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You Just Finished a Programming Bootcamp. Now What?

You’ve just finished a programming bootcamp and feel like you’re on cloud nine! You can’t wait to get started with your new role as a software engineer. But before you start searching for your first job, there are some important things to consider. More than 80% of companies recruit through referrals. So the people you know and trust will play a huge part in where you end up. To make sure you find the best company for you, here are some tips for landing your first job after a programming bootcamp.

Create the perfect resume and cover letter

Your resume is the first impression you give to a potential employer. Make sure that it gives people a clear understanding of what you are looking for, why you are qualified for the position and what sets you apart from other applicants. You should have a clear and concise resume that includes all relevant information in an easy-to-read format.

Your cover letter will be the second impression you make with your resume, so make sure it's specific, engaging, and detailed. It should also be thoughtful and personal to ensure that it stands out as more than just another job application.

Once you've created your perfect resume and cover letter, start applying. Recruiters love to read back previous work history (at least two years) and skills (technical, academic or both). They'll also want to see references from anyone who has previously worked with you.

Check out this in-depth guide on writing great resumes
101-developer-resume-cv-templates

Search for Jobs Online

Searching for jobs online is an easy way to find opportunities that are a good fit for your skill set. You can search through job boards and company websites, but make sure you travel a little bit further to get the most relevant opportunities. Searching for jobs online will allow you to see what your options are and narrow down exactly what you’re looking for.

Here are some of the job boards for tech companies:

Understand the process of hiring

The hiring process is a long and tedious one. But being in the right place at the right time can help you land your dream job.

A recruiter may start with an initial phone interview, which could be followed by another round of interviewing if it seems like there's a good fit for both parties. Then, you'll get a background check, drug test, and possibly a medical exam (if the position is especially high-risk). You may even need to do some training or on-boarding before getting started.

You should know that the first few weeks of employment are crucial for your company too. It can be exhausting getting yourself up to speed, so you want to make sure that this period is as stress-free as possible. From there, you'll have an opportunity to prove yourself and build your career from the ground up.

Find your first job with referrals

More than 80% of companies recruit through referrals, so the people you know and trust will play a huge part in where you end up.

So how can you put your referral power to use? These pointers will help you find the perfect company for your new role:

1) Get out there and network! You’re going to need all the support you can get. Joining professional groups via LinkedIn is a great way to meet new people and make connections that can lead to job opportunities. Professional groups are also an excellent place to share work experience and build relationships with potential employers. Another great way to network is to attend hackathons and conferences

Here are some of the resources hackathons and events that you can attend, show off your skills and make your connections!

2) Keep your résumé current! Companies are always looking for fresh talent, so updating your résumé is a great way to stay competitive in the job market. Updating your résumé regularly will remind employers of who they hired last time and show them that they’re not just one-hit wonders!

3) Don’t forget your soft skills! Your first day on the job may be daunting, but it gets easier as time goes on. Learning how to navigate office politics, what expectations an employer may have of you, or other aspects of being in a new environment are skills that an employer is looking for.

Check out this Amazon best-seller on Soft Skills for Programmers
Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual

Be your own brand not your bootcamp's brand

Another point is that you don't want to let your programming school or bootcamp brand cloud your judgement. Just because companies hire people with experience doesn't mean they're better than those without experience--it just means they have more opportunities or have been in business longer. You should keep this in mind when making decisions about where to apply for jobs after your bootcamp.

What are some common mistakes that bootcamp grads make in their job search?

There are a few common mistakes that bootcamp grads make in their job search. One is not applying for jobs that seem to be too far from the skills they've learned from their bootcamp. Another mistake is not going after those companies and types of positions that are the most likely to hire bootcamp grads.

Another mistake is using your programming experience as a crutch and not doing any research on the company you're applying to. This can make it difficult for you to learn about other roles within the company, and can also create a negative impression if they ask you what kind of work do you have experience doing.

The last common mistake made by bootcamp grads is neglecting to network with people in the industry before applying for jobs. Networking with people in the industry gives you an idea of what the best companies are looking for and makes it more likely that you'll find a job that fits your skill set.

Get some experience in the field

Not only do companies recruit through referrals, but they also prefer candidates who already have experience in their field. So if you're going to be an engineer, it's important that you are already well versed in the field before applying for a job. If not, then you'll probably end up being hired as a junior developer and work your way up the ladder.

I would recommend you create a side project and push them to github to show your skills to your potential employers. Side projects can work wonders for you.

For more on this check out this awesome guide from Indeed.com
14 Programming Side Projects To Boost Your Resume (With Examples)

Get ready for interviews

There are a lot of people who will be interviewing you for your first job after a bootcamp. You’ll want to show them that you have the skills to do the job and that you’re a good fit for their company.

You should also prepare for technical interviews by practicing with friends and family members—and bring your laptop!
What questions might they ask? Most companies will ask similar questions, but they may also ask more specific information about the software engineering position, what your strengths are, or how many hours per week you'll work. It's important to have answers ready so you can show them why you're the right candidate.

Preparing (and replying) to interview questions

1. Research the company

Find out as much as you can about the company and what they do by asking questions or conducting research online. It will help you decide if this is the right company for you and what they are looking for in an engineer.

2. Prepare your elevator pitch

This is a brief, one-sentence summary of why you want to work at this company and what makes them a good fit for you. It's also great for when you're on the phone with a recruiter or interviewing with someone who isn't familiar with your experience.

3. Practice your interview (and answer) skills

Practice interviews before your actual interview so that it feels more like a conversation and less like an interrogation! Try talking to people from different perspectives and see how it feels to be interviewed on video!

4. Have some questions of your own ready to ask.

The best way to show that you're interested in the position is to have questions prepared so that you can get insight into what they're doing and how their culture is working. This will help show them that not only are you excited about the role, but also taking time to find out more about it beforehand!

5. Practice data structures and algorithms.

Practice makes perfect, and it also makes you much more confident in your interview answers. These algorithm questions are a great way to practice your skills and make it seem like a walk in the park.

Here are a few algorithm questions that you can practice

  • There is a list of numbers and a number k given. You have to return whether any two numbers from the list add up to make it equal to k practice online

  • Two arrays and an element x is given. Find the element that would be at the xth position of the final sorted array practice online

  • An array of integers and a number k are given, where 1 <= k <= length of the array. You have to return the maximum values of each subarray of length k practice online

Conclusion

It may seem like a daunting task at first to get a job in the tech industry once you have graduated. Fortunately, it does not have to be that way.

Be sure to spend your time in networking, crafting a good resume, and practicing data structure and algorithm questions before you apply.

The good news is, JudoCoder.com provides handpicked selection of all sorts of data structures and algorithm questions, most of these questions have been asked in a real interview!.

I would suggest you create a free account at judocoder.com and start practicing your skills. You will be prepared in no time!..
No matter what you do, make sure you practice! You'll be happy you did when it's time for your interview.

Let me know what you think? I would love to hear what you have to say!

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