Six Career-Boosting Tips for Software Engineers on the Job Hunt
In today’s fast-paced job market, it can be challenging to find opportunities that are a good match for your skills and experience. The process of sifting through online job postings and networking with connections to find the right leads can feel overwhelming, but it’s also an opportunity to use your coding abilities to advance your career. Even if you love your current role, keeping a finger on the pulse of new software engineer jobs is important for long-term career growth. To increase your chances of landing your dream software engineer job, we’ve outlined six helpful tips. Each strategy has its own set of challenges, but by following these strategies you can significantly increase your likelihood of success in the search for a new job.
Talk to People (and Stay in Touch)
You might be surprised by how many job opportunities you might have missed if you have not been in touch with former colleagues, professors, and even friends. You never know when a casual conversation might turn into a valuable connection. The more people you talk to, the more opportunities you’ll have to talk about your career goals and find out what’s out there. When you stay in touch with people, you also have the opportunity to let them know what you’re up to professionally. Letting others see your work and your accomplishments has the added bonus of helping you to remain confident in your abilities and stay motivated through the job hunt process. Maintaining a positive outlook will help you stay upbeat and keep you from burning out.
Take Time to Research Companies You’re Interested In
The more time you spend researching companies you’re interested in, the better your chances of finding a job lead may be. By diving into company websites, reading job postings, and speaking to employees, you can get a better idea of the culture at a potential employer and the types of skills that company prefers in new engineers. Creating a list of companies you’d like to work for and doing some research will help you narrow down your focus when it comes to job hunting and can help you get more out of networking with others in your industry as you continue your job search. For example, if you learn that a certain company has a reputation for hiring engineers with a certain skill set, you can use that information to help you decide what to emphasize in your own search and how to frame your experience to best fit the company’s needs.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is the most obvious way to find a job lead, and it’s also one of the most important. In fact, according to a report by the Economic Impact of the Engineering Workforce, “Employees with friends at work are 18% more satisfied with their jobs.” You might be worried that networking is a skill that only outgoing people are good at, but you can still network while being yourself. You don’t have to wait until you’re looking for a job to start networking. In fact, it can be helpful to find connections before you need them so you have people to turn to when you’re in need of career advice or leads that might help you find the right job. Depending on where you work and what industries you’re involved in, you might have a built-in network to start with.
Finding your network can involve any number of tactics, from old-fashioned networking (i.e. meeting people at industry events and connecting with them on social media) to more modern methods of connecting like joining a professional networking site or leveraging your connections on LinkedIn.
Go to Events and Conferences
Attending events and conferences is a great way to meet people and make connections with potential employers. Even if you have a job right now and aren’t actively looking for a new opportunity, it’s important to attend events that are relevant to your field. Learning more about your industry and staying up-to-date with current trends can help you advance your skills and find new opportunities even if you aren’t actively looking to leave your current company. If you work in a technical field, it’s likely there are a number of conferences and events that might be of interest to you. Start by researching the conferences that are relevant to your field, and then look for ways you can get in touch with the event organizers.
Commit to Constant Learning
Making a commitment to constant learning is one of the best ways to improve your chances of getting hired by new employers. According to the same study mentioned above, “Employees who spend 25% or more of their work time engaged in some form of professional development are 12% more satisfied with their jobs.” Even if you’re currently at a job you love and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, committing to continuous learning is a great way to make sure you maintain your skills as a software engineer and stay employable. It’s also a great way to let potential employers know you’re invested in your career and have the drive to keep advancing. Researching new technologies and skills that you can incorporate into your workflow is a great way to show an employer you’re committed to keeping up with the latest industry trends.
Write a Resume (and Actually Read It)
applying for jobs. But how often do you read your own resume? If you’re like most people, probably not very often. But your resume is your first chance to impress a potential employer, so it’s important to make sure it’s up to snuff. At a minimum, a strong resume should include your name, contact information, summary of your education and experience, and a list of skills. You may want to consider including the dates of your relevant experience, job titles, and salary information as well. Not sure where to start? There are plenty of online guides to writing a resume and creating a great cover letter. While your resume is an important tool in your job hunt, it’s not the only one. Employers are busy people, so you’ll want to make sure you’re sending them all the right signals about your desire for employment.
Finding a new job can be a challenging process, but it’s a great opportunity to expand your network and invest in your career. With a little bit of time and effort, you can put yourself in a better position to win a new job and advance your career. Keep in mind that the job hunt might be a slow process. You might not find the right opportunity right away, but by taking these six tips to heart, you’ll be prepared to make the most of your job hunt and come out with a new role that’s the right fit for you.