Every year during Pride month, many companies routinely change their logo to rainbow colours. 

But are some companies making false promises and simply ‘Rainbow washing’?

Rainbow washing is ‘the act of using or adding rainbow colours and/or imagery to advertising, apparel, accessories, landmarks, etc. in order to show progressive support for LGBTQ equality (and earn consumer credibility) - but with a minimum of effort or pragmatic result.’ (Source)

At the very least, a work environment should allow your LGBTQ+ colleagues to be open and feel comfortable doing so, without fear of judgement or discrimination.

So we sat down with our teammates, who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, to have an open conversation about their experiences and their advice around creating a supportive work environment.

Here’s what they had to say:

CHARLES DAVIS - Product Talent Scout

Pride month is more than a celebration of the past and what we’ve achieved, it’s about looking into the future and seeing what still needs to change. It's about inclusivity and communities coming together. It should be something that’s constantly evolving and adapting, so people need to continue to educate themselves.

So Pride is an important thing to do and have, but the support shouldn’t have a time slot. It’s common for companies to focus on inclusivity for a certain group of people for a period of time (i.e. pride month or black history month). After that time’s up, the support dies out, nothing comes of it and no changes are made. We need to break this cycle. 

Everyone needs to learn to disconnect a person and their sexuality. It’s not an identifier. A person's sexuality has nothing to do with how good they are at a job and if that person is having their sexuality targeted, is your duty of care to speak up. Not because it's a professional environment, but because nobody should be judged on something that has nothing to do with anything else.

DANIELLE MOORE - Design talent Consultant

35% of LGBTQ+ workforce have hidden or disguised that they are apart of the community at work because they were afraid of discrimination. (Source)

I can relate. I only came out (to everyone) at work 3 years ago for that exact reason.

In my opinion, the change has to start at the top. DE&I is so important, but how can you have an inclusive hiring environment and make decisions to support the LGBTQ+ community, if you have no one from this community advising you? These open conversations are important BUT don't just leave it up to your LGBTQ+ employees to educate you, be proactive. 

It would be amazing to see more people from the community on senior leadership teams or advisory teams to have an input on companies' hiring strategies or company policies. But most importantly seeing someone in a company at this level will inspire people and they’ll have a mentor.

It’s great hosting speakers & showing support during LGBTQ+ history month and proud month, but there’s more to being an ally than just showing your support on social media. Leaders need to ‌filter inclusivity down to create an environment where people feel safe and comfortable being themselves. I’m very lucky to be in a working environment where my colleagues see me and are proactive throughout the year to understand how they show support as an ally.

AMY HOLLINGSWORTH - Design talent Consultant

I used to be terrified about coming out. I worried people would think of me differently and it’d be harder to succeed in a workplace. 

But now, I think the complete opposite. I am so comfortable being gay. I see it as my superpower. Today, being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is classed as being diverse, and for now diversity is my superpower - But I hope one day soon it won’t be because it’ll be so ordinary.

I think it really makes a difference in my work life too. Because I am so open about my sexuality, I feel I’m able to develop stronger relationships with people. I’ve had people open up to me about the LGBTQ+ community, their daily struggles and mental health issues - which they might not have done if they hadn’t known I was gay. 

So, hiring a diverse team is really important. I work in a company alongside others in the community and it has definitely helped to have the additional support and advice from someone who can relate to you. 
Make sure you have training sessions on inclusivity and LGBTQ+ specific workshops throughout they year, not just during the Pride month. This is also a great way to raise awareness. For example, earlier this year, Few&Far booked a LGBTQ+ speaker, Andreena Leeanne, to come in and share her experience of coming out and how to be more aware of it. She was so passionate and her story was really interesting. Hearing others' experiences and having these open conversations is a great way for people (whether you’re a part of the community or not) to be more empathetic.

MICHAEL HAYDEN - Design Talent Consultant

It’s frustrating when companies use being inclusive as a USP. That’s something that should just be there, regardless. You shouldn't have to win it. They should focus on creating space for open communication.

In my past work experiences, I’ve been concerned about fitting in. I’d make a real conscious effort to make them think I was straight, and it’s tiring to pretend to be someone you’re not. You almost live in fear of being called out. 

