Tips to help you get a job as an IT specialist

Tips to help you get a job as an IT specialist

Experienced developers are needed in different fields - banks, retail, IT companies. But how do you get a job interview if you're a newbie without an impressive portfolio?

What IT-specialists are missing?

According to the estimates of recruitment portals, there is a shortage of developers in all areas, analysts, QA, and UI/UX designers. Directly in programming, according to our observations, there is always a high demand for mobile (Swift, Kotlin, Flutter), backend (Java, C#) and frontend developers (React, Vue.js, Angular).

First of all, the demand is high for Middle and Senior developers - with 3-5 years of experience. And how are things with beginners - Junior or just "juniors"?

Beginners often have problems with employment. There is very high competition between specialists of this level on the IT market. Many IT-companies are in no hurry to invite yesterday's students to join their team. They have to finish training them - as a rule, on internal, non-commercial projects.

Where does the path to the profession begin?

More often than not, the standard developer enters the industry during his senior year of university.

During the training he understands the basics of programming and algorithms, learns the databases and forms the "foundation" for further specialization.

Decide on the direction and choose the path of further development is up to you. It will be better if you can get some advice from experts. They will help you not to get lost in the variety of information about the profession and understand where you need to go.

You can meet the IT community at meetings, conferences, intensive courses and workshops. The latter is the most effective way to acquire the necessary skills, because here you will be able to work on the project. The task will be educational, but it will allow you to learn the modern technologies currently used in the development of IT-products. In addition, you will be able to get individual feedback from the mentors of the workshop.

What to write on your resume?

The information on your resume is the first thing a possible employer learns about you. On average, an IT recruiter takes from 15 seconds to 2 minutes to analyze this data. To make an impression in that time, describe your skills in a clear and structured manner.

A resume checklist for beginners

  • Specify one position for which you are applying. This will show motivation and interest in the profession.
  • Most importantly, the technology stack you work with and the tasks you've accomplished. If you want to develop in a specific role - such as architect or teamleader - it's worth specifying that as well.
  • Include information about your education - university, college, courses.
  • The position of your application in the issue plays an important role. List all the relevant technology positions you know how to work with. On sites like HeadHunter, search engine robots recommend the most relevant resumes for each job opportunity to employers.
  • We often get original resumes, such as those created as interactive web pages. However, in an effort to stand out and be remembered, the main thing is not to go overboard. A resume should be readable first of all: with correct indents, structured blocks, using no more than two fonts.
  • If you want to add a photo, choose it carefully. It is better to take a portrait photo rather than a group photo. In addition, you should not post an image of pets instead of your photo (this also happens). The purpose of the resume is employment, so it's better to separate the personal from the work and use a photo that's appropriate for this purpose.
  • A cover letter helps once again to draw attention to your resume. We sometimes get quite original letters, such as: "Good afternoon, employee of the great company SimbirSoft! I don't know who exactly is reading this letter, but I hope that we will definitely get to know each other. However, it is better to tell why you want to get into a certain company and what position you are interested in.

If you're up to the task and put together a resume, chances are you'll get a response from IT recruiters and invitations to an interview in the next few days.

How to prepare for a job interview with an IT company?

Listed here are some fairly common tiphacks. However, if you run through the list and do at least some of the items, you'll have a stress-free interview.

  • Learn more about the job and the company. It's easy - check out the corporate website and learn more about the company. This will help prepare you for the question, "What do you know about us?" It will also show your interest in the job and add a few bonus points in the recruiter's eyes.  
  • Theory is always important. For example, if you are applying for the position of a QA-specialist, you must understand what techniques and levels of testing exist. This is basic knowledge, their absence will show incompetence and unwillingness to learn the profession.
  • Be prepared for practice. The developer may be asked to unlock the screen and solve the problem in some language, and QA - to make an SQL-query.
  • Self-presentation. Rehearse a story about yourself with someone close to you. If you are shy, introduce yourself to a cat or a mirror. This sounds fun enough, but it will help you make the most of your interview. And it will show your softskills: your speaking and communication skills, as well as your ability to set accents and highlight what's important.
  • Prepare your environment. If the interview is scheduled via Skype, check beforehand that everything is in order with sound, camera, and so on.

Evaluation Criteria

Each IT-company has its own system of evaluating the skills of a specialist. As a rule, the following key data are taken into account:

  1. Experience - is made up of work on commercial projects and the complexity of the tasks to be solved.
  2. Knowledge of specialization. The knowledge of the language, frameworks, and related skills are taken into account here. For example, ensuring code cleanliness.
  3. Softskills and knowledge of non-core technologies. For example, if a backend developer is familiar with Go and Angular, can make decisions, has presentation skills and is clearly result-oriented. This knowledge is not mandatory, but will be a big plus.

You've landed an interview at an IT company. What's next?

If the interview was successful, the head of the department introduces the newcomer to the projects he will have to work with during the first months. As a rule, in the process of preparation for commercial projects, a specialist first polish his skills on internal products of the IT-company.

From the first working day until the end of the probation period the employee is supported by an adaptation specialist and a mentor, an experienced specialist of the Middle/Senior level, who can be called upon at any time. Together they immerse the employee in the company's business processes.

How to grow further?

IT is a dynamic and fast-paced field. Even in case of successful employment it is necessary to improve continuously, to pump up soft and hard skills.

For example, the specialists in our team attend conferences and webinars, communicate with the IT-community and make reports, share their experience and expertise, train newcomers. They also constantly try on different roles.

The main advice to a junior developer is not to stop at getting a job in an IT company, but to keep growing. A junior, as a rule, does not have much experience, so the tasks he is assigned are simple. If a specialist does not take care to upgrade his skills, he may "get stuck" in an easy routine job for a long time.

How to avoid this? Choose those companies where it is possible to connect to a variety of projects or to do them yourself.