you just graduated coding bootcamp, you are all set, revved up, and ready to loop over any problem thrown your way. You apply to job after job and get ghosted over and over again. Your resume looks good, your portfolio has working projects but you can’t seem to get a callback. Take a deep breath, I have put together the strategies I used to get a job in just 4 days after graduating from coding bootcamp.

  1. Make your job search targeted
    When embarking on your job search, you may think the best way to go about it is the shotgun approach, just applying to everything you see on Linkedin and Indeed. Well, I am here to say, “that's a no from me dawg”. On the surface, applying to everything might sound good, but you want to make every application count. Research the jobs you are applying to, look on LinkedIn, connect with people that work there, reach out, ask what their experience was through the interview process. After your application is submitted, Inmail the Sr dev or hiring manager (see tip #3). Remember during this vetting process you want to make sure the job is right for you just as much as they will be looking to see if you are right for the job.
  2. Keep a detailed spreadsheet
    Document every application you submit, record things like date applied, interest level, followups, and interviews. Annotate who you spoke with, that way, if you have a follow-up interview you will have their name for reference. In addition to this, it is also really cool to be able to look back at all of the places you applied to and the work you put in. It could also serve as a history for good jobs to apply to in the future.
  3. Follow up on every interview
    Whether you felt the interview was good or bad, I think it is good practice to send a follow-up email, just something simple saying that you appreciate the interviewer's time and that you look forward to hearing back. I also like to send emails if I have not heard back after X amount of time. This helps you stand out in the interviewer's mind and shows that you have diligence and are serious about the position.

  4. Network
    A wise man once said it's not what you know, it's who you know. While this is not entirely true for getting a job, it is certainly helpful to know people in the industry. I think networking should be focused on genuine relationship building and professional comradery. I am no longer looking for a job, but I try to keep up relations with people in the field.
  5. Tailor your cover letter for the job
    Rather than using a one size fits all cover letter, take the time to craft a letter specific to the job opportunity. Address the hiring manager, Sr Dev, or whomever you are speaking to, by name if possible. Include the company name and any relevant skills. This shows that you are not just shotgunning your application but that you are being deliberate about where you are applying. A nice touch is to include why you want to work there, besides the obvious fact that you want a job.
  6. Have a set number of jobs you will apply to
    When I was in the process of applying, I made a goal to apply to 5 well-targeted, well-researched jobs a day. Monday through Sunday, no days off. I am not giving a specific number you should try to hit, I am saying you should set the number each day that you strive for. While 5 may not seem like a lot, after a few weeks it can become challenging to find quality jobs to apply for. If you were just easy applying on LI or Indeed, that could take 5 min, but if you are doing it correctly, this could easily be an hour or more of your time.
  7. Put your best foot forward on every interview
    After hearing no so many times it can be easy to get discouraged and almost have desperation in your demeanor, but I warn against this, keep a positive mental attitude and give every interview you're all. This doesn’t just mean during the interview, this means the preparation leading up to the interview. If you have done your research correctly you should be able to talk about the company you are applying to, talk a little bit about the role, and make sure to ask important and engaging questions. The Muse has a pretty great article on good questions to ask I will link here.
  8. Take the job requirements with a grain of salt
    If you are just starting out and you only apply to jobs that you meet all of the qualifications for, it will be slim pickings. Review the listing, if you feel like you have a majority of what they are looking for, apply. Sometimes job descriptions are written by non-technical people and so the postings can get a little bloated and wonky.
  9. Code everyday
    While you are applying and not working, you don’t want your skills to get stale, I really recommend setting aside time to code every single day. It doesn’t have to be all day, but you should really make sure you are practicing the fundamentals and staying up on your craft.
  10. Treat your job search like a job
    Job hunting can be hard work, but it will all be worth it, when at the end of the day you land a job and you get an offer letter, it feels pretty damn good. That oftentimes means you have to work like hell at it. Put in the time, not just the time but the effort, make sure you are sticking to your plan, if you are not working and you are just job hunting, job hunting should be your job.

I am really excited to be able to share my experience with you. The methods listed here are not the best methods or the only methods, they are simply the steps I took and was able to see results. I want to end this with some quick stats to keep you motivated so.

  1. The median salary increase after bootcamp is 56% or $25,000
  2. The average starting salary of a bootcamp grad is $69,079
  3. Most bootcamp grads are employed post bootcamp, 76% of them

I would love to hear your strategies, what was your experience like.