Even though the job market for IT specialists looks quite peachy, as a computer science graduate you might still find it a bit difficult to get into the IT game. So we sat down with our very own Chief Technology Officer Georgij and asked him how he recruits junior developers.
These are his 4 top tips to consider when you are applying for an entry-level position within information technology.
#1 Your university degree shows how you think, not what you know
“An IT-related degree is still important. Because it shows you have been taught how to think logically and that you have learned how to learn. Sure, there are some great developers out there, who are self-taught but what makes them good at their job is exactly that: the ability to think logically and to pick up on new things.”
#2 The way you write your CV shows how you write code
“When I scan CVs, I look at how structured they are because the way you write your CV says a lot about the way you write code - and by the way, 60% of candidates don’t pass the CV scan. Good junior developers need to be precise and consistent in the way they write code because someone else has to be able to read and understand it effortlessly. Your CV is the first place where you can show you are capable of that.”
Concretely, that means:
- Choose 1 set of fonts and stick with 1 for each part of the document: 1 font for headlines, 1 font for subheadlines, 1 font for regular text - the point is: Be consistent.
- Use a clean structure with headlines, subheadlines, indentions and interpunctuation - if you are not that design-savvy, use a template like the Graduateland CV builder.
- Weed out all the typos, using automated spell checking as well as a proofreader.
#3 How you handle everyday technology is part of your professional image
“You don’t have to bother with a cover letter - I hardly ever read those. But I look at how you use technology to present yourself, starting with the information you put online. You should have a profile on GitHub. Personally, I don’t care if you are doing open source projects there, but if you do, they should have something to do with the position you are applying for.
If you happen to have a video interview with us, you should take care of your microphone and the camera as that also shows something about your relationship with technology.”
#4 In an interview, rather say “I don’t know” than make up an answer
“There is no way that a university can teach you about all the different technologies that are out there. You are bound to have some knowledge gaps and that is fine. What matters is your response when you don’t know something. Don’t try to bluff your way through it - with technology, the answer is usually either right or wrong.”
What you can do instead:
- The easiest way to avoid getting stuck is: Only put technologies on your CV that you have really worked with and that you feel confident about.
- Ask questions! Show that you are willing to learn what you don’t know.
- Reflect on what you would have done differently in a coding task.
If you follow these tips, you shouldn’t have any trouble convincing anyone that you are the right person for that junior developer’s position. Good luck!