This is a guest post from Taylor Desseyn. Enjoy.
Dear new developer,
Finding a job was hard for a new developer pre-pandemic…now during a pandemic it is just as hard but add in the fact that you can’t meet anyone! It can be daunting.
Here are my thoughts on how to find a job FASTER than most other job seekers.
Put out content
Put out content (especially on LinkedIn). You’re probably asking yourself. Taylor, I’m an introvert and not a marketer, what does putting out content have to do with finding a job? The answer? Everything. The fact we all are at home and cannot network has everyone on all major social platforms more than ever.
LinkedIn especially. LinkedIn is like tik tok. You can have zero followers and still gain a ton of traction. I know a handful of developers that have documented their journey finding their first job over LinkedIn and actually have landed their job because of putting out content.
Post at least once a day. This could be about an interview you bombed, or a question you missed on an interview and ask for help, or learning a new piece of tech and asking about one part of it. You should also be liking and commenting on other peoples posts as well!
Video Interviews…Selfie style. This is a big one for me and only a few developers have done it. But guess what, the few that have, landed a job and one specifically because of this tactic.
Hear me out, every first-round interview is the same. Tell me about yourself, tell me your weakness (which we all turn into a positive), and tell me your greatest strength.
Why don’t you just video it up and answer these questions yourself and put it on LinkedIn and ‘pin’ it under the featured section on LinkedIn. So, every manager that visits your profile can see you! Here’s an example.
You need real world experience; get it
Capstone/code school projects aren’t enough. Long gone are the days of having a capstone project and it being enough to land a job. You need real world work experience so, if you can afford it, start asking around if you can help build small things for people. Every church needs help with their website, a lot of entrepeneurs need help with building stuff for free.
I get it, this area is such a divisive topic but for me, the only way to separate yourself is to get real world work experience and what better way to do that then volunteer your time?
Network, but don’t ask for anything
Now you probably are asking yourself, Taylor you said “put out content”, AND I have to now network?
Yes…yes you do. You need to make sure you are having one intentional video/phone call a day with someone in your network at a company that you want to work at or someone who does what you want to do.
You shouldn’t go into any networking call with a stranger asking for something. Be interested in what they do and how they got to where they are. Then ask for another connection but don’t ask for a job. Because when you don’t ask, you immediately endear yourself to that person so down the road if they get a job opportunity they will think of you first because you were different.
The big thing is at the end of every call, ask for a referral. Try to get another connection out of every call. My 55 year old dad did this in the restaurant industry and found a job in 6 months.
Leverage a recruiter
Most recruiters don’t place junior talent but the good recruiters can give you market intel, help your resume, help your LinkedIn, and can be just a general sounding board for you as you start searching for that first job.
Taylor Desseyn has been recruiting for over nine years and while he recruits on every skillset within technology, his main focus is on software engineers and developers. He has met over 4,000 engineers and helped place over 450+ people in their dream jobs.
Taylor has been very active in the community – he’s been elected VP of the .NET User Group (the second largest user group in Nashville) for 3 years. He has also presented at multiple other user groups within Nashville. Taylor has also been fortunate enough to get on the speaker circuit across the southeast, having presented at code conferences such as Code on the Beach (Jacksonville), Music City Code (Nashville), and Codestock (Knoxville).
Taylor has a knack for scaling teams as well. He has helped scale teams internally at Vaco up to 3x their initial size every stop he has been. He also was chosen to present at Vaco’s Global Conference on branding/marketing. Taylor is currently leading a team of 9 recruiters and has helped scale his currently technology team from $2 million in revenue to $6+ million in revenue.