Job hunting- Then vs Now

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Whether you are currently in a coding bootcamp, just graduated or have some experience I wanted to give you some of things I’ve noticed during my experience looking for jobs. As you may know, I graduated from a coding bootcamp in 2016 and job hunting was a little different back then. Now, after I have three years of work experience, I am on the job hunt again after a lay off and things have changed for me. Here’s a brief look at how my experience has changed.

Recruiters

Before it was tough to get recruiters to call me back. They would ask for experience and of course I had none 🙁 Usually the end result was them telling me not right now or something of the like.

Now many recruiters call and though I still don’t have what they are looking for, they still call me back though. I am still amazed. I started an application and did not finish it because they were asking for 10 years of work experience and asked questions related to being in the tech field for 10 years. So, I did not finish since I did not have the required experience. Anyhow, the recruiter called me the next day or so wanting to talk to me about the position and saying I did not finish the application. I called her back and told her that I didn’t have the experience required. She told me about a couple of other jobs but they weren’t a good fit. This interaction was different because usually the recruiter wouldn’t have wanted to get back in contact with me if I did not finish my application.

Work Experience

Before I didn’t have a lot of experience. As I mentioned before, recruiters would often ask for work experience. It’s tough to sell random projects which is why I stress the importance of passion projects. Another great option is freelancing – Working on real world projects is a great way to get your foot in the door. Though, I do understand that freelancing isn’t for everybody (including myself).

Now, I have more experience from past work experiences. More projects to talk about. I recommend that as you are working on projects that you write down the things you have done, take notes on the part you had on the project, talk about what you liked about it and what you could have done better as well as any challenges.

Community

Before – Not too involved in tech scene so I didn’t have a lot of people in my network. I had to throw my resume in a pot with so many other resumes.

Now, I’ve been involved in tech scene for a few years now and I know more people in the industry that I can lean on for support. I also have the privilege of reaching out to my network to find out about jobs.

Imposter Syndrome

Before – I had imposter syndrome because of my lack of knowledge and skills.

Now-a-days, I still lack knowledge in some areas and am not confident in my abilities as I would like to be. Imposter syndrome doesn’t go away.

Resources – Job Boards

Before, I was figuring out sites to look on for jobs and applied to the general job boards like Careerbuilder and Monster.com.

Now, I know a bit more about what sites to go on to find jobs or even how to go about finding the right jobs. I have other job boards I go on geared towards specific coding languages and job boards geared towards being diverse in tech.

Coding Interviews

This last one is specific to the pandemic.

Before coding tests were on the whiteboard because you had to go up to the company’s offices to complete them. I had to get comfortable being at a white board and solving problems. I think I felt pretty good about getting in front of a white board and solving coding challenges in interviews.

Now, they are over zoom calls and some even allow you to take them home. I recommend practicing interviews over zoom calls and solving problems online instead of solely at whiteboards.

In conclusion, no matter where you may be during your job search just know that it’s not easy, it takes practice but you can do it. Hang in there!