Breaking Into the Industry: Insider Tips For Testing Newbies

Landing a software testing job without experience seems like a hard nut to crack. Nevertheless, most people fail to realize that they already have some testing experience using daily apps.

Yes, I’m sure you’ve encountered some errors in the products you use. That’s the basics of testing, finding errors on products, and reporting them. In this blog post, I’ll give you a step by step guide to landing your software testing job even though you don’t have any experience. Let’s get to it!

How do you land a software testing job without experience?

  1. Practice testing. Start looking for defects on products you already use
  2. Study. Read books and take a local or online training course
  3. Get the ISTQB Certification
  4. Sign up to crowd testing platforms to get your first project
  5. Join software testing communities to build a network
  6. Update your LinkedIn in profile
  7. Start applying for software testing jobs

These bullet points are just some high-level actions you should take. So, continue reading on each tip to get a full grasp of these guidelines.

Practice Testing

I’m sure you already use several software applications, from websites to apps on your phone or games on your gaming console. Guess what? If you have encountered errors on any of these products and can reproduce them, you have some testing experience.

Many entry-level software testing projects mostly require product knowledge from a customer point of view. To be in a position to start a testing job, you may only need to learn some of the basics and gain a little experience to add to your curriculum.

One of the essential skills of software testing is attention to detail. Start practicing with your daily routines. Start paying more attention to detail on applications and products you already use daily.

When you find something wrong, try to find out how it happened. Is it easy to replicate? What are the steps to reproduce the error? And is it an error or something that should be improved to make the product better?

Once you find some bugs, look for a support contact, and report the problem or improvement suggestion.

Study Software Testing Basics

There are excellent resources out there, free and paid, to learn software testing and up your game. Remember, you are worrying over getting employed because you have no experience, so work on it, put in an hour every day to learn a little more.

You will be surprised at how much knowledge you will gain by reading a book or taking an online course. You may even do better on interview questions than experienced testers that may have forgotten some of the basics. If you put in the hard work, you’ll be ready when an opportunity arises.

Here are some resources I recommend. Pick one to start.

Online Courses

Online Reading


Get Certified. ISTQB Foundation Level Certification (CTFL)

First, let me tell you that I don’t find this certification to be completely necessary. I interview testers for positions at my company, and I don’t put this certification as a mandatory requirement. I value experience, customer focus, and a genuine concern for delivering excellent products most of all.

That said, you are looking for your first testing job without having any experience. Certification can give you a good shot and increase your employability. So, I think the ISTQB Foundation Level Certification will add value to your curriculum and open more doors for companies where the ISTQB Foundation level certification is required.

To get certified, start by downloading the free ISTQB Foundation study materials from their website:

Study the materials and do the practice exams. Once you feel ready, you can sign up for the certification exam. You can take the exam at home.

The cost of taking the exam is $299. Check the ISTQB FAQ for updated pricing.

Sign Up to uTest to Get Your First Project

uTest is a freelancing platform just for testers and is a great place to start. It has a vast tester community and many learning resources.

uTest will help you get started on the basics. You start with an unpaid project to find bugs and get a feel for your skill level. Then you will begin receiving paid projects to sign up for where you will get paid for bugs that you find.

Tip: Make sure you are an early bird on the testing cycles. Duplicate bugs don’t get paid. Starting early on test cycles gives you better chances of raising more paid bugs.

uTest is a no brainer choice for inexperienced testers. Follow this link to sign up:

Join Software Testing Communities

Networking is gold. I have been working in Quality Assurance for over a decade now, and I often get job inquiries from my testing community. And some of the jobs I have been on started with a recommendation from my network.

Join and start following testing communities. You can take advantage of and apply to opportunities that pop up. Try to be active in forums and chats by introducing yourself and describing what you are doing and that you are open to any testing vacancies to start. There are many great people in testing communities that will want to help you.

Here is a shortlist of some places you can start:

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

I get countless contact requests from LinkedIn. Many software testing jobs start with a contact on LinkedIn from HR representatives or talent hunters. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile already, it’s time to create one.

Even though you don’t have the experience, make sure to include any software testing related courses you have taken, certifications, and put freelancing as a tester on in your experience.

Make your profile look good. Add a foto of yourself and ask a friend or other testers to review your profile. Ask them if they would hire you and what you can improve on your LinkedIn profile.

Be discoverable. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is not private so others can find your details. After all, you do want someone to offer you a job.

Don’t forget to join testing groups on LinkedIn and don’t be afraid to ask for job opportunities and start connecting to other testers.

Start Applying for Software Testing Vacancies

Having gone through the previous steps, and after doing a few projects on uTest, it’s time to start looking for a job.

Here are some excellent job listings sites you can go through:

Search these job sites for software testing or manual testing. Configure your search in accordance to your preference based on location.

On most job websites, you can configure alerts for new job openings. Go ahead and configure alerts to your liking so that you can receive notifications for new job postings.

Make a shortlist of job postings that interest you. Once you have your list, go through each posting and highlight the skills you are good at. Also, highlight the skills you don’t have or aren’t good at.

Don’t exclude every position just because you are missing one skill. For many companies, a missing skill isn’t a deal-breaker as long as you are willing to learn. Think of which vacancies on your shortlist you like and could be good at, exclude the ones that you think are not suited at all for you.

Now, you have a list of potential job placements. Start applying!

Handling Interviews

Making a good impression in interviews requires some experience, so don’t fret if some interviews don’t go your way. The experience will make you better. When you finish an interview, write down what questions you answered well and which ones need improvement.

Before every interview, check your notes as a refresher to know what you should study to improve.

Doing more interviews will make you better prepared for all the questions, and your confidence level will go up.

How Much Can a Software Tester Earn?

When the time comes to accepting a testing position, you might wonder how much money you should make. Many factors can affect your salary. As an inexperienced software tester, I wouldn’t focus too much on negotiating a first job salary. It would help if you mostly had a testing job to add to your experience. Nevertheless, here is an idea of what an entry-level wage for software testing should be.

An entry-level salary for software testing typically ranges between $34,000 and $67,000. For more detailed info on salaries, check out Software Tester Salary: Top Paying Cities and Roles.

Recommended Resources for Software Testing

We are reaching the end of this blog post. Before we finish, I want to summarize the list of links you can go through to improve your testing. A good software tester is continually learning and improving skills.

Online Courses

Online Reading



Wrapping Up

No one expects an experienced tester on their first job. Be well prepared for your first interviews and follow the guidelines on this blog post.

Remember that interviewing also gets better with experience. If you have an interview that doesn’t go well, don’t let it stop you. Think of what you could have done better and get prepared for the next one.

Good luck on landing that software testing job!


My name is John Antunes and I am passionate about helping others succeed in the field of software testing. With over a decade of experience testing a wide variety of software applications and managing QA teams, I have gained valuable insights and expertise that I am excited to share with you. That's why I created - to inspire and empower testers to take their careers to the next level. Whether you're just starting out in the industry or looking to enhance your skills, I am here to guide you every step of the way. Let's work together to achieve your goals and make your dreams a reality.

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