One of the most common questions we received during our Journey Into Technology webinar last month was about how to navigate the current precarious job climate. At Juno, helping aspiring web developers land a job after Bootcamp is our top priority, so we know how uncertain these times are.
Luckily our Career Services Team is here to help make your journey less overwhelming, whether you’re looking for a career in Web Development or elsewhere. Here are some tips from Juno Career Success Specialist Shadya Abdulrahim and our Juno Alumni on job searching, networking, and taking care of yourself during the whole process.
How do I begin? Where should I look?
Start by updating your resume to reflect your new experiences and skills - check out our downloadable checklist below to make sure your resume stands out from the rest!
Next, reach out to your family, friends, and former colleagues to let them know you’re job searching, and what type of role you’re looking for.
As for where to look, be strategic during this time when job searching. Look at industries who are booming during this economic downturn. A recent report from Indeed Canada indicates that while most job postings are in decline due to COVID-19, postings in the software development sector have actually increased by 4% from last year’s trend - a hopeful sign for tech.
You can start by looking into companies who focus on online learning or who facilitate video conferencing, gaming companies, or companies who consult with government agencies who would be needing to hire people urgently. Be sure to also look into remote job postings, or start thinking about part-time or freelance jobs so you can start working sooner rather than later.
How can I make myself stand out?
First and foremost, do your research to find out what is important to the employer you’re applying to. Carefully read through their website and job description, check out some of the company’s employees on LinkedIn, and see how they talk about the work that they do. Use this research to tailor your resume/CV specifically to reflect their needs and values.
You can also get noticed by the employers you’re trying to work for through your online presence:
- write blogs about your work or trends you notice
- follow and interact with employees of companies that you’d like to work with
- make and share a helpful project/app - this can come in many forms, so get creative! (e.g. an interactive website that helps people stay informed about COVID-19 updates, presenting helpful resources in an accessible and dynamic way, a calming app for self-care)
How can I still network while social distancing?
It’s actually an excellent time to network, since more professionals are currently online and working from home! While in-person mixers and coffee intros aren’t doable right now, online platforms are buzzing with activity - so start using Twitter, LinkedIn, Ten Thousand Coffees, and any other social media regularly.
Reach out to professionals who you think could give you good insight into how to approach your own job search, and who would be good connections for you later on. And remember: when networking, you’re asking for career advice, not a job! Offer to do a video/phone call instead of messaging/email, and follow up with them if they don’t respond after a few days.
Another great way to network while social distancing is to attend virtual conferences, workshops, lunch and learns, and mixers! These are great opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people - especially people from different locations who you wouldn’t normally have the chance to meet! At Juno, all of our events have moved into a Live Online format, so you can participate for free from anywhere.
Should I diversify my skill set?
This question applies to any stage in your career, but levelling up your skills is an especially great way to stand out in the job market! Juno Alum/Instructor Shangni Hu says:
"You have to feel okay with the feeling of never knowing enough. You have to feel okay with continuing to learn.
It’s also important to stay sharp on what you already know, and to try and get ahead of the curve. One of the things that most people love about the Web Development industry is the constant opportunities to learn and improve. Juno Bootcamp Alum Nataliya Ioffe had this to say when asked about where the tech industry may be in five years:
"Knowledge of product development will be even more important. We'll be working on even smaller devices, and lots of different kinds of devices we don't even know about right now!
With industry standards and best practices always evolving, at Juno we offer a Lifelong Skills Guarantee. If you ever feel like your skills need brushing up, you can retake Juno courses you have already taken for just $500. All of our Continuing Education courses are eligible for this guarantee, for as long as we offer the course. Right now is the perfect time to brush up your skills, and with our new Live Online option, you can retake our courses in the comfort of your home!
How do I nail my interview?
So you’ve landed an interview - great! Now more than ever, phone and video interviews are becoming the norm. We know, they can feel more awkward than in-person interviews - so here are some tips on how your personality and skills can still shine through!
- Prepare your own “cheat sheet” with key points that you want to make
- Pay close attention to the intonation of your voice to avoid sounding monotone - even though they cannot see you, smiling helps make you sound more enthusiastic!
- Be professional - wear professional clothing, and make sure your space is neat, well-lit, and quiet!
- Look into your computer’s camera instead of your screen so the interviewer feels like you’re making direct eye contact with them
Any type of interview:
- Make sure to prepare excellent work stories that highlight your skills and experience in the best way possible
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Let your confidence and positivity shine!
An important tip from our Juno Alumni? Remember that interviews are a two-way street - they’re not just interviewing you; you’re also interviewing them! Ask questions at the end - not only to show your enthusiasm and interest, but to find out how your possible employer approaches topics that are important to you.
A couple key questions that Juno Alum Fatima Gueye recommends asking:
“How do you describe your company culture? In the climate that we’re in where mental health is on the forefront, how has your company facilitated those needs?
How can I stay motivated and take care of my mental health during this time?
We know, it can be hard to catch your breath and take care of yourself, especially during these times. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of burnout: reflect on the past, whether it be your experience in a previous job or while studying, when you felt burnt out. What did that look like? What led to it? And what did you do to overcome it? This process will look different for each person.
After reflecting, ask yourself: what steps can you take right now to feel better about the situation you’re in? This could mean taking a break from job searching, networking, or even working to just process what’s going on around you, and planning for the future.
Next, focus on what you can control: there are a lot of things that are outside of our control right now, but instead of fixating on that, it’s healthier to focus on what steps you can still take to move forward.
When you’re ready, take those steps: start putting your thoughts into action. This could mean putting a plan in place to upgrade your skills, networking, or job searching.
Last but not least: don’t give up! Keep working at it, and reach out to a friend or your community for support while you navigate these new challenges. Be kind and patient with yourself, and you will reach your goal!