Searching for a Coding Job - dummies

By Nikhil Abraham

Part of Getting a Coding Job For Dummies Cheat Sheet

After you’ve learned to code, it’s time to begin your job search. Whether you’re an undergraduate looking for your first full-time job or a professional with work experience looking to switch careers, your search will take time as you learn what you want in a company and as companies learn more about you. If you just learned how to code, and especially if you’re self-taught, use these tips to make your job search easier:

  • Squash imposter syndrome: Sometimes you might feel as if you don’t belong, or that you don’t have enough coding knowledge. These feelings of being an imposter in the industry can negatively affect your search and interview process. Squash these feelings by recognizing that others experience these feelings, you know more than you think, and companies are talking to you because you’re qualified and your skills are in demand.

  • Network intensely: While it might be tempting to be shy, now is the time to talk to as many people as possible about your goal to get a coding job. Contact family members, friends, and former coworkers, and ask if they know anyone who has a coding job. In addition, you’ll need to cultivate new contacts by reaching out to people who have coding jobs to see if they can provide advice or connections.

    Use LinkedIn to find connections through people you already know, including contacts with whom you share a mutual connection, as well as through people you have no connection to that you’ll be contacting for the first time. You can also increase your ability to be found on LinkedIn by completing the skills section and having those who know you submit a public endorsement of your skills.

  • Stay flexible: Ordinarily when job hunting, you might specifically target all companies in a certain location. Be open to job opportunities in cities you haven’t previously considered working and with companies you haven’t heard of before. You want a technical position on your resume, and you may need to be flexible to get it.

  • Keep coding: If you’ve just learned how to code, especially at a boot camp, you’ve worked hard. You may be tempted to take a vacation and stop coding. Don’t stop coding! Keep your skills sharp, and increase your portfolio by continuing to code projects.

  • Set up your portfolio site: When considering your application, a potential employer will want to know what you’ve built. Create a portfolio site to showcase your projects and skills, and make sure to include links to your GitHub, LinkedIn, and social media profiles.

  • Brand yourself consistently: Your resume, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio site all tell a story about you and shape your personal brand. These materials should complement each other and project a consistent story. If your personal brand tells an inconsistent story, it could raise red flags with prospective employers. For example, if you’re applying for a front-end web developer position and your resume highlights your use of database tools and your portfolio site lacks any front-end website examples, an interviewer might question your desire and commitment to be a front-end web developer.