The demand for programmers has been on a constant rise even when people have lost jobs in many other professions. It is expected that the demand for programmers will increase by as much as 21 percent between 2008 and 2018. Hence, as a programmer, one really does not worry about getting a job.
But programming also has its own thrills. There are some drab jobs and then there are those challenging and interesting jobs. As a programmer, you would definitely want a job that falls in the latter category. But in order to land that challenging and interesting job, you still need to put in an effort even you have a major in Computer Science.
Listed below are 6 tips that can help you land that dream job. The inputs have been taken from those people who are in the business of hiring programming professionals.
1. Have a neat resume to showcase
When a reputed IT company advertises a job opening, it definitely receives hundreds and even thousands of job applications. Don’t presume that they are going to interview everyone who sent their resumes. You may be highly qualified for the job but if your resume does not create that positive first impression, it is sure going to be thrown to the shredder.
Most Hiring Managers have conceded that they don’t look forward to interview all the job applicants. This is physically not possible. Although there is no set formula to ensure that you pass the initial screening process where people judge you just by viewing your resume, there are still some factors in it.
Some people look for a high GPA score because it is supposed to be the brainchild of 36 different professors and it assesses an individual’s level of smartness. However, many people have called the GPA scores as useless parameter when screening resumes. What some people prefer is the applicant’s experience on specific projects that relate to the job opening.
One of the things that you must do is write proper English. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes are going to get your resume chucked away. The bottom line – your resume should look neat and should have been proofread before it is submitted.
2. Be specific and smart
Your interviewer will try to perceive whether you are smart. While you cannot do much about the perception part, what you can do is demonstrate that you are indeed smart.
If you are talking of a specific project, don’t beat around the bush. Be precise and explain the project framework and your exact role in the project. Do some open projects if you don’t have too many project experiences to show and talk about them. Working for open projects allows you to show that you are part of the programming community and are apt for the job.
3. Manage your ego
If you are a great programmer, it is likely that you have an ego and Hiring Managers don’t like people with big egos. You may be the best programmer around but arrogance will take you nowhere.
Use your common sense when you appear for an interview. Don’t start demanding even before you have landed the job. Don’t say “NO” to some of the projects on offer and show them that you are always willing to learn new things.
4. Focus on people skills
It is widely perceived that programmers don’t know how to interact with other people. As a programmer, you have enough exposure to interaction with other humans and need to learn how to communicate effectively – with your team, your peers and your management. Think from a Marketing Manager’s point of view.
When you lack people skills, you will not be able to rise up the organization ladder. You will forever remain a programmer who just writes those impossible codes. As a manager, you need to manage your people more than you need to showcase your programming skills.
When you are conversing with the Hiring Manager, you need to be able to communicate well. Otherwise, how will you properly explain what you have been doing all this while? And communication is not only limited to verbal exchanges. You should be able to write emails and project notes in perfect English.
5. Prove yourself
You can prove yourself in the interview when you have enough knowledge. Prepare yourself in advance about the various interview techniques.
Hiring Managers use different techniques to assess people. Some may ask you to speak out in detail about how you are going to write a particular code and some may ask you to sit in front of the computer and write the code on the screen.
Don’t just give up on a problem because it seems too tough. Think logically and explain the solution using a clear, step by step process. You may use different words and phrases but what the interviewer looks for is whether you are capable of handling the problem. There may be different paths leading to the solution and it does not matter in an interview whether you have taken the shortest path. What matters more is that you reach the solution and can explain the logic of traversing the path that you took.
6. Be yourself
Don’t ever try and mislead the interviewer by populating your resume with skills you are not very sure of. You never know which question will be directed at you. You should not have a situation where you have mentioned your competency about something and when asked a question on that, you just sit red faced.
If you don’t know something, don’t put it in the resume. Hiring Managers don’t look for people who know trillion programming languages. They prefer people with specific skill sets. “Jack of all trades and master of none” does not work in an IT interview. If you can show what you know and express your willingness to learn what you don’t know that well, it will augur better for you. Bottom line – don’t fake it, just be what you are.