Ten Myths About Finding a Software/IT Job
Who am I?
MokaFive Founder and CTO
Founded in 2005, 45 employees
Worked at IBM Research in NY and Tokyo
MIT B.S. and M.Eng, Stanford Ph.D.
Finding a job
Myth #1: Jobs are hard to find. Companies have hiring freezes.
Reality: Jobs are out there, even in a down economy!
Trick: Understand the process and make it easy for them to hire you.
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Understanding the hiring process
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Tips in applying
Include the right keywords to pass the early filters.
Try to figure out the hiring manager and contact them directly (and personally).
Learn about the company and position. Customize your resume for each
company to match what they are looking for.
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Use a standard, clean format.
Write your accomplishments.
Bulk up with internships and relevant extracurricular/volunteer projects.
Run a spell check. Have a native English speaker review it.
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Lying on your resume
Myth #2: It’s OK to lie or exaggerate on your resume, everyone does it and no
one will find out.
Reality: Lying on your resume is not worth it. It will come back to bite you.
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Sell yourself, but don’t make outlandish claims.
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Myth #3: Companies will reject your application outright if you don’t meet the
Reality: “Must” or “requires” in the job listing usually means “nice to have”.
Don’t hesitate to apply for a job you think you can do just because you don’t
meet some of the requirements.
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Myth #4: Staying at the same company for a long time builds experience and
Reality: Spending too long at the same company in the same position
demonstrates mediocrity and lack of ambition.
Good average time per role: about 3 years
Red flag: less than 1 year
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Myth #5: Work in IT/software is 100% technical. Your technical skill is all that
Reality: About half the job is communication. Good communication skills are a
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Your interview is a chance for you to evaluate the company, as well as for the
company to evaluate you.
They are thinking: “Do I want to work with this person?”
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Job interview tips
Do your homework.
Bring copies of your resume.
Be careful about how you talk about your previous jobs.
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Choosing between offers
Myth #6: When I have multiple job offers, I should choose the one with the
Reality: Experience is much more important at the beginning of your career.
Consider the future prospects of the company, your role, and the opportunity
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Negotiating salary and benefits
Myth #7: Your salary level is based on your contribution.
Reality: Your salary level is based on what the company has to pay you.
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Promotions and raises
Myth #8: Once you get promoted, it is harder to get fired.
Reality: The more responsibility you have and the higher you are paid, the
easier it is for the company to fire you.
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Negotiating initial salary
Your future salary is based on your starting salary, so a small difference can
add up over time.
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Getting a raise/promotion
Myth #9: The best way to move up and get raises is to work hard and show
your devotion to the same company.
Reality: It is easier to do a big jump up when changing jobs.
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Big company versus small company
Myth #10: Bigger companies have more opportunities.
Reality: The bigger the company, the narrower your role.
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