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January 23, 2023 - 7 min

Cracking the code: Alex from RedSofa shares his tops tips for how to get your first job in Web Development

Diana Blaum - Ironhack Germany

Web Development



RedSofa is a European Creative Recruitment Hub based in Berlin. A couple of days ago we sat down with their technical recruitment specialist, Alex Foreman to talk about how to land a job in tech. 

Software development roles in Germany are expected to grow 21% by 2028 – compared to an average of 5% across all roles. With many new people entering this lucrative and in-demand field, we decided to sit down with Alex, a tech recruitment expert to get his inside insight into what can set a candidate apart when looking for a new tech job. 

Alex has been at RedSofa for over six years and has a world of experience helping tech startups, tech companies, creative agencies, innovation labs, and more find suitable candidates for their tech roles. Whether you're looking for a role as a software engineer, a cybersecurity expert, or anything in between, Alex’s insights will help you land your next role. 

What Alex has learned from 10 years in recruitment 

Alex has been in recruitment for a long time – almost 10 years. In that time he has helped an unimaginable number of candidates not only find the roles they want to do, but also find them a role they could do or didn’t know they wanted to do. 

With so much experience Alex has learned to read people and companies and help find the right fit for a role, even where it might not seem obvious. 

He has also built an extensive network over the years which has become an invaluable tool in his recruitment role. 

“A lot of candidates come through recommendations, through my network, through online -- some online events.”


Even with this vast network he still states that LinkedIn is his number one tool in recruiting for tech jobs. If you're not on LinkedIn, have a half-filled-out, or inactive profile, this is where Alex recommends you start. 

“It’s really important for engineers and developers now to have quite a strong LinkedIn presence.” 

Using LinkedIn to help you find a job in tech

If you're not active on LinkedIn, finding the right place to start can be confusing – there is so much conflicting advice out there. 

From Alex’s experience, he recommends creating a standout profile, before trying to grow your network. 

Create a standout LinkedIn profile

Alex says you should look at your LinkedIn profile as apart from your CV and more like your first impression. 

“It’s a cliche but first impressions count.”

Some of his top advice for making the right first impression include:

  • A normal decent photograph: This is the most important thing to consider, it doesn't need to be a headshot, it could be hiking in the mountains. But it shouldn't be out drinking beer and you should avoid passport photos because everyone looks a bit scary in their passport photos. 

  • A warm summary: Immediately let a visitor to your LinkedIn profile know who you are and what you do. You don’t need to go into too much detail but do cover the basics. For example, are you a junior developer or a senior? Backend or frontend? You can also cover what technologies you are familiar with. And this can all be quickly summarized in a few short sentences.

Alex also points out that expectations for junior tech candidates are different from those who are applying for senior roles. 

If you are a more experienced candidate, then Alex recommends that you have a strong career history to show. Another must-have for recruiters is that your CV and your LinkedIn work history match. Inconsistencies can be a red flag for recruiters so this is something you need to keep in mind.  

Network with LinkedIn

If you're looking for a tech role as part of a career change, as many of our Ironhack students do, LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool for building those first industry connections.

When building your tech network on LinkedIn, Alex has some advice you can follow:

  • Connect with fellow developers: Don't only focus on recruiters as the content and post from other developers can help expand your knowledge.

  • Start liking and commenting: Building a network means you have to be active and involved. Making a connection and then never interacting with them is a waste of time.

  • Never use templates: They are too obvious and you won't get a reply.

  • Keep your content positive: It's easy to fall into the trap of posting negative thoughts about not getting replies or struggling with your job search but it pushes people away rather than starts a conversation. 

Once you've got your LinkedIn profile locked in and start networking, you're already on your way to finding your first or next tech job.

How to get a tech job in Germany in 2023

The tech job market in Germany has evolved quickly and in 2023 much more might change. Alex has the advantage of being involved with a community of tech workers in Berlin and this is a topic that often comes up.

He notes that there is some concern about the wider layoffs happening in the tech industry (such as from Meta and Microsoft). But he also says that it's not a major concern.

“The cool thing about tech is that a lot of the time you will find something. It might not be the most perfect thing, but there will be something there, you just have to be a bit patient. For all of the companies who are letting people go, there’s a lot of start-ups, there’s a lot of companies who are actively hiring.”

Alex also mentions that in tech, hiring can have a somewhat seasonal cycle. At the beginning of the year, companies often hire developers when a new budget comes in. And then there is often a drop-off around midsummer. Around Christmas and New Year's is the best time to start your search.

But with the market looking good for 2023, you need to think about how you can make yourself stand out in the hiring process as many new developers are also entering the field. 

3 golden rules for standing out as a tech candidate

We asked Alex what tech candidates can do to stand out from their competition in the recruitment process and he responded with three golden rules that every candidate should follow.


The first we already covered: is networking. Go to events, go to online events, join groups and be active on LinkedIn.

Looking for some in-person events to help you build your network here in Berlin? Check out Ironhack Germany's Meetup calendar.  


The job of a developer is forever changing. As you progress in your career, you will need to continuously learn, and especially for developers that are new to the field, you need to demonstrate your knowledge to recruiters and hiring managers.

In interviews for junior positions, you’re might not be asked about what you can do, because for many of you, you haven’t commercially developed anything yet. Instead, you will likely be asked questions such as “what’s going on within the JavaScript world?” or “talk to me about what’s going to be the next big thing.” 

Keeping on top of trends, a being able to demonstrate insight into the software engineering world helps hiring managers feel assured that you are capable of the skills you have mentioned on your CV.

Drive and passion 

A lot of companies hire juniors, not just on their technical capabilities, but their attitude, their drive, and their passion. If you can talk about the industry and show that you are passionate about it, this will help you stand out in the market. 

If you have time to create something, whether that be your own website, a blog, or a YouTube channel, this is a valuable use of time and sets you apart in the hiring process. 

Quite a few engineers that Alex knows personally started off with this strategy. They began creating videos about their problems and their process. Of course, they’re now working, and these are also great resources to look through in the future.

How a tech recruiter can help you find the right role

There is a lot you can do on your own to help yourself stand out when applying for tech jobs. But you can also lean on recruiters for help. As Alex says, that's what they are there for.

Tech recruiters have insights that it will be hard for you to gather on your own. When applying for tech roles you need to know the market and you need to understand the companies that you’re applying to. 

Alex gives the example that many who are going through a career change to enter tech may have to take a pay cut in the beginning as they are entering junior positions but that is not always the case. Recruiters are positioned to understand the company and advise you where to apply, for example, knowing that sometimes the smaller startups might not have the budget to give you the salary you need. 

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