One of the more difficult aspects of attending a coding bootcamp has been juggling all of the requirements in order to be successful. We aren’t just here to learn software development. Many, if not all, who are in similar situations have the ultimate goal of finding a job as a junior developer at the end of the program. That takes work, important work, in addition to the hours already dedicated to learning to code. So how can you effectively market yourself, especially in the early stages of learning software development?
As a former teacher I never had much use for networking. I actually avoided it at all costs. Small talk is probably one of my least favorite things in the entire world. So when I was told that networking would be a crucial part of finding a job as a software developer and continuing to be successful in the tech industry, my heart sank a little. It makes me uncomfortable to talk about myself in a way that highlights my skills and accomplishments. But once you get over those feelings of insecurity and actually put yourself out there, it can surprisingly be a lot of fun. Networking in Covid times looks much different but it can be just as beneficial. Meeting people that you wouldn’t normally get the chance to interact with, in person or virtually, can be invaluable.
Ah, the infamous LinkedIn. Has anyone else heard the rumor that if you create a profile on LinkedIn you’ll immediately get ten job offers? No, just me? Okay, great… Well speaking of networking, LinkedIn has proven to be a great tool for staying connected with those very same people you meet during networking events. Giving recruiters the opportunity to see your previous experience, education and skills can be very helpful in securing interviews. Your LinkedIn profile is almost like a pre-interview, so don’t handle it the same as you would your Facebook or Twitter profiles! Check out my profile here: Jeff White.
3. Elevator Pitch
Crafting a 30 second to 1 minute long elevator pitch can be helpful when interacting with people you’ve just met. Highlighting your main passions, skills and motivations can be difficult to do in that short period of time, but it’s important to have something like this in your back pocket. Elevator pitches are perfect during an interview or when you want to introduce yourself at a networking event without word vomiting your entire professional experience.
4. Write a Blog
This is my favorite part! Writing a blog is a great way to connect with people you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to meet and to share about your experiences. Writing about projects, sharing tutorials or observations about a particular topic are good ways to get the attention of those who are in a similar field as you. I also use writing to decompress after a long week, so that’s an added benefit!
5. Portfolio Website
I have yet to venture into this part of marketing myself but I can’t wait until I have the technical skills to do so. I love exploring portfolio websites and seeing projects that people have created. It’s a great way to see someone’s passion and technical skills all in one place. Creating side projects and sharing them on your website or somewhere like Github can be crucial in acquiring a job. If you have created a portfolio website share the link in the comments. I’d love to see what you’re working on!
What are some ways that you successfully acquired that dream job?
Top comments (9)
Your article makes me think about what I have done this entire year. It's useful not only for Juniors also for Seniors who want to get their dream job 💜
I started with my portfolio and blog this year 🥳 It will be nice to have your feedback: dawntraoz.com
I enjoyed looking through your portfolio, Alba! I liked how bright and organized everything was. It seems like you’ve had the opportunity to work on some really awesome projects!!
Thanks a lot for your words 😍 I tried to be clean 💜
And yes!! I had the opportunity to work in service companies with a lot of great projects 🥰 I'm here thanks to them!!
I'm with you, small talk is the worse. I suck at it. But I get the importance of networking. Social media tends to drive me crazy more often then not, but is a necessary evil at this point. Nice to know I'm not alone in my thoughts though lol.
Feel free to check my portfolio site out at coryrunnells.com. Thanks for sharing this article Jeff!
Looks great, Cory! We haven’t dived too much into front-end development in my bootcamp yet but I’m looking forward to it. I enjoy the visual/creative aspect of front-end development!
My advice for your portfolio is dividing your information into another tabs(ex: Tools, Projects). Never put so many information on a page. Make it simple and objective. :)
I'm in the search for my first job as well and recently redid my portfolio site on WordPress. I really want to create a cool portfolio like some people have but it's just not in my skillset yet. Networking is my most hated thing ever, especially opening up conversations with people I've never met or talked to.
Your article is exactly what I am asking myself. Particularly, how to networking with some stuff regarding Web Dev in the back. I asked the question in freecodecamp forum and it seems Twitter is the best place and being adviced to tweet only people a little bit above me, skills-wise. The point is that I don't know how to positioning myself, let say, in the market of Web Developers.
Nice suggestions !