So, you searched for web development jobs and scanned through the results. You click on an attractive offer-
Vacancy for Junior Front-end developer- Must be:
- Good at web design
- Confident with Github
- Focused on the details
- Keen to develop skill sets
Is it time to hit apply?
The idea of starting a new career is daunting for everyone. No matter how prepared we feel we are, there is a moment of hesitation, as we doubt our skill sets. This is even more so in the world of software development as things change and progress at such a fast past that you might even doubt if you will ever be ready.
It might be a good moment to leave your doubts behind you and focus on what you have achieved to get you to this place. You have studied programming language, taken tests on coding and you have kept up to date with all the latest research. Perhaps you are more prepared than you give yourself credit for! To remove any last-minute doubts, we have prepared a few tips to give the confidence to apply for your dream job.
When we look at a job advertisement, the list of required skills can begin to overwhelm us. Take a moment to really look at the list of expectations. How many have been added on because the employer feels they need to, “reliable, able to work in a team”. Once you have narrowed the list down to the specifics of the actual job, decide which skills you have. Don’t worry if you don’t meet all of them as this is almost impossible. A good guide is to have about 80% of them, if you can honestly say you have about 70% of the required skills, you should apply with an exceptional cover letter.
One of the biggest challenges when starting a new career is the requirement for experience. If you don’t have any experience but the job requires a minimum of 1 or 2 years, don’t let this put you off. Try to focus on the experience you have that is relevant to the job. Time management and problem-solving are important qualities for almost all jobs.
While tempting to apply for a huge quantity of jobs, this isn’t the best approach. It is important for you to know exactly what you want out of a job, aside from the obvious. Have you thought about the working culture you would like to be part of? Are you looking to develop your career? These things have to be determined before you start applying for jobs. If you are lucky enough to get numerous offers, your decision might come down to these details.
Don’t apply for jobs until you are prepared. You will definitely need an up-to-date curriculum, a cover letter and maybe even a portfolio. Software development is a fast-paced industry and you want to be able to reply to a potential employer with the information they request. Remember to proofread everything. Silly mistakes could cost you an opportunity!
Finally, make sure your interview skills are well-practiced. Research technical interview questions and whiteboard questions because it is better to be safe than sorry. It is also a good idea to research the company, show that you are invested!
Keep practicing until your confidence is shining.
If you don’t feel like your skills are enough to get you the job, do something about it. Hackathons and open source projects are a perfect way to freshen up your skills and improve your software confidence. These are great ways to add to your portfolio too.
Another way to familiarize yourself with projects and real-life software development jobs is to look at freelancing job offers. These offers tend to leave the skills out of it and focus on specific details of a job. Why not apply for a few freelance jobs? The worst that can happen is that you don’t hear back from them. But, if you do get a couple of freelance jobs you will be getting hands-on experience, adding to your curriculum and getting paid!