It was 6 years ago and the demand for mobile software talent exploded before the market stabilised and two platforms; android and iOS came to dominate the scene. Since then demand for these skills has remained extremely high whether you are building apps, marketing them, launching them or testing them. However supply is increasing all the time as more and more Software Developers in particular build apps commercially, the competition for contracts and jobs will increase and eventually there will be more Developers than opportunities. Although we may not see that day for another 2 or 3 years it's important Mobile talent stay ahead of the competition by adopting the following strategies;
1. Pipeline Your Opportunities
Yes it's true, while you maybe an experienced and successful iOS or Android Developer, Mobile Product Manager or Mobile Tester for example and regularly approached when you aren't looking for work; never ignore opportunity but choose the timing that suits you.
If you see opportunities you like or regularly hear of people in the market you should keep in contact with, never ignore those opportunities, be succinct in explaining your situation and the Recruiter will understand it's not great timing and to be in contact when the time is right. The Most successful talent in mobile has the opportunities they want, when they want them and all because they focus on the projects and jobs but don't ignore their pipeline. Pick a select Recruiter specific to your market with the network and market knowledge who can best assist you and let them know what a perfect opportunity would look like. The next contact that is made will more likely be an opportunity you want tailored to your needs in the future.
2. Level The Playing Field
I have seen people of all levels of experience and seniority fall down at different stages of the recruitment process and more often than not it's for simple reasons. To stay ahead of the competition you first need to ensure you position yourself as they do! If you aren't participating in forums on stackoverflow, if you don't have a sample of code to produce or a public github profile demonstrating your ability, if you aren't actively engaged in building your online profile and reputation and if you don't shout about the apps you have built and share the links in your CV then you really are at a disadvantage from the beginning.
Knowing what is going on outside of your bubble is the best way to get ahead when understanding your next move. Having a good relationship with a Recruiter is a great way to acheive this who can inform you the movers and shakers in the market, the big players or small nimble start-ups
3. Stand Out!
Every talent out there has something special about them, what most people fail to do is deliver a succinct message. For example, if you are responsible for a bespoke tool that allowed your company to access millions of businesses and propel your mobile app from the doldrums to the stratosphere increasing your customer base by 2 million overnight; then talk about it. But don't just talk about it, have it in your Linkedin bio, mention it in key achievements on your CV, highlight it when you speak to a Recruiter, tweet about how you did it, write about it on your website, create a blog about how you achieved it!
Whatever your big moment has been its far easier for people to get excited about an achievement which will make you stand out from just another mobile developer with 4 years' experience and 10 apps in the store.
Lastly to ensure the best success with the companies you want to work with, in the locations you want to work in at the time that suits you; create an informal strategy whether its keeping a list of 3 top Recruiters, whether its being active on a social media site that will give you a lot of attention to merely making people aware verbally or written to where your key strengths lie and what peaks your interest.
If you implement these 4 strategies then you will find; the opportunities will be tailored to you, you will stand out from other mobile talent in the market and you will help automate job search by ensuring relevant opportunities are fielded to you in advance.