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To preface this, I decided to ask this here since this isn't exactly related to software engineering, but rather to the process of applying to remote software engineer jobs. To be more precise, I am applying to remote machine learning engineering jobs or related jobs (such as data scientist)

I have already done / am doing the following things:

  • side projects which I display on my personal website
  • clear, well-organized CV with clear bullet points and job descriptions which detail the technologies I worked with
  • I always include a cover letter

What else can I do to make myself stand out (positively) from other candidates for a remote software engineer job? I would really appreciate feedback from recruiters.

4 Answers 4

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What else can I do to make myself stand out (positively) from other candidates for a remote software engineer job?

  • Prepare and practice answers to the questions that will be asked for the role you are seeking.
  • Make sure you can thoroughly reassure every interviewer by your words, manner, and past work that you can be trusted to work hard and succeed remotely by yourself, without any direct supervision, and why.
  • Thoroughly review your presence revealed by an internet search. If necessary, scrub it.
  • Have a good friend look through all your job application and interview materials and give you brutally honest feedback. Based on that feedback, fix what needs fixing.
  • Learn what you are worth on the market so you can negotiate correctly.
  • Learn and understand as much as you can about each potential employer as well as the job they are attempting to fill.
  • Refresh your personal and professional network. Make sure you know who will give you a terrific, relevant reference check. And make sure they know you might ask for one soon.
  • Be rested, calm, and thoroughly prepared prior to each interview.
  • Make sure all video interviews take place in a quiet, well-lit room, with a non-distracting background, with sufficient bandwidth, good video, and great audio. Be clean, neat, and well-groomed.
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  • Almost all of this assumes OP already got to the interview stage. Just from reading the question I don't know whether OP got that far or whether so far their written applications seem to be mostly ignored or rejected.
    – quarague
    Feb 5, 2023 at 15:29
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Network.

As the old saying goes, it's not what you know that counts, it's who you know. Professional networking is a key factor to finding jobs. Add all the coworkers you had friendly relationships with at previous jobs to your LinkedIn, and when you apply to jobs with their new organisation, include them as a reference.

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  1. LinkedIn

Try to create a LinkedIn profile and add your photo profile there, which makes it easy for you to network. Many recruiters search for candidates on LinkedIn and contact the candidates first.

  1. GitHub

Post your side projects here publicly so that the recruiters and hiring managers can view or download if they wish.

  1. Demo videos or visualization of your projects

Additionally, maybe, you can try create some demo videos on YouTube or similar video platforms where you may show interesting visualizations or animations of data processing and machine learning projects.

  1. References to resume and LinkedIn

Try to add good references from your former managers and reputable coworkers. Add them your resume. Furthermore, if possible, ask your managers and coworkers to wrote good references directly to LinkedIn, which makes it easier for recruiters to view.

  1. Awards and recognitions to resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn

Make sure to highlight and add all the awards and recognitions that you have earned from college if applicable, and more importantly at your current and previous companies to both your resume and LinkedIn. Also, highlight the responsibility and success that you have such as:

  • I lead an organization of 20 engineers.
  • My projects generate the revenues of about $XYZ per year.
  • My GitHub projects were downloaded more than 200,00 times.
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In terms of what you've written - assuming you are highly skilled and the projects on your website are successful, the only thing that you could perhaps add - would be to mention what you are doing with the time saved from not commuting.

Are you doing some DIY project in your home? Perhaps some volunteering for a cause you are passionate about? Spending more quality time with your kids?

If I have two candidates who are remote only (and let's say both used to commute approx. 1 hour each way) and one candidate tells me that he's put the extra 10 hours a week to some good use - whether it's Hobbies, Family, Community, Personal improvement - whatever - and the other candidate doesn't. I'm more likely to find that candidate a more appealing prospect.

Show me that you aren't just sitting on your couch binging Netflix (not that there's anything wrong with that every now and again) and that would be a factor to differentiate yourself from others.

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