054 - Don’t Wait Like Me!—Get Recruitment Ready
30 Jan, 2018
Whether you’re actively looking for a job or not, you should be recruitment ready! I learned that the hard way this week. This episode is about what I wish I’d done ahead of time.
What is recruitment ready?
- Up-to-date CV/resumé that is written with the type of job you want in mind. So if you’re transitioning from another career to being a developer, your old CV won’t do!
- Up-to-date LinkedIn profile, again with programmer-relevant skills highlighted.
- Bonus: online portfolio website to introduce yourself and show off your skills
While this might seem like obvious advice, I wish I had taken it a lot earlier! These things have a way of not being prioritized if you’re not actively looking for a job. Why? Well it’s hard! How do you write about programming experience when you don’t have any? What on earth can you write about that will make someone want to hire you? For these reasons and more, I put off preparing these things for a new career as a developer.
AND THEN…randomly out of the blue I was introduced to the hiring manager at a company I would love to work for, and they are searching for a junior developer! We had a great conversation that made me even more excited about the opportunity to work there. And what was the first thing she asked for? A relevant CV!
So I spent the weekend getting this together—not ideal on a short deadline, without time to finesse it and get others’ feedback. But here was my approach:
- Start with LinkedIn: working on it piece-by-piece is less intimidating (for me at least) than being faced with a blank slate resumé document.
- Remove old positions from LinkedIn if they have no relevance to a dev career.
- In your current position, include accomplishments that demonstrate whatever skills cross over between your old career and new career as a developer (working well with people? managing client deliverables?).
- Use the ability on LinkedIn to add links, files, media to your profile so that you can show examples of anything relevant.
- Put a lot of attention into the ‘Description’ section on LinkedIn—this is your opportunity to tell your own story and highlight programming skills in your own words. You can also include relevant links (GitHub, personal website, etc.) in this section.
For The Resumé
- Ideally start from scratch rather than trying to re-work an old copy from your previous career.
- Use what you’ve already written on LinkedIn to determine what programming-career-related skills or accomplishments you can highlight.
- Most importantly: GET FEEDBACK! Preferably from people who have experience looking at developer CVs.
I was tremendously fortunate to have @itamarst offer to review my CV and he gave some excellent feedback. Amazingly he’s offered to do the same for any Start Over Coder listeners when time allows so feel free to reach out to him directly! Likewise I’m happy to give feedback on your CV; if you’re interested you can email it to me. And do be sure to check out a super-helpful blog post from Itamar about what not to do in your resumé.
In the end I created documents I was happy with, but it would have been nice to do so with less stress. So do yourself a favor—get yourself recruitment ready before you really need to!
- Start Over Coder episodes on how to host a website— part one and part two–and an episode about static website generators
- Article: 9 LinkedIn Profile Tips For Junior Developers
- Article: The worst kind of resume is a list of technologies
- Article: Software Engineer Resume: Guide and a Sample (+20 Examples)