Of course, you may not know someone feels this way, but that's why constant effort to make a safe environment is key. So a self-aware leader can make a huge difference. Something as simple as not showing favouritism or gravitating towards a certain type of person, as this can isolate others and put pressure on them to fit in. Instead, interact with everyone in the office, show equal interest and appreciate what makes people unique.

Having a ‘buddy’ system and a person you can talk to can help. I’ll always remember a colleague of mine, Luke. He was one of the first people I came out to in a work environment because he was open-minded, showed a genuine interest in me and would ask questions to learn about the gay community. He was really supportive and always said he was there if I needed someone to talk to, instead of always shutting with his views. It made work a lot easier for me, knowing that I always had that one person who I could go to. 

Be more like Luke.

What can you learn from this?

It’s clear there’s work to be done by all of us. So, here are five key takeaways ‌you can encourage and implement in your our workplaces and day-to-day lives:  

  1. Pride shouldn’t have a time slot. Don’t just post on social media during Pride month, be an ally to those in the LGBTQ+ community all year round. 
  1. Disconnect a person and their sexuality. It’s not an identifier. A person's sexuality has nothing to do with how good they are at a job.
  1. Have people from the LGBTQ+ community on your board or in your leadership team to advise you and ensure your decisions and policies are inclusive. Read our 5 step plan to building a diverse team.
  1. Hearing others' experiences and having these open conversations is a great way for people to learn and be more empathetic. So, throughout the year, have training sessions on inclusivity and LGBTQ+ specific workshops. 
  2. Have a ‘buddy’ system so everyone in your company has someone they can talk openly with and can trust that it’ll be confidential.

What does healthy nutrition look like?

Is it completely cutting sugar, meat, or gluten from your diet?

ZOE’s Founders George, Tim and Jonathan identified that generic nutrition advice is simply not working. 

Their journey started 25 years ago, when Tim started his study of 13,000 twins, looking at genes, gut microbes and lifestyle. It surprised him to discover that even identical twins, who share all their genes, have very different responses to the same foods. So there is no one right way to eat - the key lies in understanding your own biology.

Three years ago, a personalised nutrition startup ZOE was born.

ZOE uses groundbreaking technology and industry experts to understand how our bodies work internally. Now it’s our turn to get an insight into how ZOE works behind the scenes.

At Few&Far, we’re helping ZOE, to find talent to expand their growing tech team.  

We’re currently hiring for the following roles:

About ZOE

ZOE’s mission is to enable people to live healthier and happier lives by helping them to understand and optimise their responses to food. 

The company is combining scientific research, cutting-edge AI and the most advanced science available to help you understand how your body works so you can reduce dietary inflammation and improve your gut health naturally.

Their engineering, data science, biology, and nutrition science expertise has led to multiple break-through papers in leading scientific journals, including Nature Medicine.

ZOE’s vision is a world where everyone can take control of their health by understanding their unique biology.

IN CONVERSATION WITH MARKOS - VP PRODUCT AT ZOE

There are few people that venture straight into product management in their career. Markos Tsirekas is one of them. 

After building mobile apps as a student, his career began at eBay where he managed teams across the EU. Following this, he joined the media group Schibsted where he built a brand new ad booking platform that was used by thousands of customers.  

Markos then explored the entrepreneurial road and joined Reach Plc as an Entrepreneur in Residence where he advised the board on the NPD strategy and built a contextual advertising engine. He founded one of the UK’s largest therapy marketplaces - TimeWith. TimeWith connected people to therapists and used a SaaS payment and booking solution. This venture in health and wellness sparked a real passion for the space.

In 2021, Markos joined ZOE to help them find the product-market fit. Today, ZOE is proud to call him their VP of Product.

We spoke to him to find out more about working in Product at ZOE and why you should consider joining too.

1. Why did you decide to join ZOE?

I am fascinated by consumer businesses and health technology. And ZOE is brilliant at both. For me, it’s a dream job. I have a lot of data to look at, complicated questions to answer and a very noble mission, which is both ambitious and exciting. Even though I’ve been here for a year, the company continues to impress me every day. 

Here are three main reasons I love working here:

At ZOE, impossible is nothing. As soon as I met the founders, I knew ZOE was the perfect next step for me. When George and Jonathan first came up with the idea, the premise was that a few outsiders, with no knowledge of nutrition, wanted to run the largest nutritional study. Everyone told them it was impossible. They did it within a year.

