Skip to Content
Personal Insights
Author's profile photo Karen Woodward

What do recruiters look for when hiring a developer?

Software development employment is expected in increase 24% between 2016 and 2026 – faster than any other occupation – as the demand for computer software rises. About 164k software developer jobs are posted every month. How will you stand out?

What do recruiters look for when hiring a developer?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions on the Life at SAP social channels, so we talked to one of our recruiters to get the answers.

Experience and Education

When looking to fill a more senior role, recruiters will look for people who have experience working at a well-established company that would have a similar tech stack (programming languages and tools).  The reason for this is simple – they know that these people are capable of doing the job, because they’re doing it at a similar level in a comparable big environment.

Junior candidates don’t often have the work experience, so recruiters look at their education or project experience. Recruiters will look at candidates with a master’s or bachelor’s degree at a top university such as Stanford in the US or the University of Oxford in the UK. Equally important to education is experience working on a project that demonstrates knowledge and skills the recruiter is looking for. So, make sure your resume makes it clear what projects you have worked on and what you did on those projects!

Due Diligence

In a competitive job market, you want to stand out, so make it clear to the recruiter why he or she should hire you. This means that you need to do your due diligence and research the company you’re applying to and the job you are applying for. Tailor your resume and cover letter to demonstrate why you are a perfect fit for this specific job. Go on LinkedIn and figure out who the manager is for the job. Reach out and ask them a question! Demonstrating a dedication to a job search typically indicates a dedication to the actual job.

Soft Skills

“Soft skills” such as patience, empathy, and listening are very important in a working environment. Communication skills are especially important at the interview level, but can also be demonstrated via a cover letter, where you can show your personality and curiosity. On a senior level, recruiters will look at whether a candidate has ever led a team, and thus had an opportunity to develop and demonstrate soft skills and accountability. Experience as a leader is also very important, because it shows that you have experience communicating with and managing a team of people.

Proactive Candidates

Don’t just apply and hope a recruiter gets back to you. Get out there! Visit the SAP social channels, go to networking events and hacker events. Introduce yourself. Anything that will put a face to a name and a personality will help set you apart so that recruiters remember you.

To sum up: do your homework, tailor your resume and cover letter, work on your soft skills, and get out there! Good luck!

Special thanks to recruiter Maxx Snow for letting me ask him a ton of questions!

Assigned Tags

      1 Comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      Great blog, I would add that it is nice to have a good internet presence.  Good meaning you are blogging about interesting topics, you are answering questions, you have a project in github.  A lot of managers (recruiters) will search for your name.  So remember what you write lives in the web forever.

      I've seen several blogs about build your own brand.

      My most recent job, my manager said he did look at what I have written.  However, as with everything, if you don't like to do it.  Don't do it.  It will show.