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Bootcamp Highlights: How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Hired

By Ella Halstead
April 3 2019

Posted in Blog

Guest blog by Geordie Rogers

What you need to know

On Thursday at 12pm on the dot John Clegg kicked off his bootcamp teaching us how to flip the tables on employers and get them to chase you for a job!

If you missed the bootcamp you can catch up by checking the slides here https://www.slideshare.net/johnclegg/how-to-get-a-job-summer-of-tech-2019-138537686

What do employers want?

We asked employers, what are you applicants missing? Their answer was surprising because students already have what they are looking for, they’re just not telling employers the right way. Students think that they can’t get a job because they don’t have experience, and that they can’t get experience because they don’t have a job. Well, you can get a job, and you can get experience. Employers hire on potential, university is just a way to get started. You get the skills at university and then it takes time and effort to develop those skills further. Employers don’t expect you to have everything out of the gate.

What’s important?

Your career is a collection of jobs. Previously you would get a job and you would work there for the rest of your career, now you can have up to 20 jobs in your career. You will have a lot of decisions in your career and it’s important to remember that those decisions are never set in stone and they’re never the end of the world. Jobs are connected to people. You can’t just grab a job online, like you would buy a new watch. If that’s the way that you approach job hunting then all you have on your side is luck. At the end of the day you have to interact with people to get a job so the more people you know, and the more people you talk to the more likely you are to get that job.

What can you do now?

If you don’t complete a profile employers can’t see you. If you haven’t published you should finish reading this blog post and create one straight away on the summer of tech website. The sooner you create a profile the sooner employers will be able to see you. Having a professional look over your CV has shown to increase your chance of getting a job by up to 4x. When you submit your profile to Summer of Tech someone will be able to look over it and give you feedback. The next thing you can do is come along to one of Summer of Tech’s CV reviews where industry professionals can look over your CV and give you feedback as well. Treat summer of tech like you would any of your university courses. – Bootcamps = Lectures – CV, Profile and Personal Projects = Assignments – Create Camp = Mid Term Test – Meet and Greet/Interviews = Exam

What do you need?

1 – The Right Attitude

– Having the right attitude is important, you can teach someone new skills but you can’t teach them to have the right attitude. That’s something you have to do yourself.

– University will try and make you the same as everyone else but you’re not, we’re not robots, and you need to figure out what makes you different to everyone else. What is it that you want to do, what is it that you’re good at? Employers will want to know what they have to do to make you the best that you can be. What is it that you need to be awesome.

– Be enthusiastic, be curious. Don’t be afraid to dive into a problem head first, after all what have you got to loose.

– Have humility, students think they are really good and think they know things really well, and they do, but they know it at a University level so stay humble and be willing to learn. You can’t get a certificate that say’s you’re willing to learn, you have to prove it.

– You also have to be professional. Employers talk to each other, they use word of mouth, so if you unprofessional then employer will tell each other.

2 – Team Fit

Employers spend a lot of time thinking about whether you’re going to fit into their team or not. They already have a working team so they don’t want to bring someone in who is great on paper but doesn’t work well in the existing team. As someone who wants to be employed you have to know how you work in a team so you can explain that to employers. It’s important to know what Agile and Scrum are, this is how most IT companies work now and it’s something that, at some stage, you will have to learn. Knowing how to use code management is also an essential tool for working in teams.

3 – Communication Skills

At some stage you are going to need to get out of your comfort zone, you are going to have to talk to people. summer of Tech will do an interview skills bootcamp, even if you find talking to others easy this is an essential bootcamp to get feedback on how you interview. At the end of the day employers want to know if they are going to be able to talk to you about a problem. You may not have all of the skills that they are looking for but if they can at least have a conversation with you then they can teach you the rest. Make sure you’re clear when writing commit messages and sending emails. Take feedback, ask for feedback and make sure you take it on board and improve yourself whenever you can.

4 – Your Skills

Employers want to see what soft skills you have. Are you able to research, are you able to think critically, break a problem into parts, think about those parts and solve them separately? Are you a test driven developer, are you able to make sure it works before you build it? What technical skills can you bring to the job, what experience have you had in other languages, even if it’s just writing hello world, or what tools have you used?

5 – Track Record

What is it that you can bring to the table. Start adding things to your CV, things that you can talk about like group projects or personal projects. Try stuff in your spare time and use git as your daily backup. Employers will look at your GitHub and they want to see the contributions you have made. Even if you have projects that you haven’t finished write down why you wrote what you did and what you would do if you had more time in the readme. Employers will want to see if you are able to explain what your code does to other people.

6 – Willingness to Learn

And finally what are you passionate about, what do you want to do? Use the summer of tech bootcamps to figure out what you enjoy. Even do some free tutorials online and add it to your GitHub. You can only learn by failure and you don’t know what you do and don’t like until you try. How do you find a good company? Don’t be shy about asking questions. Do your homework and find out what they offer and what they’re doing. What is it that they do, after all some companies aren’t very good at explaining what they do. Is it a big company or a small company, you will want to find a size that works for you. Students also use word of mouth and some of the students at your University might have done an internship at the company you want to intern at or might even be working there part time. You also need to ask about the work environment, do they have Friday drinks, do they wear dress shirts or can you turn up to work in jandals and a T-Shirt? Also find out what sort of code tools and languages they use, are they the same as what you like or are they something you want to learn how to use? Finding the right company is just as much about finding out what they do as much as it is finding out what you want to do.

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