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A Developer's Guide to Getting Hired

10.08.2012
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Finding a job can be difficult, but getting hired comes with a different set of challenges. One suggestion recommends jumping into the process cold with the expectation of honing your interview skills over multiple interviews. Other job seekers pay money to be guided through mock interviews and receive professionally written resumes. Although these options may work, they aren't the most efficient use of time and money. Jobs within the software industry come with even higher expectations than most. This increased scrutiny can be overcome but it requires additional attention.

Building a Resume
  • Keep it short and to the point. Do not exceed two pages in length. Interviewers do not need a personal biography.
  • Refrain from building large sections that list out every software ever written. They do not provide proper context. Within each job/project define the technologies utilized. Interviewers look for these keywords to further explore.
  • Each job listed should tell a short story.
  • Refrain from providing excessive non-technical information. Prior jobs in fast food, retail, or any other non-technical environment are not necessary.
  • Do not lie about items on a resume. Good interviewers will sniff these out.
  • Ask individuals in the industry, friends if possible, to provide feedback on one's resume. Multiple mistakes in a resume are a red flag for employers.
  • Aside from a resume, build a visual portfolio. It can encompass screen shots of different software built or examples of coding. It's important to show pride in one's work.
  • Have the resume pre-saved in multiple formats including Microsoft Word and PDF.

Before the Interview
  • Review one's online footprint. See what Google, Bing, and Yahoo have to say. Attempt to clean things up where necessary.
  • Make a "dry run" to the interview location. This will eliminate getting lost on interview day.
  • Review previous job experience. Be comfortable discussing prior projects in detail. An interviewer is looking for competence when discussing prior positions.
  • Programmers aren't the most social bunch. Performing a mock interview with a friend can help point out area of weakness.
  • Try to clear one's mind of all assumptions, fears, and expectations.
  • Obtain the interviewer's contact information in case of any problems (car trouble, emergency, etc.)
  • Research the company and position. It's important to feel comfortable with the company and the requirements of the position.
  • Print out extra copies of one's resume and hand out. Also, bring a notepad and pen along.

During the Interview
  • If running late, call ahead and apologize for the inconvenience. Offer to reschedule if necessary.
  • Make eye contact at all times.
  • Pay attention to body language and posture. Avoid distracting movements.
  • Don't forget to smile. Showing positive emotion is good. Be an active listener and participant. Refrain from acting cocky/arrogant and avoid looking bored/disinterested.
  • Take as much time as needed to answer a question. Don't be too eager. A well thought out answer is better than a quick response.
  • It's OK to say "I don't know," but show a willingness to gain the necessary understanding.
  • Don't volunteer too much information. Be clear and concise. Avoid rambling by mentally time boxing responses. Too much personal information can also be dangerous.
  • Focus on what can and cannot be controlled during the interview.
  • Never discuss salary unless the interviewer initiates the conversation.
  • After the interview or during a break, write down unfamiliar subjects that were discussed. Research these topics and take steps to master them.
Published at DZone with permission of Zac Gery, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Will Soprano replied on Mon, 2012/10/08 - 9:47am

I think the best piece of advice on here is the visual portfollio!  I've found that just having it regardless of the content inside is a huge plus.  

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