What is the best way to get your resume selected for interviews?

I’m a 3+ years experienced Software Engineer in India, preparing for interviews of big product-based companies like FAANG, Zomato, Flipkart, PayTM, Swiggy, Oyo, Ola, Uber etc . I am experiencing difficulties in getting interview calls from these big companies. Below are the methods which I have tried for applying to the jobs:

  • On LinkedIn, asking employees working in those companies for referral.

  • Applied on companies’ career website.

  • Applied through various job portals like LinkedIn, Naukri, Instahyre, Hirist, Angellist, etc.

A college senior told me that the best and fastest way to get your resume selected for the interview is to directly contact the HR who posted the job on platforms like LinkedIn. Employee referrals are given least priority and that proceeds only when the person interviewing has worked in the past with that employee or that employee knows him very well. Also, another reason for you not receiving interview calls is that companies are involved with COVID related work like providing various kinds of assistance to their employees and their families.

Although, my current and previous companies are product-based but both are of small size and doesn’t have a good work culture. Also, I am not satisfied by both quantity as well as quality of work in my current company as work here is too easy for a person of my experience.

So, I want to ask all the experienced DEVs out here that do you agree with what my senior told me as the best way to get interview calls? Or do you have any different opinions for this?

Can anyone please review my resume (after hiding some privacy related terms like name, email, mobile number, company name)

Hi @DG4 !

I’ll be honest, I have no clue :laughing:

But there are ton of quality articles and videos on this subject.
Maybe you can look there.

https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/heres-the-resume-i-used-to-get-a-job-at-google-as-a-software-engineer-26516526f29a/

https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/what-a-former-google-software-engineer-has-to-say-about-landing-a-developer-job-abf3770c9afc/

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Of course, there are many different opinions. Get as much input from as many sources as you can.

When I look at what you have, with my (only slightly) informed eyes…

It looks pretty good to me, certainly better than a lot of resumes that I see.

I don’t like the gridlines in the Education section - I think it is cleaner without them and I think it clashes with the formatting of everything else.

I would want the “languages and techs” section to be more prominent. I think that other than your contact info, it is the most important thing. You’ve got 5 seconds for them to decide if they want to keep looking. What languages/techs you do is one of the most important things.

The only thing I’d maybe put above that would be a “Summary”, just a few sentences explaining who you are. “I am a software developer with 3+ years experience, specializing in Java, ASP.NET, and Angular. I am looking for full-time employment. I am open to relocation”.

So, you have your basic contact info, below that a simple summary, and right below that a list of languages/techs. That way within a few seconds they know the most important information they need to decide if it is worth reading the rest of the resume - they don’t have to go looking for it. After that, I’d probably put Employment, Projects, then Education. I suggest that because I think that that is the order of importance to a hirer.

I like that it looks pretty well proof-read. There are a few little things, like If you are going to put a period at the end of bullet points, then they should all have them, like the first Project. And it’s “fantasy football”, not “football fantasy”. But still, I like that everything is very well organized and consistent.

I might consider trying to liven up the design a little. Maybe something other than the default bullet point? Maybe another color for the bullet points and/or the topic headings - nothing drastic, just a little bit of color.

I would be curious to explore other formats. Maybe your techs could be bullet points in a sidebar - that would stand out too and make it seem less like top to bottom drudgery.

I like how clear your employment bullet points are so clear and talk about actual things you’ve done, but I might suggest some of that could be tightened up a little, less wordy.

For example, your certification doesn’t need a link and could just be: “Spring & Hibernate for Beginners (including SpringBoot) - Udemy”. You don’t need to include a link and you don’t need to tell them that it is an online course - they know what Udemy is.

I don’t see a link to a portfolio page - I would expect that.

You list TypeScript - I would mention JavaScript - the first round of resume eliminations may be done by an HR person that doesn’t know that TS means that you also do JS. Read through some of the job adverts that you see and see what techs they list - make sure they are on your resume (if you can do them).

  • On LinkedIn, asking employees working in those companies for referral.

I strongly disagree with that. If you mean that you connect with people you don’t know on linkedin and ask them for a referral, that to me seems shady. You are asking a complete stranger go to their boss to put in a good word for you.

That being said, we could modify this a little. Reach out to some of the devs and ask them for advice. “Hey, I see that you work for Foobar Corp - I am interested in what you guys do. Do you have any advice on how to get hired there? Are there some techs I should be exploring?” Psychologically, this way you can ingratiate yourself to these people - people like to feel helpful and instinctively feel protective of people that need their help. But “hey, you don’t know me, will tell your boss he should hire me” - no, that sounds bad.

