Always be Interviewing

A lot of people feel that they are underpaid or that their job sucks. But when I tell friends to update their resumes and start applying to jobs they dig in their heels. If you are not applying  you don’t have options and don’t have any leverage to get a bigger cut of the money your employer spends on salaries. As Software Engineers we are constantly bombarded by job opportunities on Linkedin and other job boards. If you want to be lazy you could just respond to one of the recruiters that contacts you each week. I have gotten most of my interviews by cold applying on jobs boards. All you need is a good resume and a slightly customized cover letter. It takes me 15-30 minutes to apply to each job, including the time I spend customizing the cover letter. My resume is usually the same for each position because I apply to similar jobs. 

How to pick which jobs to apply for.

When I am looking for jobs, I don’t just apply to anything that my credentials line up with. I am looking for particular companies in particular business sectors, that are using technology that can help me move my career forward. For instance in my last job search, I applied to local Denver startups that used technology that I am interested in. I did not apply to any companies that use Nodejs or C#/.NET as their primary stack because I don’t want to do more work with Nodejs and C#. I mainly applied to companies that had existing Ruby on Rails monoliths that needed to break them up and move them into the cloud. I also targeted companies based on their size and product type. My targets were companies with 50-200 software engineers and with software based products.

Where to find jobs.

I find jobs through the Linkedin, Glassdoor, stackoverflow and buildincolorado jobs boards. I search for ‘software engineer’ and the city I live in as my query. Then I go through around a hundred listings noting the jobs that look interesting and align with my tech stack. I make a list of jobs to apply to and once it hits around 10 in length I will spend an afternoon applying to jobs.