How I Got a Job in Toronto through Vanhack
First, let’s do some introduction. I’m a software engineer with 3+ years of programming experience. At the time of this writing, I work with Pluralsight, via Andela. And I recently got a job offer in Toronto, and a work permit under the Global Talent Stream. So how did I get this job? Sit down, grab a pop-corn, and let me help you with some application tips.
Review and Update your Resume
While this might seem obvious, a lot of people miss this step and fail at their job search. Why is this important?
- An outdated Resume basically sells you short, and you don’t wanna do that to yourself.
- Use tools like TopResume and CV compiler to help review and criticize your resume. Then, update your resume accordingly.
- Ensure your resume shows your achievements and clearly highlights how you used the technologies you listed on your current job and previous jobs.
Sign up on Vanhack
If you the type that is tired of getting rejections, or you don’t know how to apply for jobs, use VanHack. Why Vanhack? Because applying for jobs through them is easy. All you have to do are:
- Take their English Verification test (Your chances of getting selected without this are 0%)
- Update your profile
- Upload your updated resume
- Fill in your experiences
- Add your salary expectations
- Take code verifications for your stack
When all those are done, start applying for jobs using their filter and click on apply for those that match your expectations. That easy right? Yes, it is. You don’t need a cover letter or anything!
Start Preparing for your Interview ASAP
You probably think this is not important until you get invited for an interview, but you are wrong! Start prepping up for your interview immediately you decided you are open to switching to a new job. I’ll break down my preparation into three steps which are Pre-Interview, Mid-Interview, and Post-Interview.
Pre-Interview: This involves honing your current or the skills needed to get the job you want. For software engineers, I recommend the following:
- Start learning about algorithms on HackerRank, Codility, and Youtube
- Hone your problem-solving skills by solving as many problems as possible on platforms like HackerRank, Codility, and AlgoExpert (Paid). If you can pay for AlgoExpert, I strongly recommend getting an AlgoExpert account or create a shared account with your colleagues, friends, or other software engineers because most questions here come out in the interview algorithm challenge.
- Do mock interviews! Solving tons of problems on HackerRank, LeetCode, and AlgoExpert is not sufficient if you wanna get a job because interviews are timed, and interactive. So, I suggest pairing up with someone that is also looking for a job and do mock interviews with them to help simulate an interview experience and improve your communication skills. If you cannot get someone to interview with, signup on Pramp (A peer to peer platform that connects two people together for mock interviews). Pramp has different kinds of interviews like Behavioral interviews, Algorithm Interviews, System Designs, Frontend Development, e.t.c. I strongly recommend you use Pramp only when you get invited for an Interview.
Mid-Interview: Now, you’ve gotten invited for an interview on Vanhack, or any other platforms. You need to prepare for your interview. Start with the following.
- Research the company. Don’t do a superficial look at the company’s website. Go through their LinkedIn, Youtube channel, Google news, and read articles about the company. Learn as much as you can about the company.
- Work with your Talent Manager. Your talent manager has helped other people on the platform get a job and they are there to help you get yours too. Ask them for resources they think would help you crush your interviews. When you do get them, go through all of them, not just because of the interview, but also to get enlightened. So, I quickly want to give a shoutout to Bruna Fattobene and Olakunle Makanjuola for supporting me throughout my interviews.
- Read the job description. Please do not skip this step because it is bad for business. Read the job descriptions and prepare to answer questions on any one of them. For example, if the job requires a good communicator, you don’t wanna mention that communication is one of your weaknesses without a proper action plan to improve on your communication skills, or don’t apply for this job at all because you likely gonna suck at your job.
- Prepare to sell yourself. They have seen your resume and they know your skills, why talk about this again? They want to meet you in person and know the kind of person they wanna work with. So be prepared to answer questions about yourself and prepare questions for the interviewer to show you’ve done your research. You don’t wanna play the answer & question game where they ask you questions and you do all the answering, this sucks. So prepare questions that will help you learn about the company’s culture, and goals.
- Crush your technical interviews. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized, this is your time to shine, it’s your time to put all the practice you’ve done to work. My short guide to crushing your tech interviews includes:
- Understanding the problem
- Communicate, you can’t do too much of this
- Test your solution with large and small inputs
- Test your solution with edge cases
- Then optimize for space and speed as needed. Ask your interviewer for the optimal solution they looking for.
Post-Interview: You’ve done all your interviews, now it’s time to do some cleanup.
- Follow up. Find some time to send a follow email letting them know how excited you were meeting the team and looking forward to hearing from them.
- Network. You should network with the people you met during your interview. Send them a connection request on LinkedIn, or follow them on Twitter.
- Reflect. The waiting phase is the hardest. Be patient, it takes some time for companies to prepare an offer for you and get back to you. However, if you don’t hear from them in 2weeks, be free to send a follow-up email letting them know you are still excited about the role and waiting for the outcome of your interview.
When you do get a job through Vanhack, the immigration process with them is awesome because they have representatives to help make this processing easier for both you and your employer.
I hope you learned a thing or two from this article. Good luck with your job search.