I assume you are a fresher and looking to make a career in Software Testing .
Software Testing has seen a sea of change in the way it is looked upon as a career option. From the days Software Testing was a job of the under performers, it has evolved into a career of choice. People are opting for Software Testing as it has several advantages over the core development jobs in IT space. Firstly the job pressure in Software Testing is relatively low compared to the development jobs where client timelines are strict and completion of functionality is mandatory under unrealistic timelines. Testing is also bound by project timelines but they are mostly easier to achieve.
Secondly there are umpteen job openings in Software Testing. As software testing is not limited by the underlying technology, it increases the scope to almost any platform as the testing principles remain the basically the same.
Software testing requires creativity and imagination. A good software tester uses both these attributes to easily spot defects in software applications.
Unlike the common understanding that testing cycle begins at the end of development cycle, now-a-days testing begins with requirement gathering phase. Thus Testing is not just limited to a particular phase in the life cycle of an application development, but the entire span of the SDLC. This shows the importance being given to software testing where it has come out of being isolated to a phase in SDLC to the entire SDLC.
I guess by now some of you might be considering software testing as a career option or might have already closed this web page and happily surfing other web sites of interest. For those of you who are still reading on, as a fresher, one of the biggest challenges people face is bagging their first job. Now getting your first job is easier said than done. But then it is not next to impossible to get that first job. There a few things to be kept in mind while searching for your first job.
Most companies (even smaller ones) are already using digital databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. Guess what, if your resume doesn’t have the keywords related to the job you are applying for, you will be out even before the game starts.
1) Start early
Never wait for your UG/PG to get over before you start hunting for your RIGHT job. Once you finish your course, your clock starts ticking right away and if you are unable to bag a job in 2-3 months time, there a gap in your resume from when you finished your UG/PG till the time you get your first job. Companies usually look at gaps with a lot of distaste. HR generally jumps to the compulsion that the candidates with Gaps in their resume are people who are industry rejects and hence no good. Do not let gaps between your academic career and professional career show up.
2) Bargain for salary when you already have another job in hand to fall back to.
When you are looking for your first job, never bargain very hard for your first salary. Reason being, you might simply get rejected by the HR when it finds candidates willing to work for less and having equal skills as yours. Remember the freshers market is usually overloaded with more people then what the industry can absorb (for common skills). Keep in mind that your first job will give you the experience you need to get your dream job. Money will always follow later. Experience comes first.
3) Take care on Interview Basics.
It is very important to take care of simple interview basics. You would be surprised to see how many candidates ignore these basics and keep flunking the interviews with no idea why they got rejected. Here are some tips
i) Dress neatly. Always wear clean, ironed and professional dress. It is very important to look presentable in an interview.
ii) Never let any overpowering smell such as cigarette smell hamper your chances. It is never a sign of being macho to walk into an interview with cigarette smell lingering on. Avoid any strong perfumes either.
iii) Always keep an extra copy of your resume printed in good quality paper at hand. You might just need another copy at the interview table in case it does not get passed on from the HR.
iv) Your resume will speak about you before you can speak about yourself. Always make your resume professionally. Do not think that you will speak who you are in the interview. You will never reach the interview table if your resume does not speak about you first.
v) Make sure to include all technical skills you have learnt. Most HR search the resumes using keywords such as QTP or QC or LoadRunner etc. If these keywords are missing from your resume and you are applying for a Software Testing Job, chances are your resume will never get picked.
vi) Never be late for your interview. You might be right in thinking that you will have to wait in the waiting lobby for half a day before you reach the interview table, but coming late hurts the HR ego and you get rejected before you get a chance to reach the interview table. Moreover in case of a walk-in interview, if the HR finds enough candidates before you walk in, you might never reach the interview table. It does not hurt to be early but it might hurt to be late.
4) Remain Confident. Never show you weak side in an interview. Speak confidently and never let the interviewer know that you have butterflies in your stomach. Everyone wants a confident person in his/her team rather than a person who looks for help and support everytime.
5) A good interviewer is always able to manipulate question areas of his/her strengths. Whenever you get a chance, speak on areas of your strengths. There is a good chance that the interviewer will ask you questions on the same topic.
Last of all, never loose hope. Keep trying and success will surely come your way. As is generally said ‘A battle is first lost in mind before it is lost on the battlefield’. So never loose hope and no one can stop you from getting what you want.