Advice / Job Search / Finding a Job

How My Eccentric Job Application Helped Me Land a Job I Love as a Software Engineer

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Our mission here at The Muse is simple: to help you find your dream job. So, there’s nothing we love more than hearing about it when you do!

Today, we chatted with Steve Shinney, a software development engineer at Accolade. Because he showed off his personality in his job application (Hint: creating his own personal brand logo), he found a job that’s the perfect fit, a team that shares his values and interests, and a company with a mission he stands behind.

Read below to learn more about his story, then check out Accolade’s offices and see how you can land a great new gig of your own.

Give us your elevator speech!

I’ve been a web developer for 10 years, working on everything from enterprise-level software to small internal tools. Until recently, I’ve been a full stack developer working with ColdFusion, SQL, and JavaScript. I’ve worked as senior dev, a tech lead, and a 508-compliance expert.

Along the way, I’ve also worked as a journalist, janitor, editor, humor columnist, soccer referee, dishwasher, translator, computer lab technician, and podcaster (not in that order).

What were you looking for in a job?

Geeks! Having worked on both a large team of software specialists and as a one-man-band, I missed having the ability to talk about tools and best practices for developing software with people who shared my passion. I wanted to be part of a team again, to learn from my co-workers, and be able to share the experience that I’ve gained so far.

Is there anything from The Muse that helped you out in your job hunt?

I found out about Accolade from a Muse article featuring several companies who were growing quickly and hiring to keep up. Accolade is working on streamlining the healthcare process, something I thought was practical and important, and they were using technology I was interested in learning about. Before landing this job, my favorite job previously was at a company with a similar goal that was also going through a ton of growth, so Accolade sounded right up my alley.

Is there anything in particular you did during your application process that you think helped you stand out?

I had a graphic designer create a logo for my own personal brand that topped my resume and business cards. That, combined with a resume that included a bunch of “personal facts” about the time I fought a crane or got a thank you note from the office of Michael Bay, helped me show off my personality as much as my qualifications.

How would you describe your day to day?

I use JavaScript to write tools that our health insurance experts then use to help our clients navigate the healthcare system. I’m like the guy making new and better bat-o-rangs for Batman. I leave the important stuff to the real heroes, and just give them cool new toys.

What’s something most people would find surprising about working at Accolade?

It’s constantly surprising me how young the Seattle branch is. Everything about it feels like an office that has been operating for many years. Everyone understands our product and the technology that makes it. The process is smooth and doesn’t get in the way. And best of all, there’s a real feeling of comradery between the whole company.

What’s your favorite part so far about working at Accolade?

The people—everyone is united on a common goal and belief that what we’re building and doing is important. Plus, on my first day I was asked if I was necromancer (a wizard or magician), so I knew I found where I belonged.

Learn More About Working at Accolade

What advice would you have for someone who wants a job like yours?

Spend some time figuring out exactly what you want. There are lots of good jobs out there, but a lot of them are good jobs for someone else with different goals or priorities. Know what you’re looking for so you’ll know it when you see it, and then you can focus in on those opportunities.