Younger generations are realizing that being good at what you do is not enough. Nowadays, it would be best if you stood out as a developer. A Stack Overflow survey estimates over 21 million software developers globally, and approximately 13% are looking for a job. Finding a job is not an easy task, whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced developer.
We’ll discuss how you can market yourself as a developer more effectively to improve your chances of getting a job by addressing three-pillar points: communication, creating value, and focusing and showing yourself out there.
Communication in a Digital World
Nowadays, having good technical skills is not enough to get hired. Companies are looking for soft skills like people skills, teamwork, ethics, and, most importantly, communication.
Using Social Media
One essential part of communication in the digital world is, of course, the use of social media to establish media profiles on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, where you can present yourself and your goals.
You can also join forums like Stack Overflow, Quora, and Facebook groups. They provide you with a great avenue to learn from other experienced developers and give back to the community by answering questions. This way, you can get in touch with other developers who share your interests. You’ll have the opportunity to offer advice to new developers and get help from more experienced professionals.
Start a Blog
If you have enough time, start a blog with a comments section to interact with the community. All these interactions will help you develop different perspectives when approaching problems. They will also improve your ability to express your ideas and explain technical concepts clearly.
Showcase your creativity. Try to find better solutions to common issues. An essential part of software development is constant testing and improvement. Take on projects that inspire your passion and align with your goals. Learn a new language, even if it is just for fun. This will help your brain become more capable of thinking in new ways. There are many open-source projects on which you can work.
The planning phase at the start of a new project gives you the chance to develop your creativity. You’ll come across many unusual and common problems during this stage. Take the opportunity to come up with clever solutions.
Creating Value for Others
Creating value is an important part of setting yourself apart and demonstrating your soft skills. Make an effort to do something for other people. Find an open-source project where you can collaborate. Your contribution doesn’t need to be huge—it can be a simple patch or even just bug hunting. Help other professionals by answering questions, commenting on their posts, and participating in useful discussions in forums like Quora, Facebook groups, DEV Community, etc. Take advantage of social media channels to deliver content—create your value and build your community:
- Write small tutorials.
- Test and try new things and report the results. Report your findings even if you fail.
- Use your experience to offer expert advice.
- Search for and collect content from others to provide “best of” lists by subject, and become a curator.
- Be a journalist for developer-related news in the field that seems most interesting to you.
And never stop learning. Technology is constantly evolving and improving; you must keep learning to stay up to date and current with your skills as a developer. Developers and companies are continually updating frameworks, libraries, and products.
Focusing and Showing Yourself Out There
There’s no better way to stand out than to put yourself out there.
Let’s start with the basics—your online presence. You’ll probably have to create profiles on multiple platforms, and there are plenty to choose from: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Stack Overflow, GitHub, DEV Community, etc. Pick the ones you’re most comfortable with and choose credible and welcoming developer communities.
Make sure these profiles represent you and do so in a consistent way. An employer might get the wrong idea about you if you present yourself professionally on one platform and as a party animal on another. Do not forget to update your resume when you acquire a new job or complete a new certification. Have your resume published online to make it readily available for employers and headhunters.
Next is your personal brand. Your brand is the reputation and public image of yourself you present in the job market. A brand is about how you present yourself visually and verbally. Visually, you probably are not going to alter your looks much. But you can focus and improve on how you present yourself verbally. Your online profiles are, of course, part of this brand. A helpful tip is to define yourself by what you want to be and not your job title or profession.
Offer Value & Be Unique
We all want to offer great service and value, but it is important to be different and stand out from the crowd. In a competitive market, sometimes being different is better than being better. Keep in mind the 3Rs of branding: be real, relevant, and refreshing.
Ask for Feedback
When improving your brand, a good starting point is to ask colleagues and close friends to briefly describe you using some adjectives. Remember, you might think of yourself as one type of person, but other people’s perception is worth considering in this case. Don’t take their opinions personally; think objectively and use the feedback to improve.
Just as people like and are more loyal to honest and open companies, companies like honest and open people. Share your accomplishments and accolades, but also don’t be afraid to share your bad experiences.
To show you have the skills to do the job is not enough anymore. CEOs and CTOs want professionals that differentiate themselves. You have to learn to “play the game.”
Communication, creating value for your peers and clients, and standing out from the rest are important parts of your professional life. Talk about your ability and desire to work as a team, especially since developer teams are generally spread across different countries and time zones. Help others and create durable relations that will enrich your professional life and grow your career.
Choose the projects, tasks, and jobs that spark your passion and align with your interests. After all, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.