This blog post is for people who are looking for a job in Software Industry. If you are stuck with a question – “ How To Get A Software Job Quickly ”, then this blog post will give you a sure shot answer. Though this blog post is quite lengthy, investing time in reading this blog post will definitely be worth it. After reading this blog post you will definitely understand how to get a software job in less time.
So let us begin….
The two most important and yet messed up aspects of life are the “First Job” and the “First Spouse”. Both decisions when not taken right, you end up living a frustrated life. As my blogs are not related to marital success, I chose to speak only about the former – “ How To Get Your First Job As A Fresher In A Software Industry After Graduation”. A research says that around 12,00,000 ( 1.2 million ) engineering graduates pass out every year in India. Out of these, around 6,00,000 graduates wish to work in a Software Industry. You are one among these. And it is a huge competition that you are going to face. The good news to you is, 80% of these 1.2 million don’t even know how to find their first job in a Software Industry. You fall in the other 20%, because, at the end of this article, you would know how to plan to find your first job in a Software Industry with less competition on your side.
Whatever I discuss in this article is based on the experience that I had after mentoring 1000s of fresh engineering graduates. I have interacted with fresh graduates who were quick to pick up their first dream job and also with fresh graduates who struggled quite a lot before making it to their first job. In this article, I have written down the strategies that were followed by candidates who made it quick to find their dream software job and also the mistakes committed by the rest who took longer to find their dream software job. Though the below guide is not a fixed rule to follow, these are those strategies that have worked wonderfully well with quick job winning graduates.
How To Get A Software Job Easily:[Warning: Though, the topic is – How To Get A Software Job Quickly, it does not mean withing 3 days or a week. My intention is to cut short your pain process of finding the right job through proven working tips which might take few months. But, trust me, if you follow the process that I have mentioned here, it will help you build a strong foundation for your career. All the best ]
1.Go for a week-long vacation with your friends:
Initially, you might feel I am crazy to tell this, but, trust me, take a really good break. Go on for a week-long vacation with your friends. You are done with graduation and its now time to just cherish those memories one last time. Once you get into the world of corporates, I bet, you would thank me for giving this suggestion to you, because, you are going to miss your pre-employment days. My suggestion for a great vacation would be to go for a Nature Adventure. Get yourself immersed in nature’s beauty. A British researcher says that the mental health of 21st-century children is at risk because they are not getting exposed to the natural world that was being enjoyed by our past generations. Rejuvenate yourself. Time spent in nature enhances our mental functioning and relieves us of our stress. Enjoy every moment with nature to the core. Whenever you are with nature, your energy levels are too high and what you think or dream will materialize quickly. Therefore, during your vacation, inform your friends, that you are going to achieve big in the years to come. Inform them, you might not be able to meet them for some time in the near future as you are embarking on your journey to achieve something big in your career. Create a completely positive environment. Give them the best memories of you. While coming back from your vacation, you should be a completely positively transformed individual.
2. Ask your parents/guardians to give you time for at least 4 – 6 months:
The main reason for 99% of the fresh engineering graduates to find their first job is parental pressure. Adding to the parental pressure, the second reason is the social status that you wish to carry when you are with your relatives. You feel very inferior to tell them that you are still unemployed. And because of this pressure, you end up taking bad decisions. You might end up getting a job that you are really not interested in. As I said you earlier, a great foundation is the key. Nothing to blame parents as they are more worried about your future. Understand them from their angle. Do not become a victim of parental pressure. And better stop being inferior. Don’t be too reactive to prove others your worth.
Long back, I met a student working with a reputed call-center after completing his Computer Science Engineering just after his graduation. He had an 8 CGPA. The reason he gave me for working in a Call-Centre was “Parents wanted me to work and I just got into this”. His education has nothing to do with a Call-Centre. What a waste of an engineering resource. I understand there would be financial troubles within his family, but, just to solve the current troubles, don’t you think, he was putting himself into a long time trouble? This is not only his problem, there are 1000s of students who are succumbed to parental pressure. Do not bury your dreams. Nurture it. It only needed your first step of convincing parents about your dream.
You are aiming to get your first dream job in the Software Industry and you got to prepare for it and it takes time. You have to agree with this truth. I am not asking you to waste time, rather invest time to nurture your goal. Convince your parents that you are working towards achieving your goal. And ask them to have the patience for at least 4 – 6 months. Convince them. This is the time frame that is required for your preparation. I have seen students working for 8 – 9 hrs. per day for almost 6 months before finding their dream job.
During this time, it is highly recommendable to avoid friends/relatives who put you down. Make sure you are surrounded by like-minded friends/relatives who are always positive, who always motivates you and who always keep your energy levels high.