A college senior told me that the best and fastest way to get your resume selected for the interview is to directly contact the HR who posted the job on platforms like LinkedIn.

But, he’s in university - why is he an expert on getting hired?

On the other hand, yeah, that can be good advice, as long as it isn’t “give me the job”, if it’s “I wanted to reach out and introduce myself, as I’m applying for this position. If you have any advice or feedback, it would be greatly appreciated. I hope to be hearing from you.” - something like that makes you seem, professional, courteous, very interested in the job, and interested in developing yourself. Those are all great qualities for a first impression. Even if you don’t get hired for that position, you may stick in their head for something that comes up later.

Employee referrals are given least priority and that proceeds only when the person interviewing has worked in the past with that employee or that employee knows him very well.

Yeah, makes sense to me.

Also, another reason for you not receiving interview calls is that companies are involved with COVID related work like providing various kinds of assistance to their employees and their families.

I don’t know, for the two companies I’ve worked for during Covid, hiring slowed a little at the beginning, but then went back to normal, except that everything became remote.

Although, my current and previous companies are product-based but both are of small size and doesn’t have a good work culture. Also, I am not satisfied by both quantity as well as quality of work in my current company as work here is too easy for a person of my experience.

That’s all well and good, but remember to be careful to not criticize your old companies and coworkers - you’ll come across as a complainer. Try to be positive about it and look at things as learning opportunities. Try to find at least one thing positive about everything you’ve done.

So, I want to ask all the experienced DEVs out here that do you agree with what my senior told me as the best way to get interview calls?

I think you need to do all of them. You have more luck of catching a fish if you have more poles in the water. Every company is different and values different things.

At the risk of more shameless self-promotion, I once wrote up a doc with my advice on getting that difficult first job.

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Just out of curiosity, why do you want to work at a FAANG company?

Is it the money?
Is it for reputation or bragging purposes?

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I didn’t realize that portfolios were needed for mid level devs.
I just thought it was just for aspiring juniors.
That’s good to know :grinning:

I don’t know. You may be right that some mid level jobs may not require the. But if you’re not getting calls, why not build one?

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Yeah, I guess I forgot that he was 3+ years experience. But on the other hand, if he can’t get an interview, then something is off. Every market is different, but at 2 years experience I found it pretty easy to get a new job. So, something isn’t working.

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I forgot, I also think that you’re being too wordy in some of your descriptions.

Implemented Request Quotation and Language translation functionality in an Equipment Auditing Tool Application.

What does that mean? First of all, to me, words like “implemented” and “functionality” sound like something someone says when they are trying to puff up their importance. I’m also not really sure what you did. What is “request quotation”? What is “language translation”? What is an “equipment auditing tool”? If I were reading this, I’d be annoyed that you wasted all those words and I’m still not completely sure what you did there. I would recommend finding a way to tell what you did in more simple and direct language. Again, you want to make it easy for them to find the information they need.

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Thanks. I’ll read them.

Thanks a lot @kevinSmith. Will definitely consider the changes which you mentioned.

Are you only applying to FAANG companies?
Or are you applying to a variety of companies?

If you are just applying to google or amazon, then I can see how it would be tough to land an interview.

But if you are applying a whole bunch of places then I am little confused why you are not able to land an interview.

3 years of work experience should help you land a job

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Just out of curiosity, why do you want to work at a FAANG company?

@jwilkins.oboe
Mentioned below are the reasons due to which I’m looking for FAANG and similar level companies:

  • Solve all money related problems in life so that me and my family can enjoy their lives without being tensed. As my family had to suffer a lot because of financial problems in the past when we didn’t have money even to eat and my father used to borrow money from various people to satisfy basic needs.
  • Desire to work in companies involving highly scalable projects
  • Desire to learn while work and not sitting idle (which I’m doing in current company.
  • Working in such company will bring reputation to my profile, which will increase the chances to get the opportunity to work in a similar level or better company in future.
  • Since career can be taken care of by working in these companies, then I can focus on some other future goals like launching my own business, better relationships and also on some other hobbies.
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@jwilkins.oboe I’m applying to both of them. I’m getting calls from other companies but not FAANG. Since, I’ve already worked in 2 companies which are of mid-level, so I was thinking of switching to a big product-based company (the reasons for which I have mentioned in another reply)

@kevinSmith yes, some other people who reviewed my resume also told me the same. They were also not able to properly understand what I actually did here. I’ll definitely update these descriptions.

