How to Land a Job After Graduating from Coding School
If you’re a coding school graduate, you should be a highly sought-after individual. Coding is one of the most valuable skills these days, and the ever-expanding tech field is always ready to welcome talented people. Web developers are always in demand, and the need for their services continues to grow. The best part is that they can command a great starting salary.
So, how can you find the right job as a programmer, and what should your application look like? To ensure that your resume cracks the code of the hiring process, you should enlist the services of a professional resume writer. If you want to tackle the job yourself, here are some simple things to keep in mind when putting together a resume after your graduation from coding school.
Outsmart the machines
Most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATSs) to scan resumes and filter them based on relevance. It’s important, especially as a coder, to learn how to outsmart the ATS and get your resume into the hands of the hiring manager. A coder who can’t beat a resume-filtering program is hardly employee material.
Keep your resume format simple, clean, and easy to read so it can get past these digital gatekeepers. Most ATSs can’t handle graphics and unusual fonts, so resist the urge to get creative. Unfortunately, if the software can’t read a resume, it tosses it out. Keeping your text plain will make it readable.
You should also check the content of your resume to make sure you’ve included keywords from the job description. Usually, an ATS works by scanning for keywords the employer has listed, and these can generally be found in the job description, so read it carefully and include all applicable keywords in your resume. The more, the better, so reuse keywords where you can, but don’t go overboard—if your resume gets past the ATS and reaches the hiring manager, you want it to read smoothly for a human as well.
After you’ve done all that, be sure to save your resume in a universal file format. Most .doc and .docx files are readable. Avoid saving the document as a PDF because some ATS programs can’t read such files.
Highlight various skills
Yes, it’s obvious that you have coding skills (or at least it’s assumed you do) since you’ve graduated from coding school, but there are other skills—transferable skills—that can enhance the ones you’re expected to have. What skills have you acquired in previous jobs or through other education? If they apply to the position you’re applying for, be sure to list them. Although employers are always looking for skills specific to the job you’re applying for, they’re always interested in what else you have to offer. Certain skills are helpful in any job.
When listing your skills, be sure to properly document them. You can prove your skill level by including certifications, presenting test and assessment scores, and describing any outside experience linked to a particular skill. It’s important to do this since the mere fact that you went to coding school doesn’t mean you’re experienced—proving that your credentials meet the company’s requirements is absolutely essential. You can list multiple achievements to prove the same skill, which emphasizes your competencies. Companies want to see the value you’ll bring. If you don’t tell them, they’ll never know since they won’t give you a second chance to prove yourself.
Don’t forget to prove your coding skills as well. Showcase your portfolio so the hiring manager can get a good idea of your capabilities. The best approach is to host your portfolio on a dedicated personal website; the website itself can be another display of your coding skills. If you don’t have a portfolio, start working on one—coding is easy to do at home, so you have no excuse.
Link your career development platforms
Many modern companies evaluate candidates by studying their social media profiles to determine what kind of a professional they are. As a programmer, you may have a personal website or at least a LinkedIn account that showcases your coding abilities and your career development. These are great opportunities for employers to explore your work and see your connections in the world of coding. Even though the emphasis is on your skills, networking is just as important in the world of programming as it is in any other professional sphere.
Another great platform for programmers is GitHub, which allows you to demonstrate your coding knowledge through projects you’ve undertaken. You can link to projects on GitHub in your resume so employers can see your skills. If you don’t have GitHub and LinkedIn accounts, create them. This is the best way for recruiters to see your work and determine if you
are the right fit for their company. If you don’t have anything to show for your programming skills, most hiring managers would rather go with another candidate than take a chance on you.
Master the interview process
The interview process for a programming job is somewhat different from that for a regular job. When you’re being interviewed for a coding position, you may be asked to solve “whiteboard coding problems,” where you code on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. Employers want to be certain that you have the skills they’re looking for, so they test you during the interview process. You’d do well to be prepared for this kind of assessment. Obviously, such tests do a poor job of replicating a real programming environment, where your IDE dramatically simplifies your work and you can easily look up solutions to problems that stump you.
Research commonly asked coding questions and be prepared to answer simple questions about programming so you can clearly convey your programming prowess to the hiring manager. Practice responses to anticipated questions, which will help you conduct yourself with confidence during the interview. The best way to prepare is to continually practice by researching typical coding problems and solving them. You may not get the same problem during your interview, but building your problem-solving skills will help you properly assess the task and approach it the right way.
Are you worried about trying to find a coding job once you graduate? Don’t be! Establish yourself by creating a website or a LinkedIn or GitHub account and showcase your coding skills. Every company needs an outstanding programmer, and you can be the person for the job—you just need to prove that to the hiring manager. Do you need help creating the perfect coding resume or a LinkedIn account? Contact our resume experts and career coaches to get on the right path!