Job Search and Interview Tips for Boot Camp Graduates From Indeed
As a tech boot camp graduate, you’ve likely done your fair share of professional development — especially if your boot camp offered dedicated career services to help position you for the job search. Now that you’re ready to send out your resume and get some interviews scheduled, you might be wondering how you can make the best use of your time while also making a strong impression on recruiters and hiring managers.
As the top job site in the world, Indeed connects millions of people to new opportunities — and with 10 jobs per second added to the site globally, it’s a great place to get your footing and conduct your job search.
Indeed University Recruiter Christina Rippo has helped thousands of job seekers start a new career or pivot into a new industry. During a recent discussion, she shared her top tips for boot camp graduates, as well as valuable resources for building your resume, preparing for interviews and more job search guidance offered through Indeed.
Keep reading to find out how you can put your best foot forward and stand out as a boot camp graduate.
Research the company
You’ve probably heard this before, but researching the company you’re interviewing with is a crucial component of the job search process. Visit the company’s website and LinkedIn page, and take note of the programming languages listed on their Indeed page or within the job listing to better position yourself during the interview.
Knowing whether a particular language is utilized beforehand not only helps you know which questions to ask, but also helps you determine the questions you don’t need to ask. You can find more helpful information in this Complete Guide to Researching a Company from Indeed.
Key takeaway: By doing your research, you’re showing up as a professional, prepared candidate who has an understanding of the company and role in question.
Research the role
While you don’t have to worry about a pop quiz in the middle of your interview, you should be well-versed in the requirements of the job for which you’re interviewing. That doesn’t mean you need every single one of the skills listed, but you should be able to explain how your current skills and previous experience will benefit the company and role in particular.
Even if you don’t have professional experience with a tool or technology, there’s a good chance that you gained experience with it during your boot camp education, so don’t shy away from discussing your achievements from that time. In fact, the interviewer will already know that you’re a recent boot camp graduate if it’s on your resume, so they’ll be less focused on how much you know and care more about how you move through a question.
Key takeaway: When you have a strong understanding of a role’s responsibilities, you’ll have an easier time communicating how your skills can contribute to the organization’s overall success.
Practice, practice, practice
As a boot camp student, you likely devoted a lot of time to applying your new skills on projects and hands-on exercises as you learned new concepts. Even after you’ve graduated, keeping up your practice is key to staying competitive and up-to-date on your knowledge. Christina recommended visiting sites like HackerRank where you can work through technical questions before going in for interviews.
“The more practice you have, the better,” she explained. Search online for practice problems related to the role or field you want to work in, then get into the habit of explaining your thought process out loud so you’re able to clearly communicate your ideas during the interview. Not sure where to start? Read up on these tips from Indeed to help you prepare for a technical interview.
Key takeaway: The scariest part of an interview is the unknown, so the more time you spend practicing your answers, the more confidence you’ll have to overcome the intimidation factor.
Get comfortable meeting virtually
Zoom meetings and virtual webinars are nothing new, but since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, screen-to-screen interactions have become the norm. That said, it’s not always easy to let your personality shine when you’re communicating via video. Without shaking someone’s hand or making natural eye contact, it can be difficult to connect with your interviewer or other professionals at virtual events.
“Try your best to focus on the interview and showcase what you bring to the table,” Christina said. That’s where preparation comes into play — if you’ve studied the company and role, you’ll have an easier time staying present during the interview. Communicating your questions and knowledge clearly and confidently can help overcome the digital distractions that come with virtual meetings. Find even more helpful tips for a successful virtual interview on Indeed’s website.
Key takeaway: Doing your best to normalize the process and feel comfortable in a virtual environment will allow your personality to shine so you can stand out as a memorable and qualified candidate.
Make your resume work for you
Did you know that employers and recruiters can directly connect with candidates through the Indeed website? You can increase your chances of being seen and contacted by taking a few key steps:
- Set your resume to “public” so employers can search for and view it through the Indeed job search platform.
- Keep your resume up to date — as you move through school or change jobs, your resume should reflect your most recent achievements so you’re relevant to employers.
- Tailor your resume to the position you’re applying for. This doesn’t mean starting from scratch with every role — instead, make sure your resume includes skills and tools that are also in the job description.
- Make sure everything on your resume has value. Your personal summary could be taking up space that could be better used to showcase niche skills and relevant achievements.
For more resume tips from Indeed, check out their comprehensive Career Guide for everything you need to put together a strong resume and cover letter.
Key takeaway: Take a comprehensive look at your skills and experience so you can tailor your resume for each type of position you’re interested in. This will help employers who need your expertise easily find you.