Is it possible to get a job offer within the first 24 hours of starting your job search? Absolutely! Nikki’s story is proof that this is possible! What’s more is that she got three job offers within one month, which allowed her to negotiate her salary to almost $90,000 a year. So, what’s the secret to her success? Keep on reading to find out.
How long did it take you to get a job?
It was mid September when I started my job search and it took me a day to find a job. I remember the day when I got the okay from my mentor to start sending my resumes out really well - it was actually my birthday.
I think it was the greatest present ever, or maybe I was just very lucky, to receive a call from a recruiter the next day and to get my first job offer.
Of course, I went through the whole recruitment process, but it all happened very fast. I actually think they hired more than one person on the day they hired me.
However, I should point out that I didn’t stop at that point. I kept attending interviews because there were a couple of weeks between me getting my offer and starting my new job. They had to do background checks and there were some other onboarding processes - it was quite time-consuming.
You were very lucky because it usually takes days, and even months, to get a job offer. Can you tell us more about where you are located?
I’m on the East Coast, Jacksonville, Florida.
How did the interview go - the interview that got you the first job offer?
I think they just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t crazy, and that I was able to communicate properly. I believe that was my interviewer’s primary intention. He did ask me some easy technical questions too.
I was originally offered $35 per hour for that job and that was for an onsite role. But I still attended other job interviews while I was waiting for further confirmation. And I got another job offer about a week later.
So, would you like to tell us about the job offers you received during your entire job search?
I got three offers.
The third offer was $80,000, plus an 8% Short-Term Incentive (STI) as an annual bonus.
It's amazing to get three job offers in less than a month. And you managed to turn your initial salary offer of $70,000 into almost $90,000! How did you manage to get three job offers so quickly?
I was applying for jobs everywhere. And I would customize each application I sent out.
I was sending out tons of applications a day - between 30 to 40 applications a day. I also made sure that I signed up to sites so that I could hear all about the newest job uploads/updates that contained the keywords and titles I was using to search for jobs.
Did you get asked questions you didn’t know anything about in your interviews?
Not all the time, but if I was asked about something I wasn’t sure about I would tell them that I didn’t know about it.
To be honest, they don't really push you for more details if they hear an answer like this.
In all the time I was looking for a job there was only one recruiter that was kind of pushy, and tried to make me feel stupid, but I didn't allow myself to be worried by this.
Have you already started your job?
I tried out one job because I wanted to see what it would be like working onsite. But I didn’t like it. I didn’t waste too much of their time though and left to find another job.
At the place where I am now, I haven’t started testing work yet. I’m just going through the setting up phase and working my way through the onboarding process. Everybody is super nice and friendly. I find it easy to collaborate and communicate with everyone. I’m going to be working on a web application for an internal system - making sure it transmits information correctly.
Sounds interesting. How many interviews did you go to in total?
There were six interviews in total.
I talked to a bunch of recruiters during the entire time, and I actually used this to my advantage. If I met a really nice person I would build a rapport with them. They would then keep a look out for jobs for me, and they would keep me up to date about the recruitment process.
Do you remember any questions you were asked during your interviews?
I was asked the top 15 questions that we were told about on the course. Nothing really new. And sometimes questions were just phrased a bit differently, but I didn’t have any unexpected questions that I wasn’t prepared for. To be honest, I was surprised because I was expecting some other stuff to pop up as well.
They asked a lot about why I chose QA and what my current project was about. Of course, the “Tell me about yourself” question came up too.
I had one guy talking to me about Linux, but I told him I used it to search for crashes and exceptions, and I never went deeper than that.
Can you tell us more about your background, like did you have any coding experience before completing our course?
I didn’t have any coding experience, but I did have 16 years of customer service experience. And yes, I was using a computer then! [Laughing].
Did you send cover letters out when you were applying for jobs?
In most cases, I didn’t. However, I had to write a short paragraph on a few applications I sent out. I only did this though on the ones that specifically asked me to write something about myself, so they could get to know me better.
I noticed that applications often asked me to answer the question “Why are you passionate about QA?” instead of writing a cover letter.
You can decide if you want to write a cover letter. I skipped this, but if a company insists on you putting something there or adding a cover letter, do it. You can also put your LinkedIn link on a resume/application and that is usually fine
Did you use our job application service?
No, because I wanted to know where I was sending my resume to, and I wanted to have an idea about what jobs I was applying for. I liked reading the job descriptions.
Another interesting fact is, most of the responses I received back about jobs were from recruiters I’d added on LinkedIn. Adding recruiters sort of has a domino effect, when you add one recruiter from a company, you then get to see and add other recruiters - one of these recruiters could be the one to offer you a job.
Did you note down your background in customer service on your resume?
Not at all. I was recommended to leave out irrelevant work experience on my resume. Doing this helped me to avoid answering questions that I really didn’t want to answer too!
Those who switch from customer service to QA generally already have the necessary skills they need, empathy and communication. There is nothing to worry about since the transition should be very smooth.
It may take some of you more than a month to get a job offer, but you should not be disheartened by this. Sometimes the longer the job search, the more chance there is of you receiving multiple offers that come with great salaries too. Nikki’s story is rare, but you can follow in her footsteps!