In this blog post, we will talk about starting your first job in the software industry. There are a lot of steps you need to do before you go to an interview and get hired. You need to study hard and educate yourself, to learn concepts like coding, algorithmic thinking, software development, and different frameworks. Even if you are highly skilled, you can lose your opportunity because someone sent a better job application. We will look at all the steps required for a successful start.
Video: How to Start Your First Tech Job? Tips and Tricks from Svetlin Nakov
In this video lesson, we cover the following topics about preparing and starting your first developer job:
- Steps to Start a Developer Job
- Defining Your Career Goals
- Learn the Software Engineering Profession
- Prove Your Experience
- Your GitHub Portfolio: Tips and Tricks
- Find Junior Tech Job Positions
- Prepare to Apply for a Dev Job
- The Job Application
- The Job Interview
How Can You Learn Software Development?
You can learn from many resources such as tutorials, books, video courses, and code camps. Nevertheless your studying material, you need to do your hands-on exercises and projects. You learn nothing with just watching.
It takes from 2 to 3 years if you are learning in parallel with your daily job, and it may take 6 to 12 months if you study 12 hours per day. From 2000 to 3000 hours of practice is enough for starting a junior dev job.
How Do You Prove Your Developer Experience without a Previous Job?
For starting any tech job, you will be required to have experience. Employers will typically ask for 1-2 years of experience for a junior developer. You can build your portfolio on GitHub. You can add your projects there and write good documentation about them. If you have no experience with GitHub, you can read our blog post about it here.
These are a few sample developer portfolios of our students from SoftUni, who have learned programming, created several practical projects in GitHub to prove their skills and started their first dev job in the software industry:
Where Can You Find Tech Job Positions?
It is hard to find a junior job that will match your skills. On every job site, you can search:
your skills + “junior” or “intern”
In addition, you can ask your friends, colleague, and social networks. Now is the time to create a good LinkedIn profile. You can add Education, projects, and certificates to your bio and ask for endorsements. LinkedIn allows easy search for jobs.
How Can You Prepare to Apply for a Job?
If you are preparing to apply, your skills need to match the market needs. First, analyze the job market for junior positions. Seek what skills employers require and what you need to learn. Analyze each specific job position you want to apply for.
What Should My Job Application contain?
For a strong job application regarding a tech position your application should consist of:
- Portfolio of projects
- Resume (CV)
- Cover letter (CL)
You should carefully apply for a specific job. The letter should be individual for a specific position. You shouldn’t copy/paste your cover letter, or application message. You need to slightly adjust your CV to match the target position. You need to always write your cover letter from scratch for each position.
Will They Hire Me If I'm Invited to a Job Interview?
You should never rely on the job interview. Only 5% of the candidates are invited to an interview. If you don’t want to be from the 95%, you need to focus on the preparation. Study hard and build an impressive portfolio. Select your job position and apply carefully.
In case you are invited to an interview, you need to be prepared:
- Research the company and learn as much as possible
- Research the technologies from the job advertisement
- Research typical questions for a job interview.
No matter how your applications go, you should not give up. Take note of each failure and prepare for your next interview. If you follow all our recommendations, in the end, you will most likely end up with a good starting job.