My first real programming job was as a junior programmer doing VB for a printing company. Not exactly a challenging language, but it was the first company that gave me the opportunity. This was my mental state back then, and it shouldn’t be yours. Let me repeat that last line. It shouldn’t be yours. You are better than just grabbing scraps off the floor. I felt inside that I wasn’t worthy of getting a job as a programmer, so I’ll just take anything they give me. Even though I had just gotten off a gig working for the United States Army Research Lab as a security analyst, which although was very mundane work, having that on my resume should count for something. When I first interviewed for the printing company, I was practically begging them to give me a job. What I didn’t know is that they were more than likely desperate to find someone to fill that position. That’s the number one rule when searching for a job, don’t assume that they have thousands of candidates applying for the position. They are just as exhausted as you are and are begging for someone to work for them.
When you’re doing your job search, don’t concentrate solely on the software tech companies. Nowadays every business needs a developer, whether big or small, you can take your pick. As developers, we have a chance to pick anything we would like. It’s a little different if you’re straight out of college, as perhaps you’ll have to be little less selective, but never settle. We’re in a time where a lot of people will be retiring, and there’s a lot of open development positions to be filled.
Every business nowadays has an IT Department, and that’s where you should concentrate on. Remember, you’re trying to get out of the 2 – 3 percent raise mindset. When looking for a job, stand your ground on 15 – 20 percent. Think about it, utility companies, financial companies, printing companies, supermarkets, laboratories, pharmacies, they all need developers. The world is filled with opportunities.
When I first started looking for jobs, monster.com was my go to site. Nowadays, indeed, linkedin, careerbuilder, glassdoor have joined the platform as the players for your job search. You can also look at craigslist.org for opportunities, which concentrate on the smaller companies. Make sure you create a linkedin profile and keep it up to date, as this is very important when networking and finding opportunities. What I have done is created an indeed profile and used that as my central resume. You can take your pick, and designate one site to be your central resume. I have used my indeed resume for everything when applying for jobs. What I love about indeed is that I can create a resume and it will create a pdf out of your resume. You can then apply through their site using your profile, and very easily do a one click apply. Linkedin also makes it easy since most company job career sites allow you to log in with your linkedin profile and prefills it for you, which saves a lot of time. Make sure you are consistent, which is why I always start with indeed and then work from there.
In my next post, I will describe in detail how to use the 80/20 rule in writing your current job descriptions and using it to your advantage when going on a technical interview.