Get your first software developer job

Your resume:

Your resume is your personal summary sheet. Your resume is the thing that gets your foot in the door. When an application reviewer (engineer, recruiter, or otherwise) is looking over your resume, don’t make it difficult for them to understand who you are and what you know.

If you have online profiles like GitHub, LinkedIn, social media, or even your own personal website, put it on your resume. Don’t make them have to search long and hard for you online if they want to know more!


Your cover letter:

A good cover letter follows a simple formula that you can apply to every single job you apply for: Who – Who you are. Easy enough. Where – Where you’re coming from. Why – Why you’re interested in this company, and show that you researched them. What – What you can bring to the table. When – When you’re available to start, and when they can contact you. How – How they can reach you.


Here’s a cover letter sample that you are free to take and run with:

Dear [company name, or hiring manager name if you know it], I hope your day is going well! My name is [your name], and I'm a [who you are] at [school, current workplace, anything]. I am very interested in working for [company name] and can start [when you can start]. Your commitment to [company value] and [another company value] that I saw on the website inspired me! The products you build and the values you stand for make [company name] seem like an ideal workplace for me. A little about me, I [insert relevant work experience, extracurriculars, and projects here]. I think these experiences would make me a great candidate for you. Please let me know if there's anything else you need from me. I look forward to hearing from you! I can be reached at [email] and [phone number]. Best regards,

If you get a good flow going, you can ship off your resume and cover letter to at least a couple dozen companies a week.




The process

The interviewing process varies a lot from company to company. At a very (very) high level, this is typically what happens:

  1. You apply online
  2. You talk to the recruiter, who assesses generally what you know, and what you’re looking for
  3. You talk to the hiring manager or a team member about the role more in-depth
  4. Technical screen
  5. Onsite (usually consisting of technical and non-technical interviews)
  6. Offer


Approaching non-technical calls

When you’re about to talk to a hiring manager or recruiter or team member, they will often have some goals in mind. They could be looking for:

  • What kind of team player you are
  • How you deal with conflict
  • Do you have any prejudices against groups of people
  • How you approach problems
  • Why you’re interested in their team
  • What you value in a job
  • Would you be a good culture add to the team
  • … and more!

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