Tips For Students Applying As a Software Engineer
Jun 29 2020
Over the last couple of weeks, I've had the privilege of undergoing technical recruiting and conducting interviews for potential software engineers for Launch Tech LLC, which was a very rewarding and fulfilling process, though a bit tedious at times.
Throughout this process, I've been able to notice a lot of patterns that students, high school students specifically, have when going through the recruiting process, whether it be because of lack of skills, experience, or general knowledge of how to properly act in certain professional situations. Either way, I wanted to share it so that whoever is reading this right now can avoid making the same mistakes!
Not having projects
Projects are the backbone of any engineer, it shows us what you know what you're talking about. Not just random projects or complex projects, but projects that are actually useful and are tethered to your personal passions. There will always be projects that can be improved in terms of design, complexity, implementation, or anything else. But at the end of the day, projects are a good way to recruiters to measure the quality and skill-level of engineers, and those without any projects aren't helping their chances of being recruited, or even being interviewed.
Writing short essay questions
We received well over 150+ applications for our first recruiting rounds, so we obviously didn't have enough time to read all essay prompts. Though we didn't read through everything, we could quickly see who did and didn't write long essay prompts, and we subconsciously took note of those who didn't take the time to write at least a semi-long essay answer, and it left an impression on us.
Being overly enthusiastic
Everyone wants an enthusiastic candidate, but those who are over the top are offsetting. I've had people constantly call me "sir" when they're older than me, and sometimes even more skilled or experienced than me. It personally made me feel a bit uncomfortable and weird, to say the least, and that's the absolute last thing you want to make any recruiter, or anyone in general you're going to work with to feel.
Though this was a bit of a short article and there's definitely a lot of things I could've touched on as well, I think that these are 3 huge reasons why I decided to reject so many applicants, and it can definitely be the deciding factor of you getting an interview opportunity, and possibly a future position at the nonprofit/company you're applying to!
If you have any questions, feel free to message me on LinkedIn!