How to land a job in software engineering as a graduate

by Dec 2, 2019

Whether you’re looking into studying software engineering or you’re just about to graduate, you might be wondering what you need to improve your chances of landing a job. According to SEEK, job growth in Software Engineering is set to grow by 21% in 5 years. Here at OpenAgent, we have hired many software engineers and have a few tips on how you can get your dream job as a software engineering student or graduate.

1.  Do internships and get experience

One of the best ways you can make yourself stand out from the crowd, especially if you’re still a student, is by doing internships and getting experience. Employers love to see that you’ve learned how to apply your skills in a real world situation. You might also be able to look into what programs and competitions your university offers that could provide another way for you to get experience in the field.

2.  Put all your projects in one place

After you’ve gotten experience, you can put whichever of these projects you can onto one easy to access place. For example, you can host projects on Github. You might also want to put together a profile or portfolio of some sort that points to all the things you’ve worked on and any other experience you have. If you make a website, this could also be a way to show off your web development skills.

3.  Get a background in all the industry-standard tools

Another thing that employers like seeing is that you have a background in all the industry-standard tools. For instance, Stack Overflow, certain integrated development environments and popular programming languages. In most cases, employers will be looking for software engineers with experience in specific tools and programming languages. However, it doesn’t hurt to dabble with different or new technologies and languages.

4.  Make your resume flawless

If you haven’t put together a resume yet, this is an absolute must. Most employers will want to see a clear and concise representation of your experience and skills. Make sure to showcase what you’re best at, whether it be front-end or back-end development.

If you haven’t done any relevant internships, you might be able to include projects you’ve done while studying. When you start applying for jobs, you could benefit from making different versions of your resume based on what the specific role is asking for.

5.  Build relationships with relevant people

Potentially one of the harder things to do is building relationships with the right people. Make connections with other students and tutors, and go to networking events and meetups to mingle with people in the field. It can really help to build a presence on LinkedIn so that you can maintain relationships as well as connect with recruiters. You never know when someone might be looking for a software engineer or when one of your connections will be able to put in a good word for you.

Where can you find jobs?

Of course, there are a tonne of ways to find all different types of jobs. You can look on job boards like Indeed, SEEK etc. You also particularly want to keep your eye on university job boards such as UTS CareerHub for roles targeting students and recent graduates.

As a graduate, it might be worthwhile looking at startups since these companies are often willing to take on juniors who are fresh out of university. Startups are a great environment to build your skills since you’ll likely be in a fast-paced environment.

Got an interview?

Hopefully, you’ll be able to land some phone interviews and face-to-face interviews! Make sure to be enthusiastic about the specific company and specific role you’re applying for. Interviews are a nerve wracking experience but the more you practice, the more confident you’ll get and the better you’ll do.

With software engineering being such a technical job, you should also be prepared to do technical tests where companies ask for a work sample to test your skills. These could come before and/or after interviews. Both these processes help the employer determine whether you’ll fit into the company’s development environment. Remember that rejection is part of the job hunting process. Keep improving and persevering!

 

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Ellen Orton

Ellen Orton

Head of Business Operations at OpenAgent.com.au

Ellen Orton is the Head of Business Operations at OpenAgent.com.au, an online agent comparison website helping Australians to sell, buy and own property.

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