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Finding a Job in the IT Industry


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Guidelines how to search for a job in the IT industry and how to prepare and send a job application. The presentation covers:
Where to Search for a Job?
Define Your Goals
Prepare for Starting a Job
Search Channels: Job Sites, Career Centers, etc.
The Job Application Process
Research the Employer
Prepare CV, Cover Letter, Endorsements, etc.
Preparation for an Interview
Go to an Interview

Published in: Career, Business
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Finding a Job in the IT Industry

  1. 1. Finding a Job in the IT Industry Good and Bad Practices for Job Seekers <ul><li>Svetlin Nakov </li></ul><ul><li>Telerik Academy </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Trainer </li></ul>
  2. 2. Table of Contents <ul><li>Where to Search for a Job? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define Your Goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare for Starting a Job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Channels: Job Sites, Career Centers, … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Job Application Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research the Employer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare CV, Cover Letter, Endorsements, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparation for an Interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Go to an Interview </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Where and How to Search for a Job ? Guidelines for Job Seekers
  4. 4. Steps in the Job Search Process <ul><li>The job search process follows these steps: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define your goals – what kind of job you want ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare for starting a job – increase your skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research the job market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research the employers and offered positions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply for a job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare and send your CV and cover letter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare for the interview </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Go to the Interview </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Define Your Goals <ul><li>What kind of job you want ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What position ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Bulgaria or abroad ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the requirements for this position ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are the potential employers ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For software engineers / IT specialists : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What technologies I want to use at work (e.g. PHP / Java / .NET / front-end / QA / mobile / …)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are my goals achievable / realistic ? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The First Job is Hardest to Get! <ul><li>Starting your first job is very hard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with lower goals and expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once you get experience you could easily move to a better job / position / employer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies need experienced people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be unpretentious ! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You don’t need a big salary at your first working day – it will come later </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Just start working somewhere, later you could move to a better position or company </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Prepare for Starting a Job <ul><li>Once you know what position you want, prepare yourself for it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have the required skills? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your university education is not enough ! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How you could increase your knowledge / skills ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Self-study ( books , tutorials , video-tutorials, … ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training courses ( e.g. Telerik Academy) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practical projects – very, very important! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What non-technical skills you need ? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Prepare for Starting a Job (2) <ul><li>The everyday development of your IT skills during your life is your preparation for finding a job </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At school – trainings, courses, practical projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At the university – courses, practice and projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative education: courses, training centers, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Telerik Academy / School Academy , elective courses at FMI , programming schools , training companies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-education – study yourself by books / videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internships / real-world experience / trial jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical projects – learn by doing and practicing </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Prepare for Starting a Job (3) <ul><li>Ask yourself: how am I different than the other 50 candidates for the same job position? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I have better skills than them ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If not, how could I improve my skills ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I have any experience ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If not, how could I gain some ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can I start some project to gain experience ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have I prepared my job application carefully ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do I have awards, certificates, endorsements ? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Research the Job Market <ul><li>Researching the job market is important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research the employers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review the job offers from the last 3 months </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who are the most active employers? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research these employers – what skills thy need? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research the job positions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the most searched job positions? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you find job offers for the position you want? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. you may want to become game developer but does the industry need game developers? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Good Employers <ul><li>What is a good employer and how to identify it ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The best reference are insiders in the company ! