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Make yourself stand out to future employers

Joseph Carpenter
Executive Consultant

Although it’s true that there’s a shortage of skilled developers in the IT industry, getting a job isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. Companies are only looking to hire top talent and want developers who can show real passion and skill in their work. With more and more developers graduating every year, competition for Junior Developers in roles using Java, Javascript and C# are hotting up but below we share our six top tips to help you secure that next step on the career ladder.

1. Use Github and Slack

Github and Slack are the ideal environments for you to engage with the developer community and keep up-to-date with evolving trends. It’s also space for you to practice your skills, and learn from others. After all, employers are looking for someone who’s up-to-date on new techniques and technologies.

What was that phrase you used to hear all the time growing up?... “Practice makes perfect".

2. Use new technologies to build your own projects

Employers want developers that possess initiative and take a natural interest in development, meaning working on your own innovative projects and ideas in your spare time.

From this you’ll gain a portfolio of projects that:

  • You can show off in interviews – making you memorable
  • Shows what you’re most passionate about
  • Allows you to show who you are

It seems that once again it’s all about practice, practice, practice. 

3. Work on gaining new qualifications

You’ve graduated (Congrats!) but learning doesn’t end there… it’s only just begun. There’s a broad variety of courses online which you can take to help you build your experience, practice your skills, and add new qualifications to your CV. It’s not just your tech skills that are important, you could improve your ability to work in teams with software development tools like Scrum and Agile. Oh look, it’s time to practice again!

4. Attend meetups

Tech meetups are a great way for you to build real relationships with other like-minded developers. By having conversations with them, you can pick up on new tricks, techniques and ideas to help you find work and grow your abilities as a developer. They’re a good alternative to keep you up-to-date with the latest technologies and, most importantly, you never know who you might meet there. Connections you build could no doubt be the stepping stones to landing your ideal job – sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

5. Be active on social media

You should aim to make use of all major social platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn where you can showcase your professional and personal side. You can seek out specific developer communities and platforms where you can build connections and grow your contact list. 

6. Get a mentor

Lastly, but by no means least, another way to help you stand out from the crowd is to seek a mentor. A mentor will be experienced in your industry and can help guide you on the path regarding what you need to learn, and how to land your perfect job. Finding a mentor is often the hardest part, but not if you know where to look. Building your social presence online and offline is crucial to making connections - that’s why tips four and five are so important.

Although the task of standing out may seem daunting at first, hopefully, these six tips can help to break it down for you and make you realise that there is a clear path to success. It’s about focusing on your abilities, practice and networking.