Getting a dream job is no easy feat.
The statement stands true regardless of the domain you’re in. Companies look for candidates who are polished in technical and non-technical skills. So even when you must be a fantastic coder, you’ll likely not get the job if your non-tech skills are not at par. Also, the fact that there are about 24.5 million developers across the globe doesn’t boost your chances of landing your dream job.
However, a few key aspects, if focused on, can help increase your chances of landing that job. This article takes you through five essential tips to get your dream job. Let’s dive right into it.
1. Write a compelling cover letter
The purpose of a cover letter is to highlight your qualifications, skills and experience in a way that resonates with the employer’s needs. A cover letter is a great way to showcase your enthusiasm for the specific position and the company you’re willing to work for.
There are many cover letter templates readily available too. You can easily download a software engineer cover letter template and get on with it.
Below mentioned are a few key parameters to write a solid cover letter:
- Do your research first
- The focus should be on your future goals
- Create a strong opening statement
- Focus on your values
- Show enthusiasm
- Keep it crisp and clear
- Get feedback from peers
While your resume focuses on your past work experience, a cover letter is your shot to emphasize the future. Many companies have a cover letter as a requirement; however, many don’t. It’s still wise to write a cover letter to stand out. Ensure you thoroughly know a company and its services and try to think of the why for the specific product/service.
Also, you can bring up your aspirations and goals during the interview, and it’ll be like music to the recruiters’ ears.
2. Network with other developers
The perks of networking are endless. It’s an integral part of any developer’s professional journey. It won’t only help you expand your network of people but also help you gain exposure to people in the domain who may refer you to jobs or support you in navigating the pitfalls most developers go through.
There are many ways to network with other developers:
- Build a personal brand
- Join an existing developers’ network
- Be an active participant in networking events or workshops
- Create an authority by blogging
- set clear goals for a networking event
- Go to events as a speaker
- Volunteer at a networking event
Once you’re a part of an active developers’ group, job opportunities become accessible. You get referred by someone, or you can refer some of your peers to companies looking for developers.
However, networking takes work. Don’t expect to sit back at an event and hope to grow connections. You need to get out of your shell and strike up conversations with as many people as possible. Networking is, in fact, about hustling. After all, you don’t bear the fruits without reaping the seeds. So, use these tactics to build connections and flourish in your professional life.
3. Customize your resume as per the company
Your resume is your silent salesperson. So create a resume such that it introduces you without doing the talking. Yes, you’ll have to introduce yourself once your resume gets shortlisted; however, that comes secondary. Your resume should offer the recruiter a summary of your professional background and reflect why you may be the right fit for the company.
Tailoring your resume as per the company involves documenting your professional achievements in a way that leaves an actionable impact on the recruiter. Customize your resume based on the role and needs of the position you’re applying for. Continually optimize your resume to the job application and the skills required. Plus, if you have any career gaps, your resume should reflect it.
Below-mentioned are a few tips to tailor an exceptional resume.
- Carefully analyze the job description
- Match your resume with the job listing
- Incorporate specific skills associated with the job title
- Highlight your skills in the resume
- Check your location
While tailoring your resume is essential, ensure you don’t boast too much about your skills to match them with the job title. Ensure your resume reflects confidence and isn’t boastful.
4. Create a strong portfolio
Sure, a good resume and cover letter make good impressions. However, you must create a solid portfolio to make an actionable impact. How else would the recruiter know you have relevant experience in the field?
Once the employer skims through your resume and cover letter, they’d be interested in knowing about your past work experience. Building a solid portfolio is key to getting hired. It shows employers how you apply the skills they may require for their job role. Ensure you highlight the tools, programming languages and software you’ve used for specific projects to showcase your skill set.
Build a GitHub profile if you haven’t already. Also, having too many projects in your portfolio is not necessary. Including projects that highlight your skills is the best way to go. Moreover, it’s advisable to include your solo projects or freelance work. This reflects your genuine interest in the subject.
You can even bring up your work during the interview, showing you can put your money where your mouth is. The ball will be in your court since you’ll take charge of the interview flow.
So create a portfolio that shows your skillset, as simply knowing stuff may get you a job but certainly won’t get you your dream job.
5. Focus on improving soft skills
What if we say that by 2030 soft skills jobs are predicted to make up 63% of all jobs? Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that showcase a person’s ability to cooperate with others. They often complement hard skills, and companies today ask for candidates that excel in both.
Soft skills are way more than communication skills. A few key factors that a candidate with at-par soft skills exhibits are:
- They gel well with other teammates.
- They have crisp communication and are often straightforward in addressing issues with their teammates and managers.
- They show strong problem-solving skills.
- They can perform individually and in teams with ease.
Candidates with only hard skills surely help in creating better products. However, candidates with soft skills help in creating a better company. Get the difference?
Whether you want to lead a team or convince a recruiter to hire you, having soft skills is a must to thrive in the corporate world in the long run. So if you need to work on this area, get on with it. Take professional help by including yourself in a class/workshop or practice it daily. In time, you’ll get good at it. After all, it is a skill and skills are sharpened with practice.
Don’t forget to follow up!
Landing a dream job as a software engineer is a challenging feat, given the competitive nature of the field. With the tips mentioned in the article, you’ll boost your chances of getting your dream job. However, after you apply for the job, remember to take follow-ups. Taking follow-ups include cold emailing people working in your domain and showing your interest in working with them.
However, it’s vital not to overdo this to the point that it gets annoying for the receiver. Keep it minimal but effective. Also, it’s good to hone the skill of selling yourself. Creating a stellar resume and a cover letter is a part of doing so. Your behaviors need to reflect confidence, giving the recruiter confidence that you can do the job. All the best!