So, you’re on your search for a bootcamp to help you start a career in coding, data, or UX design. And now, you ponder: Can I land a job after completing the bootcamp?
You’ve seen the headlines. In response to slowing economic growth, big tech companies have been letting staff go to cut costs. These massive layoffs have, in turn, led to a market saturated with job seekers. That means if you’re looking to switch careers to the tech industry, tight competition awaits you.
So how do you stand out and secure your dream job after the bootcamp? In this article, we’ll walk you through some actionable strategies from tech bootcamp General Assembly to gain a competitive edge in the job market. Since 2011, General Assembly has tested and implemented different strategies to help students thrive in their careers. And more than 40,000 students have successfully done so after completing the bootcamp’s full-time and part-time courses.
General Assembly can equip you with critical job search skills through career initiatives spearheaded by its Outcomes and Partnerships team. Now, you can confidently switch to tech and jumpstart your career!Start your journey here.
Your Essential Job Search Checklist
1. Refine Your Professional Profile
Your resume should highlight your core strengths that are relevant to the position you are applying for, while your cover letter should expand on them in a captivating and persuasive manner.
This is particularly crucial if you are transitioning into a new career. Although your prior experience in non-tech industries may seem unrelated, you can utilize your diverse skills to showcase your adaptability as a technologist.
2. Prioritize Your Project Portfolio
However, a well-crafted resume and cover letter are not enough; not in the world of tech, where technical skills need to be proven. You need a project portfolio. A project portfolio demonstrates your problem-solving approach and capabilities. If you don’t have many projects to showcase, you can always include mock projects that exhibit your creativity.
3. Network, Network, Network!
If you want to make it in tech, networking is essential. Networking goes beyond clicking “Connect” on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. Join or create a community of like-minded people! Your network can help you expand your knowledge of the industry and connect you to promising opportunities.
4. Interview Prep
Scoring a job in tech is different from getting a job in other industries. Tech roles are demanding, and you need to prove you are up to the task. The hiring process for most tech companies involves assessments of technical and soft skills. Some companies even require you to complete homework. What this all means for you is that undergoing the necessary interview preparation is critical to increasing your chances of getting hired.
5. Lifelong Learning
Tech is ever-evolving. There will always be a new tool or technology for you to learn. For example, blockchain, AI, and Machine Learning are extremely popular technologies today, but they were developed relatively recently.
When it comes to succeeding in the tech industry, lifelong learning plays a huge role. Always strive to continue learning and growing your skills, which you can do by attending workshops and networking events or by enrolling in courses.
The above checklist may seem long and scary, but don’t worry, General Assembly’s Outcomes and Partnerships Teams is here to help you with its wide range of career services.
Tech Industry Job Search Resources at General Assembly
General Assembly’s work doesn’t end after graduation. The bootcamp’s ultimate goal is to get you hired in a job that meets your needs and interests. To help you achieve this, General Assembly has a team of experts who specialize in connecting graduates to hiring employers.
Lupe Colangelo leads the Employer Partnerships team responsible for connecting graduates to employers in the tech space. They work closely with the Outcomes team—General Assembly’s career coaching function. Lupe shares, “The Outcomes team is made up of our amazing career coaches who support our job seekers by teaching essential job search skills and by coaching — both groups and one-on-one — until the student lands their first role post-GA.”
General Assembly takes a hands-on approach to provide resume support, with tech and soft skills being front and center. Colangelo explains, “Our Outcomes team teaches personal branding during the course to prepare people to talk about their career story in a way employers will love.”
Through close collaboration with the graduates, the team helps students uncover transferable skills from previous non-tech roles. The student ends up with a resume that shows their varied background and the skills they bring to the table.
Every student needs a strong project portfolio to show potential employers what they are capable of. To make sure students graduate with a sizeable collection of projects, General Assembly includes tons of exercises in each lesson. These exercises and projects help you practice what you learn and serve as the foundation of your portfolio.
“Skills-based hiring is growing, so your resume should always highlight your technical skills and projects you have completed,” adds Colangelo.
Getting a job in tech is not a matter of luck. In a field where you are competing against people from all over the world, you need to be strategic in your approach to the job search. One way to do this is by building and strengthening your network.
The problem is that it is not easy to put yourself out there. The good news is that General Assembly grads have access to tried and tested tips and strategies shared by coaches. In addition, these coaches, as well as course instructors, help students develop the resilience needed to push through challenges.
For example, Colangelo explains that she always reminds students of the importance of putting in the work and talking to anyone that may contribute to their knowledge and lead them to opportunities.
You can expect General Assembly to provide the training you need to excel in any hiring process. The bootcamp prepares you for both technical and behavioral interviews. In fact, a General Assembly coach will be with you from the very start of the screening process, helping you make a positive first impression.
Continued Skills Development
General Assembly puts at your disposal a wealth of resources to help you succeed. It also helps you develop the resourcefulness and autonomy needed to become a lifelong learner. For example, General Assembly students have access to workshops organized by industry leaders, coaches, and mentors to learn about trends in the industry and what to expect during the hiring process.
Workshop topics include SEO fundamentals, ChatGPT, product management, and UX design, to name a few. Additionally, General Assembly offers a free coding course through Dash. You can also enroll in one of its on-demand courses in digital marketing, data analysis, and UX design.
General Assembly encourages its students to think critically and be selective when applying for jobs. The school organizes online info sessions to help students connect with hiring managers, learn about job opportunities, and find the right match. The bootcamp also gives its graduates access to a curated list of high-quality job openings.
One of the many impressive names you’ll see in General Assembly’s partner network is John Deere. “John Deere has been working with us to find junior tech talent for their engineering and data roles. They have come to speak to our candidates twice,” Colangelo says.
General Assembly taps into its extensive employer network to gain an insider’s perspective on what’s actually in demand in the job market. The bootcamp then uses this knowledge to craft market-driven curricula that help students acquire highly relevant and versatile tech skills.
General Assembly: Your Ticket to a Tech Career
Graduates from General Assembly have gone on to secure jobs at companies of all sizes, from small startups to Fortune 100 firms. With pride, Colangelo shares, “Employers often praise how quickly our grads can learn on the job, as well as their hunger to be successful due to the effort they put into changing careers. They also appreciate the diversity of backgrounds they find in GA talent, which adds so much value to their teams!”
Venturing into an unknown field with no experience is hard, but a successful transition is possible, particularly if you work with experts like those you’ll find at General Assembly. As a final note, Colangelo adds, “Our coaching team’s expertise is meeting job seekers where they are, with the right balance of empathy and tough love so they can find success.”
Ready to make a shift? Start your journey with General Assembly today!
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.