Tips on Applying to CodeHS
I’ve read a lot of job applications now, I think many thousands at this point as we have worked on CodeHS. I am not a hiring or HR expert but have a few tips that could help if you are someone who is interested in applying to work with us at CodeHS.
Here’s a few things to consider as you put together your job application and resume. These are tips from my own experience, but I imagine many of these tips will be helpful in your general job search as well!
Lots of applications — how to stand out?
Even at a small company like ours we receive lots of applications, many times over 100 for a position. We don’t have a large hiring team, so making sure you use the space to stand out is key.
No typos on applications
Make sure to double check and edit your application for typos. Having typos stands out. It sends the message you didn’t take time to review this. (Please disregard ironic typos in this blog post.)
Make sure to get the company name right
I’ve seen a number of applications where someone copied their generic application or an application to another company but forgot to change the company name in one spot or in general. This comes down to editing — make sure the right applications go to the right companies.
No generic applications
A tough part of the job application process is you need to spend a lot of time applying to many companies. However, using a generic application is not the best way to go. It stands out a lot that this was generic and used for many companies, and indicates you weren’t interested enough in this company to customize the application.
Strong writing skills
The first impression that we use to decide if someone gets an interview is from their application form and resume. What really stands out is strong writing skills and the ability to be clear and concise.
Be concise and clear
Longer is not better in a cover letter or a free response form. In many cases, longer can be worse. If it’s looking for a paragraph, then a one sentence answer isn’t great, but how can you get your point across very clearly and succinctly?
Learn About the Company and Role and Use That Information
Research the company first
Most companies will have a lot of publicly available information. You can research the company and see what the company is like and read their publicly available information, social media, marketing materials. It’s very clear from applications people who have done their research on our company. For example in the future, if you do a few minutes of googling you may stumble upon this post.
Tailor your application to the company
As a follow on to researching the company, this gives a good idea of what kind of application you may want to put together. Is it a large company? Is it a small startup? Is it very formal? Is it more casual? You can use this information to help inform your application.
Try out the product
With a company like ours, you can easily sign up for the site for free and explore it, and that again is another indicator of interest and shows you have done your research. It’s also something you can refer to in an interview.
Make sure to read the job application
Make sure to actually read the role you are applying for and be sure that is the role you want and understand the job responsibilities.
1 Page Resumes
I prefer 1 page resumes. I think this comes back to the point of being clear and concise, and again, we have lots of applications so it is helpful if you can communicate succinctly. There may be very good reasons to add more information or include a longer application, however, it may make sense to include or focus on the most relevant parts. If you have a lot more that you want to say about your resume, that could live somewhere else, and also that is information you may get into in an interview.
Clean Resume Design
Here I think mostly the resume design is not an issue. There are lots of nice templates out there to use to get a nicely designed resume. If you are a particularly good designer, this is a chance to make your resume stand out. The only thing not to do is to have a resume that looks particularly disorganized.
If you have a LinkedIn profile or are using that in an application, make sure it is filled out, and broadly matches your resume. Again it may have more things in different places but it shouldn’t tell a totally different story.
So those are a few hiring tips from my experience. Hopefully this will help if you decide to apply to CodeHS or to another position at a different company in the future!