OQ x Not Only Code Series – Job search advice for Junior Developers
Industry experts share practical advice on networking, interviewing and technical tests
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Dreaming of a career in tech? It’s not the iron-clad industry it’s made out to be; you can certainly break into this industry. Yes, even if you’re partway through pursuing a completely different career.
There are plenty of skills that overlap from many different industries, so don’t be put off.
As we all know, the world and his wife adopted tech over COVID. It meant industries were forced into quickly setting up remote teams and implementing software they’d never even heard of. It’s fair to say that COVID forced the hand of many traditional industries, hopefully for the better.
But because of this rapid tech adoption, companies realised there were gaps in tech talent. And as a result, 62% of HR professionals are now looking to hire more people for IT and technology roles in 2021 — according to CompTIA’s workforce and learning trends report for 2021 [PDF].
So there’s plenty of room for you in the industry! And we’re sharing some tips to help you get your foot in the door.
No longer do you have to take night classes to learn new skills. Millennials are 2.7X more likely to prefer to learn something new by watching a YouTube video than reading a book. How we learn as a population has changed. YouTube has a video course on just about any subject you can think of.
The internet is a wonderful place to learn, so go out there and find a course that floats your boat. And never stop learning. The tech industry is fast-paced, and you need to stay on top of trends or you’ll get left behind.
Many employees have a side hustle — and why not? It can give you a bit of extra cash, and it’s also a great way to gain confidence in your new tech skills on the side of your full-time job. This means you don’t lose income, but it does mean you end up working evenings and some weekends to build up your technological skills.
If working in tech is something you really want to do, but you can’t afford to take a low-paying internship, then this is a pretty good alternative. Start profiles on platforms like Fiverr and UpWork and land small gigs to challenge yourself.
Any work you complete you should add to your LinkedIn profile as a media snippet. You need to show you have experience in this field as soon as you get some (actively collect client testimonials to solidify your experience, too). Don’t forget to add your work examples to your GitHub profile, too. GitHub indicates to potential employers that you enjoy working on open-source projects — which is always a plus!
There are many people, just like you, vying for the attention of tech recruiters. So to ensure you stand the best chance amongst the crowd consider creating your own blog or website to show your passion for technology and your commitment to self-learning.
A lot of your current career skills will be transferable. Find out which ones are relevant to the tech job you want to get a hold of. Working in tech, you generally need to be analytical, a creative problem solver, curious, and you’ll need exceptional communication and organisational skills.
Think back to your past jobs and find scenarios that fit these desirable soft skills. In the same report by CompTIA, 41% of HR leaders have a new emphasis on soft skills for virtual work when hiring tech staff, so having technical skills isn’t enough to succeed in this industry, particularly since the pandemic.
It’s a business networking site which means you can search for the company you want to work for and study the careers of those who work there. Want to be a developer? Check out their current developer’s career path; what kind of qualifications and experience do they have?
If there’s a job with a company you’d like to work for go one step further and connect with the hiring managers or tech recruiters, make sure they know you exist. Check out this video we created: interview advice for junior developers.
If you’re looking to get into tech imminently, use your profile to place yourself in the best possible position for recruiters. Use keywords surrounding the role you want; for example, if you want to be a fullstack developer, analyse job descriptions and use keywords like ‘software engineering’, ‘front end’, ‘back end’, and ‘debugging’. The more you research the role you want, the more you’ll understand what recruiters are looking for.
Don’t forget to include your soft skills in your LinkedIn profile so recruiters can easily scan whether you’re a good fit for their job role. Make sure your work experience sections read clearly — you want to make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to spot desirable skills.
If you’re hoping to land your dream job as a junior developer, here are some job searching tips especially curated for you.