Tuesday, Sep 03 2019

Are You a Self-Taught Developer? Here's How to Find a Great Job

Written by

microphone closeup

With so many resources available online, self-taught developers are becoming more common. While some may have formal education or training in development, augmenting their skills on their own time, others have never set foot inside a classroom.

When you’re a self-taught developer, you may face obstacles that hinder your ability to find a new job. Many employers rely on resumes to make hiring decisions, and not having a degree to back up your capabilities could lead them to eliminate you from contention even if you have the right skills.

Luckily, there are things you can do to increase your odds of landing a great employment opportunity. If you are a self-taught developer, here’s what you need to know.

Make the Most of Your Cover Letter

Passing the initial screening as a self-taught developer can be tough. However, by writing a well-crafted cover letter that explains your path, highlights what you know, and showcases the value you could provide can help you get your foot in the door.

A cover letter can serve as a platform for explaining your less than conventional path. Plus, it humanizes you and may intrigue the hiring manager enough to keep you in contention.


Highlight Relevant Projects on Your Resume

Even if you haven’t been formally employed as a developer, that doesn’t mean you can’t include relevant projects on your resume. You can discuss your side pursuits, volunteer experience, or anything else that gives you the chance to showcase your skills.


Showcase Your Online Contributions

If you contribute to sites like GitHub, consider creating a unique subsection on your resume that gives you a chance to list these activities. By being active in open source communities and pointing hiring managers to this information, you can provide them with a way to evaluate your knowledge.

Similarly, building an online portfolio can achieve a similar goal. You can share a link on your resume, giving the hiring manager an opportunity to view past work, even if they were simply personal projects.


Choose the Right Employers

Some companies are more open to considering candidates without degrees than others. As you look at a job ad, see if they use phrases like “degree preferred” or note that they are willing to accept “equivalent experience” in lieu of a degree. Those employers might be more flexible when it comes to considering professionals who took a less traditional path.

While finding a job as a self-taught developer will usually be more challenging, it certainly isn’t impossible. You just have to be diligent, working to highlight what you have to offer in a way that showcases your value. Additionally, you need to target the right opportunities, as some companies are more open to the idea than others.


The Armada Group's Experts Can Help You Find Your Ideal Position

If you are a self-taught developer looking for a new job, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help. Contact usto speak with one of our recruiters about your ideal position today and see how our expertise can make it easier than ever to find your next opportunity.