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Impress the Hiring Manager to Land Your Next Software Engineering Job

The hiring manager stands between you and your next great job.  It pays to know what is important to them.  Let me provide some insight on how hiring managers are approaching recruiting for Software Engineering jobs right now.

Looking for Experience with In-Demand Technology

First and foremost, hiring managers are looking for people working on the most valuable technology.  There are three categories of skill sets that are highest in demand right now:

  • Java
  • C#/.Net
  • Open Source Technology – Ruby, PHP, Python, LAMP

Attributes of a Great Job Hire – More Than Development Experience

Skills and experience will get you the job interview, but alone, they won’t get you past it.  Hiring managers are looking for Software Engineers with certain key attributes. They want longevity, and to know why a candidate has changed jobs.  For example, “My project finished” is not considered a good reason to leave a job. A better answer would be, “I’m leaving because the company is having significant financial issues,” or “I’ve lost faith in the company’s ability to be successful.”

Hiring managers are also looking for passion and energy. They take note if the Engineer is writing code because it’s his or her job or because it’s what the candidate is passionate about. They want evidence that proves this person lives and breathes technology. Internships, side projects and formal training are strong evidence of this.

Passing the Job Test

Technical testing is becoming increasingly popular in hiring Software Engineers. Hiring managers and companies will often administer some sort of quiz or puzzle that can demonstrate a candidate’s problem solving and critical thinking skills. You can prepare for this type of challenge by practicing at sites like:
www.codinghorror.com
www.grokcode.com
www.programmerpuzzlers.com

Being prepared for an interview is common sense, but be sure you prepare for what the hiring manager wants.  Use the ideas above to land your next Software Engineering job in today’s market.

Photo Credit: Tim Garratt