Paul McElvaney of Derry-based Learning Pool wrote an interesting blog post (you'll find it at http://bit.ly/paulmce ) about the pros, cons and how-tos of starting a career in tech.
In it he points to five things that a career-minded grad should do to raise their chances of getting on in the tech world.
The five were: be seen (raising your profile), be clean (avoid incriminating pics on Facebook), be open (your first job is not likely to be your dream job), be free (unpaid work and internships can help) and be flexible (and willing to travel).
All good ideas but I'd particularly like to pick up on the first one - be seen - as I think it's one of the most overlooked and simplest routes to success.
Despite, and in many cases because of, the ways in which social media et al have brought us closer together, reputation is still incredibly important to anyone looking to do anything on the web. With a click I can view a prospective supplier's portfolio, read reviews of their work and nosey about in their social media profiles. Much has also been written about our preference for products and services that are recommended to us by our friends and other trusted sources, making good connections even more important.
People prefer to do business with people they know and trust, or failing that, someone who's been recommended to them, or failing that, someone they've at least heard of. So if you're looking for a job (or anything else) having that profile, online and off, is going to be a serious leg up. But of course, it takes time. The brilliant thing about the web is that the great stuff, and the great people, tend to get found - but you have to be willing to put your work -and yourself - out there.