More Employment Tactics

briankung on November 19 2012


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Pre-interview:

  1. Apply everywhere. It is not your job to reject yourself from a possible job. That said, if you're applying to a Sr. Developer job, it might be wise to say that you are looking for a jr. development job in order to grow into the Sr. Developer they are looking for :)

  2. Rejection letters are awesome! That means you're getting out there. You only need one place to accept you.

  3. Only talk to recruiters who have experience coding. I interviewed with countless recruiters before figuring out that it was mostly a waste of energy. I was so tired out by these interviews. Why interview with recruiters who will take 15-20% of your salary when you can just interview directly with a company itself? That said, I had a really good experience with The Sourcery, a San Francisco outfit. Their recruiter actually was learning how to code - she knew her shit.

  4. Contact developers you know and respect and ask around for their recommendations on places to apply. A lot of cool little dev shops might not have job positions posted.

  5. Put everything on LinkedIn/Github/etc.

  6. Make sure to include links to your profiles in all correspondences. In fact, a signature that says, "check out my LinkedIn/github!" would probably convert really well.

  7. Use Ruby job boards (esp. in your area, but some places will be up for telecommuting)

Interview:

  1. All interviews are presentations - be prepared to present yourself well

  2. A good way to demonstrate knowledge of a technical area is the ability to explain it. That means a good way to practice for interviews is to explain what you know to someone, preferably a noob.

  3. No BS: When you don't know the answer, you can respond with "I can't answer that with a high degree of confidence, but if I were to make a reasonable guess, it would be..."

  4. People will ask questions you don't know in order to find out what your thinking process is. This is how they judge what your understanding of basic fundamental concepts. This is also an opportunity, not just a danger.

  5. SALARY - If this is your first gig as a developer, ask around for rates in the area, especially from developers who you know. "What is an average salary for an entry level developer?" Set a baseline that you'd be comfortable with - that 1) meets your needs (everything else is gravy), and 2) you think is fair for both parties - then increase that by 20% and ask for that :) Actually getting 120% of your own estimated self-worth is a pretty good. It might motivate you to work harder and make sure you're that valuable! But it also gives both your possible employer and yourself some room to negotiate.

  6. Every time you can, interrogate your interviewer for average salaries. That includes recruiters if you're talking to them. I have found that the recruiters tend to advertise wages 15-20% lower than direct employers - probably to compensate for the headhunting fee.

Post-interview:

  1. I've been pretty bad with this, but thank your interviewers. Write them letters if you can.

  2. When you get rejected (we love rejection letters, remember?) make sure to thank them for their time and make sure to let them know that you'd be willing to talk if they change their minds. Write them thank you letters if you can.

  3. WHEN YOU GET ACCEPTED, don't rush! The timing can be awkward if you feel pressured to accept within a certain deadline, especially if you have still have final interviews. The demand for developers is really high. If you politely ask for an extended decision deadline, they will generally agree.

Ehh, that was probably too long and I bet you knew most of this - it's much the same with any job search.

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