BIG WARNING: Do not disconnect from your college placement officer and your college seniors. Please be in touch with them at least twice a week. Not just for the sake of placement news. Call them twice a week. Have a casual talk about your job plans etc. Ask them guidance on how to get a software job. Make sure you will be on top of their mind. If there is any job opportunity that comes to their notice, you should be the first person whom they would inform. Hope you are understanding what I am trying to convey. Just build a healthy relationship.
3. Stop applying for jobs and start planning:
The common mistake that I found with graduates who tend to take a long time to find their first dream job is – Start applying for jobs randomly and wait for the companies to get back to them. This way of job search will work out well if you are not specific about any particular area in which you wish to work. You end up taking any kind of job that comes your way. You realize off late that, you have chosen a wrong career path. By then, it would have been too late to switch to another job which leads to frustrations in life. My sincere recommendation to you is not to apply for a job until you find yourself confident enough and till you are specific about the kind of job you are looking for.
For example, ask yourself questions like “How to get a Software Developer job”, “How to get a Software Engineer Job”, “How to get a Software Testing Job”, “How to get a Software Networking Job” etc. and such kind of questions will lead your mindset towards planning.
If you wish to design your career in a better way, you have to invest time in planning. If planning is done precisely, then 50% of your work is done. Planning gives you clarity about your goals. Planning requires refined thinking. It requires you to burn a lot of brain calories.
If you are reading this blog, then, its almost clear that you are looking out for a career in a Software Industry. This is the first level clarity. This clarity is good, but not enough to make a right decision. You have to boil down further to understand, “What is that exactly you wish to do in a Software Industry ?” – There are several areas in a Software Industry say, Software Programming, Software Testing, Network Administration, Database Administration etc. You have to choose a particular field of interest. Do not focus on everything. Choose one which you feel is more challenging and inspiring. Be careful, if you choose something that is not challenging and inspiring, you lose interest very soon. That is how human beings are designed. If you are not sure, which domain to choose, I would recommend you to speak to your seniors who are working in various areas of Software Industry. Ask them about the pros and cons of their area and see if that particular area suits your interest. Though different people give different ideas about their work, you have to take the final call of choosing an area to work in Software Industry. Ask yourself the question “Which domain should I chose to work in a Software Industry”. The answer to this question leads to another level of clarity.
Let’s assume you have chosen to work as a Software Programmer. Now you got to do a bit more drilling to arrive at a conclusion. Ask yourself few questions like
- Which Programming Language should I learn?
The answer to the above question immediately gets you to the below set of questions.
- Which Programming Language has more number of job opportunities?
Though the job opportunities for a particular programming language is high, it comes with its own disadvantage of having huge competition. More and more job seekers would be looking out for a job in the same technology.
- Which Programming Language has less competition?
Though the job opportunities for a particular programming language is low, it comes with its own advantage of having less competition. These can be called as Long Tail Programming Languages.
- Which Programming Language is easy to learn?
There is no programming language easy to learn or difficult to learn. Every programming language comes with its own set of rules for learning and mastering. If learned in a right way, nothing is difficult on this earth to learn.
These questions help you choose a particular programming language to learn. Now if you find it difficult to figure out which programming language to learn, I would ask you to refer to this link TIOBE Index. Even if this website could not help you, check with your seniors. Even, if that did not work, it’s still good – Choose any programming language and start learning. The above example was for becoming a Software Programmer in Software Industry. The same set of questions should be asked to yourself if you choose to get into any other domain other than Software Programming. The below picture is the list of programming languages based on popularity that I extracted from Tiobe Index
[NOTE: From now on, I would assume a candidate has chosen to become a Software Programmer and based on that I would start guiding further. All the guidelines given below are applicable to all domains irrespective of your choice]
4. Get trained from an expert:
By now you have decided to learn a particular technology or a domain. There is now lot of clarity about your goal. The next thing to do is to get your learning process right. The primary reason for the delay in finding their first job for many job aspirants is the lack of clarity in choosing an appropriate field. The secondary being lack of right learning process. Right learning happens only when you have a right mentor, right learning materials, and the right attitude.
Many students who failed to find their dream job quickly, always did self-learning. Though self-learning is a great skill, having a mentor or a coach in your specific domain to train you will help you save time. Today, every bit and piece of information that you want is on the internet. That’s indeed a marvelous blessing. But, the downside of the internet is that the information is not channeled in order. The other disadvantage is that there is no guarantee on the correctness of the information that is scattered and lying everywhere on the internet. Here comes the role of a coach. The one who knows what is right and what is wrong. The one on whom you can always rely, when you are stuck in your learning process, thus saving time. As I said earlier, though self-learning is a great attitude, anyone willing to play big should definitely go in for a coach. This holds good for any field including sports, cinema, politics etc. Big players always need a coach, at least to help them focus on their goal. Think – Even the God of Cricket – Sachin Tendulkar needed a coach.
