Many students who want to build a career in IT look forward to being a software tester as a stepping stone.
Whether you want to transition into software development later on or continue to become a rock-star software tester, it is a good idea to pursue a career as a software tester as your first job.
This post will cover what you should and should not do to get your first job as a testing professional.
How to Get a Software Testing Job When You Have No Experience?
#1: Be Passionate About Testing
Why do you want to do a testing job?
This is probably the most common question across all testing interviews. You should have a clear answer as to why you plan to pursue a career in this field.
If you are a computer science engineer, why did you not choose software development? If you are from some other streams, why not look for a job in your field of study?
People who are passionate about this field and would love to grow as a quality tester often end up getting the best jobs out there. Anyone can be trained. But only the people with real interest in this field can make a name for themselves.
#2: Have the Right Skills Required For the Job
As a software tester, you’d be spending most of the time trying to “break” the software. You should have excellent aptitude skills coupled with knowledge of testing methodologies and tools.
As a fresher, most of the time, you would not have exposure to any test cases. In such cases, you could join a training institute that offers hands on testing training. You could also take up some freelance work to improve your experience.
Nowadays most job openings require you to have some certifications. This is made mandatory by most companies so that the candidate can be productive from day 1 and no amount of time or money need to be spent on training the candidates on the basics.
#3: Choose Your Niche
Have you heard the saying “Jack of all trades but master of none”? Well, these days, especially in IT field, you need to specialize and not generalize. A specialist is always preferred over a generalist by most companies (Although it’s not a good idea to choose specialists as they have limited scope, most HR’s find the easy way out to fill up the position fast).
Some of the popular testing niches you can choose are
- Manual testing: In this method, a tester takes on the role of the end user- one who will be using the software product. It’s a tedious process by which the tester has to use all of the software features to find bugs. In most cases, testers perform these tests based on an already laid out plan
- Automation testing: Using this mode of testing, a tester can evaluate software by writing scripts that automate the tasks. No need of manually doing everything which saves a lot of time. This is often the most cost-effective way of testing a software over the long term
- Performance testing: In this method of testing, software is tested against a specific workload. Some of the metrics that would be evaluated are responsiveness, maximum load capacity and so on.
Similar to software development, software testing is a vast field. So you should focus on one area of testing. This will make you a hot property in the job market. Even though you should specialize in one area, you should also try to be familiar with other areas. You must also be flexible enough to shift to another track if required.
#4: Bust All Myths
Sadly, the industry and students have a lot of misconceptions about software testing jobs.
Some of the myths still prevailing are
Software testing is a simple job. So anyone can do it:
Although it’s not rocket science, testing still requires a lot of work and intellect from the part of the tester. So don’t think this is a walk in the park type of job and jump into it.
Testing is a second tier job compared to development:
We had one student apply for a job who supposedly thought that she was entitled to a testing job since she had already worked as a software developer.
Her argument was that since testing is inferior to development, and she cracked development interview and worked on a project or two, she was entitled to a job as a tester without an interview.
Well, we have news for you. It isn’t the case! Software testing is just as important and valued as software development. So experience in one domain doesn’t necessarily entitle you to a free pass to another.
Automation testing means clicking a few buttons and the software will do it for you.
While it can be true for some existing test cases, most of the time you’d have to create the script for automation testing. So don’t think that it will be easy and since you don’t know/hate programming, it’s the perfect opportunity for you.
#5: Write a Perfect Cover Letter and Resume
How many times have you applied to a set of jobs at a stretch using the same resume and not even thinking about including a cover letter?
If you are like most people applying for a job, you reply should be “most of the time” or “always”.
We receive several resumes each day from candidates who simply attach their fresher resume and blindly apply to just about any job they can without even reading the titles. Do you really think a recruiter will take the pain to evaluate you after such an attempt?
Always customize your resume and make sure that you include a custom cover letter with each application. Instead of trying to apply to 50 different employers at a stretch, apply to just a few relevant ones.
You’ll drastically improve your chances of hearing back from the employer.
About Author: This is a guest post by Adarsh Thampy. Adarsh is a career and marketing expert at Jombay. He talks about various resume formats freshers can use while applying for testing jobs.
Update from Vijay
Our friend Govardhan Reddy added some good points in comments on getting jobs as a fresher. Below is the same comment I’m adding in the post:
@ Freshers/Job Seekers: My views/suggestions
#1: Be Passionate About Testing : Remove all other tracks/paths that you’re working on. e.g.. one fresher may be searching job on oracle, c, c++, java, testing, bla, bla bla. If you want to get into testing, Just keep testing path – NOTHING ELSE. If not today, tomorrow you get the job. But till that time keep mastering testing skills!!!
#2: Have the Right Skills Required For the Job: This is achievable just through friends/relatives who are already working or from good institutes. Don’t draw any pictures/conclusions blindly (just by assumptions). This definitely kill your interviews!!! Learn Learn Learn. Google online, Practice Practice Practice.
#4: Bust All Myths: Well said. No primary. No secondary.
All are of equal priority. How much a dev engineer draws his/her salary, Same or more the test engineer draws every month. Just keep in mind that you need to beat the competition. Nothing else matters @ interviews.
#3: Choose Your Niche: Don’t enter into automation/performance without manual. What’s wrong if you go step by step? It’s always good to know in and outs of manual testing before stepping in to automation or performance. Slow & Steady wins the race.
What you answer for “why you chose testing?”.
Ans: Just say that you have passion at testing and not interested in programming (or you can always tell that you’re poor at programming). It’s not a crime!!! Just add a tag that “you can’t make better software but you can make software better” :-)
Remember that all questions have answers in one way or the other way. But don’t act very smart!!! No vendor prepares a lock without a key. Respond wisely.
You can see my other comments at this website but on different articles.
Just do Google as ‘software testing interview questions by Govardhan Reddy M’ and you will end up digging more information.
Over to You:
Are you trying to get a job as a software tester and getting stuck somewhere? What are the challenges you faced? Let us know in the comments.