8 Job Hunting Tips For Computer Science Students From Lending Club CTO

Posted April 25, 2013 by
John MacIlwaine

John MacIlwaine, CTO of Lending Club

Spring break is over, and now it’s time for this year’s graduating seniors to get serious about job hunting. Lending Club CTO John MacIlwaine, who’s spent decades in finance and technology companies including Morgan Stanley and Visa, has some recommendations for computer science students looking for their first engineering jobs this summer.

Here are some of John’s tips for landing a great entry-level job:

  1. Show passion– knowledge and skills are important, but the young developers who really stand out are the ones who have an innate curiosity and a passion for tech—the ones building an iPhone app or contributing to an open source repository in their spare time.
  2. Security’s paramount – Information security is more important than ever, so it’s an important skill to have at the ready. If you know how to keep your company safe, you’ll be a valuable asset.
  3. Think big – Big data is huge, and if you know how to handle it you’ll be a step ahead. Familiarize yourself with Hadoop and impress your interviewers with specific examples about how you’ve used big data.
  4. Scale it – Scalability is a huge issue for fast-growing companies. If you can point to ways you’ve addressed scalability challenges in the past, you’ll be a great find for a start-up that’s trying to manage rapid growth.
  5. Be Agile – Agile/scrum methodology is essential in today’s fast-moving workplaces. You’ll be a step ahead if you’re familiar with the process and culture and know how to work smoothly in it.
  6. Mobilize – It’s no secret that smartphones and tablets have taken over the world. Virtually every company needs skilled mobile developers these days, so you can set yourself apart by having some great mobile know-how in your portfolio.
  7. Get specific – When you’re writing your resume, focus on specific accomplishments rather than the latest buzzwords. Tell us exactly how you contributed on a given project, what you specifically did that made a difference, and what the outcome was.
  8. Know thyself – Think about what you want to accomplish in the next year, and what will get you there. Is it a company where you can do lots of different things, or one where you can specialize in something like mobile or big data? A small organization, where you can have a major impact right away, or a big one where you’ll have more room to grow?
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