Cryptocurrency: the latest way to make a quick buck – right? Just buy Bitcoin or Ethereum or whatever’s trending this week, and sell a few days later when the volatile market shoots up to some unsustainable height. It’s about as far as you can get from a secure, long-term investment.
That is, unless you bet on yourself. As interest in crypto skyrockets, hiring needs are surging exponentially. And from a jobs perspective, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are actually pretty safe bets.
According to Fortune, LinkedIn’s Bitcoin and blockchain-related job postings increased 306% since the beginning of 2017. From established companies to freshly-minted startups, VCs and investors are pouring billions into this budding industry. And they’re only getting started.
If you want a piece of the pie, you’ll need to move fast. Get in while demand is high and talent is still relatively sparse. The key to landing your next crypto or blockchain job? You already have it – you just need to learn how to sell it.
What are companies looking for?
The reality is that cryptocurrency and the technology that supports it is still in its infancy. Companies hiring are not expecting every candidate to be a crypto expert – they’re well aware that specialists will likely need to be trained in-house.
What they do expect:
1. Research-based knowledge.
So you’ve never mined Bitcoin or uploaded anything to the blockchain. That’s fine – so long as you’ve done your research. Before going in for a job, make sure you understand all the concepts underlying the technology. Practice the jargon, read the academic articles, pour over the explanatory texts. Don’t go in without a strong familiarity with the industry.
If you have the time, consider doing some free tutorials over at IBM’s Blockchain Developer Center. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to get a foot in the door without fully committing.
2. Strong background in a related field.
An abundance of new startups means that crypto companies are looking to hire for every role, from administrative to design to marketing. But the highest paying jobs are technical in nature – Blockchain Engineers, Front-End Developers, and Full-Stack Developers are the most in-demand positions.
To land these jobs, you’ll need a strong record of related or directly applicable work. Remember – since very few workers are currently authorities on cryptocurrency, companies are basing their judgments mostly on your (even tangentially) related experience.
3. Genuine interest.
Though a lot of big players are getting into the crypto game, the majority of job openings are still in startups or relatively small companies. Since startups involve long hours, a dedicated workforce, and a shared vision, most hiring managers will weigh passion heavily.
These companies want workers who truly believe in the power of blockchain to revolutionize the way business is done. The newest companies will even partly pay their employees in their own coins – so you better believe (or at least hope) in their future success before taking the job.
In return for your efforts, you can expect a significant salary boost. Startup job platform AngelList reports, “across the board in both technical and non-technical roles, cryptocurrency startup salaries beat the industry norm by about 10-20%.”
Forbes’ just-released “List of Cyrptocurrency’s Richest” shows how industrious programmers are making millions – if not billions – by getting into this growing industry on the ground floor. So while buying cryptocurrencies may be risky, working for them certainly is not.
How to sell…yourself.
Technical skills won’t be enough to land you the job: you need to know how to frame your unique skillset and character to appeal to hiring managers.
The good news is they’re desperate – at the rate the industry is growing, Hiring Managers can’t fill jobs fast enough. The bad news is they’re still pretty picky, especially when you’re dealing with startups.
Assuming you have the technical chops, here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Rewrite your resume.
All that research you did on crypto and blockchain? Put it to good use in reworking your resume. Be sure to include keywords: if you’re applying for a Bitcoin-specific job, cite your working knowledge of bitcoind client. If a Blockchain developer role in Ethereum is your goal, you might want to mention your past experience in Python or other relevant languages.
Make sure to draw obvious links between what you’ve done in the past and how it is effectively applied to the crypto landscape.
2. Update your LinkedIn.
After your resume makes it through an initial screening, most recruiters and hiring managers will move on to your LinkedIn. You’ll want to make sure that this page is an accurate depiction of your work experience – and a pretty close reflection of your resume.
While LinkedIn pages and resumes can subtly differ, you want to maintain a level of consistency. With that in mind, add those crypto buzz words to your LinkedIn page, too! And better yet – add them as skills and get someone to (truthfully) endorse them.
3. Talk to a recruiter.
Transitioning into a new industry is stressful – but leaping into an industry which is itself only in its early stages of development can be uniquely anxiety-provoking. There are a lot of unknowns, many of which can only be answered by your future employer. Working with a recruiter gives you unfettered access to your target companies.
The future of blockchain.
The success or failure of any one cryptocurrency has no effect on the value of blockchain technology and its implications for the future of work. Regardless of whether your specific company ‘makes it,’ what you learn working with the technology will serve you well as society finds more uses for blockchain.
Already, the ripple effect of blockchain’s influence is starting to be felt in unlikely places – Bee Token, a new company started by ex-Uber programmers set to disrupt Airbnb, is using blockchain technology to cut out the middleman in short term apartment rentals. Information about renters and owners is stored directly on the blockchain, and an algorithm matches people to their desired destinations.
The same technology could be used in countless other instances. If Airbnb is vulnerable, why not LinkedIn next? They serve essentially the same purpose – a middleman (Airbnb/LinkedIn) matches people to their desired thing (house/job). Anything requiring a middleman could be streamlined by blockchain technology.
While the bigwigs of crypto may change, one thing is for certain – blockchain is here to stay, and we haven’t seen even a fraction of what it can do. If you’re interested in learning more about your options – and which companies are willing to pay top dollar for top talent – get in touch.