We live in a highly competitive market; although educating ourselves, upskilling and learning new things at the touch of a button is a great thing – it is becoming harder and harder to standout from the pack. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but here are few of my tips that might give you the edge in securing your dream job.
Work With A Specialist Recruiter
If you are a Developer, work with a specialist Development Recruiter. If you are a Test Analyst, work with a Testing Specialist. These consultants have relationships with hiring managers in your space, they also understand what your role truly entails and will be able to present you in the best possible light to prospective employers. You could do all the right things, but unfortunately your CV could land on the hiring managers desk and may go unread; you can avoid this if you work with a well networked recruiter, who is in your corner and you will stand a much better chance of securing that first interview.
Tailor Your CV For Each Application
In no way am I saying add e.g. “SAP” into your CV for a “SAP Test analyst” position if you have no experience with SAP. However, over an extensive and varied career a candidate’s CV would be 25 pages long if they listed off every tool, project and achievement that they had gained over a 10-year career. If the role requires mobile testing experience (and you have it) make sure it is clearly outlined. If the you worked with a team implementing Salesforce, and the role you are applying for is on a Salesforce implementation project – make sure this is clearly outlined near the top of your CV.
Maintain your Social Media presents
Its 2017 and we are well into a time where your social media image is often one of the first things taken into consideration. Once you have secured an interview it is not uncommon for people who are hiring, be this HR, ourselves, or a line manager to look you up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… You have done the hard yards and secured an interview, don’t let a picture of you wearing a mankini, smoking a cigar and chugging a beer whilst on a Bucks Party in Poland be the first things that your potential new boss sees.
Be active within your domains Meetup Group
One of the best things I ever did for my careers was to join and be active within the Meetup scene. Meetup.com (there is an app too) has a seemingly endless list of meetup group for all sorts of professions. It’s forum to collaborate with like-minded people outside of your work place, to express your ideas and hear about different solutions. Moreover, it is a chance to interact with people from different walks of life outside of work hours. Who knows you may meet a Test Manager desperate to find someone with your experience but not currently able to advertise the position or a specialist in your space willing to be a mentor, or at the very least make a new friend with similar interests.
Contribute to OpenSource Projects/Active on GitHub
9 out of 10 companies that I work with have a (or are striving for some form of) Agile-esk environment. Collaboration is the cornerstone of Agile. Working on OpenSource Projects show you are able to work & share as part of a team as well as demonstrate to a potential Development Manager the style and expertise of your code. GitHub is similar to a portfolio or a CV that shows ‘skin in the game’.
The moral of the story is, think ‘outside the box’ and demonstrate to employers you have a genuine passion for your craft, that you’re innovative, collaborative and align yourself with the right people.