Congratulations! You did it, you finished school, you passed all your classes and excelled in some of them. But now what? How are you supposed to apply that knowledge, show off your skills, and get THE job.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. The never-ending job-experience spiral where you qualify for the job but you need more experience and you can’t get the experience without a job. So we’re going to help you out so you can get that dream job as soon as possible. Here are 7 tips from experienced programmers on how to get noticed as a recent graduate.
1. Be patient
It is highly unlikely that you will nail your dream job or your first application or even the first interview. Keep in mind that these are also part of your learning process. Take this time to improve your resumé presentation, practice the questions that took you by surprise, and most importantly notice what you liked and disliked about each interview and/or company you applied to.
2. Learn to code, practice coding
Is there a new programming language you want to learn? Do you need to better yourself on a specific platform? You can also use this time to learn more about coding that you didn’t learn in school.
3. Work on your resume (amplify your portfolio with personal projects)
Yeah, having work experience is important but demonstrating self-discipline and self-motivation are two skills that will surely help you look more professional and well prepared for the job. ANY job. So again, be patient, and be your own boss for right now, prove yourself that you are worthy of those dream jobs you have in mind.
4. Improve your English skills
If English isn’t your first language, you might need to take some professional English classes. Most of the jobs for software engineers and developers require an advanced bilingual profile, this is because you will be coding with English terms, and if you work for a nearshore or offshore company you might have to communicate with people from other countries and English is the most universal language for now.
We know, we also wish we could communicate telepathically or with a universal language like 1’s and 0’s, but for now English will do, and lucky for us, it is easy to learn and you can take lessons almost anywhere even online.
5. Read more about tech advances
Is your tech stack still relevant for businesses? What new technologies are companies needing for software development? Has a platform changed? Information is power and constantly updating your knowledge through online forums and news articles will help you have cool and geeky conversations topics, but also stay atop professionally and creatively.
6. Work on your soft skills even if you don’t “need” them
Most of us don’t need to enhance our leadership skills because our project already has a project manager and team leader, but it never hurts to work on yourself and grow professionally. You can change jobs, or even change projects, and maybe for your first project, you might not need certain skills that you will be a requirement for your second one.
Notice which soft skills are being required on your job applications, are there any you need to work on? Take this time to make a list of your top skills and mention them on your resumé or job interviews.
Be ready to be a “team” player. That means you need to be able to work with others on your team. Taking direction, advice, and sometimes criticism is all part of the game. Have thick skin and work from the advice and examples set. If they didn’t need you then they would not have hired you. Know you are a value and they are counting on you to be happy, healthy, and ready for the challenge.
7. Apply to every job even without the experience
Honestly, you have nothing to lose. The job post might be asking for 1-2 years of experience but you’re confident you have the knowledge, the skills, and the motivation to take on this challenge. Go for it!
As a veteran software engineer, we can guarantee applying as a new grad will also make you stand out within the recruitment team. If you do get the interview, be prepared and be yourself, many jobs now are looking for qualified candidates but also compatibility in values and corporate culture.
There you have it, it isn’t a secret, this list works more like a reminder to keep your head up, take advantage of your free time, and improve your skills and knowledge. And remember the right job will always find you.