This is advice from me as a lead developer. These five things are what I believe makes applicants stand out from the crowd during a job application process.
Taking the time to blog, document and write about your coding experiences through Instagram, Dev.to, LinkedIn, Twitter or blogs shows dedication and a genuine passion. Not to mention that people in a hiring position will likely try and look up an applicant. We have all done it!
Companies are usually keen for all employees to take up a level of advocacy, whether it be posting about the companies latest news or contributing to blog posts. In this case, demonstrating you have the skills to create content based around development can be a big edge.
Having a good set of social accounts may seem trivial, but will help you to stand out from the crowd and gives you the chance to share more details about yourself indirectly.
Open Source experience doesn’t only demonstrate your ability to write code, it displays your ability to be able to work on a large codebase using standard Git practices such as issues, branching, pull requests and merging.
These are all things that are vital in everyday working environments. Not to mention it looks really good on your GitHub account if you can display large projects you have worked on!
One of the best projects for people looking to get started with Open-Source has got to be Gatsby. It boasts a really friendly environment, not to mention the free swag just for contributing!!!
If you lie or try and big yourself up, people will see straight through it. Be honest about your experience, be honest about your intellectual ability and be honest about where you want to go. If you try and make out you are more experienced than you are, it leaves you open to trip up in an interview situation and that will then spoil your chances.
You have to remember, it is a strength to embrace your weaknesses and learn from mistakes. I admit, there is a lot of stuff I don't understand, however, I don't try and kid myself otherwise. If we are discussing a feature in a scrum, and I am not sure about how it can be implemented, I will say "I don't know, however, I will find out". This honesty is appreciated by all parties, as it avoids you not saying anything and a week down the line it becomes a problem.
Keep both your resume and portfolio short and sweet with all the relevant information on it.
I use this scenario: of a day, the company I work for can have upwards of 10-20 applications for the various roles. Put yourself in the shoes of the talent manager. They want something they can get the relevant information from when they are glancing over the candidate's application.
People are too quick to dismiss their previous non-coding jobs as being helpful in an application process. These past jobs are often super useful as they have given you experience and skills that someone straight out of college/uni won’t have picked up yet. Be proud of your past and use it to your advantage.
If you have worked in the local store, then you have a level of client-facing ability someone who hasn't interacted with clients. If you have worked manual labour jobs (I was a construction worker before I made the switch to dev) then you have a hard-work ethic.
I hope these pointers are helpful for you all, I fully understand how daunting the application process to jobs can be! <3