You’ve graduated from a coding bootcamp, you know how to build a website from scratch, but you have no relevant work experience – how do you find a job? It may sound like the chicken and the egg problem, but as Fullstack Academy and Grace Hopper Program’s Head of Career Success Ceren Depree points out, you probably have more experience than you think. In this video tutorial, Ceren shows us how to make your LinkedIn profile, your resume, and your Github stand out to potential employers, even if you have never worked as a software developer before. Watch the video or read the summary below.
A lot of people focus on curriculum when selecting a coding bootcamp, but Ceren says that the strength of a bootcamp’s career development team is also important. To start a new career and find a job as a web developer, you need a concise resume, a descriptive LinkedIn, and a Github that shows your interests.
3 Ways to Make Your Linkedin Profile Stand Out with No Experience
1. The Personal Summary
Personal summaries are somewhat new to LinkedIn, but so important! They give an employer insight to who you are. Tech skills are not all that matter; you also need to be a good culture fit.
Ceren recommends including three things in your personal summary:
- Past – what were you doing before coding bootcamp
- Present – why you love coding, what was your “a-ha” moment
- Future – what are you looking forward to in the future
PRO TIP: Avoid saying you are looking for a role where you can “learn and grow” in the personal summary. Instead, explain how an opportunity might match up with the mentorship you’re looking for: transparency, an open environment, pair programming, and working with developer tools.
- Bootcamp graduates usually don’t have relevant previous experience, so you can use projects to show an employer what you have built from scratch.
- At bootcamps like Fullstack Academy, you build a capstone project and other projects, so you can highlight these to show employers you can take complete ownership of a project.
PRO TIP: Point out your main contribution to each project, so employers can see exactly what you built.
These include coding languages, and skills, and are important in both your LinkedIn and your resume. Most LinkedIn profiles and resumes are skimmed for about 6 seconds, so you need to have words that jump out to the viewer.
Since LinkedIn is a search engine site, it’s essential to have keywords in a number of areas:
- Personal summary
- Projects section
- Education section
- Skills section
What if I Have No Experience?
- Ceren says LinkedIn is like a trashcan – you can and should put everything into it
- For some situations for students who have never worked, you can put Fullstack Academy or the name of your bootcamp in the experience section of your LinkedIn to highlight projects you have done.
- Don’t be afraid to put unrelated work experience on LinkedIn – people want to see that you have worked in an office. If you worked as a research assistant at your school, it shows that you know how to work hard.
- Include any volunteer work, or if you helped a friend build a site. Pro bono work is always great.
Proof You Don’t Need Experience: Ceren says it’s not mandatory to have a background in tech. One Fullstack Academy graduate was an actor before coding bootcamp, and had no technical background. Today he is a developer at Amazon. He got the foundational tech skills he needed, studied for his interviews, and aced the interview process.
Should My Resume Match My LinkedIn?
- LinkedIn can be your trash can, but resumes must be just one page
- Your personal summary needs to be short – you can add more personality through an interests section at the end of the resume.
- At the top, include a strong header with LinkedIn and Github links, your address, phone number, and email address
- Next, include your technology skills section, sorted into “proficient” and “knowledgeable”
- Projects - shows your hands-on work with coding to employers
- Make sure you then include your work experience and your education
Any Tips for Github?
Your projects will be on Github, where employers can see your raw code.
Other ways to make your Github stand out:
- Follow repositories you are interested in
- Read information and learn about other repositories
- Contribute to open source code
Can I Do This on My Own?
Ceren says anyone can build their own LinkedIn, resume and Github, but the job interview process is really frustrating. The Careers Services team at a bootcamp like Fullstack Academy helps you with:
- How to build out your LinkedIn
- How to do a good resume
- How to pitch yourself
- How to prepare for phone interviews
- How to prepare questions for interviews
- Mock technical interviews
- Follow up reviews
- Cover letters
- Salary negotiations - accepting and declining offers
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