Ok cool.
That makes sense.

I agree with @kevinSmith that asking strangers for a job referral is not a good idea.

Imagine if I reached out to both of you guys, never having talked before, and randomly asked

“Hey, I am perspective junior.
Looking for a job.
Hook me up”

That wouldn’t go over well.
Both of you would straight up ignore me. :sweat_smile:

I would focus on making genuine connections instead of asking for a job.

There are plenty of former FAANG engineers running around twitter and linkedin.
A lot of them went on to start their own thing.

Find a way to connect with them on current projects they are working on.

What has worked for me is to reach out to developers and thank them for a talk they just gave, or engage with them at meetups, or get involved in a project they are working on.

After a few conversations, then they start looking at my work and offering valuable advice on how to improve and land my first dev job.

If I had just out right asked for a job then none of that would have happened.

So, find a way to make genuine connections and that will increase your chances of getting valuable information on how to land an interview at FAANG.

Hope that helps! :grinning:

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FYI, landing a job at a FAANG company is extremely difficult, and the odds are not in your favor. What I mean is, the odds aren’t in most people’s favors.

Up to thousands of people apply to one position at a FAANG company, and the most likely candidates who get interviews will have gone to an Ivy League university and at least a BS degree in computer science (or highly related field), and graduated at or near the top of their class.

Furthermore, in the event you do get to the first stage, that’s only the beginning. These companies and others like them infamously have 4 (or more) interviews, each of which will get progressively harder. They also all notoriously interview hard for “data structures and algorithms” knowledge, so if you don’t have a CS degree, that’s something you should be studying.

Also you should know that FAANG companies do not have the gold standard of developer jobs by any means. They are the most stressful companies that you can expect to work in and will expect you to work long hours, probably on weekends, and everyone around you will have exceedingly high expectations. Yes they pay well, but they will demand a lot from you. I’ve heard of many people who were glad to get OUT of these companies because of how long & hard they were forced to work.

The truth is that MOST software companies in general pay at least moderately well for developer jobs. If you need to solve money problems, the fact is that almost any developer job anywhere will do that for you. You don’t need to work at a FAANG company for that.

Also a LOT of companies work on highly scalable software. FAANG companies just tend to have the most well-known apps. There are many, many companies who make all kinds of software running around the Internet delivering something to a LOT of people.

You want to learn? Many companies will help you do that, and you probably have a better chance of learning across a web stack (front-end, back-end, devops, CI/CD, testing, et al) at a smaller company than a bigger one. The larger the company you work at, the less chance you have of “general” learning across a web stack, and you’re more likely to have to learn something very specific instead. Also, smaller companies are more likely to reward you for learning and working on things outside of your role. Managers at FAANG companies would be more likely to reprimand you for working on things outside of your role.

Lots of smaller companies have very well-known reputations too.

If you want spare time to focus on side jobs and personal relationships and hobbies, FAANG companies are the last companies you should be seeking out. It is very well-known they tend to have “all-consuming” jobs. You will not have much (if any) time for hobbies or dating (assuming that you are currently single and looking to get married one day).

I’ve heard all of these things from people I know who’ve worked at Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. I’d imagine the other companies to be the same.

This is not a good strategy in general and I would recommend stopping trying to do this. For referrals to work in general, you should know the person you’re contacting - i.e. it should be a friend, someone you went to school with, someone you worked for, or some other type of actual professional acquaintance that you’ve met in person. Asking total strangers for referrals doesn’t usually work because strangers don’t generally refer strangers.

If you asked me what I consider the best ways of landing a job at a FAANG company, they would be:

  1. Doing exceptionally well in school with top grades and applying for an internship or apprenticeship (Microsoft has an apprenticeship program, for example).
  2. Working through several developer jobs and building up your career and skills. Progress through increasingly well-known companies in the orbit of a target company - for example, if you’re interested in Microsoft, try to work at companies that are Microsoft partners (see here for ideas: Microsoft's Top 200 U.S. Partners -- Redmond Channel Partner).
  3. Get together with some developer friends and create an awesome app based around a new idea. You don’t need to form a startup per se, just create a really cool app based around a new idea. Then promote it. You may need to do this a few more times. Eventually you’ll probably catch the attention of recruiters for one of the FAANG companies when your Internet presence becomes big enough. This is, after all, how companies like Instagram got started.
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