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Here Are the 5 Key Skills Hiring Managers Look for in a Developer

Smiling software developerIf you’re a contractor in development, you already know that competition is high in your profession.  In fact, “Software Developer” is the second most clicked IT job title on Indeed. What’s the best way to get ahead of your competition?  Know exactly what your client wants, and show them that you are better at it.

In a recent article from Inc., John Rampton explained to hiring managers what skills they need to look for in order to find the best developers.  By understanding these top five priorities, you can better frame your resume, cover letter, and interview responses and position yourself above the other applicants.

Language-Specific Skills

Obviously, a specific project requires specific coding skills, and clients will be seeking to make sure you have the necessary knowledge and experience in that language. Rampton also points out, though, that languages can be learned and encourages hiring managers to investigate professionals who have the ability to expand their skills quickly and easily. You should only apply to jobs where you are fluent in the primary code being used, but if you’re currently enhancing a language or are willing to commit more time to perfecting one that would contribute to the project, be sure to let the client know.

Passion for Coding

Some of the best programmers live and breathe IT.  Clients like to know that their contractor isn’t just doing their job, but are living their passion.  Point out any apps or websites you’ve built in your free time, memberships you have to industry associations, or even some of your passions that relate to the client’s industry.

Problem-Solving Ability

Rampton highlights problem-solving as an important skillset, but also admits that it’s difficult to determine during an interview process.  Consider this an opportunity in your resume to give great examples of problems you have solved in the past.  Remember to explain your process and the outcome.  With any luck, this may help you avoid awkward problem-solving trivia questions during an interview because the client will already have checked Problem-Solving Ability off their list.

Communication

As the article says: “Developers can spend a great deal of time seated in front of a computer, analyzing and creating code. However, the ability to interact with team members and communicate with supervisors is essential to ensuring your projects progress smoothly.” From the second you submit your resume to the end of the interview process, you’re proving that you have these abilities.

Dependability

The best way a hiring manager will judge your dependability is to look at the past and call references. Since you can’t change your past, it’s crucial that you always think of the future while working in the present.  Create great references by always being dependable and this skill will be a no-brainer for future hiring managers.

You may notice that most of these skills, especially the final two, can relate to practically any job and there’s a high probability that hiring managers are looking for these in all contractors.  Regardless of your specialty, take a look at the above points.  Is there anywhere you can improve?

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