How to find a job in San Francisco?

The process of getting a job in San Francisco may not be as easy as you think at first. Look through our guide to understand what kind of job-hunting approach you should take.

Written by RamotionDec 8, 202111 min read

Last updated: Feb 12, 2024

San Francisco is one of the busiest locations in the United States, known for its flourishing businesses and employees.

This region is home to various industries, ranging from technology to finance, as the city is slowly but confidently being assembled as one economic powerhouse. At the same time, the Bay Area employs around 3.7 million people in some of the world's most powerful corporations. No wonder the employment rate climbed up over the last few years, increasing by 2.2 percent between 2017 and 2018.

So you can easily see why people desire to work in San Francisco. However, all of these reasons include high gross pay, different benefits, and a pool of famous companies that o increase the competition for every position, no matter what level we’re talking about. Despite this, many people have questions about the process of finding work in the Bay Area. For that reason, our San Francisco branding firm decided to make a detailed guide on “How to find a job in San Francisco?” along with some tips.

How to get a job in San Francisco? - 4 Job-Hunting steps

Image by Ivan Zhukevich

Step 1 - Initial Preparations

There is no better place in the world for someone who wants to work in technology than the Bay Area. There are thousands of jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area, and everybody is constantly recruiting.

As a first step, after you get a solid degree and relocate there, try to apply to numerous positions remotely. Most people probably won’t agree on this, as getting hired via physical interviews is very common. However, with the global pandemic and world situation right now, the chance that you’re going to score at least a first interview is relatively high. Otherwise, you may want to try and relocate to the Bay Area as companies want to invite you to their offices for interviews. The only challenge here is that you'll need some money to survive for around a month and a place to sleep.

Consider your role, industry, and whether you want to apply to a part time jobs in the Bay Area or full time jobs Bay Area. Following that, determine the type of employment you desire from the job market in Bay Area. Have a compelling tale about why you like the position and why you possess the necessary abilities or expertise. Then tailor your CV and LinkedIn profile to match that narrative.

Step 2 - Getting to the Interviews

The process of getting your first interview is not an easy one. There is a lot of competition going on in the background while you are preparing for the interviews. So before you dive a little deeper than that, you probably should know how exactly you need to know the primary job board sources.

  • College job board - There is no doubt that every university has specific websites for fresh graduates. There you can look up job postings, find the most appropriate ones, and try to contact a particular company.
  • Internet job boards - LinkedIn, AngelList, and Looksharp, are the excellent places you can start. Be cautious, however. Don’t wait for the answer from only one company, instead send out as many as you can to get higher chances for finding jobs in San Francisco.
  • Recruiting agency - Another approach is to look for a recruiting agency that specializes in your business field. You’ll increase your chances while getting separate feedback from another person, which can be pretty awesome.
  • Personal network. If you know some people from your institution and are working in a company, it might be worth checking whether they have any open positions. If you can’t find any, try searching on LinkedIn or Facebook for connections in San Francisco.

A few side notes for each provided point on the list:

  • Do not send an email to everyone with whom you went to school to seek a job solely. Instead, try to reconnect with old acquaintances. Otherwise, introduce yourself to new people who can provide additional information about their jobs. You'll gain more knowledge by listening to other people's tales over lunch than you will be applying for jobs.
  • The "networking" approach, which is kind of unique to the San Francisco Bay Area, is to invite your pals to lunch at their place of business. The majority of companies provide catered lunches for their staff. So it's usually simple to drop by and join them for a meal.
  • The critical aspect here is to be at the right time for the appointed interviews at all times. Sometimes, companies will inquire about your job search stage, and it is better to be candid and clear about your timeline. If you communicate the same schedule to every company, they will work around it.

Step 3 - Choose your Job Offer

If you want to know how to choose between several offers, then everything you’ve read on the Internet before. You indeed want to choose the one that offers the most payment amount at a time, but it might not be a good decision for you. Remember how you've spent hours being interviewed, you met everyone in person, and now you need to make the right choice wisely. When being presented with various offers, we suggest you make your final decision based on the three factors: Cultural Fit, Career Potential, and Money.

Culture Fit - "Culture fit" is a concept frequently bandied about. The most excellent approach to establishing a solid cultural fit is to stop by the company for lunch or go out for drinks with your future team members. Anything that occurs outside the company’s walls may show you what is happening inside the company. It's completely normal to like the individuals you meet. However, you should always ask yourself: Can I imagine myself working with these people while applying for entry level IT jobs Bay Area? Since most of the time, the final decision may be influenced by other people you converse with.

Career Potential - This is a term used to identify whether you can somehow advance through your job. It's always good to know whether you are entirely ready to make a move into something new. Another good tip would be to inquire about corporate training (new hire and ongoing). Additionally, consider whether you can envision yourself learning from your teammates and the organization's leadership.