There has never been a business model quite like this. The era of fad diets is behind us. ZOE is leading the personalised nutrition revolution. We’re helping our customers sustainably combat weight and health challenges, while setting the stage for AI to help them choose foods that work best for their biology. Our top priority is to continue to offer value throughout their journey with us. 

Our academic board, colleagues and leaders are experts in product and science, working with the most prestigious institutions (Massachusetts General Hospital, Stanford Medicine, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and King’s College London), and we are always reinventing our business model.

ZOE has increased 10x the scale of academic studies by thinking from first principles. Why is academic research on this scale so hard? What is it that is costly and how can we reduce costs whilst maintaining quality? Finally, how can we bring utility out of research so that the entire world can benefit? 

To do things which are perceived as hard, we think about the problem space from first principles. ZOE blended software engineering, the agility of a startup and the operational expertise of its savvy team, and brought together a panel of world renowned scientists. 

It was a pure demonstration of outside-of-the-box-thinking. It increased the scale of academic studies whilst running all this at a fraction of the cost.  

2. What are your current goals and most exciting problems you are solving?

We are building the most advanced, holistic and personalised nutritional program to help everyone to improve their gut and metabolic health. Our program combines state-of-the-art science teaching you what foods work for your body, while giving access to a top tier nutrition team on demand.

Generic nutrition advice simply isn’t working. Diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health problems are not improving. The problem is that we are all treated the same. But in reality, all our bodies are all very different.

We want to ​​help people discover exactly how their body works by having our expert science and engineering teams' knowledge at everyone's fingertips. It's about helping people optimise their gut and metabolic health by being in sync with their body without restricting themselves.

To do this, we need to excel at two things:

  1. Push the boundaries of scientific knowledge by combining data science and groundbreaking nutrition science
  2. Create a framework to encourage people to adopt new habits and take control of their health.

Both are very hard goals and I expect will keep us busy for the foreseeable future!

3. Why is ZOE the place to be for Product Managers?

As a Product Manager at ZOE, you’re not optimising or maintaining a product, but building it from scratch. Everything you’re doing has a deep operational impact. The complexity of the problems is unparalleled because we're running a very tight consumer operation.

We’re highly aligned yet loosely coupled, which means that you have an opportunity to act as an owner and have a high degree of autonomy. With that being said, your talent and hard work will always be encouraged and rewarded. 

Our team is hungry and ambitious - we’re doing things our way and treading uncharted territories. In 2021, Wired Magazine voted us The Best Startup in London. The company’s vision to solve nutrition at scale led us to reinvent a branch of nutrition science. ZOE ran the world's largest community science project for symptoms of COVID-19 and related health issues, with over 4 million contributors globally.

If you want to join a growth stage company that centres on business model innovation, this is a place for you. Product managers who are fluent in data and care to craft world-class consumer experiences will feel right at home here. 

There are very few places which combine quality, consumer focus, scale and data, and ZOE is one of them. 

4. Where do you see the company going in the next few years?

Healthcare is changing. We have a real opportunity to change preventive medicine and use technology as an early warning device to spot health issues faster than ever before.

Our goal is nothing less than to improve health globally. Everyone has the right to understand their body. 

We will continuously use innovative digital technologies that can enable scientific research at an unrivalled depth and scale. To get there, we’ll go through two phases: 

Phase 1 - We are building the best nutrition program to help people get to their best gut and metabolic health. 

Phase 2 - We will expand our line of products to address the organic series or requests we are getting from our customers, leading the way for a ZOE ecosystem of products and services. 

Eventually, using the data and insights we have accumulated, we see ZOE as a global platform for helping people reclaim a wider variety of health issues

LIFE AT ZOE

At ZOE, the team will dare you to think, challenge you to innovate, push you to succeed. The company makes 4 promises to all their employees:

Have a Voice: Your opinion matters and it will be heard. Your thoughts help shape the product and culture. Your ideas inspire and we welcome them with pride.

Allowed to Fail: You have a safe environment to fail, so long as you learn and grow. Try new tools and technologies or test out ideas that you've always dreamt about.

Be Recognized: Your hard efforts will be noticed here. ZOE loves giving credit where it's due and celebrating with their team. Everyone will know about the impact you've made.

