As I start my last three weeks at the Flatiron School in Seattle, the pressure of starting the job search is mounting. Having never applied for technical roles before, I’ve been asking anyone and everyone for their advice and any tips they have to make the search smoother. The number one thing I hear is that your online presence should be immaculate. So I thought for my blog post I would gather up the best advice I’ve received on this topic!
The quickest way to assess your online presence is to simply Google your name, because recruiters and hiring managers surely will. If you have a fairly common name, try adding your location to the search for better results. Any social media accounts you have should either be private or otherwise display general professionalism. When in doubt, go private.
Facebook and Instagram are good examples of accounts you might want to make private; you shouldn’t need to worry about every post coming across as unprofessional. Twitter is a bit of a grey area; lots of developers use it as part of their brand, as it’s an easy way to connect with companies and keep up to date with trends in tech. Make the decision that feels right for you, or consider creating a separate private account solely for following your friends.
Specific to developers, a solid GitHub profile is key, as it is the main place that hiring managers will look. Your profile should have a clear picture, location, and a link to your personal website or blog (if you don’t have either, read on). Take a few minutes to pin your favorite or most impressive projects to your profile. These should all have a clear name, description, and README. Bonus points for images or gifs of the project in action.
LinkedIn is another important tool that recruiters will absolutely look at. Make sure everything is up to date, follow everyone you know and ask them to endorse your skills. There are tons of things you can add to your LinkedIn: links to projects, images of said projects, links to your blog or personal site, recommendations, and other achievements. The more robust your profile, the better you look to hiring managers. Tons of people get jobs through LinkedIn!
Finally, if you don’t have a blog or personal website, get on it! It’s probably obvious, but I like dev.to as a blogging platform mainly because it’s specific to developers. There’s a wonderful community here and most people are supportive and welcoming. I’ve gotten some great feedback and connections with just a few blog posts!
A personal website is definitely a bigger endeavor, but having your own dedicated space on the internet will set you apart from those applicants that don’t. Your website can be a one-stop shop for all of the information you want a hiring manager to see: your resume, links, and project walkthroughs, all laid out how you want. For quick and easy set up, I like Squarespace, but there are plenty of other options out there.
You should absolutely buy a domain name that’s your first and last name, or some variation. If yourname.com is taken, try .me or .io. I bought my domain name, clairemuller.me (still working on it) through Squarespace for $20; after paying for this and hosting, the total cost was around $140. This might be a bit much for some people, but I think it’s a worthwhile investment that will pay off in the long run.
I hope these tips help you get ready for your job search, and feel free to comment with any tips you might have :) Happy coding!
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