A better way to sell your skills as a developer than just "hire me!" or mass applying

Corey Cleary on June 28, 2019

Originally published at coreycleary.me. This is a cross-post from my content blog. I publish new content every week or two, and you can sign up to ... [Read Full]
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This is fantastic.

I’d like to add that for elevator pitches, like your Twitter bio, LinkedIn header, or other places with low character count, I like to use this formula:

I do [thing] so that [people] can [do their thing].


  • I refactor HTML, CSS, and JS so front end devs can get something into the hands of stakeholders faster.
  • I code AI in Unity so that players feel like they have the right level of challenge for them.
  • I code microdata so that search engines show websites on the first page of search.

I do [thing] so that [people] can [do their thing].

Yeah this is the perfect way of framing your value proposition. Even aside from it being in your public social media profiles, just thinking about what you have to offer in that way I've found helps a lot.

Thanks for the comment!


Great post. Really liked how you gave a plan of how to go about getting good information on the company and essentially standing out.

I imagine one of the advantages of your approach is that you are signaling to a potential employer that you want to work there w/o sounding like you are begging which is always a tricky balance. Almost like saying "this is what I can do for you, you'd be a fool not to hire me." hah


w/o sounding like you are begging

Yes, exactly. You nailed it!


This is great and will definitely be helpful in my job search.

When reading your list of things to research, I thought “that’s a lot of work to do for one company, more so for multiples of them”.

But then you write the following, which I really appreciate:

And most importantly, this doesn't have to be hours of research for each company, just enough to get a sense of problems they have and are trying to solve for. I usually try to spend about 15 minutes on research per company (although some will be much less and some will be more, this is just a rough guideline!).

I’ll be waiting for part 2.


Corey, nice post; I'll give it a shot. Sure as hell can't hurt at this point. I've great skills/experience that seem to be in demand but I'm not having much luck. I don't know if it's my age or the fact I took some months off to upgrade skills, (and partly due to US federal shut-down). Probably a combo of both.


Best of luck Mark - I've also noticed that sometimes hiring tends to pick up at different times of the year too, so that could be a contributing factor.


Nice work! I like the approach.

I like to think of it as a value add proposition. Here is how I can add the most value to your company and Oh BTW I have these other talents that will enhance your business.


This is the exact (not the whole thing) that I did when I tried to apply for my first job role as a junior developer, I did stalk a lot about the CTO and found out that he is so active in Javascript space in my country. He often posts about the direction on where he wants the company to go and which technology they are using, it becomes easy for me to formulate a strategy that I can use during the interview, I created a very strong answer on why they should hire me even if I am just a fresh graduate.

What I am trying to say, is it will work even for developers who are just starting out and have no good experience yet.


That's awesome to hear - thanks for commenting. This kind of approach definitely does work even for more junior developers, great to hear from someone else that it does


I like this approach. I'm going to see what I can do to start incorporating more research into my application process. I always research the company to see if I even like them or their products. The thing I'm having trouble with right now is trying to figure out what stack a company is actually interested in using. Lots of job postings are very vague and list 5-6 languages, just as many frameworks, and some other vague bullet points. How is somebody even supposed to know what a company is asking for in their posting? It would be nice to know if I'd be a good fit without wasting time for both of us.


Yeah that can be really frustrating - one thing to point out is that sometimes such companies may be vague about tech stack (or list lots of different languages) because what tech you know isn't as important to them as, say, culture fit, business domain knowledge,etc.

Of course, this isn't the case all the time, but I've found it to be many times in my job searches.

And if the job posting itself is vague aside from tech stack, I've found that to be a red flag haha. I've found that companies that 1) know what they're looking for 2) know how to communicate that are usually better ones to work for. And I move on from the really vague ones


Awesome post, I started out with the spray and pray approach when I was starting out. A really good way to help in searching for a job.


This is smart as hell, I'm definitely going to think about this approach in applications moving forward. Thanks for taking the time to write this up!


I love this. You are taking the application process and making it your own!


You talk only about giving up your source code for money. There are other options like, creating a product and licensing it, saas, where you give someone a period to use your creations for small fee, etc. And yes, it is harder, it requires more than just tech skills. Also, Read Rich Dad, poor Dad of Robert Kiyosaki.


Really good pointing this out.. I have to say I have always felt job seekers and employers could have a better win/win business approach.. to job employment.. but what is common is the opposite.


That's a great approach but it looks like it's waaaaaay too much for an introvert like me, i'd rather do it the traditional way.

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