Hours of Leetcoding, resume rewrites, and interviews to get an aggressively impersonal rejection email — or worse, be ghosted.
But it doesn’t have to.
We at Rewriting the Code analyzed 1000+ survey responses from early-career woman-identifying technologists who successfully received an internship offer this year to see what works, what doesn’t, and how we can help you make your next recruiting cycle a success.
Part 1: Context
Rewriting the Code supports and empowers university and early career women in tech to become the next generation of engineers and tech leaders. Our community is 16,000+ strong and consists of a diverse range of students from across the globe.
Every year we survey our amazing community of women to get a better understanding of their needs. This year we received 1,182 responses to our pre-internship survey from women who had accepted but not begun their 2022 summer internship.
Part 2: Recruiting Feels
Overall, respondents were pretty confident in pursuing a career in tech — but that’s not always the case. Younger applicants tend to be more uncertain about pursuing a career in tech as compared to rising juniors and seniors.
Most applicants felt the company diversity during the recruiting process was only somewhat apparent, pointing towards a need for improvement on the company end to create a more inclusive and reflective recruiting pipeline.
Part 3: Application Process
Rather than the traditional firehouse apply-to-everything approach, respondents actually had a more selective approach to their job search, mostly applying to positions relevant to their goals or fitting their skills. At the same time, our respondents steered away from applying incredibly selectively or incredibly unselectively — most took a more middle-ground approach with a focus on jobs that aligned with their personal interests.
When it comes to finding jobs, online boards such as Linkedin, Google, and University career sites came out on top. Word of mouth was also fairly high, as well as some of RTC’s programs like our Career Fair and Summit(*shameless plug alert check out our upcoming career fair on October 13 and 14th!*)
Part 4: Accepting an Offer
Salary and location were the biggest factors in deciding to accept an offer, being cited as a factor for ~30% of applicants. but other less tangible components like culture, work/life balance, and company mission were also important.
Notable, some of the lowest rated factors were the recruiting process, team, and management/leadership although these very same factors are cited during work to be important components of overall job satisfaction.
Part 5: Reneging
Over a tenth of respondents reported reneging an offer and similar to application strategy the most common reason for reneging an offer was related to goal alignment. Nearly 35% of respondents felt like their original offer didn’t match their personal goals and while more quantitative factors like salary and company size were also listed many women appear to be more focused on finding positions that support their longer-term aspirations and career.
Part 6: Reflection
If you could turn back time to the not-so-fun time of 2021, what would change about your recruiting strategy?
Networking more was the most common change, as well as resume improvements and more interview preparation. Speaking from personal experience, networking has always felt scary and a little icky. Rewriting the Code has actually been a great resource in making the idea of talking to *real adults* less scary with educational workshops, resume review sessions and industry mentorship opportunities.
Securing a tech internship is hard, especially when you’re already juggling school and your personal life. But looking at the survey responses was a wake-up call for me that I’m not the only one struggling.
If you’re a current women-identifying student/early-career technologist and want to check out Rewriting the Code, you can learn more and sign up here: teamrtc.org/signup (it’s FREE).
If you’re a company or organization interested in partnering with us, check out our website to see how we can work together to support and empowers the next generation of engineers and tech leaders: https://rewritingthecode.org/companies/.