How to Land Your First Job After a Coding Bootcamp

Tech Careers Team, StartSteps |02.09.2021

The growing impact of technology on every aspect of our lives has radically changed the job market. Today, more and more digital automations are taking over what used to be manual processes, leading to a critical demand for digital skills across the globe. 

From 2018 to 2019, there was a 51% increase in IT job openings in Germany. With the European Commission reporting that a whopping 90% of jobs would require digital skills in the near future, while 44% of the European workforce already lack digital skills. 40 percent of companies have more difficulty filling IT expert positions than other positions. That’s why digital skills bootcamps bootcamps have become essential training academies where people can specialize within 3-12 months in new topic areas, leaving them job-ready by the end.

Career bootcamps help people find their natural strengths in the digital field and thereafter achieve mastery by providing them with all the relevant tools and materials. Next, they’ll guide them along the way to land their desired job in the tech sector. Here below are some tips to help you easily find your first tech job after a coding bootcamp.

NEXT Academy Coding Bootcamp
Photo by NEXT Academy on Unsplash

1. Search Inside Your Network

An old saying goes, “It’s not what you know – it’s who you know,” and there is much truth to that. Before you start looking for a job in tech, take a look at your friends, your family, your old business networks, and of course, the fellow students that you are about to graduate with. These people know you and what you are capable of – best. 

You now have a specific skill set that is in high global demand, and therefore there are many companies who pay good money for your services – know your worth! 

This is also a great time to expand your professional network. You can attend local conferences, hackathons, and all sorts of tech events to put yourself on a fast track to find out about new job opportunities. 

Plus, social media is the perfect place to find connections as well. For example, by creating regular, timely posts on Linkedin, you’ll achieve all-star status in no time and get in touch with top people that wouldn’t usually show up in those gatherings, events, or seminars.   

Also, don’t forget to get in touch with experts and mentors at your coding bootcamp. They’re already established in their respective fields and have connections that can propel you towards opportunities not available to most.

They’ll also coach you for interviews to help you perform well under pressure, and they may even speak to potential employers on your behalf. Why? Because the whole business model of a career bootcamp rests on the idea that the participants will start from novice and be employed in their desired tech sector. That’s why there are special career success teams responsible for placing graduates in jobs. So, don’t forget your bootcamp.

2. Showcase Your Skills

No employer expects experienced applicants to knock on the door for an entry-level position. But, what they will look for is the level of technical skills you achieved in your Bootcamp course and will want to see a portfolio. Be confident, clear, show off other relevant skills and really highlight the discipline and outcomes of your recent bootcamp course. Here are some tips to help you do that:

1) Highlight your Bootcamp training on your resume and any portfolio materials that show off your work to potential employers. For example, a glowing Github profile containing the links of your work in creating sample websites and your role in the latest open source projects will improve your chances of landing a job.

2) Talk about the programming languages, databases, design/modeling tools, and all the practical tech you learned at the coding Bootcamp.

3) Describe the Bootcamp projects and how your role in those projects contributed to the outcome.

Reminder * Always connect the role to your skill sets, and make sure what you submit thoroughly underlines why you will be beneficial to the company. After all, that’s the only reason they are hiring you.

3. Show Your Character

Since your experience is still limited, your next best opportunity is to show the employer that you are the personality & team player they need. Interpersonal skills like communication, persistence, passion, and adaptability are critical to employers.

Take some time and let the employer know what your goal is and what you can do. Go above and beyond – always be looking for more responsibilities.

4. Go For Companies You Love

It’s always better to look for companies and businesses that excite you and fit your values. If you feel that a company’s culture or mission inspires a passion in you, then that’s the place you want to work.

Why? Because that’s where you’ll put all your energy, time, and resources, which is a surefire way to move up, especially if you start are starting in a junior role. Sometimes it can be challenging to get noticed in an entry-level position. That’s why your passion and dedication will get people upstairs talking about you.

Here’s how to find the companies you love:

1) Ask yourself, “What excites me?” Is it the perks, the salary, the ability to work remotely, or the mission and size of the company? Determine these factors.

2) Search LinkedIn, AngelList, and similar sites for companies and industries.

3) If you can, reach out to some of the company’s employees through LinkedIn to learn about the company culture.

Note: Don’t worry if the company doesn’t have any entry-level jobs. They usually don’t put them up but always need extra help. Even if there’s an ad for applicants with 1-2 years of work experience, you should apply for the job because they may easily ignore that requirement for applicants for someone who has enough passion and skill. 

Again, remember to tell them how your skills and knowledge can add tremendous value to their business.

5. Get Ready for the Interview

There is a clear difference between candidates who have and have not prepared for the interview. Personality, attitude, and technical skills are the most important decision-making criteria for junior engineers, so you should put your best foot forward in all these areas.

Your demeanor during the interview makes a big difference. Since you are applying for an entry-level or junior-level position, your personality and technical skills are the most crucial criteria. The employer will talk to you either by phone or in person. We will talk about both.

Phone interview

Typically, the phone interview is a screening process to determine if you qualify for the technical interview. A supervisor or representative from HR will ask some personal questions at the beginning of the conversation to determine if you are a good fit. Here, you’ll know if it is the right company you want to work for.

So prepare yourself for such questions by learning about the culture and environment of the company. This way, you will know how to show the interviewer that you are the perfect fit for their team.

In-Person Interview

Don’t be nervous. You already have the necessary skills and just need to answer some problem-solving questions and perhaps demonstrate some points on the board. The level of the questions will be appropriate to your experience, so stay calm because that’s exactly what is expected of you.

You are not supposed to know everything. They want to see if you can keep a positive attitude under pressure; otherwise, you will get frustrated. If you don’t know how to answer a specific question, try saying or writing something asking for tips. Don’t say you have no idea, and don’t pretend you know everything. Both are bad!

Bottom Line

Finding a job in any industry can be challenging, but having the skills, the network, and the extra support, will go a long way in helping you get jobs after a digital career Bootcamp. Your chances of finding a job are much better than a college graduate. Why? Because you have access to guidance from experts who can share their professional tips with you, propel you in the right direction, and even talk to employers on your behalf. Plus, you’ll be a master of in-demand skills in a market where requirements are constantly changing. Take your first steps today!

Check-out all the career bootcamps which StartSteps works with here.