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Several insiders are even better </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally companies from West Europe, USA and Canada are more reliable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best employers demonstrate professionalism in all possible respects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Carefully written job description, emails, positive attitude in phone calls, clear expectations, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have good reputation – positive comments in public sites, forums, and message boards </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Bad Employers <ul><li>What is a bad employer and how to identify it ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of amateur / garage companies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; Garage company &quot; is not a &quot; small company &quot; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of high employee turnover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of state / government companies and companies working on government projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of Greeks and Israeli employers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of companies managed by incompetent people – you could notice this at the interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of organizational anarchy </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Employers Rankings <ul><li>Use carefully site like and </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditionally most comments come from haters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These sites can be easily tricked / manipulated! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees fired due to incompetence, always put negative comments against their former employer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trust more to established consulting companies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Hewitt does a &quot;Best Employer&quot; ranking by industries, every year, worldwide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JOBS.BG's employer ranking may be a bit tricky </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Top Employers in Bulgaria (2010) Source : http://
  15. 15. Job Search Channels <ul><li>Job searching in the software / IT industry runs through many channels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public job Web sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network of friends / colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University career centers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career events ( job fairs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruitment agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct contact with the employer </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Public Job Sites <ul><li>Jobs sites (targeting the Bulgarian IT industry) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The list is not complete and not exhaustive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job sites constantly change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>JOBG.BG is the leader </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search in Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. try &quot; работа Java developer &quot; </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. You Friends Network <ul><li>Ask your friends / colleagues / fellows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many job offers are offered privately only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send email to all your friends / colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use your contacts in Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use all your acquaintances by any channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain them what kind of job you need and what skills you have </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send them your CV, portfolio, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They will spend just one click to forward it </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. University Career Centers <ul><ul><li>The career centers at the universities : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At some universities there are well-working career centers  contact them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many internship and junior job positions are offered at the universities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some career centers for the IT industry : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FMI of SU – http:// </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TU-Sofia – http:// </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NBU – http:// </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Career Events ( Job Fairs) <ul><li>Career events ( job fairs) are great place to learn about the employers and find job offers </li></ul><ul><li>How to learn about upcoming career events ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Career centers put invitations at their Web sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The student's councils at each University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NBU – </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TU-Sofia – </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FMI of SU – </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Largest job portals put invitations in Facebook </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Recruitment Agencies <ul><li>Generally in Bulgaria the IT recruitment agencies (HR agencies) do not work well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of them consider you as a commodity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They want to sell you to earn money </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your interests are usually ignored </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They will ask you start a job which you do not want (e.g. an operator in a call center) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some employers use only HR agencies to hire new employees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is mostly for executive positions </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Recruitment Agencies in Bulgaria <ul><li>Generally the recruitment agencies are incompetent in the IT industry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>However you can still post them a CV </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bulwork – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The most popular, but has bad reputation + unfair attitude to applicants and employers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adecco Bulgaria – </li></ul><ul><li>Manpower Bulgaria – </li></ul><ul><li>Talent Hunter – http :// </li></ul><ul><li> ( HRCR ) – http:// </li></ul>
  22. 22. Directly Contact the Employers <ul><li>Sometimes best employers do not post public job offers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidates scramble to apply for them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually companies with very strong reputation ( like Microsoft, Google and Facebook) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you want to work in such company, you need to be the active side </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make a list of the best employers in your industry and find their job offers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be prepared to show significant achievements </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. The Job Application Process How to Prepare a CV, Cover Letter and Send a Job Application, How to Prepare and Go to Interview?
  24. 24. Job Application Steps <ul><li>Recommended steps to follow during the job application process: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research the employer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research the job offer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare CV, cover letter, endorsements, projects, portfolio, certificates, awards, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carefully send you job application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare for an interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Go to interview </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Read the Requirements <ul><li>Very important rule : </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the requirements exactly as requested </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If a CV in English is required this means CV in English, not in Bulgarian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If a cover letter is required in Bulgarian, this means a cover letter in Bulgarian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the deadline is March 31 st , this is not April 2 nd </li></ul></ul>Read the Requirements!
