Rumour has it there are a lot of job opportunities for software developers, so many that sometimes it can be overwhelming. Even with a lot of jobs available the competition is fierce, you are competing with the best of the best and it’s a global competition. So how do you stand out from the crowd and land yourself your next great job?
From our experience working with candidates and employers we see a lot of resumes, interviews and coding challenges. We have summarized the feedback from employers and our own collective knowledge to bring you five tips that will help you nail your next job.
1. Coding quality: The number one thing employers look at is the quality of your code and somewhere along the way you will have to do a coding challenge. So, code like you’re going into a professional environment, and about to have a code review- not like you’re doing an online quiz or personal project.
We understand that this code is written once, submitted, and never touched again, but as interviewers we want to see what you would develop like in a professional environment. Taking a relaxed approach to the coding challenge does not give that insight.
2. Professional Resume: Every country and industry have different standards for what a resume should look like, but the one thing your resume should do is it tell your story. Things like typos, spelling mistakes and bad formatting are clearly all red flags.
But the biggest mistake of all is just listing your job description for each position. If you’re describing your experience at a company, don’t describe what the company does, describe what you did at the company and the tools that you used to do it.
Your resume should be a story that anyone from any professional background should read and understand what you do. The first person reading your resume is likely not a technical person, so speak to them in a way that they can understand your technical skills and sell them to the tech team.
3. Strong communication skills: You will have to go through multiple interviews for every position you are pursuing. They will take the form of online, phone, video, in person some will be technical while others will be just to determine if you are a fit for an organization. Much like on the resume, the biggest mistake is that people do not explain what they have done.
Interviews are your opportunity to sell yourself and highlight some of your unique accomplishments. It seems that everyone says that they are “hardworking”, “detail oriented”, “organized” and “goes above and beyond”. As a developer these should be given, and these skills do not make you stand out!
Highlight your accomplishments by given a specific example of problems you have solved and how you solved them. A little insight, from the interviewer-we are more interested in how you approach problems than the fact that you just came up with a solution.
4. Understand cultural fit: Companies are looking for people that will fit into their company culture. If you are a developer that likes to sit in the corner with headphones and no distractions-well you wont work well in our loud extroverted team and chances are you will probably hate it!
Its important for you to understand what type of environment and company you work best in and look for companies that have similar culture. Employers spend a significant part of the interview and hiring process to see if you will meld with their team and thrive in their organization. Being able to know yourself and understand the best work environment for your style will help you answer the question “what type of environment do you work best in?” and “describe your typical work day”.
5. Narrow your search: As we discussed spray and pray is the least effective strategy for applying for jobs. I recommend that candidate focus on five companies and start targeting those companies.
Ask yourself whether you want to work for a large company or smaller company. Are you looking for start-up, early stage or established company? Is there a particular business domain that you have experience in and really excites you.
Stay on top of industry trends and know what is going on in your tech ecosystem.
Before you even hit send on an application, you should know what the company does, why you want to work for that company. You should’ve also done some LinkedIn research to know who is doing the hiring and who is making the decision. Has that company been in the news lately, read their blog post, news articles and LinkedIn posts to get a sense of the company. Do they seem like people you want to spend your week with? Write a compelling intro, or better yet, give them a call and find out more about the position before you even apply.
They aren’t hiring right now-well find out what their needs will be in the next six months and ask some questions about what they are looking for in their team. You are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you, so be sure these are the people you want to spend your days with.
The job search process can be daunting and it can be even more discouraging if you have received several rejections. By applying these tips, you should improve your chances of rising above the rest. Good luck and if you want more advise like this, follow us at Global Talent Accelerator.