Zero Micromanagement: You are given the autonomy to innovate and explore. You can take ownership of your work and will be empowered to shape the future of ZOE.

ZOE’S TOP PERKS & BENEFITS

ZOE is committed to keeping a happy, healthy team and has 20+ benefits to offer. 


Here’s just a few:

Flexible working- They don't clock watch. This is a remote-first culture with flexible working hours. Everyone operates from a place of trust and autonomy.

Generous equity package- Eligible employees can have stock options in ZOE.

Health insurance- Zoe’s UK employees, their partners and dependents have access to the SmartHealth app. This includes 24/7 GP service, nutrition consultations, mental health support

Competitive Holiday Entitlements- The team works hard, but they encourage you to take regular breaks and have some much needed time off. Don't worry, they’ve got your back.

YuLife Health & Wellbeing App: Benefit from rewards for simple activities like walking or meditating through a gamified approach to health & wellbeing. The company has a ZOE leaderboard, which you can opt into if you enjoy a good competition.

What will it take to be the next Netflix? We’re about to find out.

Superbet, the multichannel sports betting operator, is going through a huge period of growth and hiring for a number of open positions across their tech team. 

Few&Far is helping Superbet hire the following roles (100% fully remote - based in London, Leeds, Zagreb or Bucharest area):

SRE

Full Stack Engineer

Backend Engineer

React Engineer (Remote, must be UK-based) - send your CV to silvia@fewandfar.io fo

5 things you should know about Superbet

This ambitious company is planning to become the next Unicorn in 5 years. They are already known as one of the best sports betting operators, having won The Best Sports Betting Operator in Central and Eastern Europe Trophy 3 years in a row. 

🏢 Offices: UK, Romania, Poland, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Cyprus, Gibraltar, and Malta

🎯 Mission: To build innovative betting products with a global reach to excite the world.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Team size: 3,500 and growing

💰 Funding: Part-owned by the world’ largest private equity fund Blackstone Group, which committed to a £175m strategic minority investment in the business.

👍 Highlight: One of 3 betting operators to be a member of the Betting Integrity Association (source)

This is a company that breathes entrepreneurship and tech, with their values and employees being the focal point of what lies at the very core of the business (source).

In conversation with Superbet’s CTO Bruno Kovacic

Bruno founded Axilis in 2011, a software design and development agency, with offices in Croatia and the US. Axilis has been consistently ranked as a leading Croatian technology firm by Deloitte’s ‘Fast-50’ technology index for Central Europe (source). In 2018, Axilis was acquired by Superbet Group and Bruno joined the company as a CTO.

  1. Can you tell me a bit more about why you joined Superbet?

Superbet at that moment was basically a Romanian betting company. The reason that I went there was because I saw the ambition of scaling out to the whole world. I really believed the vision that Sacha had.

Since acquiring Axilis, I was just a part of the few puzzles coming together. Superbet at the moment acquired a few different companies. After the acquisition, we raised money from the world’s largest private equity fund Blackstone.

The industry itself was lagging behind some other tech-powered industries, where I can really see us making a global story and using technology to really scale globally.

  1. Why is Superbet the place to be for developers? 

Superbet is not just trying to be a betting company. We see ourselves as an entertainment company that is fighting for people’s time. The same way Netflix is trying to get you to watch movies, we’re trying to get you to get more engaged with sports. The stuff we are building is not just sports-betting.

We’re trying to build products around it and basically be a one stop shop for sports fans. Aside from pure betting, we’re also offering a social network for people where they can talk about sports, discuss each other’s predictions, follow each other, comment on the matches and so on. We also have a very detailed stats platform where users can find everything about any sport, help them get streaming if they don’t have it, live updates and much more.

For engineers, the benefit of all of that is that it’s a pretty complex platform. If you only look at our betting function, its complexity is on the same level as stock market software. We do have a trading platform, because we need to assure what prices we are offering, manage the risk right, accept those bets, etc. That portion is pretty big and on top of that we have a basically social network where users are using all the standard social components mixed up with this whole trading platform. All that combined gives you a lot of really strong engineering challenges. People find it really interesting to work on. 

  1. What are your current goals and challenges as a CTO?

Definitely scaling up. Our products work well in a few countries we operate like Croatia, so we’re looking to improve them. But as betting is a regulated industry, it’s not just easy to go worldwide. You need to do a lot of work to be able to launch in a different jurisdiction. Currently, we’re focused mostly on how to leverage our existing technology and products and scale them out to multiple different jurisdictions and become a global player. 