  26. 26. What Language to Use? <ul><ul><li>In the IT industry the official language is English </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If anyone requests a CV in Bulgarian, this may be a suspicious garage-like company </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the job offer does not specify a language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use the same language like the in job offer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can still use English for the IT positions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>If a cover letter is not requested, still send one </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This will make you more-serious candidate </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Research the Employer <ul><li>Obligatory research the employer ! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore what is its business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You should know very well what the company does, its products, services, customers, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research which are the company value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is important for the company ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read articles / publications about the company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read the forums and discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Beware: forum posts are not trustworthy source </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Research the Job Position <ul><li>Research carefully the job position ! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any unknown words in the job description ( e.g. BPMN, BPEL, ARIS, BPM, SOA)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn about them, try these technologies! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any unknown products in the job description ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Download the products and play with them ! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any requirement unmatched by your skills / competence / experience ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve your skills, take a quick course / tutorial! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Prepare CV and Cover Letter <ul><li>Prepare a CV that matches the job position and the requirements in the job description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with the most important for this specific job offer technologies / skills / experience / projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Carefully prepare a cover (motivation) letter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write it specifically for the offered position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never use a template </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Find endorsements from former employers, professors, colleagues, and so on </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare diplomas , certificates , awards , portfolio </li></ul>
  30. 30. Sending Your Job Application <ul><li>Send carefully you job application and according to the requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The email sender should be polite : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ivan Ivanov < [email_address] > </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An example of idiotic sender : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Asd Afds < [email_address] > </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email subject should be meaningful : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Job Application: Junior .NET Developer (Ref # 481 ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bad examples : CV , Re: , rabota , < no subject> </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Sending Your Job Application (2) <ul><li>The cover letter and CV should be sent as separate files (best in PDF format) named meaningfully : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ivan-Ivanov-Cover-Letter-Mobiltel.pdf </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ivan-Ivanov-CV.pdf </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples of idiotic file names : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New Document (2).docx , ivan.doc , mobiltel.doc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t attach a photo, put it inside your CV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't send 8 MB photo named vankata_pich 2 .jpg ! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you need to attach large files (more than 2 MB), something is wrong  find what </li></ul>
  32. 32. Sending Your Job Application (3) <ul><li>Write a meaningful text in the email body, e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>Obligatory put in the application email : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The exact name of the position (as in the job offer) and a reference number (if applicable) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The company name ( not your company ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How did you learn about this position </li></ul></ul>Dear HR Manager, I would like to apply for the position &quot;Junior .NET Developer&quot; (Ref # 481 ) in Mobiltel EAD published at Attached are my application documents: CV, cover letter, university diploma and English TOEFL certificate. Please feel free to contact me at any time by phone or e-mail.
  33. 33. Sending Your Job Application (4) <ul><li>Obligatory put a meaningful signature with your name and contacts at the end of the email : </li></ul><ul><li>Send your entire application in English ( CV, cover letter, endorsements, portfolio, email, signature) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exception: if the job offer is in Bulgarian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never mix the languages (BG text + EN signature ) </li></ul></ul>Kind regards, Ivan Ivanov Tel. 0888 12 34 56 Email: [email_address]
  34. 34. Expect to Get Contacted <ul><li>If your job application is carefully prepared, expect to be contacted in few days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good companies always answer to polite candidates by phone or by email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Positive or negative, you will get an answer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have sent CV 2 .doc in an empty e-mail without a subject, you will not get an answer ! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read your e-mail constantly! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring your phone with fully charged battery and do not reject the incoming calls </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Prepare for an Interview <ul><li>Prepare for eventual interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research the company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The interviewer will obligatory ask you about the company and &quot;nothing&quot; is catastrophic answer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research carefully each of the requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You will be asked about your experience with the required products / platforms / technologies / etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be prepared for classical (standard) questions : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Previous experience, expected salary, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 36. The Interview <ul><li>Half of the effort you put with your job application is to get invited to an interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most candidates do not know how to apply for a job and never get invited to an interview </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The other efforts are to demonstrate your skills and positive personality at the interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare for technical questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate knowledge and skills, positive attitude, thinking, readiness for teamwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid having high demands / pretentions </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Homework <ul><ul><li>Define your goals for your future job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is there a demand in the industry for this job? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the typical requirements for your preferred job position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the technologies you need to know </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a wish-list of potential employers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research these employers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase your skills for your preferred job position (pass tutorials, read books, take courses, …) </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Finding a Job in the IT Industry <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>
  39. 39. Thank You!