The process of pursuing employment is just that, a process. John provided valuable insight as to what that process should look like whether you are targeting a fortune 500 company or more of a start-up.
It all starts and can certainly end with the resume and John clearly outlined just how important it is that an applicant’s resume grabs the attention of the reviewer in 10 to 15 seconds. Therefore the resume should be visually clean and free of distracting images and design. Also, John astutely outlined the importance of having completed projects and code to share so that interested companies can see what has been produced and have understanding of the development capability of candidates.
As it pertains to narrowing the search down to targeted companies, John recommended utilizing Dice, Monster and LinkedIn and others to determine those companies of interest in a particular geographic area and then searching for the key contacts and hiring managers within those companies utilizing LinkedIn. John shared a very effective strategy in utilizing LinkedIn by determining the user groups of key contacts within the targeted company and then joining the same user groups. The result is that it is now possible to connect with him/her through the user groups.
When it comes to interviewing John provided valuable guidance around researching the company to best prepare for the discussion. It was also emphasized the importance of not only being able to demonstrate the ability to write good code, but the importance of the soft skills. People want to work with other people they like and who are going to fit with the culture. In addition, demonstrating sound communication skills and past success in working in a team in whatever capacity is a must in today’s environment of pair programming and agile development. When it comes to the possibility of participating in a whiteboard interview, John emphasized the importance of staying composed, taking a collaborative approach and having an understanding that it is often more about the process and logical progression of getting to a particular answer than whether that answer is right or wrong.
Finally, the importance of networking, participating in Meetups and other venues was strongly encouraged during the discussion. Also, be strategic in the approach taken by participating in job fairs at the local universities and colleges.
In the end, John provided excellent guidance on how to best be prepared for success when pursuing employment even in a job market as hot as development!