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6 Things Every Software Engineer Should Do Before Applying For A New Job

As a Software Engineer, you’re doubtless aware that the demand for your skills is higher now than it’s ever been before. On top of that, with most companies reliant on software, this is set to be an upward trend. But when your contract comes to an end, or if you’re looking for a change, there’s a difference between getting another job and getting the right job.

The pay scale is probably going to be important but it may not be your main consideration. Perhaps there’s a particular industry you’re set on working in, or one you want to steer well clear of. Whatever your motivation, preparation and presentation are key. So here are six pointers that can help make sure that your next job is the one you really want.

Perfect Your CV

Your CV is like your online dating profile, but for jobs. Make sure it’s up-to-date, appealing, and highlights all your best qualities. Your CV sells you, your qualifications, skills, experience and accomplishments, so make sure it’s bang up to date. A few minutes taken to regularly revise your resume are never minutes wasted.

Remember this is no time for modesty. Make your CV as impressive and appealing as you can, but don’t be tempted to lie. You don’t want to get caught out at an interview.

Review The Online You

Our lives are inevitably lived partly through screen time. Well let’s face it, some people spend their time almost entirely online and the chances are that’s where potential employers are going to look first to check you out.

Be ahead of the game by making sure they like what they see. Public profiles such as here on LinkedIn and your website if you have one should be kept up to date and match your CV, while also being a showcase for your best work.

Google yourself before applying for jobs and delete those embarrassing photos or tweets from college immediately. You don’t want your future employer to see the drunken pictures from when you once dressed up as a banana for Halloween.

Never Say No To Networking

Take every opportunity you can to network. Personal contacts can be invaluable, so get your coat on and get out to industry events. Making connections with other professionals in your field is a great way of staying ahead of the pack when it comes to hearing about potential job opportunities.

Face-to-face may be a favourite, but don’t neglect online groups. They’re not only good for making contacts, but they can also be rich sources of leads and information.

Research The Company

You’ve found the job you’ve been looking for and it’s time to put your application in. Actually not quite. There’s something else you should do first – Research the company, to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and learn as much as you can about its values, culture, and mission.

It may be that this position isn’t for you after all, but hopefully, it’s going to be everything you thought and you can tailor your application to optimize your chances of being called for an interview. But if they have a creepy mascot, run for the hills.

Practice Your Interview Skills

You’ve got the interview. You’re almost there, so give yourself the best chance of success by getting some practice in. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with a little preparation, you’ll be able to charm even the most hard-faced interviewer.

Find commonly asked questions online and ask a friend or colleague to play recruiter. Roleplaying interview scenarios ahead of the real thing can be a real confidence booster, improving your chances of making the right impression and ultimately being taken on.

At the interview itself, remember to smile, make eye contact, and be ready with a couple of questions of your own to ask too, as this will show you’re genuinely interested in the job.

Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate

Congratulations, you’ve been offered the job. But with all the preparation you put in, whoever doubted it. Now’s the time to agree on your salary and benefits, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you’re happy with the terms and conditions. If not – Negotiate.

If you think you’re worth more money or the benefits could be improved, say so. No one else will do this for you and everyone deserves to be rewarded properly for their expertise and experience.

To Conclude

It’s impossible to predict how many job changes you’ll have over the course of your career, and searching for a new position can really be daunting, but when the time comes to make your next move, the proper preparation can help make it a move in the right direction.

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