As a company that thrives on innovation, we’re on the constant lookout for talent. With a growing number of applications to review, we have some valuable insights into what makes a candidate stand out.
Infinite Lambda’s recruitment team has comprised a list of tips to help you get a dream job in data. These recommendations can be used by both junior and experienced candidates that wish to improve their chances of getting hired.
Read the job description carefully
The first step in the application process is actually making sure that you’re applying for the right job. Many people only browse by job title only and apply for anything that sounds like a match. Instead, read through the requirements carefully and make sure you actually qualify for the job.
If you really like the company, you can regularly go through the openings and wait for a suitable one instead of applying for a position you’re not qualified for and getting rejected right away.
If you scroll down to the requirements and ignore everything else, you still miss important information. This includes the projects you will be involved in, the working hours, the development opportunities and the company culture itself.
The job description will also help you build a CV that stands out and clearly shows that you’re the right person for the role.
Create a solid CV
Your CV is tasked with getting you noticed and showcasing your skills. You should present your knowledge and experience in an accessible way. A good CV is concise, well organised and easy to read. Here are some practical tips on creating yours:
- Update the information
Мake sure that your CV includes your recent experience and all of the trainings you have completed. The world of tech is constantly changing, so you should demonstrate that you are able to keep up.
- Use the right format
It is strongly suggested that you save your curriculum vitae as PDF to ensure that the content will always be displayed the way you want it to. Other formats, such as docx, are a nightmare for recruiters with an avalanche of missing fonts, misplaced images and blank pages.
Go through the job description and look for format requirements. If the company doesn’t specify otherwise, always opt for PDF.
With companies operating in several markets and hiring internationally, your application should be in the language of the job description unless explicitly required.
International companies might have a central recruitment team in charge of reviewing all applications. This means that if your application is in your native tongue, you will get automatically rejected as there would be nobody to review it.
- Address CV gaps
CV gaps can be tricky and you should address them by providing context and explanation if appropriate. A few months of unemployment are understandable and hardly anyone would question them but when it comes to over a year, recruiters will notice and wonder about your reasons.
Gaps in your curriculum vitae can be due to either being unemployed or working a job that is not related to the field you are applying in. If you have stopped working to take a parental leave or tend to personal matters, you can safely say so in your CV. On the other hand, opting for a job you are overqualified for can be offset by mentioning the courses you have taken in the meantime to stay relevant in your field, which shows perseverance.
Don’t forget to include the city or at least the country where you are currently based. In most cases, jobs are open to candidates in specific locations, even if they can be performed remotely.
Recruiters need to know your location for purely practical reasons, such as the type of contract they can offer you depending on the country. For example, at Infinite Lambda, we have permanent employees in the UK, Bulgaria, Hungry, Vietnam and Slovakia but only contractors in France, the Czech Republic and Romania.
Visa sponsorship is also crucial with many companies not being willing or able to offer it. Brexit has further complicated the selection process in the United Kingdom, making it increasingly difficult for companies to find the right candidates.
Finally, time zones are also an important factor. Speaking from experience, Infinite Lambda has teams in several countries already, seven of which are in Europe and one is in Southeast Asia. All of our employees work local hours unless they choose otherwise. This means that teammates might have a time difference of 7 hours that we need to take into account.
To sum up, your location is not the basis for discrimination or random disclosure of personal information. Instead, it helps companies make sure that they can employ and onboard you successfully.
- How to showcase your experience
The experience section should be focused and easy to navigate. Here are a few tips:
- Use a timeline
Always start with your most recent position and work your way backwards, giving the year and month you have started and stopped working at each company.
- Mention the tools you have used
Experience is valuable when it is based on what you can do and not only on how long you have been doing it. List the tech stack for each of your positions to illustrate your expertise. This point goes right back to reading the description because your curriculum vitae should demonstrate that you are familiar with the specific tools that the job requires. This means that you need to tailor this section to each place you apply to, however the effort is justified because it shows your application is worth proceeding with.
- Keep it short
Describe your responsibilities briefly and be specific about scope, the number of people you have managed and the industry. There is no need to list projects and elaborate on each of them.
- Use a timeline
Add a cover letter
Cover letters are not required for engineering positions. However, they can work as an introduction that recruiters remember and help you stand out. It is a good idea to attach the cover letter to the CV, so they do not get separated since they are intended to be reviewed together.
Listed engineering openings
Although it might be time-consuming to create a cover letter, it’s always worth adding one. First, it introduces you to the company and shows that you are willing to put in the effort. Second, it allows you to explain why you are a good fit taking the descriptive language out of your CV.
If you are submitting a spontaneous application, including a cover letter is mandatory. It helps employers see your strengths and makes it clear what role you are interested in.
Recruiters cannot decide what position applicants should be employed at, so if you submit a spontaneous application, make sure to tailor it carefully to a specific role and explain how your experience and qualifications relate to it.
Mind your communication skills
Always keep in mind that the application process is not automatic and it involves communication with real people. This means that you should be friendly and polite and act as if you communicate in person.
Email and greeting
Even if you skip the cover letter, you should always add a greeting and introduce yourself. Recruitment platforms always have a field you can use and if you apply via the employer’s website, you can use the cover letter field to say a few words.
This way, you make sure that the recruiter does not get a blank email with a file attached to it and we all know how awkward these are.
Enthusiasm and ambition
The aim of technical screenings and interviews is not simply to check if you have the necessary skill set. Employers need to make sure you are passionate about what you do and enjoy your work. Showing enthusiasm and sharing your ambitions is appreciated because it implies long-term commitment.
Another reason employers want to see that you care is because the world of data and technology is extremely dynamic. This means that they expect you to update your skills set and need to know if you are passionate about learning. This is the only way both you and the company can stay relevant.
In the case of Infinite Lambda, the tech we use is fairly new. We do not expect applicants to be familiar with all of the tools we use. However, we look for enthusiastic people with a knack for innovation who will enjoy acquiring new skills.
Let’s sum up
In order to be a successful applicant, you need to make sure you are applying for the right job, have a good CV and be open and polite in your communication.
Remember that a rejection should not stop you from trying again when you have improved your skills. Even if you do not get the job, be polite and take the feedback seriously, so you can apply again in a few months.
Infinite Lambda is actively hiring in several countries. Head to our Careers page and check out the openings.
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