So you’ve built your resume, put time into a portfolio, contributed to GitHub, and polished your LinkedIn. After you send in your application, who sees it, and what are they looking for?
Someone from Human Resources will be the first person who sees your application if the company has an HR department. These folk help with benefits, personal development, hiring, termination, and policies in all of these areas.
Now, when they see your resume they don’t know what the job is. They see resumes for every kind of job come across their desk. They can’t know the details of everyone’s job. What they can do is screen your resume to see how well it matches the job posting.
Human resources will separate the really bad resumes from the ones who might fit. To get into the pile that gets handed to the next person, keep your resume well-formatted, without mistakes, and matching the job posting.
Next is the hiring manager. Now this person will typically be a manager over software development teams. They will see all the material that HR passes along. The hiring manager is the first real person that’ll give your material a thorough look.
I generally assume that the hiring manager will be the one who looks at a profile, GitHub, or any of those other goodies as well as your resume. When they look, they want to see what you’re capable of and decide if you’d be a good fit.
They may only spend a few minutes to make this call, but if they say yes, more than likely, you’ll get a call.
These folk are your future peers. Typically more senior in the company, but peer developers nonetheless. These folk will see your material in advance of the interview, but not by a huge amount.
Most of the time they will see your information only a few hours beforehand. They’ll make quick notes on things to follow up on in the interview. If they get more time, they may dig into your code, sneak behind the scenes in your portfolio, and so on.
This person you want to see information and ask questions that you’re prepared for. Imagine your resume having this bullet point that piques their interest, and you have a story ready to go for it that blows their mind.
Towards the end of the process, you’ll likely meet someone from more senior leadership. These folk will see your material, but generally trust the others to vet you before they look.
These folk want to know if you’re a good fit for the company and where it will go in the future. How they do that or think through it is unique to each company and leader. Typically by the time that they get involved, the choice to interview you has been made. At this point, your material will be something they look through to see what stands out.
All the material you submit when you apply will cross the desks of many different people in the process of getting hired. Write to impress each of them. Plant seeds with your resume and other materials so that you can harvest the best fruit in the interview by having an incredible story lined up.