The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Software Engineering Job out of College – 6 Important Points

Introduce to Guide to Getting a Software Engineering Job

A software engineering job promises creative projects, working with a team of intellectuals, and a high-salary. It is no wonder that you can’t wait to finish with your classes and head straight to the job market.

Do you want to aim high and land a job straight out of college? Then, you need to prepare yourself.

Despite the high demand for software engineers, getting a good job isn’t that easy. That’s because there are also a lot of competent, not to mention experienced, software engineers.

If you want to stand out and attract the attention of recruiters, consider the following tips that will help you venture into the world of software engineering.

Enhance Your Appeal while in College

If you are still in college, there is time for you to work on making relevant connections and experiences. There are different ways in which you can improve your chances of getting a job, while in college:

Enhance Your Appeal while in College
Enhance Your Appeal while in College
  • Freelance or start a side project.
  • Get to know older classmates who will already have a job when you start searching for one.
  • Explore co-ops programs.
  • Work on your interpersonal and team player skills as coding is a collaborative job.
  • Get an internship.

In case you decide to do an internship, ask for feedback before it’s over. This will give you some insights into what you need to work on. Also, don’t be shy to ask about job opportunities at that company or their standpoint on hiring entry-level engineers.

Be Persistent during the Job Hunt

Sending your resume to a few tech companies won’t suffice. You need to broaden your viewpoint and consider applying for numerous job positions.

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Be Persistent during the Job Hunt
Be Persistent during the Job Hunt

Bear in mind that companies aren’t waiting for an entry-level engineer to save the day. So, you need to rely on persistence. Also, you can miss out on a great opportunity if you don’t do thorough research.

Even if you think that you don’t stand a chance at getting a certain job – apply. What do you have to lose? Embrace that sentence as your job searching motto.

Look for suitable job positions on various fronts. Here are some examples:

  • Career fairs
  • Hiring events or webinars
  • Popular job searching platforms (LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, Stack Overflow Careers, and Dice)
  • Less popular job searching platforms
  • Your college’s website.

Moreover, don’t be hesitant to ask an acquaintance in the same field whether they have a job opening in their company. Spread your efforts across non-tech companies as well. They might also be looking for a new software engineer.

Write a Good Resume

Don’t even start without a good resume. The resume is your best bet for attracting the attention of hiring managers.

So, what makes a good resume? There are two main things you need to focus on – content and format.

Write a Good Resume
Write a Good Resume

You need to limit the information to necessary. Avoid fluff and exaggerations. Only mention relevant job positions and projects. If you can prove your success on a project with numbers, do so.

Additionally, prioritize hard skills and your capabilities over soft skills. The potential employer needs to know that you can get the job done.

Structure your resume so that it is skimmable and well-organized. Use italics and bold text sparingly. Bullet points are favored as well as segmenting information.

If you need someone to edit your resume and check for any inconsistencies, and mistakes, hire an editor. This one-time investment will help you be more certain of the quality of your resume. You can look for essay writing services such as Subjecto that provide students with flashcards, editing, and writing services. As they are websites primarily aimed at students, their prices are affordable while their service is high-quality.

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Polish up Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a powerful tool in the job searching process. A study found that 122 million people got an interview through LinkedIn and 35.5 million made a relevant connection on the platform who helped them get hired.

Maybe you already have a LinkedIn profile, but how much effort have you put into it? Just opening a profile isn’t enough, you need to have a good profile.

Here are a few methods you can use to polish up your LinkedIn profile:

  • Complete your profile with relevant experience.
  • Make sure that your online profile matches your resume.
  • Use a professional profile picture (first impression counts!).
  • Use the right keywords in your heading to appear in recruiters’ searches (e.g. software engineer).
  • Establish a quality network of connections.
  • Engage with your connections, conversations, and posts.

Send Cold Messages on LinkedIn

One of the ways you can boost your networking activities is by sending cold messages on LinkedIn.

You can reach out to recruiters or hiring managers of companies you are interested in. When sending cold messages, pay attention to the following:

  • Be concise. They are busy people and they like straightforward messages.
  • If you can find common ground mention it. For example, if your friend works at their company. Or, you loved their LinkedIn article. This will help you evoke familiarity.
  • Don’t be apologetic. Starting a message with “I’m sorry to bother you” will only create a feeling that your message is irrelevant.
  • Ask a single question. Throwing at them several questions can be overwhelming for the initial message.
  • Mention your relevant experiences. Give them a reason not to disregard your message.
  • Customize each message. Generic messages are easily spotted and they are a turn-off for everyone.

Prepare Yourself for the Interview

To get a job you need to pass the biggest challenge – the notorious interview. There can be several rounds of interviews, from a phone conversation over video call to a face-to-face interview. However, your main concern should be to practice the interview questions.

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Companies often use a browser-based coding environment such as Hackerrank, so you should get familiar with it. You will probably be asked to complete a code or solve a coding problem. Be ready to tackle such assignments and to implement common algorithms and data structures. The final round often demands that you code on a whiteboard, so practice that as well.

Prepare Yourself for the Interview
Prepare Yourself for the Interview

Lastly, a crucial piece of advice for interviews (that is commonly left out) is to prepare yourself mentally. You can practice all the questions in the world, but if the pressure gets to you what is it for?

Accept the fact that your interview doesn’t need to be flawless. Mistakes happen and even the biggest experts can get confused. Go easy on yourself.

Final Thoughts

A job pursuit is a difficult, tedious, and demand process. There is no point in hiding the truth. Things can get especially challenging when you are looking for a job out of college.

This is why the preparation is so valuable. When you do your best and take all crucial steps you’ll be more confident and thus, perform better in every aspect of your job search.

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