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SOFTWARE TESTING

JOB SEEKER GUIDE


ARE YOU JOB READY?
EDUCATION
CERTIFICATION
EXPERIENCE

HOW ARE YOUR

NETWORKING
SKILLS?

MUST
FOLLOW
RESUME
TIPS

INTRODUCTION
Your job is in demand. As companies across a diverse spectrum of
industries embrace new technologies, offer more technologyenabled services, and strive for innovation, the best software testers
are needed for quality assurance from the very beginning.
This guide is designed to help you in your search for a software testing
job. Whether you are recently graduated or a seasoned professional,
this guide covers all the basics of job hunting in your industry.
It answers:

What are prospective employers looking for in a software tester?


Where do I start my job search?
What should I write on my resume?
What questions should I be prepared for in an interview?
What networking and learning opportunities are available to me?
Where can I find more information?

THE WHOLE
PACKAGE

EDUCATION
All employers are looking for the whole package. This means the right
candidate has right mix of education, knowledge, experience, and
skills. Here is what you need to take into consideration when applying
as a software tester:
The majority of organizations hiring software testers require post
secondary education from the candidates they interview. Most often,
a bachelors degree in a computer science or related field is required
at a minimum.
If your goal is to become a software tester, but you have not yet
completed a bachelors degree, this would be a great goal to get
started with.

CERTIFICATION
Every employer requires software testing knowledge. Certification is
an excellent way to prove you have the requisite knowledge and set
you apart from the competition. Employers will require you to
demonstrate this knowledge. It is of particular importance to attain
certification when you do not have experience in the field.
A few knowledge requirements employers are looking for include:

Demonstrated knowledge of testing technologies, techniques,


tools and methods
Familiarity with a variety of scripting languages (Java, Python)
Experience with mobile device applications
Understanding of databases

Software tester certification is desired for many software testing jobs.


As the worlds most-used software tester certification, ISTQB
certification is a preferred choice globally.
The ISTQB certification scheme supports a career path from
foundation to expert level. As you progress in your career, ISTQB
certification gives you a competitive-edge over other candidates with
the same experience.

CERTIFICATION
SELA, a worlds leader in training and ISTQB Accredited training
provider, offers courses both online and in-class courses to prepare
you for the final examination.
Courses include:
Foundation Level (CTFL)
CTFL is for anyone interested in software testing and globally
recognized as a starting point for software testing professionals. Youll
learn about the fundamentals of testing, testing throughout the
lifecycle, static test techniques, test design techniques, test
management, and test tools.
Advanced Level-Test Manager (CTAL Test manager)
CTAL Test Manager is designed to extend the knowledge of the
Foundation Level certification. This certification is suitable for those
who expect to be actively involved in the management of any aspect
of software testing. Youll learn about testing process, test
management, defect management, improving the test process, test
tools and automation, as well as people skills and team composition.
Advanced Level-Test Analyst (CTAL Test Analyst)
CTAL Test Analyst is suitable for those who are looking to extend the
broad understanding of testing of the Foundation level certification to
enable the role of Test Analyst to be performed. Youll learn about
testing processes, responsibilities of a test analyst, test techniques,
testing software quality characteristics, defect management, and test
tools.

CERTIFICATION
Agile Extension
The Agile extension is designed for testers who have completed the
Foundation Level certificate and would like to become familiar with
working in an agile environment, to formalize their skills, and to
accredit their agile skills for recognition among employers. Youll learn
how agile projects are organized, commonly applied agile
development practices, differences between agile and traditional
approaches, the fundamental agile testing principles, practices,
processes, and skills, as well as testing tools commonly used on agile
projects.
If youd like to learn more or read the syllabi for each course visit the
ISTQB official site here.
Interested in our online courses, see our store. Or if youd prefer the
in-class setting, see the class schedule.

EXPERIENCE
All employers want experienced software testers. Experience dictates
to an employer that you have proven skills within the field. The length
of experience you have as a software tester often reflects the types of
positions you can apply for. The more experience, the higher level
position.
In most cases, candidates applying for entry-level positions do not
meet the experience requirements. In these instances, the necessary
education and certification are important to landing a software testing
position.

