Exams are finishing and you’re trying to get over them, but you’re also scared because…oh oh…it’s your final year. After exams, hard work, thesis, huge projects that you’ve never thought you’d be able to complete, suddenly you’re a grown up now. Ready to shine!
Our goal with this article is to present you with a bit of knowledge on how this world works. I’m not gonna lie to you, this doesn’t work as the University where you study and get good results. This world is messy, not always clear, and sometimes rough. Think of it this way: hiring is a human process. Aren’t we, humans, a bit messy, unclear and rough sometimes?
When to start looking for a job?
Homework is critical to job search. It’s about preparation and market understanding. Think of the hiring process as a life-term project to deliver at the Faculty. For example, the first thing you do when you know nothing about a subject, is asking right? Either to your colleagues, friends, teachers, professionals. Of course, if the project is to deliver on May 15th, you don’t start thinking about it on May 16th. You prepare, plan ahead, research, start writing, and rewriting.
This is exactly the same. You already have the skills to plan a project and deliver it. All you need to do is apply it here.
So, back to the beginning, honestly, the best timing to start this journey is your call. The only tip I can give you is: start in advance. You’ll make better decisions because you won’t be in a rush and pressured to land a job.
If you’re going to do it, do it properly.
Where to look for a job?
The more obvious one, but still important, are online platforms like Landing.jobs. You can find a list of jobs that might be interesting to you and you can choose filters to find junior positions or even look for positions by skill or company. It’s a nice place and a valuable option, where you can apply to the company directly.
Do you think job fairs are only a way for you to grab papers, pens and notebooks from a company? Don’t be mistaken. Talk to the companies, get to know them, ask questions, try to understand if they’re looking for someone like you. Even if they’re not, they might be one day and if you play your cards right, they’ll remember you. That way, you’ll already be creating a relationship with them.
Aim for diversity and try to connect with different types of companies. You don’t know what might be best for you until you tried it.
If you’re already in love with a company, why not connect with them right away? Don’t wait for them! Be bold. Talk with them. We’re in a world where you can easily meet anyone on Linkedin and start a conversation.
Here’s a secret: using your personal network is a strength and something you should advocate for. Do you have friends or former colleagues working in places you’d want to work at? Ask for some information and referrals. They can be a huge help to get you in the door.
Recruitment and companies have specific ways of selecting people, and that impacts the way each hiring process is done. It usually follows this structure:
- 1 week to 3 months depending on the type of company and their urgency to fill the position;
- Technical challenges: online and offline programming exercises. They can be theoretical or not. Online platforms like Hackerrank or Codility are often used. If it’s a company that’s used to hire a lot of people, English tests, QI tests, and group assessments are pretty common as well;
- Technical Interviews: where they ask questions about programming/technical problems;
- Soft Skills Interviews: to assess team spirit, time management, ability to work under pressure, to meet timelines, among other questions;
- Cultural fit interviews: where they assess if you will fit in the team, share the same values, the same mindset.
What types of companies to apply to?
It’s normal if you already have some big companies’ names on your mind. No doubt they’re a mandatory presence on every student event. However, the world has multiple choices to offer.
Simplifying it, there are 2 ways of seeing companies, and you should be aware of what’s going to make sense for you:
Big / Small Companies
In smaller companies, your work will have a great impact. You’re going to be the (only) specialist of your field and have the freedom to learn by yourself and try new stuff. If you’re a Google it person, this is a good option. The potential of growth as a professional is tremendous. Now, if you’re a person that needs someone more senior to learn, if you feel you need something more structured to help you define rules, a bigger company will suit you better. Be aware the freedom to try and get a bit innovative can be smaller.
Startups, Corporate, Agencies, Software Houses
Startups – the pace of change is challenging and rewarding but also needs a lot of resilience and mental flexibility. Try, fail, get up, try again. Success is something that needs a lot of emotional strength and a huge will for getting things done. However, don’t be afraid by all of this. It’s also a place where you can grow a lot and faster, and contact with different people.
Corporate – The potential for creating a career is huge but you can feel that sometimes the work you’re doing is not that relevant because it’s something so small in the gigantic pool of stuff being developed. If you love clients, then this can be the place for you to shine. Project management, meeting deadlines, facing clients feedback and solving their problems is the priority in this sort of environments.
(Web/Mobile) Agencies and Software Houses – the environment is familiar and you have different projects all the time #diversity. However, the opportunities to improve your coding skills or try new technologies are reduced. This is about meeting deadlines and not having the best code in the world.
In the end, all of this is about you and your choices. There is no “right way”. Only your way. Get to know yourself and the tech market better and land your first job. You’re going to rock!
Have any questions you’d like us to answer? Let us know in the comments box below.
Until next time!
Petable’s case study – How to go through a successful hiring process
Landing.careers Festival in Numbers