  1. Where do you see the company going in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years, I do really believe that we’re going to become one of the top 5 companies in the betting industry and after that, I would hope that we get compared more to the other entertainment companies than just betting ones. 

Work Culture

Superbet wants to build a better and bigger experience for our customers. And just like all great sportspeople, they see every challenge as a chance to prove their talent and every mistake as an opportunity to grow.

They’re an extremely ambitious organisation, and their ambition is infectious. They have been attracting top talent from large and renowned organisations including big tech names. The tech talent they employ is best-in-class, creating real impact across the business.

Superbet gives their employees flexibility when they’re juggling both work and other personal obligations, championing the human approach above everything else. 

Superbet’s top Perks & Benefits

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN 10 YEARS?

You don't need a step-by-step plan.

Find out what are the 3 different routes you can take (no matter what your role is), so you can create a vision of where you want to be.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE
'HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR CAREER' GUIDE

We want to make Few&Far the best place to work, and to help us do that we’re super excited to share our brand new team benefits scheme with you. 

Everyone at Few & Far has their own set of needs, so why should the benefits we offer be one-size-fits-all? 

As our team has grown and we’re split between remote and in-office workers, helping everyone look after themselves and work at their best is more important than ever. To really fulfil the diverse needs of our team, we took on board their ideas and re-designed our employee benefits to offer total flexibility on where to work, individual budgets through Ben and much more...   

A health & wellbeing budget

You can’t put a price on feeling happy and healthy - but we can give you a monthly budget to support that.

We care about our team, and we know that when you feel your best, you can give your best. With your £75-a-month budget you can treat yourself to something relaxing like a massage or meditation subscription, or if fitness is your TLC, you can spend it on some fitness classes (in-person or remote) - it’s totally up to you. 

On top of this, we also offer team meditation sessions and lunchtime fitness classes if they take your fancy. Plus, if you’re ever struggling and need someone to talk to, we’ve got a group of mental health first aiders on the team to help you whenever you need.  

You invest in us, so we invest in you

We know it’s a big deal for you to give the days, months and years of your life to helping us grow as a business - so it only makes sense that we should help you grow as a professional.

We give every team member an annual learning and development budget of £750 to use how you see fit. You could sign up for a language course, attend a conference (remember those?!) or book in sessions with a business coach to help you become the best in your field. 

We’re committed to fairness in our culture too, and we have a transparent growth and progression process in place so everyone stays in-the-know about what’s happening across the team. 

Time off to recharge

We know sometimes companies say they encourage you to take time off - but do they really mean it? 

Well, we absolutely do. We really want our team to take the time off you’ve got in your annual allowance. Plus, after you’ve worked with us for 2 years, you get an extra day of annual leave for every extra year you stay with us. 

Even better, after you’ve worked with us for 5 years, you’ll get 3 entire weeks of paid sabbatical. Go around the world, chill out by the seaside - whatever floats your boat. 

The future is flexible - so we are already

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that flexible working works.

At Few & Far you can work whenever and wherever lets you give your best to your role - and balance anything (or anyone) else important in your life that you need to (we see you, parents). 

And there we go! We’re excited to see how everyone uses their own Ben allowances, and we’ll keep developing our offering as we grow. 

FROM A CV TO AN INTERVIEW: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO LAND A JOB AT YOUR FAVOURITE COMPANY

If you want to land a job at your dream digital product company, you have to understand what employers look for. 

The secret to playing your cards right lies in knowing how to pitch yourself to employers. The market is the busiest it has been in over two years. More people are applying for roles, so you need to stand out to the companies you’re applying for.

However, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. Many people underestimate how much effort it takes to get a job. You can get stuck in a rut if you don’t take the right steps. 

Don't fall into this trap. Let me share my best tips as someone who has been recruiting in the digital product space since 2009.

Make your CV work for you

Do you try to outline everything you’ve done in your CV? Or send the same CV to every role you apply for?

I see these mistakes happen way too often. You need to remember what your CV is actually for:

“ Your CV has one role, and that’s to get you into the interview.”

To do that, you need to highlight the experience that is relevant to the job you’re applying for. It shows that you have thought about your skills and taken the time to understand the role.

