If you don't want to get your first, or dream, developer job then follow these tips to absolutely minimize your chances of not getting the job but also make sure that no human spends more than a few seconds looking at your application.
Many people say they can't find a name to address the application. This may have been valid 30 years ago but now there is always a name you can find, ring reception and ask, look on LinkedIn for someone in the hiring department or head of HR, heck put the CEO's name down if you need to, just something to show you have a clue who you're applying to.
I've written about this before, LinkedIn EasyApply is there to make LinkedIn look good, not to make you look good. It increases the "applications per listing" and so a company thinks they are getting good value for money when hiring through LinkedIn. In reality it makes it so quick for you, and everyone else, to apply with a generic CV, that the company is inundated and they simply delete half the applications at the start. If they can find a good candidate in 200 they can probably find one in just 100 and save 50% of the time!
Each application doesn't need to be a hand crafted work of art, this would take far too long, but each one should be tailored slightly to the role you are applying for. If it's more backend focussed move relevant bullet points up, maybe take out three of the five frontend examples and instead highlight that one time you worked on a CI/CD deployment pipeline instead. Little tweaks go a long way to helping the recruiter or hiring manager pattern match you to the job the vacancy they have.
No one wants to see every job you have had, especially if it's the surf shop at your local beach for 6 months after university. If you are really thin on the ground for experience then put those jobs in an "Other Employment" section and only highlight the parts of those roles that carry over to software development. Listing 12 roles is a waste of space that would be better spent highlighting a few great examples from your most relevant and recent roles or projects.
You spent all that time making these wonderful projects and then at the last minute, when they really matter, you pull the punch and drop the link from your CV. I get it, it's scary showing someone what you have made, but I would rather see someone shipped something simple and went through the process of finishing a project than nothing at all. Portfolio projects don't need to be innovative start up ideas, just your take on a todo list app is fine. Just show them you have shipped something once, ever.
This goes hand in hand with tailoring your resume/CV but is actually even easier. When I say highlight, I literally mean to highlight the technologies you have worked with, if you have written an app in SwiftUI or a backend in NodeJS then make that names pop slightly. This makes it easy for the hiring manager to pattern match you to the job and their required skills. It's all about making their life easier, so make things obvious.
Job ads are wish lists, very few people match them completely. If you wait until you match every requirement on a job advert your will never apply. Some people say you want to hit 80%, I personally believe 50% is fine to put an application in, especially if you are a career switcher and have experience in the industry or are a seasoned dev who likewise has industry relevant experience. So long as you don't lie, you can be confident that if they think you are a good fit they will hire you anyway, while you might not have worked in their specific database technology, it's not like your previous database knowledge is suddenly useless.
There you have it, all the things you can do to avoid getting you first developer job or your next step up the ladder. Follow these and you will remain gainfully unemployed for many years 😀
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