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Landing Your Next PHP Job


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Tips on how to efficiently find your next (or first) job as a PHP developer. Includes tips on how to formulate you resume, how to work with recruiters, how to use LinkedIn, and a lot more. …

Tips on how to efficiently find your next (or first) job as a PHP developer. Includes tips on how to formulate you resume, how to work with recruiters, how to use LinkedIn, and a lot more.

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  • 1. First of all, UndergroundElephant is hiring… :-) Underground Elephant has been gracious enough to offer this meeting space for a while now. Please consider them early on in your job search. Get in touch with Aaron <> or others here (please raise your hands, yall) to find out more about U.E.
  • 2. Second of all, weve got a JobListings Page:
  • 3. Who am I? Dennis Slade Jr. >>  19+ years experience implementing and supporting critical web and desktop business systems  10+ years hands-on experience with *AMP web development projects (PHP on Linux & OS X)  11+ years experience in software support and training  Intensive training in resume, job searching, and networking techniques
  • 4. So how do you landyour next PHP job?
  • 5. Before You Begin… Prepare yourself! “Luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation” Know your story! How have you come to this point in your career? Whats the next chapter youd like to write in the story of your career?
  • 6. Before You Begin… Line up your references Inform your mentors Know your target salary / hourly rate Have code samples ready
  • 7. Typical Steps in Getting aDevelopment Job Contact made with a hiring manager or HR person Phone interview Skills test / coding project In-person or video interview Job offer
  • 8. The Resume How long does a typical resume reader spend on your resume?
  • 9. The Resume How long does a typical resume reader spend on your resume? Between 6-30 seconds.
  • 10. The Resume How long does a typical resume reader spend on your resume? Between 6-30 seconds. How long should your resume be?
  • 11. The Resume How long does a typical resume reader spend on your resume? Between 6-30 seconds. How long should your resume be? At most two pages. The vast majority of the readers of your resume wont get past the top half of the first page.
  • 12. The Resume What should be in your resume? Accomplishments and awards first, then duties ○ If a positions duties are obvious, or if the duties have been mentioned in a more recent position, then theres no need to list those duties again. Tailor your resume as much as possible to the specific position youre applying for. ○ Specific objective ○ Consider preparing different resumes for different types of positions
  • 13. The Resume Be succinct (precise and tidy) with your language. Use keywords but dont be a slave to them. Put your name in the filename of any resumes you send. Also suggested: your contact info in the header of each page. Format: PDF or Word doc
  • 14. Your Job Search Email Address NEVER use your current jobs email account. Please. Consider giving out a separate email address just for your online resumes and LinkedIn. Try not to use email accounts where: The Inbox has thousands of unread messages Spam filters catch all messages from people not in your contact list/address book
  • 15. Your Job Search Email Address Be as professional as possible with job search email address. Bad: Still Bad: Good:
  • 16. Samples of your work GitHub, Google Code, SourceForge…
  • 17. Samples of your work Linking to live sites If a web page using your PHP code is live and accessible, put it out there! Make sure all real customer data has been scrubbed clean from your samples Dont ever give a potential employer a username/password to use in a live system Do-It-Yourself (DYI) Hosting  More control, more work to maintain
  • 18. Getting to the hiring manager Through a friend/ex-colleague From contact on LinkedIn or similar site Through a recruiter By direct submission To a companys careers page On a job board On Craigslist: possible but be careful If contacting directly via email, send a succinct cover letter in the body of the email.
  • 19. Using LinkedIn You should be using LinkedIn. And you should be connecting with as many friends and former colleagues as possible. 98% network building, 2% using the network Who are you looking for? Whos looking for you? Ask for endorsements and recommendations (and give some too!) Surfing connections connections
  • 20. Other Social Media Make sure your Facebook/G+ profile is clean and secure. Dont put anything into Facebook that you wouldnt want your grandma to see. Lock down your privacy settings, but dont count on them. Should you use Facebook to network? What about Facebook job-networking apps?
  • 21. Recruiters Recruiters are not the devil. Potential employers would prefer to find you without a recruiter involved, but often a connection cant be made without them. The employer is paying the recruiter, not the job seeker. Most likely the recruiter wont be paid by the hiring employer until youve been at the company for 3-6 months. Leaving before this period will leave you in the bad graces of both the company and the recruiter.
  • 22. Recruiters Know the etiquette of working with recruiters Be mindful of the “who showed you to the company first” rule When to just say no – and you can say no! Link to multiple recruiters in LinkedIn to maximize your chances of success.
  • 23. Recruiters Looking for a good recruiter? Lonnie Brown is a group sponsor, and hes a good guy. 
  • 24. Interviewing Be up-to-date in your PHP/tech knowledge Do research on the company What technologies do they use besides PHP? Are they using PHP on their main website? Who are their customers? Whats cool and/or impressive about their site or what they do?
  • 25. Interviewing Be ready to ask at least one intelligent question When you dont know something asked of you, be upfront about it Youre interviewing them as much as theyre interviewing you Expect technical questions…
  • 26. Interviewing Example tech interview questions What are some of your strongest technical skills? What technologies do you prefer working with and why? Briefly explain one of the most difficult technical problems youve ever faced and how you solved it. How did you come up with the solution? What skills would you like to improve and which technologies would you like to learn more about, and why?
  • 27. Interviewing Example tech interview questions Describe your experience working with a large software project. How did you collaborate with team mates, how did you check in and check out code, etc. What were some of the challenges specific to working with a larger project? Describe any experience working with larger databases. How many tables, how many rows of data (order of magnitude), how many gigabytes of data (roughly). Explain some of the challenges you faced and approaches that worked.
  • 28. Interviewing After your in-person or video interview, be sure to send a “thank you” email Be specific about what you enjoyed about the company and the people you met. Literally ask for the job (if you still want it)
  • 29. Other Things… Never trust that an email submission has actually made it (spam filters, folder filtering, Inbox overload) If youre not near the beginning of a queue, you may as well skip that queue Following through with a phone call can make a big difference Consider actually delivering a copy of your resume in person
  • 30. Other Things… A lot of the hiring process is proving you can develop in PHP and other required technologies. So dont freak out about being tested a few times, or when having your code evaluated by potential employers. The more “at peace” you are telling why your previous positions ended, the better. Know your story!
  • 31. Other Things… Understand your value If you can write software, if you truly understand the development lifecycle, and if you can work well with others then employers want you as much as you want them.
  • 32. “But Ive never had a PHP job!!!” Dont panic! Code something! Do your own thing >> GitHub Volunteer projects for non-profits Open source contributions Hackathons Network using groups and other user groups ( Consider contract-to-perm or temp positions
  • 33. In college? Just out of college? Use your college employment site/office Internships are your friends (if you can find one) Find a mentor SDPHP has a mentoring program! 
  • 34. Resources
  • 35. Lifehack :: Work
  • 36. Dice Newsletters
  • 37. Links SDPHP Job Listings: SD Tech Scene: March Mingle: LinkedIn:
  • 38. Links Dice: Lifehack :: Work A post with all the links from this presentation - plus a few which didn’t make it - will be posted on (I think. )
  • 39. My Contact Info Dennis Slade Jr.   @DennisSladeJr  