Rishi Raj

  • A Masters student with impressive networking skills


How are you approaching the job search?

I'm constantly in contact with my college peers (from Bachelors and Masters), friends, relatives, and alumnus of all the companies/organizations I've worked with. I make sure I'm in touch with them not just for asking if they were hiring or have open positions but just for a regular chat as to how they are doing or asking about their current work and what interesting projects are they working on. These connections come first on my list because I know they have worked with me really closely and they can put forward/take action for me immediately. 

Also, I've been closely following a lot of job boards that hire tech talent and been using them regularly for my job search - LinkedIn Jobs, Handshake, College Board/Emails from Tandon Careers, Indeed, WayUp, RippleMatch, etc. for Startups - Angel.coBuiltInBostonBuiltInNYCBuiltInAustinBuiltInChicagoBuiltInSF, etc.,  YCombinator's Monthly Who's Hiring/Who wants to be hired list. I hope those links are helpful.

You have been networking a lot to get interviews! How do you go about it? What interviews did you get as a result of networking?

Whenever I see an exciting/relevant position, I usually go to the company's LinkedIn page and open the list of present employees. LinkedIn does a great job in showing familiar faces or people who would have graduated from your college who are working there. I send at least 10-15 connection requests, and once they connect, I just start a conversation asking about their current work and the tech stack they are using to achieve that. Most of the time they might come back replying to it because I've felt people love talking about what they are building, so I ask either technical questions or project-related questions. I later follow up with them if they or someone in their team were hiring for any positions, even if they aren't I let them know I was exploring opportunities in their company and if they would be able to put a word for me. I am glad that a lot of people were really helpful and genuinely followed up with my grievances and gave me their referral links (Coinbase, Grubhub, Pure Storage, Cloudflare, etc.) and some also converted into interviews.

By networking, sometimes you also come to know about positions you wouldn't want to apply for even if they look relevant, and that saves a lot of time

Any tips for fellow Tandon students on how to network efficiently? what about the job search, any tips?
  • There are plenty of job boards and not all companies post their jobs on LinkedIn

  • Most of the time I've been able to find out if a person was hiring was through their LinkedIn posts or the company's careers page and not through a job board, so I would definitely keep checking the company's career page/contacting and following recruiters/engineers on LinkedIn, especially who mention (I'm Hiring/We're Hiring)

  • If you are passionate about or want to share a project with someone or are planning to put it out on LinkedIn as a post, you should do it without a doubt as that catches a lot of attention, also connecting with people on Twitter/Github/Emailing them and asking for feedback on some work that you have done interests that person towards your work and you can follow up later mentioning that you were looking for opportunities in that technical field/area

  • The last thing I'd say is to be prepared with a reviewed resume, a little altered to whichever job you are applying for as all of them need specific experience as you might have to send it to the person you are speaking/connecting with.