not buying a house for a while, I believe the pro's seriously out weigh the con's. It is a fantastic place to live and have a career. Your quality of life will likely be improved. If you need more convincing, shoot me an email, or marry someone from the bay area like I did.