As tech has become an essential part of almost all industries, developers are in high demand. This doesn't make it easier to find a suitable position, though, and sending out applications can be very time-consuming and often an unsuccessful process. Even just finding positions that fit your skills and interests can be difficult.
If you're looking for the perfect role, diversifying your search strategy will help you discover options you may have missed. Here are some tactics for hunting for the ideal developer job.
Broaden your horizons and then narrow your scope
These sound like opposites, but they're actually complementary. As technology expands into more and more industries, you may find the position you're looking for outside a traditional tech company. Consider what field you're interested in and what kind of work you'd like to support as a developer. Then it's time to narrow your scope back down to identify the niche you're interested in, so you can put your energy into applications for roles you would be happy to have. Consider these questions before you begin your search in earnest:
- Are you more interested in small startups or large companies?
- What industry do you want to be a part of?
- What's your preferred tech stack?
- What specific roles and responsibilities are you interested in?
- Do you need to stay in a particular location, or are you willing to move or work remotely?
By first zooming out and then focusing in, you'll be able to find tech job openings that you're actually interested in and qualified for, which will get you faster results.
Network and stay in touch with colleagues
Networking is standard advice for a reason—it's a great way to learn about new positions and opportunities that may not ever be available on public job listings. Recruitment at companies often starts long before a job listing is made public, through people's connections and recommendations. These positions may be filled before they're even posted on a job search website.
There are many ways to connect with people in your industry, both online and in person. Attend conferences and workshops, as well as more casual meetups and other opportunities. The goal here is not to laser focus on the people you want to ask for jobs. It's about making long-lasting connections that can serve as contacts and referrals in the future. When you meet people at these events, add them on LinkedIn and follow up with them about things you discussed previously.
Let people know you're on the job hunt
Don't limit your networking to people in the industry either. Your family and friends are also useful resources. By letting people know you're on the lookout for a new job in a particular area, you're opening up your options as there's often someone who knows someone whose company is hiring.
Target the right people in the companies you're interested in
Put together a list of companies you're keen on working for, with a focus on ones that currently have open tech roles, though you can also include your dream companies even if they don't have any positions listed. Then do your research: use the company's website and LinkedIn to find the relevant people at those companies to contact directly. Connect with them on LinkedIn and let them know that you're interested in a specific role. Thank them for accepting your connection request, and send along your resume as well as any other relevant info, such as a link to your GitHub profile or personal site. Let them know you'd like to meet and when you're available. You can also reach out to former colleagues or friends at places you're interested in and ask them if they can put in a word for you.
This can take more time and effort than simply putting in job applications through a job board, but this personalized approach can get you through to the interview stage more easily.
Maintain your LinkedIn profile
Completing your profile on LinkedIn and making sure all your information is up to date will help you out a lot. LinkedIn is used by 90% of recruiters in many industries to search for qualified candidates, and you'll be 40 times more likely to get opportunities from these recruiters if your profile is complete.
Here are some tips to get your LinkedIn profile in shape:
- Craft a strong headline for your profile. This headline appears in Google search results, so making sure that it's targeted for the roles you want will help catch the eye of recruiters and employers.
- Write a good summary that includes keywords about your skills and the roles you're interested in. Your summary should make the right people want to click into your profile and learn more about you.
- Use relevant keywords throughout your profile. Be consistent and exact, with a focus on the skills and experience that you want to highlight as being relevant for the position you want.
Let a recruitment agency search for you
Recruiters are often very helpful for companies as they search for the best candidates for their openings, and as a job seeker, you can also benefit from going through a recruitment agency. You will be able to give all your information to someone who has an inside track to the kinds of IT jobs you're looking for, and the recruiter can also provide you with all the relevant details of a company so you can decide whether they're a good fit for you.
Tailor your resume for each application
Finally, once it's time to apply, take a bit of time to adjust your resume to suit each position. You don't have to do a full rewrite, but it's a good idea to make sure you've focused on the most relevant experience and included keywords that match the ones in the job description. This is especially important for online applications that are going to be screened for matches. A resume that is tailored for the position will often put you a step ahead of other applicants.
By building up a strong and easily tailored resume, as well as following the other strategies shared here, you will be on the right track to find your next developer job quickly.
PS: Along with the team at Relocate.me, we've created a Telegram channel where we regularly share tech job opportunies with relocation assistance available, international job search tips, relo stories, and more. Consider joining 🙂