Let me warn you if you have chosen a wrong mentor/coach, life is miserable. A right coach should have the ability to inspire confidence and motivate participants along with the ability to assess and solve problems faced by his/her students.
If you have chosen to learn Java Programming Language, ask your coach to suggest you some great books on Java. As I have told you earlier, to make your learning process right, you need a right mentor, right training materials, and the right attitude.
Stick to a timetable. Put in a minimum of 8 – 9 hrs. per day learning. Ask your coach to give you more and more assignments that would improve your logical skills. Apart from those assignments given by your coach/mentor, solve logical problems from the internet. If you have chosen to become a software programmer, then, you got to be really strong with your problem-solving skills. There are also loads of websites where you will get to solve complex algorithms. Some of the websites are HackerEarth.com, HackerRank.com, CodeChef.com etc.
I would not recommend you to do the job search in parallel with your learning. Its impossible to focus on both. Either do the learning or do the job search. Job Search does not help you in learning. But, learning your subject thoroughly, will definitely get your first job. Focus only on learning for now. Let us get into job search once we are confident with our skill set.
Learning a new subject or technology would take a minimum of 3 – 4 months if done with consistency and conscientious regularity. Do not cheat yourself while learning. Keep this in mind. Do not learn for the sake of cracking an interview. Your learning should be to become an expert. And experts can crack any interview.
5. Start your job search:
If you have completed the 4th step systematically and religiously, then, Congratulations! You are only a few steps away from getting your dream software job. And the good news is that you have very less competition. Not everyone in the competition is prepared as much as you are.
In this section, I will list down various methods that you can employ to reach your goal. Follow each and every step carefully and act on it strictly.
a. Create a Technical Blog :
Creating a technical blog is one of the finest ways used by candidates to get a software engineer job without any prior job experience.
Professionals are those who share their expertise. The best way to do it is via a blog. Remember, we all had once upon a time read others blog and learned quite a lot of things. It’s now time for us to share our knowledge with others. Blog about something that is not available on the internet. Write about a new way of solving a complex problem. Write about a new technology that is emerging. You as a successful blogger can gain a wide range of audience who respect and trust you. If someone visits your blog and sees the insights that you have shared on a particular subject, it would be clear to them that you are genuinely an expert on that subject. Being considered an expert on a particular subject can get you career recognitions, awards. Beyond this, as an expert, you will the first choice of any company to be on their consultant’s list. To learn about blogging you can refer: Beginners Guide To Blogging
b. Create your job-winning Resume :
Resume is the main tool for your job search. Many candidates get this wrong. I have written an article on How to write a Job-Winning Resume?. Read it completely and use the techniques that I have suggested there to prepare your resume.
c. Create a LinkedIn profile :
LinkedIn is a social networking platform for working professionals. Create an account of yours. Start making connections with professionals in your field via LinkedIn. Your idea should be to connect with as many professionals as possible. Don’t waste time in making connections with people who are out of your area of interest. For example, a person working in the Pharmaceutical industry has nothing to do with Software Industry or Software Programmers. As you aspire to become a Software Programmer, get connected to people who are working in Software Industry. I have learned from many of my students that LinkedIn connections are very helpful to get a software job easily.
The biggest mistake done by candidates once the connection is made is to bug them requesting for job recommendations. No, please avoid begging for the job recommendation. I would rather suggest you earn your first job.
Post your technical blogs and let people on your LinkedIn network read it. This is known as marketing your technical skills. There are 100s of professionals who love to read technical blogs. If they love your article, they would comment on your articles. They will try to come in touch with you and try to know more about you. And trust me, if your readers find a job vacancy in their company, they are more likely to recommend you first than others. And most of the readers themselves would be technical interviewers. They would love to interview you as they have already loved your writing. They would wish to have you on their team.
Also, you can now approach professionals on your network for a job recommendation. This time it makes sense as you have already established yourself as a technical person. The chances of them recommending you is now higher.
Don’t you feel, you are slowly beating the competition?
d. Become a member of Stack Overflow :
There is no one in the Software Industry, who do not know about Stack Overflow. It’s a huge community of Software Engineers where IT professionals post and reply to technical questions, real-time problem scenarios, and various other aspects of Software Engineering. During an interaction with one of the HR managers of a reputed Software Industry, I understood that they recruit candidates who are very active on Stack Overflow. They are always looking out for candidates who keep posting solutions for different problems posted by the members of StackOverflow community.
