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Simplify The Job Application Process

michaelgee profile image Michael Gee ・4 min read

It feels like it was just yesterday that I went through the long and time-consuming process of finding my first software development job.

There is a lot of trial and error in this process along with the frustration and time commitment it takes to find opportunities that would fit you best.

The most frustrating part I would say is the job posts that I overexaggerate in this comment for a post that asked:

"As a developer, what problems do you face during a job search?"

Job: Junior / Entry Level Developer

Requirements:
HTML / CSS / JavaScript - 15 years exp
React - 15 years exp
Node - 15 years exp
Serverless - 15 years exp
Missions To The Moon Completed - 3
Nobel Prizes - 1
Lamborghinis Owned - 1

But is it heavily overexaggerated or just slightly? Because I remember all too often I would come across job opportunities asking for Space-X qualifications for an entry-level developer.

This kind of sucks because it can easily discourage developers to think they are not quite ready yet and go back to the drawing board.

So in this post, I'd like to share some advice on how to simplify the process and get over the speed bumps of discouragement.

Define Your Keywords πŸ”‘

Before you start your search you should self-reflect and ask yourself a few questions.

  • What is my current level of expertise?
  • What are my strengths?
    • Do I live more on the front-end of the back-end of development?
  • What are my preferences?
    • What code language do I prefer? What framework am I most comfortable in?

Examples: React, Junior, JavaScript, Front-End, UI

Searching for jobs with more refined search terms can save time and energy finding positions that will fit both you and the company hiring.

When In Doubt, Apply Anyway πŸ‘Š

It is inevitable that you'll find jobs that match your tech stack but might also have a long list of additional things you aren't experienced with.

This can sometimes make you feel under-qualified and deter you from pursuing the position.

Apply anyway! There is no downside to throwing your name in the hat.

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky

If there is one thing you should take from this article it is this:

(Smart) Companies care more about the potential growth of a developer over what they already know.

So (especially for juniors) it's ok if you don't know everything on day 1. If asked about something you're not familiar with, express your interest in learning it instead of just saying "I don't know".

Expand Your Network πŸ‘₯

You are not alone in the job application process, there are recruiters that have jobs specifically to match you with hiring companies.

Connecting with recruiters can sometimes be hit or miss although if you are clear about your expertise and preferences (your defined keywords) this will make the process go much smoother.

Outsourcing the job hunt to someone else who gets paid for it is just a no brainer. I got my current job through a recruiter and the fit couldn't be more perfect!

Learn From Your Mistakes πŸš€

Before I got my current job, there were a LOT of applications sent, a ton of connections made, and a few interviews that weren't perfect.

These failures need to be viewed as learning opportunities, especially interviews because they are hard to master and you never know what to expect.

Learning from these failures can be applied immediately as you go through the process and rapidly speed up the process of finding a great developer position!

Reach Out 🀝

This is mainly for when you find an opportunity and think "wow this one would be a perfect fit for me".

Here is where you could stop the application process to look more into the company, their website to see who they are / what they do, and go to LinkedIn to try and find people who work for this company.

Expressing genuine interest and getting connected with someone who already works within the company is a great way to bump your resume to the top of the list.

A good practice way to go about this:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Ask a question about the company itself and what the person does within the company
  3. Ask about the open position. Ask if they are apart of the hiring process for this position or who would be a good reference to connect with.

Try to value their time as much as you value yours, keep your conversation and questions precise and to the point.

It's A Marathon, Not A Sprint πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ

Don't overwhelm yourself, when you need to take breaks from coding, learning, working, etc this would be a good time to apply for a few jobs here and there at a time.

This process only truly feels exhausting when you force yourself to sit for hours at a time trying to find every available dev opportunity on the internet.

So don't let the desire of the end destination get in the way of the journey. The journey is the fun part that you learn from and will reflect on, as I am doing right now πŸ™‚

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