The basics should be obvious 👀

Remember who the reader is. People fall into the trap of thinking that the person reading their CV has the same skills as them. They could, but it could also be a CEO, a Talent Director or a recruiter. 

Everyone has varying levels of knowledge - they may have hired candidates in your particular field and understand the job, or they may not. That’s why you need to make sure that the basics are obvious. 

Look at the job description and make sure the key skills they are asking for are in your CV.

Separate your achievements from responsibilities 💔

The crux of your CV is your experience section. The best practice is to separate your job achievements from your responsibilities, so you can quickly create a strong narrative about why you’re the right person for the job.

A CV needs to be digestible, it needs to grab the attention of the reader and engage them to make them want to read on.”

Flaunt your achievements 🏆

Achievements show the impact you’ve made. Listing them in your CV can also highlight your main strengths - which is important when applying for any position.

These can be delivery of a specific product, increase in the user base, but the best ones are focused on commercial outcomes. They answer the question: ‘What was the commercial impact of the achievement?’. That way, your reader will be able to translate this commercial element into their own business. It gives you a far greater chance of being included in the interview process.

Tell a story through each role 📖

 Responsibilities are about what you were doing in a specific role. It’s easy to put a tremendous amount of content here, but try not to. It’s important you use this as an opportunity to tell a story and create a narrative to help engage the reader in a concise way.

How did one candidate improve their application-to-interview ratio by 3X? 

One of my candidates had an experience in product through his own business but hadn’t done it in an any other role. 

Here are some changes they made on their CV: 

Nailing your interview

Researching the company - the right way 🔎

Use the product 

If you go into the interview without ever using the product, clients and recruiters will see it as lazy. They want to hire someone who has a high level of curiosity where they want to download the product and see how it works. If it’s a B2B business, email the person who’s arranging interviews and ask them to give you some sort of trial so you can experience it. 

Look them up on Crunchbase and find news articles

There you will find out the funding the company has received, when has it received, who were the VCs, are there any recent product launches or any other news. This can also help by arming you with some relevant small talk that breaks the ice and sets you apart.

LinkedIn profiles

Look at the background of the person you are meeting on LinkedIn. Look for common connections. Check the company out too. See if you can get an understanding of the structure of the company by looking at people in it. 

Ask your recruiter

They will know what’s important. 

How to answer questions in an interview 🤔

For behavioural questions (“Tell me about a time when…”), I always recommend the STAR framework. It naturally creates a narrative, allowing you to tell a meaningful story about your previous work experience. It also prevents you from blabbing on and helps you give a focused answer. 

Situation - Set the scene and try to be as specific as you can - When did this situation happen? Who was the company? Who were the stakeholders? What was the structure of the team you were in? What was your role? 

Task - What was the problem? What was your responsibility? It’s best to actually say “The problem was…” to create the structure.

Action - Explain exactly the steps YOU took to address it. It’s about what you did - they are not looking at hiring your team. 

Result - What were the outcomes of your actions? Ideally, you made some commercial impact on the business - saved or made money. If you can bring that into your answer, it is going to carry so much more weight.

“ It’s hard to know exactly which questions you will get. But to avoid trying to come up with examples on the spot, make sure you create a bank of different interview answers ready to go. This is going to make you feel way more comfortable and far more prepared for interviews. 

Here are the 6 most common ones:

Do you have any questions? 🙆🏽‍♀️

Never underestimate the importance of your questions for the interviewer. Avoid questions you can find answers for in the job description or the website. It’s lazy and doesn’t show a level of commitment.

Here are some that I suggest: 

The Art of proactive searching 🔎

Did you know that over 70% of roles available in the market are not advertised? That’s why just applying to already posted jobs is not the only way to go. 

Being a proactive job seeker means that you’re scouting out opportunities before they ever grace a job board or company website (link). This creates more opportunities for you, less competition, and helps grow your network. 

Here are top 5 tips I have for you: 

Author: Nick Charalambous, Co-Founder & Director at Few&Far

Are you looking for your next gig as a mobile app developer? Or maybe you’re just getting started and you’re frantically googling ‘example software developer resume’? 

There are lots of skills that an app developer needs to have. But no matter if you're an entry level mobile developer or industry veteran, the best chance of getting an interview is a great resume. 

