Would you like to know the secret of how I landed my job at SAS? Since I’m asked this question so frequently, I thought it might be useful to share six tips.
Are you a people person? Or are you an analytical person who enjoys the rush you get while working with logic and numbers? Or are you a combination person? What do you like to do? What are your skills? Take the time to understand your likes. You really need to know yourself to start positioning your resume in the right manner for a SAS job. I suggest taking a personality test. Here are a few you could try:
My tip - If you have time for only one, Myers Briggs is typically considered a reliable indicator of personality type. If you come out strongly analytic, then you are a shoe in for many SAS jobs that require analytical skills. I tossed in a couple of other tests that are more detailed analytical type tests.
Know your industry
Have you taken the time to understand industry trends before trying to find a job using SAS? Research what areas of industry are hot and what companies are hiring. Here are some websites to begin your research:
Some of the best industries to start a business (source: International Business Times)
Fortune 500 Companies (source: Fortune magazine)
My tip - Look to the health industry which is always looking to recruit SAS professionals.
Take every opportunity to meet other SAS users. Speaking from experience, user group committees are usually short-staffed and love to get an extra hand. Whether you are skilled at organizing, presenting, compiling evaluations, or putting up content on the user group website there’s usually a skill waiting to be used at your local user group.
My tip - Join your local SAS user group. Not only will networking help the community, but it also helps you figure out where the jobs are in your research for your dream technology job.
Make the fit
Understand the organization you are seeking. As an example, my organization SAS is a socially responsible company that believes in giving back to the community. I loved volunteering before joining SAS and was able to continue after starting the job. Thanks to SAS, I was able to teach yoga (check out this video) to these junior kindergarten kids at a neighborhood school. Make an effort to understand the vision and mission of an organization and see if what you’re doing in your life lines up with what the company stands for.
My tip - Read up and ask others working in the organization you have your eye on what it’s like to work there.
Test your SAS skills
How good is your SAS knowledge and experience? You do need solid SAS skills to nail that SAS job. If you haven’t already, take a look at our top 10 course list to get a sense of what SAS users out there gravitate to the most. Take the SAS certification exam if you’re not sure. You’ll be sure once you pass the exam.
My tip: Try the SAS practice exam for a self-test.
It’s easy to understand why so many people ask me about landing a SAS job. A study by MONEY and Payscale.com found SAS analytics to be the most lucrative skill set. The same study noted that data analysts familiar with SAS can earn 17% more than candidates without SAS in their tool kit.
At SAS, we’re always happy to provide you guidance on what training you need to take. However, you do have to know yourself and your industry so that we can provide you the best options.
Use resources designed for newbie SAS users
- Explore the SAS Starter Kit where 5 quick steps start you on the right path.
- Post your SAS software usage questions in the New SAS User Community, a place in the SAS Support Communities where we encourage newbies to ask anything.
- Visit the SAS User YouTube channel for tutorials: YouTube.com/SASusers
Good luck on your search.
(Editor's note: This post, originally published in 2012, was updated to include new resources.)