Money - Once again, money should not be a significant factor that decides your job offer. However, it is also an essential factor that should come into your consideration. The clearer you understand how and for what you're going to be paid for, the more confidently you can consider your job offer. Remember to inquire about the additional rewards for your performance and overall results.

Image by Markus Winkler

Step 4 - Further actions

To conclude, the last point on this entry is never to stop looking for more opportunities for your career. So try to allocate at least 1 hour of your daily time to find a better job for yourself. Seriously, don’t forget to update your resume and browse through the previously mentioned online platforms to find better opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Again, it might be a tight and challenging process, but it is still worth your time and effort.

The majority of individuals believe they must be computer geeks to find work in San Francisco. However, that’s not entirely true. Tourism, for example, is the region's primary economic sector. San Francisco's tourist business has grown in recent years as outbound travel from China has increased, resulting in a significant increase in tourism and leisure-related job opportunities. San Francisco companies are constantly hiring new candidates almost every single day, and it is home to over 30 international financial institutions and establishing businesses.

Related posts about San Francisco:

Fintech Companies San Francisco, Biotech Companies San Francisco, Best San Francisco apps, UI/UX Design Agency San Francisco, App Development Agency San Francisco, Branding Agency San Francisco, UX Design Bootcamp San Francisco

3 Major tips on getting a job in San Francisco

1. Earn an advanced degree

Due to the competitive nature of the San Francisco job market, the majority of positions in the region demand a bachelor's degree as a minimum requirement for all applicants. However, acquiring an advanced degree in your field can help you differentiate yourself from others looking for the same positions. That enables you to demonstrate the competence of your experience and shows that you are investing in yourself and your career seriously.

Additional certificates will only future increase the likeability of getting a job offer. More than 38% of companies reported increasing educational requirements for recruits at the national level, with 33% needing a master's degree for a position that could previously be filled with a bachelor's degree. That fact alone allows plenty of room for people with a master's degree to shine during the application process.

Additionally, workers in the San Francisco area with a graduate or professional degree earn more than those with merely a bachelor's degree. On average, their earnings are capped at an average of $114,868 per year, while those with a degree alone can have $79,862.

2. Approach your career from a different perspective

While receiving a master's degree in a field linked to your profession enables you to bring relevant skills to your job, it won’t advance your education and develop your career. Earning a master’s or degree in a subject that is not directly related to your career will be helpful throughout your entire job search process.

For instance, if you wish to work in a managerial position at a technological company, you could combine an undergraduate degree in computer science with a master's degree in project management. While an undergraduate degree provides you with the essential information and abilities necessary to perform the core responsibilities, a graduate degree prepares you specifically for the unique demands of a managerial position.

Pursuing this complementary degree reveals to hiring managers that you think creatively. The rare combination of abilities you bring to the table can make you a great addition to their teams. By pursuing a unique mix of experience, you can also differentiate yourself from other applicants who have taken more "conventional" paths. Sometimes, standing out is all that is required to land the desired position.

3. Gain a lot of unique experience

Most hiring managers will tell you that job experience is critical as your education is. That is why it is essential to obtain as much hands-on experience as possible throughout your school and career. Be innovative and open to developing new abilities or learning new skills by seeking new opportunities. Not only will employers be impressed by the amount of practical experience you acquire, but you will also develop your soft skills too, which you can apply in your day-to-day position.

As a student, the most accessible approach to accomplish this is to enroll in programs that will enable you to graduate with a project or portfolio that demonstrates your abilities. Similarly, take advantage of internships and work-study programs offered by your university connected to your business industry.

Most degrees contain an experiential learning component that requires students to execute projects similar to the actual commercial projects of Bay Area firms. According to faculty at the Master's of Science in Computer Science program, over 40% of their students work for local technology giants such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google as of 2019.

So once you're satisfied that you've acquired the abilities required to perform the work assigned to you, it's critical to seek opportunities to progress your career. So volunteer for new projects, join new teams or take additional responsibilities. Precisely this will demonstrate your value to your employer, increasing your chances of being chosen for a promotion or salary increase. That will lead you towards a valuable experience that you can use to advance your career.

As we have mentioned before, you need to take a certain number of steps that you need to take before finding jobs in the San Francisco Bay area. We suggest that you stick to the following approach:


In the end, the process of finding a job in San Francisco is not an easy task whatsoever. There are a lot of steps that you should follow to find your sweet spot in the Golden City, whether as a professional that looks for a part time job Bay Area or a graduate who is applying to entry level jobs Bay Area. So do prepare carefully for your subsequent interview sessions and consider other approaches in our article.