I would strongly recommend you to create a Stack Overflow profile of yours and start posting solutions for questions (in your field of interest, say, for example, Java related queries if you are enthusiastic about Java and wish to get a Software Developer Job) asked by other members. Do not post wrong solutions. It would leave a negative impression on you. You can also post questions. Let your questions be of certain standard. Do not post questions that have obvious answers and which you feel is too basic to be answered. Your quality of questions will speak a lot about your quality. This is another way of marketing your skill set.
Get in touch with other community members and check if they could help you in finding a relevant job for your skill set. They would be more than happy to help a member of their community.
e. Participate in Coding Contests:
Gone are those days of traditional interviewing which happens by looking at your resume and asking few questions. Recruiters have understood very well that, a single interview is not enough to prove a candidate’s technical expertise. Hence, companies have started moving towards a more practical way of interviewing. They conduct online programming contests and winners get their offer letter. Forget about winning the contest, there are several companies who recruit candidates who are just part of the contest. I would strongly recommend you to take part in such contests not with a goal of participating, but with an inner desire to win the contest. Some of the famous websites which conduct online contests on behalf of companies are :
Participating in coding contests is definitely a great way to get a software job as a fresher.
f. Create your profile on Job Portals :
There are several job portals for freshers like naukri.com, monster.com, hiree.com, shine.com, etc. Do a quick google search and you will find there are plenty of job portals for freshers. Creating a profile on these job portals is an art. Use the same technique that I have mentioned in How to write a Job Winning – Resume to create your profile on job portals. Doing this, you will have higher chances of getting interview calls from recruiters. The key is to be very specific, crisp and clear. Do not confuse the recruiters and keep them guessing about your area of expertise. If you are a Java Developer, a quick glance at your profile should be able to convey that to the recruiter.
g. Get in touch with your college placement officer :
I have already emphasized the importance of being in touch with placement officer at the beginning of this article. Inform your placement officer about your technical readiness to face an interview. Ask him to read your technical blog. He would definitely have loads of placement opportunities for your domain expertise. A placement officer loves candidates approaching him for placements. He would do anything to help you. Disconnecting from the placement officer is the biggest mistake that students commit once they are out of college.
h. Get in touch with your college seniors :
Do you remember that I had asked you to keep in touch with your seniors at the beginning of this blog post? Your seniors are those who have gone through the struggle that you are currently going through. They are more experienced in the job search. They can understand your pain. Inform them about your technical readiness. Ask them if they could refer you to the company where they are working. Forward them your resume. Most of the times, seniors are the ones who help their juniors find their job. Do not forget, that, one day even you are going to be a senior for someone in your job search. You can do your good part then.
j. Visit company premises :
Visiting company premises with your resume in hand would initially look like a daunting task. But, trust me, this method has a high rate of candidates getting recruited. I am not talking about the so call MNCs in the IT parks. There are many small and medium-sized software companies looking out for candidates who are well trained and skilled. Like you do job hunting, they are hunting for good candidates. Unfortunately, they are unable to find good candidates out of lakhs of profiles that are lying on the job portals. You, being well prepared and skilled should tap this opportunity.
Make a list of all the small and medium-sized companies that are working in your particular area of expertise. For example, if you are skilled at Java, make a list of all companies that are working on Java. Make Google as your best friend here. It can give you the database of all the companies. Note down the address. Visit the companies directly and drop your resume. You can go one step ahead requesting the front office executive to help you connect with the HR directly. Most of the times it works. Don’t get disheartened if the HR says “I will get back to you”. If your resume is really attractive, they would definitely call you for an interview after an initial discussion between HR and the technical team.
k. Attend Walk-In interviews :
Walk-In interviews are very competitive. But, if you can manage to clear the initial aptitude rounds, trust me, your sound technical preparation will save you and help you get recruited. Many like-minded people like you have created several Groups/Communities on social media like Facebook and LinkedIn to help job seekers. Join those groups and be active there. The members of the community keep posting about any Walk-In interviews that comes their way. They would also share their experiences if they had attended the same walk-in interview some time back. Leverage the advantage of such groups in knowing about Walk-In interviews.
These are the ways, by which one can find his/her first job in a Software Industry. Hope this blog post practically answered your question of “How to get a software job” If you know any other ways to find your first job, then, please do comment below. Hope you found this article useful. Once you find your first job, please do not forget to inform me. Share this article with people who are looking out for a software job.