A great experience applying to a position (II)

In my previous post I explained a great experience applying for a position. In this post I wanted to share what lessons I’ve learnt from that experience.

  1. Selection: Be very selective about what you apply for. For me this means no recruiters, making a pre-research of the company, and reading carefully the description to get a sense of what the company is asking. It’s pretty obvious, but essential for the following lesson.

  2. Visa: When applying for a foreign country, make some research about Visa requirements. For example, unless you are a guru, don’t apply to an US listing. It’s quite difficult to get an sponsorship for the US, but no so for Australia. Are you an European citizen? Doors open in Europe. And so on.

  3. Target: Carefully target the ad and the company with the cover letter. In my experience this is more important than the CV. CVs doesn’t work. I’m in the process of completing a 35 pages CV (no kidding) and I can tell you it won’t describe me.

  4. Try to target the cover letter but be honest and open. There was a great post on 3degrees blog, unfortunately deleted. See this cache copy.

  5. Test, code, refactor: Yes, you know about TDD and BDD. In fact you are expected to send the tests along with the code. But at least in my previous assignments, I had tested, then coded, but I had forgot to refactor to get a nice design. And I had sent code not adequately designed. This time, I set a good set of tests, then hacked something quick, then refactored lots of times.

  6. Research: For the interview do a great research. Be prepared. Who would be your mates? Nasty comments about the company? Source code of the pages?. And if the interview seems in a loop, (not the case this time), be open but drive it to a point.

  7. Build a presence online. Most asked request: show us your code. Yes, I have a github account (actually two). And I also have a blog (this one ;D) But at work I don’t have the time to build the presence. And doing it at home is quite difficult. But it’s essential

I think fifth and sixth really made a difference, but I’m really starting to learn how to apply to a position.And I’m trying to complete the seventh point. This blog posts are part of that effort.

First published here