Strategies I Used To Land My First Job as a Software Engineer

Strategies I Used To Land My First Job as a Software Engineer

I discovered two main methods that worked for me to land a remote work as software engineer. The Machine Gun Strategy and the Sniper Approach. By understanding and applying these techniques, hopefully you'll be well on your way to securing your first software engineering position.

This post cross-published with OnePublish

The Machine Gun Strategy

The "Machine Gun Strategy" involves sending out as many resumes as possible, targeting companies within a specific industrythat aligns with your interests and projects. This approach might seem overwhelming, but it's all about maximizing your exposure.

Why It Works

  • Volume and Visibility: By applying to a large number of positions, you increase the likelihood that your resume will be seen by multiple hiring managers.

  • Industry Alignment: Targeting a specific industry helps you tailor your resume and cover letter to showcase relevant skills and experiences, making you a more attractive candidate.

  • Persistent Presence: Continuously applying ensures that your name stays fresh in the minds of recruiters, increasing the chance of a response.

How to Implement the Machine Gun Strategy

  1. Identify Your Target Industry: Start by pinpointing the industry that aligns with your skills and interests. Whether it's fintech, health tech, or gaming, having a clear focus helps streamline your search.

  2. Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter: Customize your application materials for each job. Highlight relevant projects, experiences, and skills that match the job description and realted industry.

  3. Leverage Job Boards and Networks: Utilize platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and industry-specific job boards. Also, tap into your professional network for leads.

  4. Track Your Applications: Use a spreadsheet or a job application tracker tool to keep track of where you've applied, the status of each application, and follow-up dates.

  5. Follow Up: After applying, don't hesitate to send a follow-up email to express continued interest in the position. It shows initiative and keeps your application top-of-mind.

The Sniper Approach: Precision Targeting with Cold Emails

While the Machine Gun Strategy focuses on volume, the Sniper Approach is all about precision. This method involves reaching out directly to companies or industry professionals with cold emails, explaining your interest, and expressing your willingness to learn, even if it means starting as an intern.

Why It Works

  • Direct Connection: Cold emails allow you to bypass traditional application processes and connect directly with decision-makers.

  • Personal Touch: A well-crafted email can convey your enthusiasm, personality, and fit for the company more effectively than a standard application.

  • Demonstrates Initiative: Taking the initiative to reach out shows that you're proactive and genuinely interested in the company.

How to Implement the Sniper Approach

  1. Research Target Companies: Identify companies that not only interest you but also align with your career goals and values. Look for companies that are known for hiring entry-level engineers or offering internships.

  2. Find the Right Contacts: Use LinkedIn, company websites, and professional networks to find the contact information of hiring managers, team leads, or department heads.

  3. Craft a Compelling Email: Your email should be concise, personalized, and professional. Here’s a basic structure to follow:

    • Subject Line: Keep it clear and relevant.

    • Introduction: Briefly introduce yourself and mention how you found their contact information.

    • Body: Explain why you're interested in the company and how your skills and experiences align with their needs. Mention any relevant projects or achievements.

    • Call to Action: Politely ask for an opportunity to discuss potential openings or internships. Provide your contact information and availability.

  4. Follow Up: If you don't hear back within a week or two, send a polite follow-up email to reiterate your interest and availability.

Combining Both Strategies for Maximum Impact

While both strategies have their strengths, combining them can amplify your job search efforts. Here’s how to effectively merge the Machine Gun Strategy and the Sniper Approach:

  • Initial Wide Reach: Start with the Machine Gun Strategy to get your resume in front of as many eyes as possible. This can help you get initial responses and possibly some interviews.

  • Targeted Follow-Up: For companies you’re particularly interested in or haven’t heard back from, use the Sniper Approach to send a personalized cold email. This dual effort ensures you're not only casting a wide net but also making precise, targeted connections.

  • Leverage Networking Opportunities: Attend industry events, webinars, and meetups to meet professionals and learn about job opportunities. Networking can provide leads that complement both strategies.

  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly update and refine your resume, cover letters, and email templates based on feedback and results. This iterative process will help you improve your chances over time.


Landing your first job as a software engineer might seem challenging, but with the right strategies, you can increase your chances of success. The Machine Gun Strategy helps you maximize your reach, while the Sniper Approach allows you to make direct, meaningful connections. By combining both methods and staying persistent, you'll be well on your way to starting your career in software engineering.