If you’re a software developer, you probably know you’re the king of today’s job market. While an average length of a job search in Poland, based on Central Statistical Office of Poland, is approximately 12 months, you can find a decent job spot in less than a month, or sometimes even a week. Easy, isn’t it?
What should you do when you want to apply for a demanding position in your desired software company, not just for a job? Have you ever wondered how to stand out from other candidates? How to increase your chance of going through the recruitment process with flying colors and joining your new dream team?
Bellow you can find 3 simple tips I chose based on my professional experience as a Human Resources Manager, where I worked with Senior Software Developers engaged in the recruitment process and talent acquisition. While these tips will do not guarantee you success on their own, they can definitely help you draw attention to recruiter and create a more professional image.
1. Create your tech-image
You don’t always have to be the one who takes the first step in order to receive an invitation to a recruitment process in a company. I assume that you already have a complete profile on LinkedIn, for instance, and you have experienced how often companies actively source candidates through social media (e.g. on Facebook or LinkedIn). I would call it an “all-out attack” on candidates made by poorly prepared recruiters, unfortunately. However, more and more companies are learning how to make this process better and more successful and reach deeper to find best talents; those who not only have an outstanding publicly shared CV but also managed to show their skills and a great code. But how do they do that? Usually, recruiters browse through Github and Bitbucket repositories or follow active members of groups such as Stack Overflow. For technical recruiters, this is a standard procedure, hence, if you already have experience and would like to give yourself a chance of being found by those people, who appreciate technical competencies, take at least one step, dedicate some time to create something extraordinary and publish a representative code sample reflecting the level of your skills. This is a single cost which can open any door for you.
2. Polish your CV
You can find many online articles which describe in detail how to write a CV. I believe you did your homework and you know that including a photo in pajamas is not the best way of presenting yourself as a job candidate. Be confident about the knowledge and experience you have gathered so far. These few simple rules below may prove useful on a daily basis:
KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
Make sure that the design and information in your CV are simple, clear, legible and accessible to anyone. You never know whether your job application will reach a technical person or a non-technical person.
- Remember to retain a reverse chronology and write about the current job first.
- When you adopt a highlight principle in your CV, use it consistently (e.g. apply it to all names, not only selected names).
- Ensure that the content formatting is consistent (this can be really annoying, and you will be perceived as an uncareful person, which for a programmer is like a death sentence in the staffing process).
YAGNI (You aren’t gonna need it)
Do not include unimportant information in your CV which does not relate to the job you’re applying for.
- If you want to work as a programmer, your marital status or the number of children are not the key information which should be exposed. Instead, write a brief, two-sentence professional summary.
DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself)
It’s great that you know a given framework/ technology/ methodology etc. inside out. Nevertheless, there is no need for repeating a given piece of information: in the summary section, employment history, skills and passions. Lack of repetition works well with the principles of retaining clarity in a CV, which will make it more legible.
3. Personalize your message & become unique
Perhaps you are one of those people who like to be in control and choose their place of work instead of waiting for an activity from super recruiters. When you implement this scenario, keep in mind that the first impression you make is very important. According to the primacy effect well-known in psychology, the first information obtained about you will have the biggest impact on the general impression, as compared to any following information.
Taking into consideration what was written above, remember to make a good first impression and create an extraordinary message for your future employer.
Based on my experience, more than 95% of candidates submit their CVs with a standard application message so only those people whose message contains information about the motivation for submitting their CV for a particular job rather than any other job will stand out among others. Do you believe that company X will give you the opportunity to develop? Do you know that there are experienced programmers working there and you would like to cooperate with them? Write about it in the very first message which you are about to send to your potential employer.
It’s your turn
As the one of the most wanted employees on the job market, you don’t need to care that much as long as you have needed skills. However, you can achieve way more, especially when you make a little effort and try to impress a recruiter.
I hope you find my tips useful and they let you look on your career from the different perspective. Is there anything you would add? Please share your thoughts here or drop me an email.