Applying for jobs after a couple of years

You’ve graduated, you’ve completed a grad scheme or been working at a company for a couple of years and now you feel like it’s time to move on. I’ve found there are a number of reasons people decide to do this. You could be capable of doing your job in your sleep, you might have found there are limited prospects of progression, you could want to work with different technology. I can’t guess your reasons but there are plenty. Many people get poached by other companies but for those that do not, it is time to scrub up the CV and get out there.

The good news is, you have plenty of options. The 3 methods I have found most useful are putting my CV on sites like CWJobs, scouring jobs on LinkedIn and checking out local tech companies in the area.

CWJobs is pretty useful. I’ve found sites like this very useful as registering on them gets you exposure to local recruiters. Recruiters can often get you into interviews without needing to fill out application forms. They often also have access to jobs that haven’t been advertised. While these things are great, some recruiters seem to pay little attention to your CV and you should get ready to field calls for all sorts of jobs that have nothing to do with your experience. They are not all like that though and as long as you know what you’re looking for, recruiters can be fantastic help.

Plenty of jobs get posted on LinkedIn. One of the good things about this site is that you can often research the job poster and their connections at the company they are posting the job for. This can provide a vital insight. You can often see the length of time these people stay at the company and try to judge if the place would be a good fit for you.

I also google ‘tech companies in whatever town I am looking at’. Not all companies advertise their jobs on external sites. You might find great companies and jobs just around the corner from you.

Hopefully that’s enough to get you started. These are just a few of the options available to you. I’ve skimmed over them and will be going into more depth into the uses of each of them in the future.



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Working with recruiters

The goal of a recruiter is to make money. Lucky for us, they do that by getting us placed in jobs. You don’t have to look very far to find some recruiter bashing blog posts. While they may not be a perfect solution for your job search, they are a useful tool. You just need to know how to deal with them. It is also important to remember that like in every job, they are all different people. There are plenty of bad developers out there too. One bad experience doesn’t mean all recruiters will do the same.

If you register your CV with a website that recruiters use, you can be sure to receive a lot of calls a day. It may seem great at first, but it soon becomes tiring to hear about the 10th senior Ruby developer role when you have only ever worked with Java. Personally I am happy to take these calls as every now and then you get contacted with a great opportunity. Recruiters often have deals with companies which grants access to jobs that are not advertised anywhere yet. Most importantly to me, recruiters often enable you to skip filling out application forms.

Recruiters are often very keen to get you into interviews. You will likely get put forward for interviews for jobs that you don’t want if you don’t provide enough information about the job you do want.

It is important to know what you want from a job when working with recruiters. They can only work with the information you give them. If you can figure out the minimum salary, annual leave and a tech stack you want to work with then that is a good start. If there is something you definitely don’t want to do, let them know. This will save both of you a lot of time. Other things to consider are the industries you want to work in, the size of the company and team you will work in and the working methodologies of the team.

Don’t feel bad when turning down interview opportunities. It is up to you to decide if the job may be for you. However, a bit of interview practice can go down very well in preparation for that job you do want. Also remember that an informal chat is always going to be an interview. Do a bit of prep and turn up. I have been to my share of informal chats and they have been an interview without wearing a suit every time.

In the end it is up to you to decide if using recruitment consultants is for you. You will have to handle a lot of phone calls. They can be great if you give them the right info and there is no harm in giving them a try.


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