The cloud has grown to be one of the biggest employers in the IT sector and has brought about numerous roles that didn’t exist a decade ago. architects, developers & engineers were common roles found mainly in the construction industry but now we have cloud architects and engineers some of whom have better pay packages than traditional construction architects.
While all this sounds good building a career in the cloud comes with its challenges as with any other discipline.
When I got started in the cloud I thought to myself that the only thing that kept me from a six-figure salary was a cloud certification so I studied hard and got certified on Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure.
I remember being vividly excited knowing that every certification was a step closer to my six-figure salary. if only I knew then what I know now I would have approached things completely differently.
Steps to follow to land your first cloud role with actual success rate.
Be humble and start at the bottom
The fact that you are a certified professional cloud architect on any cloud doesn’t mean that you can handle the workloads professional cloud architects actually handle in a work environment. am not being a bearer of bad news it’s just the truth. when I got certified I remember typing out my resume and applying for jobs on LinkedIn that I had no business applying for, and funnily I was never asked to interview the only thing that I received from many of those applications was regret emails. You are better off starting in a junior role like cloud support and building your career from there. nothing happens overnight.
Spray and pray don’t work.
Also known as the shotgun application method, this is when you send out your resume to all job postings you see online and hope for the best. I did this early on and trust me it has less than a 10% success rate. While it’s true there’s strength in numbers it is also true that all that starts wrong ends wrong. I have come to realize that companies hire people and not robots, switch your approach and begin by building relationships with recruiters and industry peers instead of always sitting on the edge and hoping for the best. a good recommendation will get you a job quicker than a sent-out resume.
Get your hands dirty as much as possible
Again a classic mistake I made and am sure many certified individuals also do. I built a resume with no projects just bragging about being certified thinking it would impress recruiters it never did. Projects are the lifeblood of your resume especially if you have no industry experience. How can you prove to a recruiter you understand VMS if there’s no project showing you working on VMS or load balancers?
A good place to start is the cloud resume challenge I have personally done it so I am talking from actual experience, the good thing about the resume challenge is that it has the AWS, GCP, and Azure versions so you just have to pick your own and run with it.
Make sure to do at least 3 commercially viable projects and add them to your cv stating clearly why your solution is actually helpful or needful.
look for opportunities to volunteer or work freelance just to get real-world experience.
Get involved in projects that fit your role if you are suited for DevOps look for DevOps projects and practice on them. avoid focusing so much on areas where you don’t see yourself building a career. Focus on your strengths.
For AWS cloud architects I would suggest the architect cloud quest look at my post on how to get started.
for GCP check out a sample project on building a dynamic web app on google cloud
Have a job-specific resume
Having a one-size-fits kinda of resume stopped working ages ago. I know writing a resume is tiresome as you have to think of how to come up with short bullet points that are clear and make the most impact.
These days with AI, you need not stress yourself you can build an AI-powered resume with REZI for as low as $3 a month and be sure to have a good resume. the good thing with Rezi is that it gives you guidance on each step and what is actually expected unlike using a word template that leaves all the work for you to figure out.
I also would highly recommend the Tech resume inside out. this guide is written by an actual recruiter who worked for Uber and Microsoft and has gems from other top tech recruiters who give actual industry knowledge on how your resume should look and how the hiring process actually looks in the tech industry.
Prep for the interview
I made this mistake once and it cost me a job I would have really wanted to have. I remember waking up one morning and getting an email for a job that I had applied for inviting me for an interview. It was those types of interviews where you are sent questions beforehand and you are required to video record yourself answering those questions and submit. I quickly recorded my answers and submitted them without even researching what the interviewer really wanted. huge mistake
There are common interview questions that you will be asked and there’s a way of answering them make sure to research them properly and it’s an onsite interview arrive early and be well prepared.
Network as much as possible
As it is said your network is your net worth it could be more true.be open to leaving your comfort zone and attending conferences or meetups to make yourself known in the industry. join online communities on Discord or Slack and learn from the people who come before you. This is something I did and still do and it has saved me a lot of time and headache. also, be active in your certified communities am a member of the GCP and AWS cloud communities and in these communities, you will get useful information that is rarely public.
Have a positive mindset
Without actually seeing in your mind you can’t have it in your hands. it does not matter how many certifications you get if you can’t see yourself actually working on the job you are wasting your time. I remember reading in college The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peele which lays the importance on the power of the subconscious and how it affects the results we have in our lives.
Good luck on your journey and meet you at the top.