There’s good news for computer science grads. Approximately 50,000 enter the job market each year and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates software developer jobs alone will grow by 24 percent in the next eight years, which means demand is outpacing supply.
Now, just because computer science graduates are in a great position for post-graduation success, doesn’t mean there isn’t work involved in landing that first job. Check out these 10 expert tips as you prepare to enter the job market.
- Ask for advice
The best way to get a feel for a job you want, is to talk with someone who already has it. They can give you leads on jobs recruiters are struggling to fill or facilitate a personal introduction that might give you an advantage come interview time.
- Get a head start
Employers want graduates with experience and soft skills who can contribute right away. To be a well-rounded employee, take advantage of internships, volunteering, and collaborating with online projects while you are still in school.
- Study the market
Spend time researching potential companies and create a ‘wish list’ of what you’re looking for. Consider location, company size, corporate culture, salary requirements, etc. Use the list as your blueprint.
- Put your name out there
Social networking is a start, but practicing face-to-face verbal communication is also important. Another way to get noticed is actively working within the developer community.
- Gain outside experience
Get involved with open source projects. Just imagine the street cred you’ll gain when a prospective employer Googles you and sees your code being used by thousands of people.
- Recognize your strengths
Never overlook a skill. If you were a manager in a retail store it shows employers you have leadership skills. The trick is not to go overboard and list everything.
- Customize your CV
When drafting a resume, consider hiring a professional resume writer to help present the best version of you on paper. Keep in mind, one size does not fit all; tailor your resume to each job you apply for so it stands out.
- Show and tell
An ePortfolio not only documents your accomplishments and experience, but having everything work and school related conveniently located in one place is lets employers easily find you and learn what you can offer before an interview.
- Sharpen your interview skills
First, do your homework on the company. Look at the job requirements, the company history, and overall industry. Next, practice discussing your skills, experience, and yourself in front of a mirror and with someone you trust until you are comfortable.
- Track your job search
Take care of all your hard work by keeping a detailed record of your job search progress, including phone calls, meeting notes, companies applied to, and follow-up. Not only will this keep you organized, but it will motivate you to keep going.
Don’t give up
Searching for a job is the equivalent of having a job, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t land one right away. It is a competitive market. Keep working on the skills employers are looking for in addition to the skills you already have. The more skills you have in your ‘toolbox,’ the better your chance for success.
Share with us in the comments tips you’ve picked up that led to a job.
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