How to get a software engineering job in 2022

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25 January

In this article, you’ll know everything you need to land a software engineer job in 2022. We’ll also discuss the average yearly salary a software engineer earns in the US. Plus, we’ll reveal the tips and tricks using which you can find software developer jobs.

What is a software engineer?

A software engineer designs and develops software or improves existing software programs. They work with a team of software designers, programmers, and coders to map out what they need to do to make the existing program work seamlessly or design a new piece of the program from scratch. Most software engineers use flow charts and/or design documents to explain the procedures to their coworkers.

How to get a software engineering job?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get a software engineering job:

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Step 1: Get the required education

If you want to get a job as a software developer, getting the required degree is step one. Most firms ask inexperienced software engineers to produce a degree in software engineering, computer science, or a related field.

Some employers also accept the job applications of graduates of coding boot camps.  Alternatively, doing computer science or software engineering courses from sites like Coursera, Udemy might also make you eligible for a software engineering job.

Step 2: Learn In-Demand Skills

According to Glassdoor, here are some of the skills recruiters look for in software engineers:

a)    Data Structure and Algorithm

Most software companies employ those software engineers who are proficient in data structures and algorithms. Both these concepts are crucial for the software development process. Knowledge about data structure and algorithms will also help you keep your code clean and optimize your software products for better user experiences. 

b)   Programming Languages

Software engineers must be well-versed in at least two major programming languages. The programming language you’re proficient in will determine the type of industry/organization that will hire you. For instance, some industries rely on JavaScript to create software packages, while others depend on Python. 

c)   Operating Systems

As a software engineer, you must know the basics of various operating systems – it will let you create software for applications that run on a particular OS. We suggest you build a good understanding of Linux, as most programmers work on it. For mobile devices, you must be proficient with iOS and Android. 

d)   Testing Frameworks

Your job as a software engineer won’t be limited to creating new software products. You’d also be required to subject your code to various tests to discover vulnerabilities and bugs that could affect its performance. So you must know about different testing frameworks for various programming languages. 

e)    Networking

Most employers expect software engineers to at least have a basic understanding of networking basics. That’s because 8 out of every 10 projects will have a network component. That’s why any software engineer must know how computer software and hardware aspects are fused by networking. 

Pro Tip: For getting the first software developer job, excelling in the above-mentioned skills won’t be enough. You’d also need to build common soft skills to excel in the workplace. These skills include communication, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and attention to detail.

Step 3: Optimize Your Resume

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Do you know that your resume passes through an applicant tracking system before it lands in the email of a hiring manager?

To ensure it goes seamlessly through the ATS, you must include the right keywords in your resume. Find them by looking at the job posting’s language. Formatting also plays a crucial role. Even if your resume contains all the right keywords, if it has a complex format (i.e. you opted for a fancy font choice), the hiring manager’s smartphone or computer may not be able to translate it. That’s why you shouldn’t be overly creative when crafting your CV.

Here are a few more tips to optimize your resume:

a) Use a spell checker

According to a study, typos and grammatical errors in your resume matter more than anything else with regards to your chances of landing a job. That’s why we suggest you use a spell checker (Grammarly is our favorite spell and grammar checker) when making your resume. A CV without typos will go a long way in convincing the recruiters that you pay attention to details (a key soft skill). 

b) Write a customized cover letter

A customized cover letter that shows the recruiter you’ve taken the time to read the job ad might go a long way in convincing them to call you for an interview. It will increase your chances of landing an interview vis-à-vis candidates who either didn’t write a cover letter altogether or failed to customize it. 

c) Be specific about your accomplishments

Start with the specific details (such as the type of project you were assigned, the technologies you used, etc.). Next include outcomes (successful software program launch, a completed web design, etc.). This will help the recruiter understand how your previous accomplishments might help you perform the job you’re applying for. 

d) Try to keep your resume to one page

Most recruiters are almost always running short of time. They need resumes that are to the point. That’s why, unless you have years of experience, you should stick to a single-page resume. Keeping your CV’s primary focus on the job you’re applying for might help you keep the word count down. 

e) Populate the skills section as much as you can

The previous sentence explains it all. List all the skills you’ve acquired to impress the recruiter. The more skills you have listed in this section, the greater the chance of them matching with the keywords in the ATS, and the higher your chances of landing that much sought-after interview call.

f) Add URLs to your projects on GitHub

Make sure that the projects you completed on your previous job - or those you completed during your studies - are on GitHub. Including the links of those projects on your resume will set you apart from candidates that have no projects to show and prove their expertise. 

Pro Tip: If you have extensive experience, make sure that all start and end job dates are mentioned on your resume, especially if there is no gap in your career. 

