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✅ Preparing for your job search

Before you begin applying to job listings, there are important steps you need to take to set yourself up for success in your job search.

Understand what the job search entails

The job search process requires focused time and effort from you as the developer. There are applications to fill out and submit, interviews to prepare for and attend, technical assessments to complete and present, and difficult decisions to work through.

On the OfferZen platform, we’ve found 66% of developers accept a job offer within a month of connecting with a company. This doesn’t include the time spent preparing your physical portfolio (CV, cover letter, website etc.), applying to companies if you’re reaching out directly, or setting yourself up to reach the goals of your job search.

You need to be able to set time aside for interviews, assessments and possibly office visits, keeping in mind that your job search can take several months.

Set your job search goals/priorities

Setting goals is essential to give your job search focus, as it’ll enable you to track your progress and hold yourself accountable. If you’re changing jobs, setting goals will make it more likely that you move into a job that addresses why you’re leaving your current position. It will help ensure you find the right fit for you and avoid entering the job search market again soon after leaving it.

In setting your goals, consider the following:

Salary benchmarking

What is important to you in your job

  • Decide on your ideal industries, responsibilities and role in the company.
  • The kind of technologies and tools you want to work with.
  • Determine the benefits you want.
  • Establish the kind of growth you’re looking for in the next 2 years or more.
  • Think about what kind of culture you would thrive in.
  • Consider if you want to commute or work remotely and what this means for your location priorities.
  • Understand what will make a job meaningful for you.
  • If you want to relocate, understand what this will look like and how your dependents feel about it if you have any. If it’s international, you’ll need to find out if you require a work permit.
More resources
  • If you'd like a list of companies currently hiring in the Netherlands, see here.
  • If you'd like a list of companies currently hiring in Germany, see here.

The current hiring market

It’s important to remember you’re interviewing against other candidates. Be sure to set realistic goals so that you are not taking yourself out of the running for exciting opportunities. It’s better to consistently work towards your long-term career goals and be adaptable in your short-term goals than not to do so at all.

Using a goal-setting framework

You may benefit from approaching this process with the use of an already existing framework, such as the SWOT analysis or creating personal OKRs.

Decide on what job search approach suits you best

There are different approaches out there, such as applying directly to job applications, working with recruiters, referrals or job search marketplaces like OfferZen.

You definitely don’t need to stick to one, but you may find some suit you better than others.