Few of my students and readers of this blog asked me to write on how to apply for software testing jobs?
These questions reminded me of the days long back when i looked for answers to get a job. And none of my answers (self found) helped me then to get a job in IT industry apart from relentless job search.
Points i discuss in this post today are learned from over 10+ years of experience. I honestly hope these pointers would help you in knowing (understanding) ways to apply for a job.
It’s a sad to know that nowadays Software Testing training institutes attract students by offering job guarantee programs. But post training, most of the students are still without job and their job search gets much more difficult thanks to the kind of training given. Institutes offer training from interview perspective only. The fun element is never present in such training. A student only learns what is essential to get a job. As a result, real essence of testing is missing. And you start feeling, Automation is replacing Manual jobs. So you end up doing another course to learn automation.
While i was searching for a job after my graduation, I miserably failed in almost every interview. My limited knowledge of testing kept me away from building confidence. I did not learn software testing from any institute but later attended BBST course.
Somehow I joined Satyam as a QA analyst but soon moved away from being QA to become a Programmer Manager as I knew my limited Testing knowledge. Later I realized, if I had learned the soul of Testing, I wouldn’t have moved away from my QA role.
Anyways, I would like to share few guidelines that may work for you during your job hunt.
Guidelines that may help you to get selected for Software Testing interview
Understand the job requirement before applying
Do you read job posting?
Many candidate(s) simply keep applying for every job posting in desperation without understanding the requirement. I get so many resume of freshers. Have you seen any job requirement on Mindhunters? Still people keep applying for QA jobs. Being a fresher, you want a job at the earliest but applying without understanding the job requirement is like banging your head against the wall. So better read the requirement and understand it fully before applying.
Are you the Right Candidate for the Job
Another important point is once you have read the requirement, do you think you are a suitable candidate to get this job? if the answer is yes then you have to convince the recruiter both on paper (Resume) and in verbal communication.
Do not apply for jobs above your expertise (skills) or experience. A fresher applying for job that has requirement for 2-3 years of experiences is wasting everyone’s time. Chances of getting your Resume rejected in such a case are extremely high.
Don’t fake your testing experience
Have you mentioned projects that you never worked on as a QA?
If so then its good idea to remove them now else interviewer will catch and grill you off limits. You are actually minimizing your chances of getting selected for the job.
Reality of software testing industry is they expect testing experience. Freshers fake their experience just to get a job. But this has its own side-effects. MNCs nowdays are vigilant enough to do a thorough bg check of the candidate before selecting him / her for the job. Trust me, you do not want to land yourself in trouble for faking in your resume. So better avoid it.
Maximize your chances of getting selected
This is one of the most important thing one should work on. If you ask yourself, you will come up with innovative ideas. Ideas that can help you to get noticed in crowd. You need to advertise yourself uniquely. One way to maximize chances of getting selected is to present yourself with “Can do” attitude. Keep your resume short and simple. Do not mention stuff that you are yourself not confident discussing with the interviewer. But do mention about Tools that you know / learned / worked on (through training or self learning).
Keep your Resume short and simple
Make sure sentences are grammatically correct
Do not lie in your Resume
Discuss Training(s) / Projects / Tools / languages you worked on
Mention Blogs (if any) / hobbies / interests
Maybe, add your photo to grab attention.
What else you can do to get noticed?
First thing first, you have to practice testing. Yes you heard me. Without practice you can not build your confidence as well as your experience. I personally believe that experience is not necessarily gained by working in a company only. Practice is platform independent. if you have the right attitude and tools (mind is the greatest tool), you just need to start practicing.
You pick up anything and start thinking like a QA. If you see any object(s) near you then ask yourself how to test it? What should be the quality criteria? And you will be amazed with your own ability. So just think and start practicing.
Practicing of testing also includes writing clear, simple and easy to understand bug reports. You must practice bug reporting.
May be attaching few good bug reports along with your resume may grab interviewers attention. Keep it simple. Avoid complex bug reports because no one has time to go through all of it. So you have to think and work hard to get excellent bug reports that would fetch someone’s attention. You need to be smarter than rest of the applicants.
Learn latest trends
You know the basic architecture of a software. You know the limitations of programming language(s) and computers. But human mind is limitless. A human can use a software in unthinkable / unimaginable ways. So, nowadays, businesses are coming up with better user experiences to attract customers. Hence the need of the hour is to build software(s) that users can use efficiently and effectively.
Now user experience is nothing but the quality criteria called “Usability“. Only tester and end user can find out usability bugs. So here is an opportunity to learn new trend called user experience as companies are now asking for Usability testers. They are looking for a candidate who understand and know how user uses (can use) software or what can be done to improve usability of the software.
Hence pick any trend, learn it, understand it, work on it to gain experience and present it in your resume.
Help & Support any open source community projects
Plenty of open source projects are available for download. I personally practiced testing on open source projects for almost two years. My complete focus was on testing because I was fascinated by it. I wanted to enhance my skills and open source helped me to do so. One can test applications without any worries. Actually I enjoyed testing on open source projects. They are perfect for freshers to test.
I think instead of telling you worked on live project provided by training institutes, its good if you really showcase your open source project’s testing work.
Many institutes provide live projects as dummy projects. It does not contain actual working flow. I was amazed to see how few institutes fool students by providing simple plain HTML pages. Please understand dummy projects are not live. if you are looking for a live project then pick any application which you use on daily basis. For example Facebook, Instagram or Amazon. These are live applications. Your testing done on these applications can add value in your Resume rather than mentioning about testing on dummy applications. It’s of no interest to anyone.
Help your Friend / Colleague
One of my friend was developing website for his first client. He was a one man army of developers. I was curious to know how he is developing the site. He briefed me about the web application.
One day he mentioned that his client is facing a bug that he is not able to reproduce. I asked him if I can help him with that. He gave me entire website to test and soon i found the bug and how to reproduce it. He was happy. It was a win win situation for both of us as he can fix the bug and i learned and enhanced my testing skills.
The point here is not to encourage you to start providing free service but if you get such opportunities then grab them. You will learn a lot in free service. You not only help someone but also gain experience. And you can now definitely showcase such experiences in your resume. If possible, point out the website or application location in your resume. It will easy for interviewer to cross check the project.
Write testing blog
In 2011 when I decided to learn testing. First thing I did, I created blog on wordpress. Because I wanted to reflect my thoughts about concepts learned, i took to writing.
Actually writing helped me to get more clarity and understanding of topics. It also helped me in many ways like interacting with other testers, learning different view points and getting deeper insights. Plus, You never know, someone might be motivated through your blog.
Definitely you can mention your blog details in your resume. This will surely impress interviewer.
So I think these pointers would help you in some way to get your dream job.
And the most important thing is PRACTICE. Learn, try, fail, learn again, try again, Success. Remember, failure is the sign that you will soon get success. So keep applying for suitable testing jobs till you get your dream job.
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