9 Steps to a Successful Job Search
Are you searching for a new job as a Python developer? We guess you’re worried about how to find a new role when the economy is drifting through COVID-19 uncertainty. Though many of the jobs have returned, the unemployment rate in the United States at the time of writing is around 8%. With the coronavirus cloud still hanging over us, you’re searching for a new job in a difficult market.
You’re bound to be concerned about the prospects for your job search. Which is why we’ve put this quick-read guide together. Follow these steps and your job search will be transformed.
Step #1: Be Sure of Why You Want a New Job in Python Development
Whatever your current employment situation, think about why you want a new job and what you want from that job. Ask yourself these questions:
- What salary should I expect?
- What makes me excited about my work?
- How can I best use my experience and skills?
- What type of company do I want to work for?
- What career path do I want to be on?
- How could my next job help me achieve my professional and personal goals?
Understanding your motivation is crucial to identifying the right role, which is why this must be the first step you take. A professional coach or career consultant could be invaluable to you in this process.
Step #2: Analyze Your Skills and Experience
You now know what you want and why. The next step is to understand where you are, and how close you are to achieving it. You must make an honest assessment of your skills and experience, and measure the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in your new job.
If there are gaps, what then?
Then you decide how to close them. You might decide to take extra training to boost your skills, or perhaps a short-term contract to enhance your experience in your desired discipline.
Knowing where you want to be and understanding where you are now is essential to being more strategic about your career planning.
Step #3: Partner with a Specialist Staffing Agency
If you haven’t done so already, register with a specialist staffing agency. They will have clients on their books who are seeking talented candidates like you.
Your recruiter should be dedicated to helping you find your next position, offering help and advice on the process and how you can improve your chances in the job market. If your staffing agency or recruiter isn’t measuring up to your expectations, then register elsewhere.
Step #4: Craft a Resounding Resume
Your resume has but one job to do – and that is to progress you to the next stage in the hiring process.
Hiring managers see hundreds of resumes, so yours must stand out from the crowd. A professional resume writer can help here, but there are a few things you must ensure. These include:
- Personalizing your resume to the job description, matching your skills with those required
- Being specific and highlighting your achievements
- Showing career progression, and how you have gained skills and experience along your journey
- Ensuring that your personal statement shows that you are ambitious and enthusiastic about joining a company like the one you are applying to
Step #5: Develop a Matching Online Presence
Employers will check that you are who your resume says you are. One way they do this is by referencing your online presence.
It’s a wise move to brush up your social media profiles (especially LinkedIn) and ensure that they correspond with your resume.
If you don’t have a website, this could also be a valuable addition to your personal portfolio. Again, ensure that it matches your resume.
An online presence helps potential hiring companies and staffing agencies locate you, too. To stand out online, be consistent and post regularly. Share your experience with the world, and share the posts of others, too – this will help to increase and improve your audience and how you are perceived.
Step #6: Prepare for the Screening Process
We’ve discussed how hiring companies might screen candidates more effectively in a previous post (‘How do you screen for Python developer roles?’). In brief, you should be prepared for:
- A virtual or phone screen. This is a mini interview, during which your skills and experience will undergo their initial test
- An online coding test, to verify your ability in programming, frameworks and libraries, and that you can work with the company’s database
The objective of this screening is to ensure that the information on your resume is correct and that you have the required skills to do the job advertised – as well as to trim the number of candidates who are invited to interview.
Step #7: Prepare for the Interview
All your hard work to date has been successful. You’ve been rewarded with an interview – the opportunity to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for the job.
By now, the hiring company will have a good idea that you are equipped to do the job. The interview is a final check on your credentials and, more importantly, the chance for the hiring manager to assess if you will be a good fit for the team.
It’s also your chance to gain a better insight into the role, the team, and career prospects. Treat the interview like a two-way conversation. You’ll be asked questions, and you should be ready to ask questions that show your enthusiasm and curiosity. Here are a few tips to help you sail through an interview:
- Research the company and the interviewer (if possible) beforehand
- Make sure you are up to date with relevant news and industry insight
- Prepare answers that demonstrate your ability and achievements, providing specific examples
- Display your knowledge of the current market by weaving information into your conversation
- Build rapport using the knowledge you have gained from your research
- Prepare meaningful questions based upon your pre-interview research
- Be yourself!
If you prepare well, you’ll have a great interview. You will be confident about the answers you give, and ask questions that demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role, the company, and the future. Most important of all, you will be able to relax and let your personality sell you as the next addition to the hiring team.
Step #8: Don’t Write Off Short-Term Opportunities
Don’t limit your job search to permanent positions. Especially in an uncertain economy, companies hire based upon short-term needs. A short-term contract ensures that your:
- Career maintains momentum
- Resume isn’t blighted by employment gaps
- Learning and development continues
- Knowledge and skills remain up to date
- Personal cash flow continues
Short-term contracts also give you and the hiring company the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’, and could lead to the offer of a permanent role in a company you love.
Step #9: Don’t Give Up
You may suffer disappointments. There may be interviews that you think you’ve nailed, but from which you receive a rejection letter.
Don’t get despondent. Each application you make, each online screen, and each interview are experiences that you can bank and lessons you can learn. They are steppingstones to success.
Are you seeking your next role in Python development or technology jobs? For a confidential discussion about your career, get in touch with us here at TotalTek. Our clients are actively seeking candidates for exciting and interesting roles with real career potential.