A friend of mine recently left Facebook in London. I’ve helped him land a new job in 21 days at Pivotal and I’ve learnt lots of useful things doing this. This is mainly a reference for me in the future.
He learnt about the decision one week before his contract ended. The first thing we did was to go over his resume and update it. I recommended him the resume checklist from The Breakout List website, paying close attention to each item.
Afterwards came updating the LinkedIn profile. Don’t be ashamed of setting that you have ended work at a company. I think recruiters have a special filter for this because the number of messages became higher after he changed that.
Make a profile on Angelist, even though it feels like “Tinder for Companies”. The instant gratification moment when somebody wants to talk to you after you’ve been fired will provide a big boost for the morale. Don’t forget about StackOverflow Careers, though I don’t believe it helps a lot when you are actively searching for a job.
Next up is making a target list. Also, go and ask for referrals from friends who already work at those companies. If not, just apply using their regular website forms. We started with around 10 cool places to work, that I mostly knew they’re doing interesting stuff around London. If you don’t know a lot, just stalk Glassdoor and Who is Hiring Hacker News threads. Eventually, there were 50 startups and medium-sized companies in the pipeline.
I would also have recommended going through your email and finding recruiters or through your LinkedIn InMails. But, I’ve found out that the amount of wasted time on the phone with recruiters can be used in other better ways.
Before even doing your first interview I would urge you sifting through these articles:
- Don’t Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career Advice - good advice that will be eternal (including HN Comments).
- Breakout Careers - every quote here is awesome. The gist is in this essay.
- Salary Negotiation and Job Hunting for Developers - money will always be an unnatural topic to talk about. (read also on Hacker News)
Now, we get to the interviewing part. Also, the best reads are:
- How to pass a programming interview - get the hang of the game better. People usually neglect that it’s not 100% about your technical skills.
- Coding Interview Tips - brush up you algorithms skills. You might be rusty, however solving all the problems and reading the tips on Interview Cake are one of the best time investment you can do.
- My interviewing blog - didn’t write that much, yet, you may find interesting posts.
I’ve observed that after applying and maybe doing an HR talk, you will get lots of mini-projects to work on. About 50% of the companies sent him some kind of project before the technical tests. You can surprise people that are reviewing your work by:
- writing beautiful structured code with good thought variable names
- writing it in the technologies they use and mentioning you aren’t proficient with that.
- writing unit tests for your methods (or at least testing everything end-to-end).
- having a proper README for your work where you detail your approach and the trade-offs you’ve made.
Finally, don’t forget that refusals are part of searching for a job and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get something fast. He was lucky with Pivotal, but I estimated that the entire process might take around 3 months to find a good place where to work.