Thinking through your job search strategy for Software Systems and Software Engineering jobs
Do not let your emotions do the thinking when creating a strategy for your Software job search.
You should have two strategies unless you are a seasoned Software professional:
(1) A strategy to submit for Software jobs for which you are qualified and have the required experience with specific tools and skills for the job.
(2) A separate strategy for submitting to Software jobs that prefers experience that you do not have.
As a junior or intermediate level Software professional you will see many jobs where you have the confidence to succeed; however, most employers need candidates to come in the door and start without any delays due to lack of hands-on with the tools they are using. If you do not have the exact Software experience but you have hands-on with a few of the tools and you are in the geographical area then your strategy is to speak to their needs that you know best.
Related skills may help, but hands-on experience with a few of the required skills will give you a hand up. Do your homework on the company and know what makes them a leader in their field. Not having the required or desired skill for a job but submitting just because the job is located in your back yard will get you zero RESPECT and may get you on a type of black list. When submitting for a job that you meet most if not all of the requirements then do extra homework on the company including reading what the media and individuals are writing about the company.
Target your Software Systems job search
Defining a Software job search that is aligned with your skill set, interests, resume, and LinkedIn profile will serve you well and save time. Spending time on jobs that do not really interest you will take up time and energy.
Your strategy should have an identifiable target, if not a narrow target, that is aligned with the content of your skill set and overall Software knowledge. As always, with each job expand your knowledge base by volunteering and/or getting involved with projects that expand your resume. Expanding your knowledge also includes taking online classes or reading a book on specific Software tools, and/or doing some volunteer work for a non-profit that will provide you with some additional skills. Most hiring managers are conducting a narrow search and targeting a subject matter expert in their searches.
If you are currently employed, don’t leave just to make a change or because you are running away from a certain job situation. Leave because you are running to a new opportunity that excites you and gives you room to grow and be at your best.
Research all employers for Software Systems and/or Software Engineering jobs
Now that you have a strategy and a target search method it is time to practice good research habits. A Software related job description is not only describing an open position; it is also making a statement that the company has certain problems and/or challenges that need to be resolved.
You may never be able to do enough research to identify what exact problems exist, but the job description provides key-words and guidance on what to look and listen for. There are many outlets for in depth research on a company; you should take advantage of all tools and people available to you.