SOFT SKILLS
What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that


characterize a persons relationships with other people. In the
workplace, soft skills are considered a complement to hard skills, which
refer to a persons knowledge and occupational skill. Investopedia
Job candidates need to have a mix of both technical and soft skills.
Here are a few of the top soft skills employers look for in software
testers:

Communication
Problem-solving
Team-oriented
Creativity & resourcefulness
Critical-thinking skills
Multi-tasking abilities

YOUR
TOOLBOX

YOUR RESUME
Your resume represents who you are. It showcases your skills,
experience, and personal brand. And ultimately, it is your sales piece
to sell yourself to a prospective employer.
Things to remember when writing your resume:
1. Its not about whats in it for you Its about whats in it for your
employer.
Explain the tangible benefits of your skills. What is the employers
return on investment from hiring you? Think to yourself, how does my
knowledge and experience help meet the companys goals.
2. Do not send out the same resume to every job posting.
Your resume needs to be tailored to the job posting you are applying
for. Companies prioritize hiring qualities differently. Tailor your resume
to the job posting ensuring the keywords in the posting are within
your resume. It is more work than sending out a standard resume, but
you will increase your chances of getting an interview.
3. Never lie.
The truth will come out one way or another. It is likely you will not
possess every quality an employer is looking for. When tailoring your
resume to a job posting focus on the skills you do have that the
employer wants.

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YOUR RESUME
4. Focus on achievements and qualify your strengths.

Numbers are always good. Employers want to know what you have
achieved and what you are capable of, rather than your
responsibilities. You can qualify your strengths by sharing your
experiences. Simply stating a strength does not prove to an employer
that you have it. Showing instances where you demonstrated or
developed the strength is a proof point.
5.Organize your information with the most important material first.
This may differ between individuals. Typically, work experience comes
first followed by education and certifications. However, for an
individual with little work experience, education may be a stronger
start. Always remember to put the most important strengths and skills
first in the list, as well.
6. Dont use pronouns. Use actions verbs.
Action verbs are words which easily communicate the skills you are
trying to describe. They provide greater strength to your skills and are
easily recognized. See this list of action verbs, you can use in your
resume here.

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YOUR RESUME
7. Effectively format your resume.

An employer will not spend time on something that is difficult to read.


Your resume needs a visual flow to it. Do not fill the 1-2 pages with
text. Instead, make use of white space and use bullets. Choose
appropriate fonts and text sizes. If the resume is easy to follow
you will have a better chance of an employer reading to
the end.
8. Update your resume regularly and proof read multiple times.
Your resume should be an evolving document of your
accomplishments. It should also be flawless. Edit your resume as you
regularly add to it. Have someone else read your resume they may
see something youre missing.

Additional Resources:
Want an Unbeatable Resume? Read These Tips from a Top Recruiter
on Forbes
5 Critical Elements of Any Resume by monster.ca

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WHERE TO
START YOUR
SEARCH

JOB
BOARDS
There are many job boards where you can begin your search for a job.
Use keywords or specific titles to help narrow down your search to
what you are looking for and fits your abilities. Many job boards allow
you to upload a resume which employers and recruiters can see this
may be a good option to get more visibility.
Here are some great job boards:
www.monster.ca

www.indeed.ca
www.workopolis.com
www.wowjobs.ca

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NETWORKING
A job search cannot be limited to applying to job postings. Business is
all about human connections and the best way to find employment
opportunities is to network with others in the industry both online
and offline.
Using LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a professional social networking site. It provides a space for
you to build your professional network with those in your industry, as
well as, the best personal branding resource available. With 93% of
companies using LinkedIn for recruiting and 3 million active job
listings, its important for your career to be on LinkedIn.
Social networking is making it easier than ever to stay in touch. Use
LinkedIn as part of your overall career strategy. Youll be surprised by
the number of recruiters who approach you and the numbers of doors
opened from within your network. Focus on developing your LinkedIn
profile as you create your resume.
Resources to get you started on LinkedIn:
6 Steps to Building a Killer LinkedIn Profile [Infographic] on Fast
Company
9 Reasons Why You Must Update Your LinkedIn Profile Today on
Forbes
Why LinkedIn is the only Personal Branding Resource You Need on
Forbes
LinkedIn Etiquette: 20 Dos & Donts by Melonie Dodaro, LinkedIn
Expert

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NETWORKING
Attending Industry-Specific Events

Industry-specific events are a great place to meet new people who


work in your field, as well as keep up-to-date with the latest trends.
Come prepared with business cards, speak to as many people as
possible, collect their business cards, and be sure to follow up with an
email or a connection request on LinkedIn.
Software Testing events to attend:

StarCanada one of the longest running software testing


conferences in the industry. Learn from the experts on the most
up-to-date software testing technologies and tools and spend time
networking with other individuals in your field.
http://starcanada.techwell.com
Toronto Association of Systems & Software Quality as an
organization for quality assurance professionals the TASSQ is for
anyone interested in software testing. Become a member of the
association to network with others and become involved in the
software testing community. http://www.torontoassq.com/home.html
User Groups attending a user group session connects you with
industry peers where you can network and participate in expert
led presentations. To find software testing user groups look on
www.meetup.com and www.eventbrite.com.