Step 4: Make Personal Connections

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What’s the first picture that comes to your mind upon hearing the word ‘network’? If you’re like most people, you won’t include your social network, which includes your family, relatives, friends, and even your friends’ parents in the list of people you need to build personal connections with to succeed.

Create a list of organizations you’d like to work for, and then share the list with your personal connections (which includes everyone who wants you to succeed). Tell every single person in your sphere that you’re looking for a job. You never know which of them might aid you in getting your first (or next) job.

Here is how you could make personal connections for getting a job:

a)    Get face-to-face

Assume you’ve two options to get in touch with a friend who’s working at the company you want to work for. You could email them from your personal mailing address. Or you could meet them face-to-face over an interpersonal lunch. The second option is much better as it will let you discuss not only the position you want to get but also your friendship. 

b)   Offer help

Most of us think that networking is all about ‘me’. Where in reality people who help others tend to have more contacts in their phonebooks. The person you’re helping won’t only remember your assistance. They will also make sure to return the favor when it’s their time to help you. That’s why you should always look for opportunities where you could help others. 

c)    Focus on building relationships

Even though it’s tempting to ask the other person to recommend you, focusing on your relationship with them will leave a more powerful impression than just selling yourself by sharing your resume. Actively listen to what the other person has to say while you’re talking to them. This will present you as a person who puts personal relationships above anything else. 

d)   Use social media effectively

Start with LinkedIn. Write recommendations for your coworkers or mentors who have had a positive impact on your career. Don’t forget to endorse them for key skills. Compliment them for the posts they share and which you find beneficial. This will encourage them to repay the favor and both of you will end up being better than when you started this exercise. 

e)    Follow up

Following up after meeting someone new (either in person or online) is one of the most crucial steps in the networking process. It tells them that you aren’t like any other person on the street. One who only gets in touch when both of you are in the same room. These continued interactions will remind them of at least thinking of you when a position matching your skills gets vacant. 

Step 5: Search for a job

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While making personal connections might also help you get a job interview, you should supplement personal networking with an actual job search. It’s very easy to lose hope during this step. You might be sending dozens of resumes a day but still not getting the response you had hoped for. This is why it’s crucial to keep your accomplishments and skills in mind at this stage. Tell yourself it’s only a matter of time before you land an interview (if you aren’t patient, consider hiring the services of Careery to expedite your job searching process)

Here’s a 4-week guide to landing a job interview:

Week 1: Update your resume

Make sure it has “transferrable skills”. These are skills that you’re currently good at and that can help you perform various roles in multiple industries. For instance, critical thinking, time management, and strong writing are excellent examples of “transferrable skills” for software engineers.

The next thing you must do is ensure your resume contains these three skills:

Ø  Systems-oriented skills. They are related to your area of expertise. Since you’re a software engineer, “coding” and “software development” are your system-oriented skills. Highlight them in your resume.

Ø  People-oriented skills. They determine how well you communicate with your coworkers. In 2022, companies will be looking for candidates who can collaborate remotely with their colleagues. So be sure to include keywords like “virtual training” on your resume.

Ø  Self-oriented skills. These skills will tell your potential employer that you learn quickly, are a problem solver, and work diligently. Words such as “time management”, “self-starter” are the best keywords for showcasing your self-oriented skills.

Week 2: Improve your LinkedIn profile

Start by making sure your LinkedIn profile appears in searches for jobs you’re looking for. You could do this by copying the descriptions of 5 similar jobs that interest you, underlining the words that appear in all/most of them, and then including those keywords in your profile.

Then include your desired job location (it will help you attract the attention of recruiters who’re using location-specific keywords to search for candidates). Also, make sure your profile has a friendly – but professional photo. Profiles with an image receive 21 times more views than those without them.

Lastly, start engaging with your network. This means commenting on posts related to your industry. It also means sharing articles you find interesting and publishing posts of your own. LinkedIn has a Social Selling Index, which increases the visibility of those users who are the most active on the platform.

Week 3: Get in touch with potential coworkers

Conduct an informational interview with them. The goal of this interview is to get the lowdown on the company you want to work for. It will also help you form connections with people who might become your coworkers in the next job.

Furthermore, by getting in touch with potential coworkers, you may get to know about open positions even before they’re advertised. And if best comes to best, your potential coworker might even give you a referral to the position you’re applying for.

One of the best ways to get in touch with a potential coworker is via a common friend. This, however, might not be possible in some cases. So you’d have no choice but to write a clear, concise message to your potential coworker about why you want to meet them.

