3 - How to find good companies

Authors: Stefano Ivancich

In 2023 you have a 3% chance of getting an offer from any application, with 50 applications you have 87% chance of getting at least one job offer. Trust in the law of large numbers. Send out applications to more places than you’re currently planning. You can always “pause” or simply cancel the interview process with some companies. Schedule your favorite companies last. Get interview practice with the places you aren’t as excited about.



  • Career Day/site of your university: write down the companies listed in the website and go in person. E.g.: Padova, PoliMI
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a degree or you graduated many years ago, it’s just a way to find companies that have work to offer.
  • Search also in universities in the cities that you want to go to live.

Employment Search engine: some countries, cities or industries have specific websites.

Google this:

  • “Companies <COUNTRY/CITY> revenue”
  • “Best companies in <COUNTRY/CITY>”
  • “Best companies in <COUNTRY/CITY>”
  • “< COMPANYNAME > Internship Applications”
  • GreatPlaceToWork
  • Almalaurea

How to use LinkedIn and Glassdoor:

  • Change my location in LinkedIn to the city/country I want to work
  • Search for Job title, “master thesis”, “intern”, “internship”,…
  • Filter by level position, location, publication date (1 week)
  • Click Apply

In some job posting there is also the name of the recruiter that posted it, contact him directly.
If you see a role being advertised by an agent, copy and paste a line from the job description into Google to find out the end client.
Search linkedin for the recruitment contact at the companies you’re looking to apply for, then use tools like hunter.io to find their email address and introduce yourself directly.
Job postings are a wish list. If you have at least half of what’s in the job posting, you’re well qualified for the job.

  • content (to see the posts where recruiters tells that are searching for candidates)
  • city/state + role + opportinity/hiring/lookingFor/candidate/position/urgent/asap/mail/@/apply/we are looking for

Companies often prioritize the application done in their own website instead of LinkedIn. Ask an employee to refer you. (Often they get a bonus)

Contact an engineer that is working on the position you aim and ask for information, people are well incentivized to talk to you because if you are a good candidate they can refer you and earn money.

When a job advertises a junior post for 1-2YoE, they’re expecting grads to apply, and they’re expecting to hire a grad if they look decent enough. It’s a universal truth/joke that job postings ask for above what they actually want.

Bad companies to avoid

Read this Guida Anti-Inculata per laureandi in Informatica e Ingegneria Informatica

Companies that have the structure to incorporate large numbers of low-skilled and inexperienced labor, or all those desperate enough to hire a recent graduate to do the work of an experienced person:

The meat grinder:

  • large or very large company, multinational or local, which systematically practices body rental.
  • Mainly provide consultancy services to large non-tech companies or public institutions.
  • High pace environment
  • Little respect for the worker
  • Training yes, but often of low quality
  • Relatively low salaries
  • Often outdated technology stacks and methodologies

The “to the moon” Startup

  • Little stability
  • In the absence of senior figures, you may end up with responsibilities that are disproportionate to your experience
  • Lack of technical culture
  • Immature development processes
  • Low salaries or payment in stock options.

The family business:

  • Technology stacks with slow or no evolution (neither the company nor their customers have any incentive to innovate)
  • Minimum training
  • Bad technical culture
  • Often little respect for the worker

Avoid companies:

  • with a very low average age: they have high turnover, there is no mentorship, low remuneration (only young people accept to work there), read we underpay people and they leave as soon as they can
  • those that talk about benefits rather than remuneration (game room, gym,…) Because you won’t use them anyway or you get bored quickly using them.
  • work hard play hard: they know no boundaries between private life and work.
  • corporate culture: in reality, companies that pay well also have a good culture.

Red flags on Job postings:

  • Dynamic fast-paced startup environment”: they have no idea what they are doing. You will be assigned a 2 week task to complete in 3 days. Than before you complete it, they will assign another one completely unrelated to the job you signed up for.
  • Costumer focused team
  • Very vague wording
  • laundry list of requirements that includes basically all technologies under the sun
  • manage multiple priorities
  • high-growth tech startup
  • Azienda leader del settore
  • Team giovane e dinamico

Red flags for startups:

  • Waste of money when the startup is no making profit: cafeteria with chefs that nobody goes, expensive coffee machine nobody uses, an entire floor of games nobody uses.
  • Layoffs that come out from nowhere: employees is everything that the startups has, if it start laying off they are going down. Massive layoff are usually caused by entire departments that are paid to do nothing, that means that the management manage bad, that don’t understand how to assign work to people.
  • hiring incompetent people on purpose: for the sake of diversity, and so on.
  • Meetings that should be emails.