ViewSonic Human Resources Manager Vincent Chou spoke with the LearningFuze community about what employers look for when hiring a Web Developer or even a UI/UX Designer with development skills. With two graduate degrees in Human Resources and Business, he is able to apply a unique business-centric HR approach that gets results in the hiring process. Though web development skills are in high demand it is important to know how to best position yourself to compete in the marketplace.
Below is an overview of the Q&A session that took place with LearningFuze students:
How can developers get started after attending a coding bootcamp or learning programming on their own?
When a resume comes across your desk, what stands out?
Ensure that your resume compliments and reflects the job description. Define the job role you are seeking and highlight programming languages you know that fit the role.
How often do you check cover letters?
Some companies are sticklers for cover letters. It is about company preference. Writing skills and good marketing skills potentially stand out as an indication of an ability to effectively communicate. If a company requests a cover letter then definitely provide.
What about portfolios?
Put it online and certainly include the link on your resume. For Web Developers, having a great portfolio is critically important and then it is about work experience. Employers will take a chance on you if you have solid organized code and an appealing portfolio regardless of experience.
How to have an impressive resume if you don’t have the experience?
A prospect stood out to Vincent who did a demo comparison on his portfolio of his code that illustrated how his development skills significantly improved over time. A testament to always iterating on projects and continually learning. He further emphasized the importance of making your resume stand out through your portfolio. It is about what you can do and what you will bring to the company!
Resume Screening? Tips?
Be ready to talk about the resume, your projects and provide examples as you walk through your portfolio. When it comes to web development, recruiters may not understand the code but are more concerned about the end product that the code produced. Non technical people or relatively non-technical will focus on the visual more than the actual code. Therefore your portfolio needs to be clean, functional and appealing. Your resume likely will not move forward in the process if the person screening is unimpressed with your resume, portfolio and projects.
What about the surprise call from a prospective employer when you are not prepared?
You can say that it is not an ideal time right now and it would be better to set up another time in order to devote complete undivided attention. When you call them back you state your name and that you are returning a missed call and ready to ask any questions at this time.
What are Behavioral interview questions used for?
These types of questions show employers how you handle stress by your reactions. Behavioral interview questions not only show if you have the skills and abilities to perform the requirements of the job, they also reveal how you will perform in the future based on past behavior.
Sample Q: Do you want to be friends with everyone or be the best in the room?
Sample A: I like to be both. I like to be the best and at the same time I want to be the motivating factor for co-workers.
Keep in mind you don’t have to answer it so specifically. Vincent is looking for a connection, sincerity and an ability to share a relevant example in a conversational manner. As an example, Vincent coached a “mentoree” to land a job in the White House. Yes that’s right the actual White House! She was very experienced in interviewing but had a flaw. She answered everything in a textbook fashion. He recorded a practice interview session and she realized she presented very robotically and needed to work on her soft skills to sound more natural.
What about salary requirements?
Employers look for experience and the amount of years with a company. However, it’s fair to set an expectation of what you want. In addition, think about long-term goals and how you can grow your skills when searching for jobs.
How to best prepare for an interview?
Practice with a mirror or with a web camera and at the very least, record your voice. Once you see how you come across then you get a better idea of how you can improve your overall presentation skills. Furthermore, employers still want to see you dressed professionally so make sure to dress to impress based on the culture of the organization for an impactful first impression! Also, be concise with recruiters, both internal and external, and tell your story in 30 seconds or less if possible. Practicing your pitch is important to presenting yourself in the interview.
In conclusion, employers see many resumes and typically conduct many interviews for each individual position. Really take the time to personalize your resume, highlight key projects in your portfolio and practice those interview skills for the best shot at landing your dream job. The job search is essentially a full time job and it is important to approach it with that mindset while continuing to code and learn. Vincent has coached many to land jobs, both at an entry level and experienced positions by focusing on these key factors.