5 Ways To Break Into a Junior Developer Career

Article by JobTerix - 4/29/2022

If you’re trying to get hired as a junior developer, you’re not alone. Entry-level developers realize every day that it’s more complicated than they thought to land their first position. You have the right degree, and you seem to have a decent portfolio, but you’ve been sending out applications and not getting called back. If so, it might be time to reassess your approach.

Here are five ways to beat the competition and land the job that will be the stepping stone in your career.

Join Github and become a regular contributor

If you want to become a developer, set up an account on Github and participate regularly. You can post your projects and web applications, providing potential employers a glimpse of your coding skills. Making contributions to an open-source platform helps you learn new things and builds real-world experience working with teams. It also helps you to stand out from the crowd and impress employers.

Develop some practical application projects

The projects you did while in school showcase your ability to an extent, but for the most part, they consist of relatively simple things and usually match up with the same examples that everyone else submits. Assess who you want to be as a developer, figure out your passion, and spend time developing some projects that align with those goals. You’ll then want to add them to your portfolio website (that you developed, of course). After all, you need to show the company that you can go there on your first day, have confidence in your personal brand, and immediately add value to their business.

Tailor your resume and cover letter

Even though you might have a broad range of skills, you’ll need to narrow them down on your resume to land on the desk of the right hiring managers. You risk the company’s Applicant Tracking System automatically weeding out and tossing your application in the trash if you don't. Both your resume and cover letter must include specific words that appear in the job posting and meet at least the minimum requirements that it describes. Yes, this process means that you will have to change your cover letter and resume for practically every position you want to apply for, but it’s a step you must take to get noticed and stand out from the pack.

Do a few freelance jobs for the experience

We’ve already touched on the fact that the projects you completed in school or during your training program won’t be the ones that get you in the door at a company. Now’s the time to expand your portfolio. To do that, you might have to take on a few lower-paying gigs on sites like Upwork or Fiverr. However, the more real-world projects you have under your belt, the better chance you will have at impressing the hiring managers at your target company. You’ll also gain a few client reviews and some chances for professional recommendations in the process.

Follow industry news and keep learning

Make an effort to keep up with what’s happening in the tech world. After all, it’s the world that you’re seeking to be a part of, so you should have an idea of the current news and happenings. You don’t need expert knowledge in everything but should possess enough to make small talk with hiring managers about relevant topics. When you connect with them in this way, you demonstrate that you are top tech talent and have a passion for what you do. To start, follow relevant accounts on Twitter, read tech blogs, or listen to industry podcasts. These things will help you engage, stay connected, and remain on top of what’s going on with the big players in the industry.

If you want more help with breaking into a developer career, you’ll need to work with a company that genuinely understands what IT professionals, engineers, and developers need. At JobTerix, we have the access and resources to help you reach your tech career goals. Let us prove to you what we can do!