I’ve been recruiting in the mobile development space since 2013 (Windows Phone was still a thing then!). The landscape has changed a lot and the number of mobile app developers has exploded in the past 8 years. 

In this blog, I’ll give you my advice on how to stop making the most common mistakes I see reading software developer resumes as a recruiter. I hope you avoid them and get hired as soon as possible. 

NOTE: Some of these tips also apply for people applying for a job in the technology industry!

  1. Sacrificing details to make your CV one page 

Although a CV can be hard to read if you cram a lot of information into a small space, don’t leave out important details. 

Yes, having a CV longer than 3 pages is often overkill. But there needs to be a balance. Don’t stress about making all information fit to just 1 page either. It’s better to have a 2-3 page CV that covers all of your relevant experience, than a 1 page that doesn’t.

Instead of leaving out details, cut down on the number of projects. Focus on the most recent ones. Yes, those from 5 years ago may have been technically interesting, but employers care more about what you’re currently working on, so prioritise that information.

 

  1. Making the format hard to read

Are you wasting time sending resumes that are messy and difficult to read? Make sure your CV is easy on the eye. Many mobile application developers create resumes that are simply not optimized for an employer to quickly scan and read. 

A well-written software developer resume covers your most relevant work history and your technical responsibilities. It includes the relevant links to showcase the personal and commercial projects you’ve worked on.

My tip: name, contact information, links (GitHub, StackOverflow, Medium, etc), personal summary, breakdown of the recent roles (using bullet points), hobbies/interests + any additional info 

  1. Assuming the person reading your CV is technical

Most often, they’re not. At least initially. One of the biggest mistakes people make when applying is only using technical terms and not setting context.

Yes, it is useful to know how the software works under the hood and it’s important to include all the relevant keywords when describing your projects, but sometimes the person who initially screens your CV won’t be a software engineer. 

The best way to balance this is to start your CV with a ‘personal summary’. This should outline in layman’s terms what you’ve done and what you’re looking to do next. It should also include your most impressive achievement(s) and you can customise these depending on the role you’re applying for.

Making this focus less abstract is vital for the success of every software developer CV.

Example:

  1. Being too vague about your previous experience

The most important thing to remember is that it’s not just about what you've done, but how you did it. 

Highlight your previous and ongoing contributions to relevant projects. Perhaps you were involved in developing something greenfield, or wrote code for software used by millions of users, or have a really relevant side project. Whatever the case may be, show how your previous experiences relate to the job you’re applying for. 

Try to write 5-8 bullet points under each of your roles. Be as specific as possible when describing what you worked on and the tech you used. If you’re working in a large business with multiple teams, explain the part of the product you contributed to. 

  1. Assuming the reader will know apps you worked on 

In any job search, it’s important to show you have a proven record of accomplishment, so 

always include links to all your published apps in your CV. The more impressive the link, the higher it should be in the document. 

This includes GitHub, Stack Overflow, personal sites, Medium blogs, etc. 

  1. Forgetting to highlight the data

Try to disclose as much tangible data as you can. If a feature you introduced improved performance, how? What metrics did you use to judge its success? If you work on a large scale app, what is the size of the user base? How much did it increase whilst you worked there?

Break your experience into easy-to-identify buckets (e.g., positions you held), and then add chunk after chunk after chunk describing what you did (e.g., working with users to understand their problems) and impact your actions had on the business. 

One really effective way of showing you are the best candidate is by outlining what you have achieved so far in your career. This includes anything from small tasks (like implementing an API) to ones bigger (like leading a new project). Listing accomplishments shows your employer that you are persistent and constantly improving, even if you have been at the company for a long time.

  1. Not highlighting your problem-solving when talking about your accomplishments 

It's really important to show that you have the skills to think strategically and solve problems. When hiring managers look at mobile application developers' resumes, they want to see solutions. They don't just want to see a list of projects or how long you've been doing things. 

Make sure you talk around the most significant tech/product problems you faced and how you overcame them. 

  1. Not including a tech section under each role 

Make it clear what programming languages you’ve been using the most. Hiring managers will look for evidence you worked with the latest tech commercially. They usually look for experience with up-to-date libraries/frameworks, Unit + UI testing, CI/CD and modern design patterns. For example:

Authors

 Tom ShannonPrincipal Mobile Consultant at Few&Far

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