Read tech boards like hackernews, make a list of tech they mention, and do a hello world demo or quickstart for everything on your list. Do the same thing for any tech listed in job postings near you.
Any tech that is of personal use to you should be deployed at home or in a cloud environment for your own use and edutainment. Hobby experience counts if you can prove you have a handle on it.
It is expected that you learn on the job. Tech is not about work, it is about adaptation. You can and should apply for jobs where you only know half of the required skills. They expect to train you and it is not set in stone what they will be willing to train you on.
Learn to use something like virtualbox on your personal computer to build test environments. Watch youtube videos and follow along (pause and rewind if you need to). Linux is basically always free, windows 10 will let you use it without activating it for free. At minimum you should have the latest ubuntu LTS (desktop), windows 10, and fedora installer ISO images downloaded.
Apply dragnet style to every even slightly suitable place within your commuting range. Just email your resume to careers@domain until you get recruiters emailing you back. Remember: These are not the job for you, these are just so you can learn what is in demand.
Email any referals and ask politely if they are in need of tech staff. Listen to what they want, be polite, and thank them for their time and wish them luck. They are doing you a personal favor even if they do not hire you, act like it.
When you are able to find matches where your skills and career goals actually align with an open position, then it's time to get take it seriously and show them you fit.
Your resume should be short and sweet. Do not use longform sentences if you are short on space. Do not use past tense in responsibilities. List your responsibilities and accomplishments. More than one page is fine, but make sure everything important is on page one. Contact information, Relevant skills, Recent Experience all go on page one. Past experience, education, awards, community work, etc will not be read by an actual human so they can go on page two and beyond. Most desks your resume will land on will NEVER flip past page 1, so make it count. I've been in lots of interviews (on both sides of the table) where this has been true, so you bet it's even more true for the team lead and hiring manager.
Dr. Butt, BoFH
Making chezbrgrs, Installing ubuntu, working trouble tickets, plays well with others
Dairy King - Cashier
Streamlined counter operations by implementing organization to reduce travel between frequently ordered items resuling in 20% average customer wait time
Operate cash register. Resolve customer issues. Diagnose and repair equipment or escalate to tier 2 operations staff. Fulfil customer orders.
High school theater - Stage hand
Reduced problems with stuff by moving things and got awarded by the teacher a creamsicle
Operate rackmount audio equipment. Prepare and queue items needed during the show. Work with Actors and Director to agree upon communication during shows and rehersals
Creamsicle from Drama teacher who winked at me a lot
Online classes for tech stuff
If you have a lot to list, use the horizontal space. If you do not have a lot to list, use the vertical space. Fill the page. Save it as docx and pdf. Prefer to send the pdf, it will print better.
Ask people you have worked with professionally or personally if they would be willing to put in a good word for you as a reference for jobs you are applying for. Tell them you are hoping to show you are adaptable and hardworking, and trust them to come up with some shit about how that's true. You'll figure out who is a good reference by having employers talk to them, so just keep trying. Usually a recruiter will want to know how long you have worked together and what relationship you have. When you are new to tech you will have to fudge it a bit. Include your most professional relationship. Eg, We were on a sports team together from 2016-2018, not My BFF 4 lyfe.
It's usually the email you send them. If they actually want a cover letter document it will usually be submitted as part of a formal application
Hi I am an butt and I am interested in your shitty sitting position offered on honeybucket.org. I have extensive experience in the crap dumping industry and would love to wipe my ass with your money. Notably I have dumped a shitload in black ABS shitters, green fiberglass shitters, and have no preference for white porcelin shitters. In fact one time in a move that saved the company xxx amount of dollers I even have dropped an upper decker in an obsolete pink 1970s commode, which earned me a promotion. The positions requirements of being able to juggle 6 rolls of tp at a time and to also be able to wipe my ass without getting it on my fingers line up well with my skills, and the objective of the team and company line up well with my personal goals of one day being able to outshit bono. I'm very interested in hearing more about this opportunity, and hope that we can speak more about it soon. Thank you very much for your time and consideration and have a wonderful day. My resume is attached.
Make sure you include a short paragraph or two about anything in your responsibilities and accomplishments that aligns with their key needs and call it a day.
Also remember to actually attach the fucking resume. In fact, Write the cover letter in notepad and paste it into the email (remember to remove formatting) AFTER you attach the resume. Say it with me: Never forget an attachment. It just makes you look like a fucking idiot right out the gate. However if that does happen, don't give up on the position because you can still learn from the rest of the interview process. Politely reply to your own email with "Here is a copy of my resume" or something. Don't make a big deal out of your own mistakes during interviews, they do not give a crap and have better things to do.
Quick rule of tech professionalism I learned: Ok to talk about gender non-specific boldily functions, not ok to talk about sex, basically at all. There is no number of shits that will make up for a fuck. Bet your damn ass on it.
So I should prolly send a response around lunchtime?
No, asap is good. make them wait for meetings not for replies. You do NOT want to fall off their radar so keep an active conversation warm.
Do not EVER say you are free "any time". Give them at most 3 times when you are available. You are a busy
manperson and they are working to get your attention. Let them feel good about doing their job without making more work throwing darts at a calendar all day.
This is a referral. I wasn't sure what position I was looking for!
You got a reply, so keep the conversation warm. They want to lock you into time slot for an interview, so do your part with whatever they send you and let them do their job.
But the link is a link of different positions!
They are inviting you to apply for them in their system so they get credit for doing their job. Just fucking do it.
Should i mention "idk what position ima apply for, ill figure it out before our call"
No, Say you're looking forward to finding a good fit and have heard great things about them.
This may sound like bullshit but PRACTICE YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.
what are my interview questions...?
To the fucking googles wit ya!
Remember you are learning the tone and general content. Highly unlikely you will use the exact same answers you reherse. It's going to feel dumb as fuck but do it infront of a mirror. You want to know what it feels and sounds like when you say it to keep you focused. Some questions are bullshit rehersed filler, some will actually light up the problem solving side of your brain. Recognize which is which.
year / make / model vs describe the failure
I'm fucking serious about doing it infront of a mirror. A video camera works too. Just practice the bog standard questions so they are no trouble for you, then you'll have more energy for the interesting questions. Do it for more than an hour, and at least do it once the night before your interview so you can sleep on it.
Responses for story questions should use the STAR method which I am stealing for this howto
Situation, Task, Action, Result or learning
If you can't think of all four parts for the story then don't share it.
Do I need to send a thank you for the interview email? I've only got the hr
ladyperson's contact info.
Yes! You want something that says it was a positive experience for you, and that you were paying attention to the things they put effort into. Something like this will work:
Thanks, it was great coming in and talking to you all. In particular I was really wowed by $SOMEINTERESTINGTHINGTHEYWANTPEOPLETONOTICE. Looking forward to hearing back from you, and hopefully working with you soon.