I’ll say it again, landing that first developer job can be difficult. Employers take a chance on you by hiring you without any past professional dev experience.
At the same time, you are in high demand these days. That’s a fact. And knowing where to look and who to reach out to may be the deciding factor on you landing an interview.
In this post, I want to share the top 8 places to find developer jobs online and what I personally have found to be the best tactics to handling each one.
Top 8 Places to Find Developer Jobs Online
** In no particular order
A report from January 31, 2020 states:
"LinkedIn continues to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce - every seven seconds someone is hired on LinkedIn. We saw record levels of member engagement again this quarter. Marketing Solutions remains our fastest growing business as marketers leverage enhanced tools and LinkedIn Pages to connect with our nearly 675 million members." Source
LinkedIn is alive more than ever.
In fact, my only two 9-5 dev jobs were both attained through LinkedIn and if I was interested in a third down the road, I would probably start again with LinkedIn.
Think about it: You have companies posting jobs, recruiters tweaking search criteria looking for candidates, and almost direct access to companies and staff from local businesses.
Another neat thing about LinkedIn is that you don’t have to post regularly, or really at all. You can benefit from the platform for merely “existing” on there.
So how do we utilize LinkedIn to find developer jobs online in 2020?
First, you need a very thorough profile. You need to include your location, your profession, past job history, education, etc. These are all important for employers/recruiters searching for specific candidates in a geographic location.
But you also need to fill out a compelling description about yourself and what value you bring to any business looking to potentially set you up for an interview.
Next, utilize the job search feature. This is exactly how I landed my first dev job after freelancing for 2 years.
I was searching for a remote, WordPress developer job, and came across a listing for a company out of D.C. I was able to send a message directly to the company via LinkedIn, landed an interview, and ultimately got the job.
For the current job I’m in, I was contacted by the company as they were searching for local developers in my area. LinkedIn is powerful.
Another option, especially for freelancers, is to look up good business matches in your area, introduce yourself and what you do. You aren’t asking for a job, you are merely introducing yourself and establishing a business relationship.
For example, if you are a web developer, look up web designers in your area and get acquainted. Let them know if they need development work done, you would love to help out. And from the other side, you now have a designer contact to help with any design work.
So don’t underestimate LinkedIn. Utilize the job search, create a very informative profile, and establish business relationships with others in your geographic area.
2. Local Agencies
Imagine this scenario:
You own a web agency and you have a good reputation. You are booked with work and have an enjoyable, high-end client base.
When smaller businesses come your way, unless they have a decent budget you have to turn them away. And any one-offs without a budget, well, they don’t even get considered.
However, what if there was someone you could pass that smaller work off too? Someone who you could pay to do it, while still getting a cut of the money? Someone responsible who enjoys being passed work and can see it through to completion?
That would be a real asset. Another source of income for the agency, and a steady stream of work for the one taking on the work.
That, my friend, is where you come in. That person can be you.
In fact, that is how I was able to secure consistent freelance work when I first stepped out full-time as a freelance web developer.
If you want to see a step-by-step demonstration of how I went about landing these jobs and how you can do the same, check out this video I created walking you through the process.
But we’re not really talking freelancing here. We’re talking on how to find developers jobs online in 2020.
But the concept is the same. Go online, look up all the local web or marketing agencies in your area. Visit their website and check their “Jobs” pages for openings. And if you don’t see any, no worries. Remember, you don’t have to contact them begging for a job. Contact them with the key intention of introducing yourself and sharing with them what you do.
And if the opportunity arises, throw in the “Oh, and if you have any overflow work that you need help on, feel free to call me up. I’d be happy to help.”
3. Online Job Websites
This is where most people start their job search. But this is also, I’ve found, the MOST competitive route.
To even compete on these sites, you have to play the quantity game. Apply, apply, apply and hope for some sort of response. Also, you will probably have a better chance if a job is in your town or vicinity.
When I was looking for that first dev jobs I applied to a good amount of jobs on these job sites. Just “machine-gunned” my resume everywhere. And I only got one interview from it, and I was one of many and did NOT hear anything back from it.
There are lots of options here, but again play the quantity game. But don’t make this your main pipeline.
It blows my mind how many people land jobs from Twitter. Simply by asking or making it known they are looking. Here’s an example:
There are 192 retweets many of which are people with links to apply at their place of employment using them as a reference! … such as:
Now I’m not at all being smug about this. I’m actually blown away every time I see it. It’s a valid means of letting people know your struggles in finding a job, mentioning your skills, and asking for retweets for reach.
Also, and this is why many people respond with links to positions at their place of employment, most of these developers will get some sort of referral bonus if you land the job. And this bonus can be quite high for them.
So it’s really a win-win for both sides. They help you get in the door and land a bonus if you’re hired, and you get the job you’ve been so desperately looking for.
So get involved on Twitter. Be active, comment on Tweets, and share your concerns about finding a job.
5. Facebook groups
Facebook groups are very similar to the above, but in the Facebook sort of way.
So I’m in a Facebook group for developers and it’s well run. No trolls, good discussion, etc.
But the devs there will every now and then post that there are openings at their jobs for certain dev skills. Sure, they may want that bonus, but again it’s a win/win as you get direct contact to these people that may help you get a foot in the door. These places mentioned have included Red Hat, Dave Ramsey’s organization, and many other prominent locations.
If you can find good, quality developer Facebook groups, this can be a great resource, especially if you are active there and build up a bit of trust so as to not sounds spammy when you mention that you are looking or struggling to get an interview.
6. Local companies
Okay, this is another good pursuit that many people overlook.
Go to Google and type in “Major Employers in (your city)”. Find a page that lists the major businesses in your area.
So for me something like this would suffice.
Once you have a list of the major employers in your area, visit the website of each one, find the careers page, and look for software developer roles. You will be surprised how many companies are looking for candidates just like you.
Local colleges, plants, healthcare companies, banks, TV stations, warehouses, etc. all have career pages that may be of use to you.
I know, I know. Many of you absolutely despise recruiters. I’ve heard the horror stories.
However, my past experience with recruiters has been completely opposite. And it’s never a good practice to rule out an opportunity just because you heard bad things about it.
So I’m going to look at this in a positive note.
Recruiters get their living from you getting employed. That’s their job. So they have drive to put you in that interview just as much as you have it.
So look at recruiters as people who can help you at least get that interview.
A great website to visit in this regard is Cybercoders. They have a “recruiter” for each job listing.
When I was looking for that first dev job, I applied to a few listings on here and got calls back fairly quickly from recruiters looking to set me up with interviews. And it was fairly effective.
I mean, that’s your ultimate goal, to land an interview. They can get you there.
I don’t have much experience with meetups as there are rarely any in my area (I know … I could start one, yes). But I have heard wonderful stories of people landing their first job directly as a result of going.
Two things here:
First, they don’t have to be coding meetups. They can be any local business or hobby meetups that include people who may benefit from your dev skills. Go with the intention of creating relationships and sharing that are a software developer. If you are looking to freelance, this is a great opportunity to hand out business cards.
Second, also go to coding meetups. Why? Because there are developers there, and those developers work at companies of which many may be looking to hire. Remember developers love that referral bonus. As you get to know the developers at that meetup, be sure to share that you are looking to land your first coding job. They may be able to help you out.
So be sure to diversify your opportunities as you are looking to find developer jobs in 2020, especially if it’s your first. Don’t rely solely on sites like Monster or Indeed. Instead aim to create relationships and try to achieve a more direct contact between yourself and potential employers.
Best wishes for 2020.
**If you're need a resume template to apply for these jobs, then be sure to check out my post on creating a winning software developer resume.