How to get the tech jobof your dreamsVangelis Bibakis@ Joomla day Greece 2013
About your speakerFounder: DemianLabs.comCTO: AdAxem.euCreator of: MainframePHP& many micro web apps@firstname.lastname@example.org
What we’ll talk about today1. The right job2. Pre-work3. Common CV mistakes4. Getting your cover letter right
1. The right jobLet’s debunk some myths firstMyth #1“Somewhere there is a perfect job”
1. The right job“The perfect job is software consultant in atropical island where you get to go in one10 minute meeting every week and youmake 1.000.000 € per month”
1. The right jobBut really a great job is in a company where…• Tech is the main focus• Projects are interesting• The boss is a geek• You work normal hours• Your work is valued• You are paid well
1. The right jobMyth #2“Google and facebook are great employers”
1. The right jobThe truth:• Big companies are the place where talentgoes to die• Politics and “power games” kill your creativity• In a big company you are a replaceable cogin a 5.000 people machine• Great tech is born outside the cubicle
1. The right jobEvidence:The “real” mission statement of big companies:• Google: “We love monitoring people!”• Apple: “In our own opinion we are so incrediblyamazing!”• Microsoft: “The best browser is Internet explorer!”• Facebook: “Poke !”
1. The right jobEvidence:• Name one Apple developer or one Googledesigner• Great tech is born in the free world:Linux, PHP, Ruby, C, Rails, Node.js, WorldWide Web, Personalcomputing, Git, MySQL, NoSQL, Appstores
1. The right jobSo what’s some great places to work ?• 37signals• Demian Labs• Fog Creek• Valve
2. Pre-WorkWhat do you want to bewhen you grow up ?• Pick a few career paths you like• Narrow your best three• Imagine your life 10 years from now if youpick χ, ψ, ω• Once you have a winner, ignore everythingelse
2. Pre-WorkNow hunt them down !• Find some companies that employ peoplein the career path you picked• Follow them on twitter, read their blog• Try to learn more about their products(this is a killer asset in the interview)• Try to understand their mentality
2. Pre-WorkDo your homework• Spend at least two months making a smallbut functional project• If you haven’t published any open sourcecode, now it’s the time• Make a website targeted at your futureemployer
3. Common CV mistakesThe irrelevant guy• Nobody cares if you had a summer job in abeach bar three years ago• If you don’t have work experience in thatfield it’s not for you• Preferably, 100% of your work experienceshould be in that field. That means you lovewhat you do and you’re serious about it.
3. Common CV mistakesThe freelancerIf you present yourself as a freelancer your employer will think that:1. You failed at freelancing and that’s why youare looking for a job2. You view this job as temporary pocketmoney before you go back to freelancing3. You will work all off-work hours in otherprojects, meaning you won’t be focused
3. Common CV mistakesThe traveler• Rarely someone hires people for 6months. For serious employers hiring is aninvestment.• If you have changed 20 jobs in the last 5years it won’t look good.
3. Common CV mistakesBut…• The 4 month Java course you took in college 4 years ago isas relevant as your xbox skills• Even if you know all that stuff, you indicate that you nevertook the time to master anything. At best you’ll be average atall of them.• Do you have a portfolio for all that ?• You can’t outsmart a manager who’s hiring people. You’re onthe sport for one weeκ, but he’s doing it for a living.• You’re a liar
3. Common CV mistakesIn the final analysis…There are no “CV mistakes”.CV is the mistake.
3. Common CV mistakesWhat CVs really are:• A platform for lying(anyone can put 20 acronyms in a word document)• The best way to be seen as someone inthe flock• Where people without portfolio hide
4. Getting your cover letter rightParagraph oneWho and what are you• No Sir/Madam. They are real people• Explain in 4-5 rows who you are and whatyou do, as if you were talking to yourgrandmother.• Also refer to your area of expertise(if you don’t have one, read the pre-work section again)• Be honest about it
4. Getting your cover letter rightParagraphs two to fourPrevious accomplishments• In each paragraph refer to a previous projector employer• Use links to projects/companies• Explain how you helped in each project’ssuccess and what great things youaccomplished• Be honest about it
4. Getting your cover letter rightParagraphs five and sixWhy do you want to work for them• What do you like about the way they work• What do you like about their products• What do you think they do better than theircompetition• Be honest about it
4. Getting your cover letter rightParagraphs seven and eightWhy do they want to work with you• What makes you better than other developers• How do you fit in their corporate culture• What are your main strengths as a personand why do they give a damn• Be honest about it
4. Getting your cover letter rightParagraph nineA nice goodbye• “Thank you for your time”• “I hope we’ll have the opportunity to talk inthe future”
4. Getting your cover letter rightHey wait !Why do I keep repeating“Be honest about it” ?• You’ll have to cover your lies(and you’ll fail at it)• Even if you get the job it won’t be for long• Where you see a rejection letter, your future boss sees a newMacBook• Every boss is constantly looking for an opportunity to savemoney. Don’t give it to them. Make them poor.• Remember it is about getting a job that makes you happy, notabout just getting any job.
Bonus tipDon’t ask for money,(even if they ask you)let them propose something first• If they propose more than what you had in mind,Bingo !• If they propose what you had in mind, ask 10%more. Most reasonable recruiters won’t say no.• If they propose a ridiculous amount it just means itwasn’t a great job anyway.