It was over a year ago when I posted my 7 Resume Tips for a Software Developer. The tips are basic and probably apply to more than just software developers:
- The first page of the resume is like the cover of a book.
- “Objectives” paragraphs are useless.
- Communication preferences are very important.
- In your experience, talk about what you did and what tools you use.
- Do not get fancy with the resume.
- Include an interests or hobbies section.
- Obviously, do not lie about anything.
Given that the economy is still struggling, I figured that it was time to update the idea with more tips on the job search related to software developers.
The first thing you need to do in your job search is determine what type of work you want to do. Do you want to go into consulting for a services firm? Do you want to go totally independent and freelance? Do you want to go into a big corporation or even smaller company of maybe 50 to 500 people? Do you want to go into a startup and work with maybe 10 people?
Most people probably know about the types of companies for consulting and big corporations, but a lot of people do not know how to get started in freelancing or how to get into a startup. So, for the sake of some brevity, I will focus on those.
Freelancing is the simple idea that you work for yourself, charge by the hour and make your own schedule. This sounds great, until you realize that you have to get your own jobs, market to the right people, do all of your own invoicing and pray that people pay you. Obviously, this is not some paradise that people go to when they reach enlightenment. Freelancing would be good for those people who can work by themselves and do not need the constant interaction that a traditional office provides. Some people would even say that freelancing requires more discipline than a traditional position.
So, how do you get started as a freelancer? Skelliewag has a fantastic 30 days to become a freelancer post that outlines every step you should take to get there. The steps are fairly generic because they deal with almost any type of freelancing whether it is writing, graphic design or even software development. Another big question is where do you get work? To get started, you could always look on the internet. FreelanceSwitch has the monster list of freelance job sites, which is a good place to start. You can find work anywhere in the world, but due to the amount of competition, the rates may be a little lower than you would like. Your rate can likely increase as you do more freelancing work as well, so do not be discouraged. The other place to look for work is in your network. You never know who may need some freelancing help.
I do have some experience with startups, but I also received some excellent advice from David Rosenstrauch. David’s first tip is a fantastic one:
New VC-funded startups seemed like they were a bit more immune to the downturn, since many of them raised cash over last summer and already have enough money in the bank to carry them for a while. So given that, try identifying the top VC’s in your area that are active in the Internet/software space, and then dig through their web sites to try to see which of their portfolio companies are hiring.
There are also several job sites that list startup specific job postings. VentureLoop, Startuply and StartupHire are sites that have recently received coverage from the tech blogs. Craigslist is another site that tends to get a good number of startup job listings. Several popular blogs have job listings as well like, Joel On Software, Tech Crunch, 37 Signals, GigaOm, Mashable, CenterNetworks and others.
There are other places you can look for a startup job as well. Headhunters tend to get a good number of jobs for larger firms, but a smaller localized headhunter may get a local startup position. It is always good to work with some headhunters as they do some of the searching for you. Your social network, and LinkedIn specifically, can help your search. Searching your network for people working at startups or people who recently changed jobs may have new contacts that could help you get noticed. With any job search referrals are worth much more than sending your resume to a pile on some recruiter’s desk.
So, with these new tips, clean up your resume and maybe you can find your dream job.