Find Out Just What Employers are Looking for in Junior Developer Job Applications
Junior software developer jobs are ultra-competitive. Our last developer job had over 100 graduate applications – of these, only 6 were invited to an interview with the employer. I know that applying to jobs takes a lot of work, so I’m going to review the profiles that the employer loved and turn the similarities into a Junior Developer Job Application Guide. Just for you.
These tips should apply for every developer role – whether you’re itching to get stuck into apps, front-end or back-end development, I’ve got you covered.
1 – Let’s Look at the Job Ad
This very early step is where some of you seriously fail.
Sorry but it’s true!
So my first bit of advice is a gem – something that I seriously believe in. Read the job ad.
Pfffft – you say – I read job adverts!
No, you don’t.
I mean read every word, from the job description to info about the company.
Because this is a huge hint. They are looking for the type of person they are describing. Duh.
So I want you to comb through that job advert and pick up on any key words. Let me demonstrate:
So in the space of two minutes I’ve pulled out the key information from three paragraphs of one of our job ads.
I do this for a few reasons:
- So I know whether to apply at all. If I’m not the person they’re describing – someone else will be. Why waste my time?
- So I know what they’re looking for. The person hiring for this role probably created this entire job ad. And if you can figure out what they’re looking for – really pinpoint it – you can morph into that person. I don’t mean change yourself completely, but highlight the attributes they’re looking for.
- So I know more about them. If they’re a small team, an all-hands-on-deck attitude is probably key. If they’re a big team, they might prefer someone eager to learn.
2 – Check You Meet the Criteria
A few months ago, our development team handed you the reins. You can now overhaul your profile and rewrite your timeline whenever you like. We would recommend getting all of your previous experiences on there and worded really well.
Your timeline is make or break, so please make sure that it’s good.
Looking back over the successful profiles I mentioned earlier, they’ve all plugged their technical skills in their timelines! And where they haven’t they’ve managed to squeeze it into their bios!
PS – if you want to update your bio, just shoot us a message.
In your timeline I would recommend writing about projects you’ve worked on, technologies you’ve used and the results of your work. Lots of detail is never a bad thing.
3 – And if it’s Not True…
Then make it!
I don’t have to tell you that the internet is full of free and fast learning. Watch a YouTube video or take a DigitalGrads course.
I would (obviously) recommend taking a DigitalGrads course over anything else because your results appear automatically on your profile!
4 – Your Portfolio is Powerful
Please update your portfolio!!
The tiny box on your profile can either back up your skills with concrete evidence… or stay empty.
A simple link to your GitHub profile is all you need to seriously improve your junior developer job application.
5 – I Know You Don’t Want to Make a Video, But…
Two of the six shortlisted candidates had a profile video. And the candidate that actually secured this backend dev job is one of them!
We’re always telling you that videos are really powerful. This is because our employers love them – and it shows! Here you can show off your soft skills like communication and independence. These can be just as essential as the technologies you know!
The best part about videos? They can be updated too! Make a video for this specific job and then the next that you apply to a few weeks down the line.
If you’re looking for advice on how to record a good profile video, we have an article for that.
If it helps, think of it like one of those one-way interviews.
6 – Make Sure That Nothing is Holding You Back!
Nearly HALF of the people that applied to this job didn’t have a profile picture. Do you know how many of their profiles were even seen by the employer? None.
We don’t recommend people who don’t put in the time to complete their profiles. So if you’re never going to update your profile picture… don’t bother.
I hate to be harsh, but it’s the truth.
You don’t have to add a professional headshot or anything, just a smiley picture will do.
If you’ve got your profile pic sorted, check through some of these bits too:
- Confirm your email address
- Add your work experience
- Update your education
- Respond to any messages on the platform
I really hope this helps you with your next Junior Developer job application. We’re rooting for you!