3 tips every developer shouldn’t forget in their job hunt

In the stress and worry of finding a job, it’s so easy to lose track of the obvious things that will make you stand out in the developer and tech job markets.

Here are 3 of the best tips to help you stand out from the crowd:

1) Seek to LEARN, not just to EARN

It can be easy to use income as the decider between different companies, however, don’t forget that your career is a long-term objective. There is so much more to a job than just the paycheque and making this mistake early in your career could be costly in the long run.

The most important thing to look for as a developer is: the opportunity to learn.

Why? The market rewards those who have expertise, skills and have taken responsibility.

If you accept a job with a slightly higher paying salary with little opportunity to learn — this could prolong your career progress. Don’t forget to play the long game.

2) Tell your story

If you’re going into a job interview not really knowing why you want the job, other than you didn’t like your last one and you need more money, you’re unlikely to excite any hiring managers.

However, your purpose and your drive are the real reasons that companies will want to hire you. Start with the why and then explain the what.

Let’s put that in the context of your LinkedIn Profile, or your portfolio headline:

“I am an [insert language] software developer” — This is just the what part. It’s dry. It’s uninspiring. It starts and ends with what, but not why.

“I help companies deliver their digital marketing strategy, easier and cheaper. I enjoy networking in the tech community and I like to learn every single day.”

This headline has far more power when it starts with the why.

3) Put the company first in your pitch

When you’re on the job hunt, it can really be easy to put yourself first, thinking of all the things you need: money, security, a nice commute, comfy offices, a decent salary etc.

However, don’t forget that your potential new job is a two-way street and your employer will want just as much from you as you will from them. By hiring you, the company has a clear goal — it’s your job to work out why they want to hire you, and give it to them.

In the context of a cover letter, outline what you think their problem is— and show how you are the perfect solution.

Here’s a slightly contrived example:

“My name is Alex. I know your company has been seeing growth over the last year. I understand this is a critical time for you to be ensuring you achieve the best product to fit your market. Having a flexible application that allows you to test your hypothesis and ideas to find the right features to delight your customers will I’m sure be a high priority. My background of building Javascript, CSS and HTML applications will allow me to create the flexible application you require to test your ideas and get your product to market with huge value to your customers”

Think about what the employer wants — then give it to them! Of course, this will take some guess work, but most of the information you need should be obvious in the job description.

Remember to keep look for great opportunities to learn, double down on your why and focus on delivering what they company needs in order to give yourself the best chance of standing out.