Are you a recently graduated or soon-to-graduate computer science major? Congratulations! You will be entering an exciting and ever-evolving industry. The skills you gained during your education will serve you well in finding and succeeding at your first job in the field.
But if you are nervous about breaking into the workforce, don’t worry. Below, we’ve compiled some important and timely job-finding and resume tips for 2023 for computer science professionals.
We’ll also discuss some tips and tricks that many such professionals wish they had known earlier.
Write a Solid Resume
Your computer skills are your bread and butter. Now, it is time to put them to work creating an attractive and compelling computer science resume.
A basic resume includes your contact information, top skills, work history, and education. Give detailed examples of your experiences – how you employed your skills and what resulted.
This resume document isn’t complete, though. It should serve as a basis for the tailored resume you submit along with each job application. Instead of sending the exact same resume to every company, look for keywords in the company’s job listing and tweak your resume to include them. Highlight the things they want most. This will prove you are an ideal candidate.
Create Your Own Website
Again, you can employ your computer science skills to give yourself a boost.
Your website should contain your professional portfolio – images of and links to your work, including academic projects, personal projects, and professional projects. You should include a link to your professional website on your LinkedIn profile and in the contact section of your resume.
If you have the time to devote to it, consider your website as a “canvas” on which to display your “artistry.” Get creative. Don’t rely on generic templates or less-than-optimal functionality. Prove to anyone that visits your website that you have what it takes to assess and optimize their computer science needs.
Invest in the Right Equipment
Your interest in computer science likely compels you to try out the latest gadgets. If so, you probably have the right equipment to practice your skills or potentially work from a home office. If not, you should consider investing in a quality computer and other gear.
Expand Your Knowledge to Other Industries
Today, the need for computer science professionals extends well beyond the technology sector. Virtually every type of business has information technology, software, website, and data analysis needs.
Having the skills to do the computer work is great. But every single computer science graduate has that same skill set. You can set yourself apart if you have additional skills or experience – not just in computer science, but in the industry in question.
Programmer and data scientist Madison Hunter put it this way: “Having the ability to code is great. Having the ability to code within a context and solve problems within an industry that you actually know something about is even better.”
Consider a real-life example. Data scientist Ivana Seric has a Ph.D. in math. While at university, she played basketball. Her current career combines these skills. She uses statistical analysis to help the coaches of the Philadelphia 76ers “devise smarter strategies to win.”
How can this be actionable in your life? If you’re still in school, consider taking classes or applying for an internship in a field you find interesting. If you can’t land a computer science job right away, consider taking another position and learning about an industry until something opens up.
You should continue to build and maintain your network – not your computer network, but your professional network.
If you have not already done so, set up a LinkedIn profile. Reach out to your classmates, professors, workmates, and others in your field. Attend industry events and reach out to those you meet. Comment or post occasionally to keep the connections fresh.
You never know when someone will post about a job opening or reach out to you directly. You might even lean into your network, inquiring as to open positions.
Continue to Expand Your Skills
Computer science is an ever-changing field. Your knowledge, up-to-date at graduation, can quickly become obsolete if you don’t keep pace with the changes.
Subscribe to a reliable tech news source. Practice your skills, like coding, even if this means taking on unpaid personal projects. Take classes, do certifications, or read up on new concepts and tools. Do whatever you learn by creating a “capstone project” that employs those skills.
In addition to technical skills, work on your soft skills as well. Communication, teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution, and interpersonal skills are always in high demand.
Before and after graduation, you should:
- Compose a compelling resume
- Create a website for your professional profile
- Acquire the right equipment in case you need to work from home
- Expand your professional network; and
- Never stop learning