Here’s a sample message you can send them:

Hello, I noticed your company is going to hire someone for [insert job title here]. I deeply admire your company’s work and was wondering if you have the time to meet [insert time here]. I’d love to know more about you and your organization.”

Week 4: Ask for referrals

Provided you made a good impression on your potential coworker(s) in the previous week, now is the time to ask them for a referral. This will be hugely beneficial for your job search as it will show the organization that one of its current employees is confident in your skills.

Most of the time getting a referral increases your chances of landing a job interview. We suggest that you wait for at least one week after your first meeting with your potential coworker before asking them for a referral. This is crucial or else you may end up putting them off.

Here’s a message you could send to your potential coworker to ask for a referral:

Thank you very much for taking some time to talk to me about your organization. It helped me realize I’d love to work for your company. I’m going to apply for [insert job position here] and was thinking whether you could refer me. That would be much appreciated.”

Step 6: Prepare for the interview

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Once you’re invited for a job interview, start preparing. Look over the job posting and carefully study every word written there. Highlight particular skills or attributes they’re looking for in the ideal applicant. Research the organization and study its history, beliefs, and mission statement.

Find out who may interview you and look up their profile on networking sites. Check out their interests. This will help you a lot during the interview, as when you’d use this information to ask relevant questions, the interviewer will be impressed that you took the time to prepare for the interview.

Here are a few more tips to help you prepare for the job interview:

Ø  Research, research, research. Find out everything you can about the employer, the person who will be interviewing you, and the job vacancy you’re applying for. The more you know about all these three things, the more you’ll get to know the employer, and the better your interview will go.

Ø  Review common interview questions. Here’s an excellent guide on the common questions recruiters ask software engineers during job interviews. Differentiate your responses from those of other candidates by linking your answers to a story.

Ø  Appear in a mock interview. Ask friends or family members to conduct a mock interview. Print a list of questions and tell them to ask any of the questions at random. After the interview, get their feedback on your speaking skills, body language, and preparedness level.

Ø  Review your social media profiles. Google your name to see what your potential employer will find about you if they did the same. A 2018 CareerBuilder survey indicates that 7 out of 10 employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.

Ø  Dress appropriately for the interview. Reach the interview location at least 15 minutes before time. Make sure to turn off your cell phone before you enter the interview hall. Ensure that you’ve with you all the necessary documents recruiters might ask during the interview.

Step 7: Follow up after the interview

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It’s optional, but following up after you’ve appeared in an interview may swing the organization’s opinion in your favor. Write an email telling the interviewer how thankful you are for them taking the time to interview you. Convey your best wishes on finding the right candidate for the job.

This will show the company that you care not only about the job but the company, too, encouraging them to take a favorable view of your job application.

What does a software engineer do?

Software engineers work in an office environment during regular business hours. They combine computer science theories with methods of engineering and mathematics to design and develop software applications, systems, and networks.

Here are the job responsibilities of software engineers:

  • Execution of software-development life cycle (SDLC)
  • Research, design and develop new software programs
  • Work on, unit test, and debug existing software programs
  • Improve system quality by identifying common problems and issues
  • Ensure the company’s software programs have the latest features
  • Debug, upgrade, and troubleshoot existing systems
  • Make sure the programs are complying with industry standards
  •  Develop software in multiple programming languages such as C++, Java, Ruby on Rails, Python, and more
  •  Use popular web frameworks such as GWT, Spring MVC, JSF, or others to develop web applications (if required)
  • Develop flowcharts, documentation, and layouts to pinpoint requirements and solutions and explain the procedures to their coworkers and/or clients
  • And more

How much salary does a software engineer make in 2022?

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According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a software engineer in 2022 in the US is $108,249/yr. Common benefits for software engineers include visa sponsorship, stock options, gym membership, relocation assistance, 401(k) matching, and health and vision insurance.

Additionally, there are 3 parts to a software engineer's salary. They include base salary, cash bonus, and long-term incentive. Base salary is usually fixed and quoted per annum. Cash bonuses are dished out quarterly or yearly. Long-term incentives, meanwhile, can be converted into cash in the future.

Conclusion

According to an estimate by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for experienced and skilled software engineers has gone through the roof over the past decade. A November 2019 report by CNBC shed light on the supply-demand gap by highlighting more than 900,000 vacant IT positions.

It isn’t only the United States that is facing a software engineer shortage. Sweden has been estimated to lack 70,000 IT or digital-related competent professionals by early next year. Even Israel, known for its highly-qualified IT workforce, is facing a 15% software developer shortage.

All of this means good news for software engineering graduates or anyone else who is aiming to pursue a career in this field. Your presence here indicates that you, too, want to end your software engineer job search. So use the above-mentioned tips to get a job as a software developer.

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