For several years, recruiting has been a part of my job in software. A few times I’ve been on the other side, looking for a job myself.
There are many low-hanging-fruit-type tips that can really make a difference when we look for a job. By making mistakes myself, seeing them made while recruiting, and by talking to colleagues, it’s now possible for me to list a few. Some may seem obvious to you — if you haven’t yet recruited, you’re in for a surprise over how common they are, and how much they affect the chances of someone getting a great job.
Learn about the company first
Before starting your application, spend no less than an hour attentively studying the company. Go to YouTube, try to watch videos involving top leadership. Read articles and learn about the people there.
Apply only to companies you care about
If you are in full application mode, apply to no more than 3 companies per day. Ideally 1 company.
If the company’s purpose doesn’t resonate with you, recognize the fact and move on.
Look at companies’ careers pages
Several companies, often the best ones, don’t advertise open jobs. They have their own careers pages and, relying on their reputations, will wait for applications.
For people who like to work remotely, Remotive’s company list has been helpful to a few people I know: https://remotive.io/remote-companies.
Don’t wait to apply
Once you’ve learned about a company and feel enthusiastic about it, apply immediately. In the global development market, good companies receive hundreds of applications on the first day or two after they post a job.
Apply to many jobs
While not applying to just any open job, do apply to as many of them as you truly like. Statistically, odds are low that you will be called for one given opportunity.
If I am suggesting you do not apply to too many positions each day, but to apply to many positions, by consequence I am suggesting you start early in your job search. Maybe practicing going through recruiting processes even before you need or want to do it can be ideal.
No spelling or grammar errors
Make it perfect in the language the company operates in. Pay someone, or a service, if needed. Great companies will quickly screen out applications that have language mistakes. By writing minimally well, expect to go to the top 10% of all applications.
Add a Github link to your CV
This is a huge differential. Prefer Gitlab or Bitbucket? Great, use your favorite. Don’t have public repos? Add repos of things you study, it’s perfectly fine. Make sure you add very good READMEs enabling visitors to run and test your repos.
Nothing like relationships
All the above may not be necessary if you have good relationships with former colleagues. You may be sought out before you need to look for a job. For this to happen, it is not enough to be very proficient at the technical part, people have to like spending time with you.