So how exactly do you land a job as a software engineer? Here are seven tips that will help you get hired.
1. Visualize Your Dream Job
Before you even start your job search, write down a list of what most excites you, what you’ve enjoyed working on the most, and what you’d like to be doing next to get to the next level. This will help determine if you’re as good fit for new opportunities as they open up.
Glassdoor Technical Recruiter Marcus Dubois advises, “As a software engineer, you’ll have the opportunity to work for companies with vastly different cultures and projects. Everyone wants to make an impact, but determining how you want to make an impact (building a cool fitness app, connecting people through social media) is important. You should also consider what kind of work environment is most appealing. A 50 person startup operates their engineering team very differently than companies like Google or Facebook.”
2. Join a Hackathon or Meetup
If you’re looking to network and build relationships within your industry, consider participating in a Hackathon. Recruiters and potential employers may be there, so use this your advantage to make connections. You can also add your project to your resume.
Companies hiring software engineers also often host meetups at their offices. This is a great way to make immediate connections with the engineering team and assess if the company is a right fit for you.
3. Perfect Your Pitch
Practice a 20-30 second speech describing your competencies, what kind of code you write, plus your logic, reasoning and other skills. This can be helpful when you’re networking to uncover new job opportunities, or once you make it as far as the interview. Make sure to practice ahead of time – your pitch should be quick and persuasive.
4. Revamp Your Github Profile
If you’re just getting started in your career, Github is a great platform to showcase your technical skills even if you don’t have a long list of work experience. Upload a new profile picture (make sure it’s work appropriate!) and update your profile with the latest on your work experience and contributions to other projects. Make sure these updates are both accurate and compelling. Ideally, it will relate to the kind of work you are hoping to gain as a software engineer. Make sure to include a link back in your resume as well.
5. Read the Job Description Carefully, and Then Read it Again
Sometimes job descriptions will include a hidden request or piece of information designed to catch you skimming and not reading closely. It could be a simple as, “In your cover letter, tell us your favorite color.” Recruiters often include this for all types of positions and departments, including engineering. One piece of advice is to compile a checklist of everything the application or recruiter is looking for so you don’t carelessly omit a critical piece of information.
6. Be Realistic About Your Skillset
Be honest with yourself about what you know – and what you don’t know.
Glassdoor Lead Web Developer Mike Abell advises, “If you see something like ‘Java experience required’ it’s easy to think, ‘Oh I took a Java class several years ago, I’ll be fine.’ But your ramp up time will be less than ideal for your potential employer. Be realistic with yourself and get an understanding of which skills you’ll need right away and which you can learn simultaneously as you progress.”
7. Prepare to Be Tested
Once you get past the initial screening process, you may be asked to demonstrate the long list of skills you’ve included on your resume. Be prepared to take a test or work through problems on a white board. Practice explaining your steps and thought process out loud, especially if you’re more comfortable with writing code on your computer. Before the interview, make sure to read Glassdoor interview reviews for the company to get a better idea on what you could be asked and tested on, and get familiar with common software engineer interview questions.
Ready to start your search?
Do you have any job search tips for software engineers? Share in the comments below!