In the IT realm, your experience speaks volumes. But what if you’re new to tech? Having zero experience doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a job or build a career from scratch. In fact, you may be more qualified than you think! Let’s look at TripleTen’s guide to help you get started.
Where to look for a job if you have zero experience
Not only entry-level
Your most intuitive move will be to search for entry-level positions if you’re new to the industry. But if you have finished a bootcamp, you don’t necessarily have to apply for the junior level, says TripleTen’s Career Product Lead Anastasia Cherepanova.
After graduating from TripleTen’s Bootcamp, you will have enough knowledge to get hired as a general-level specialist without the “junior” prefix. Anastasia Cherepanova, Career Product Lead
"Many graduates are limiting themselves, thinking they are not qualified. But if you combine your transferable skills from previous experience, newly acquired tech knowledge, and believe in yourself, it will be enough. Determination is key, as well as an understanding that you can do what is needed" shares Anastasia.
When you reach out for a software engineer position, you are expected to be familiar with the core functions of your programming language and also:
- Know how to work with Git (an online resource for shared repositories), pull, push, and merge requests
- Have experience in deploying your project to the server
- Be able to troubleshoot independently, look into error logs, and search for the solution
That knowledge and experience can be easily gained at a bootcamp. But check the proposed program first.
Once you've gathered job offers, take a few additional measures to secure an interview.
Don’t forget about networking
Networking is a great way of getting your first job when you lack experience. Ana Mineeva, Career Product Lead
“A personal introduction works much better than a resume and allows you to fast track. Many companies have a referral system, which gives employees bonuses for introducing a candidate that eventually gets hired. We teach our students to network, and provide them with a roadmap, i.e., how to introduce yourself or write a nice and effective follow-up message” adds Ana.
Being socially active both offline and online can reward you with offers.
Here are some tips on what to pay attention to when using career networks like LinkedIn, Xing, or Dice:
- Keep your profile up-to-date to reflect your skills and knowledge and get connected with decision-makers in the tech industry.
- Send out invites to connect with recruiters - their names are often posted next to the job offer on LinkedIn.
- Follow influencers and public figures on LinkedIn and Twitter to know what’s happening in the field.
- Keep your social networks friendly, as the HRs might want to see your public profiles.
Complete an internship
Internships can be a good option for onboarding you in the field. They help you gain essential experience to start getting paid for your work. An internship will give you loads of insights and possibly even a hire, or at least a recommendation letter, at the very least.
Some bootcamps (like TripleTen) include externships in their program. In an externship, you have the opportunity to solve real-life cases for partner companies. (This project will also become part of your portfolio!)
How to market yourself if you are just starting out
Make your resume a perfect fit
90% of applicants don’t reach the second round of hiring. This happens because automated tools do the first round of scanning resumes. “HR departments of big companies normally have an inbox full of applications, so they don’t pay much attention to the first resume screening and apply many filers,” