Revisiting The Basics

This is the least-value of the entire guide, because these things have been covered time and time again in other blogs, videos, skywriting, postcards, movies, and ancient texts. These are the basics. I hesitate to include them here because they seem elementary. You would be surprised at how often job seekers make mistakes here, so I’m including them anyway.

The Resume

A resume is a piece of paper intended to get you to an interview. That’s all it is. There are obscure rules about resumes, but the biggest things for junior engineers is:

  • 📄 only one page
  • 🎨 don’t get too creative with the format
  • 📈 use specifics (“I improved performance” vs. “I improved performance by 120%”)
  • 💃 focus on outcomes (“I wrote a note taking app” vs. “I wrote a note taking app that saved users 10 minutes on average per day”)
  • 🙏 ask for feedback from people who have software engineering jobs
  • ❓ make a post asking for feedback from LinkedIn users
  • ➡️ don’t get too hung up on the resume, it’s only intended to get you to the next step


If you are fortunate enough to land an interview, there’s some easy advice to follow before you actually start talking with anyone:

  • 👔 wear something nice – button down dress shirt, slacks or nice jeans, clean sneakers is probably par for the course, but when in doubt dress up rather than dress down
  • 👚 ask your mother, father, significant other, sibling, etc. about your attire and beg them to be honest
  • 🚿 get a shower and put on deoderant
  • 💇 get a haircut and trim facial hair
  • 🏢 research the company as much as possible (snoop on Wikipedia and their website)
  • 🔎 research the interviewer as much as possible (snoop on LinkedIn)


There are typically more than one round of interviews to land a junior software engineering role. Yet, each one follows the same rules of conduct for the most part:

  • 🕑 show up on time
  • ⌚ on time is 5 minutes early
  • 😇 be honest
  • 🤓 be interested
  • 📖 be prepared to tell compelling stories with a beginning, middle, and end
    • why you are in software engineering
    • why you applied to this particular position
    • why you believe yourself qualified to do this job
    • why you want to work for this company
    • a time you started, worked through, and finished a project
    • a time you faced and overcame a challenge
    • a time you dealt with a difficult co-worker
  • 🙄 get ready to explain how a weakness you have is actually a strength