How to Apply for an iOS Developer Job

Pracftical tips about how to craft a great resume and cover letter for an iOS developer job. By .

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What NOT to Do in Your iOS Resume

  • Don’t include irrelevant work experience. Your position at the Gap in high school doesn’t interest me. I am not going to ask you to fold shirts and I couldn’t care less if you know how to work a cash register.
  • Don’t include your picture on a resume for a US job opening. While this is standard practice in Europe and Asia, it doesn’t help you at all in the US. You don’t want someone to make hiring decisions based on your appearance, one way or another.
  • Don’t list your salary requirements. It’s best to save those discussions until the end. There are many hires I might have turned down if I had known their salary requirements in advance.
  • Don’t pad your resume with irrelevant skills. If I see Windows XP, Mac OS X or Ubuntu as skills on a resume, I will assume you are either wasting my time or didn’t have anything worthwhile to put down.
  • Don’t include soft skills such as communication, teamwork or leadership. You can put these in your summary or cover letter. I assume that everyone applying will have teamwork skills, so when someone chooses to list it, I suspect a problem. Why is he worried that I’ll think he doesn’t have teamwork skills?
  • Don’t include app screenshots or icons on your resume. These take up space, are distracting and will end up printed out in black and white anyway.

The Cover Letter

Once you have the resume, then next step is to craft a cover letter for the job you’re applying to.

Despite what roughly 40% of our applicants think, a cover letter is not optional. A cover letter is your chance to make a great first impression on the employer, and explain who you are and why you’d be a great match for the job.

Copied-and-pasted form letters are easy to spot. Instead of taking that route, write a basic outline and customize it for each company or position. If you mass-apply to every company you find, you probably won’t be hired by any of them, so take your time and apply to no more than a couple of companies at once. Your cover letter should show an interest in the company, an understanding of their current business and the reasons you want to work with them.

Before you write your cover letter, take half an hour and do some research:

  • Does the company make any products that you use or like? If so, write about how much you like them and why. If not, go get their product and check it out, and then write about it.
  • Have their founders or directors written any books? If so, read up on them and mention them.
  • Does the company work with any interesting clients? Talk about how much you would love to work with one of the clients from the company’s portfolio.
  • What is the company asking for in their job description? Mention how you are a good match for the skills or requirements that they are looking for – and be specific!

Simple things like this single out your application. When someone says they enjoy Trivium it perks my interest, especially because I’m passionate about that project.

If you know anyone at the company, make sure to mention that in your cover letter. First, it gives the screener someone to talk to about your application who will most likely be a champion for you. Second, it removes a perceived degree of risk when hiring you. Reading a sentence like, “I hung out with Joe at Cocoaheads and he thought I might be a good fit for this position,” can instantly establish in the screener some familiarity and comfort with you as a candidate. If you don’t know anyone at the company, see if someone you know does or if you can make a connection through any of your networks.

Your cover letter should be brief. Aim for one half to a full page, and make sure to demonstrate your specific interest in that company. A little ego stroking goes a long way.

Where To Go From Here?

Let’s sum up:

  • Make sure your resume is brief, professional and clearly identifies the talents you bring to the table.
  • A well-written cover letter is essential to landing the best jobs. Don’t mass-apply to every company you can think of as fast as possible, because the quality of your applications beats quantity. If you truly need to apply to 100 companies, do it over the course of several weeks.

Want to see some examples of iOS resumes from other developers? Stay tuned for the next article, which will focus on that!

Do you have any tips or advice about creating good resumes or cover letters? If so, please join the forum discussion below.