Additional Resources:
Go to: http://testingconferences.org/ for information on more
software testing conferences taking place across the globe.

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NETWORKING
Getting Over Networking Fears

Networking does not always come naturally. It can be intimidating and


frightening for some. However, there are many steps you can take to
get over the fear of networking.
Helpful tips on how to get over networking fears:
How to Master Non-Awkward, Effective In-Person Networking on
HubSpot
How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People on CIO.com

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INTERVIEW
TIPS

DO YOUR
HOMEWORK
You need to be prepared for every interview. Part of this
preparation is researching the company youre being interviewed
at. When employers decide to interview a candidate they
typically know from your resume that you have the skills and
experience to do the job. What they dont know is if youll fit into
the company culture.
Before you go to any interview spend some time learning about
the company.

What is their vision and mission?


What products or services do they sell?
What is their company culture?
What current events are happening within the company?
What is their past? Where do they want to go in the future?

To find answers to these questions start with their website, read


their press releases, do a google search. Check out
www.glassdoor.ca to see what others have said about working
there.
You can expect at some point in your interview that youll be
asked some of these questions. But, an added benefit of doing
your homework on the company is determining if it is a company
you can see yourself being a part of.

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QUESTION
PREPARATION
Interviews can be nerve-wrecking. You cant be prepared for
every question an interviewer will ask, but there are a bunch you
can. Be prepared to answer:
Tell me about yourself? theres a lot of information you could
say, but its important your answer reflects the job. It is best
practice to talk about professional experiences that relate to the
job and support your qualifications.
What are your weaknesses? the best answer to this question
speaks to how you are working to overcome your weaknesses.
Why do you want to work here? the interviewer wants to test
your level of interest in the job. Its important to know why you
want to work at a company and those reasons should endear the
interviewer.
What are your salary expectations? The best approach for
tackling this questions is to know the typical rate within your
field and level of experience. See Robert Half Tech Salary Guide
for Technology Professionals for salary forecast trends in Canada:

* see pages 37-38 in the full guide for job descriptions

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QUESTION
PREPARATION
Why did you leave (or are you leaving) your last job? it is
best to present the answer in a positive manner or speak to what
you want to accomplish in your next position.
Tricky psychological questions some interviewers like to
throw in a curve ball. These are tricky questions that many seem
out of context to the job interview. What these questions are
really testing is your ability to think quickly, your thought
process, and what your answer revels about yourself. Here are a
few weve heard of:

If you could be any animal what would you be?


Who is your favourite blogger?
If your life was to be made into a movie what actor would
you want to portray you? Why?
How do you find the center of a square?
If the Internet is down what do you do?

Technical exam a technical exam is going to test your software


testing skills. You need to know how to do what the job requires
of you and employers want to test this. Youll need to take steps
to prepare. Spend some time refreshing on the basics, see if
there are any practice exams available online, and find ways to
relax to be in the right mindset.
Additional Resources
10 Most Common Interview Questions on monster.ca
How to Ace the 50 Most Common Interview Questions on Forbes
14 Interview Questions that are Designed to Trick You on Business Insider
Top 10 Odd Ball Interview Questions in 2015 on GlassDoor
How to Prepare (and Ace) a Technical Interview on CIO.com

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BODY
LANGUAGE
Actions speak louder than words. The same is true for your body
language and demeanor during an interview.
What you should be doing:

Smiling
Good eye contact
Open body posture
A professional handshake

You want to show your interviewer that you are confident,


assertive and interested in the job.
Watch this Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy, Social Psychologist on How
Body Language Shapes Who We Are.

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SUMMARY

SUMMARY
This guide provides you with helpful tips and direction as you
begin and continue your search for a position as a software
tester. Here are a few things to remember along the way:

Be positive about your job search and keep yourself


motivated
Keep track of the jobs youve applied for and follow-up with
the contact
Spend time building your network
Develop an elevator pitch to describe yourself in a few
sentences
Continue to build your personal brand even after landing a
job

Good Luck!
www.istqbcourses.ca

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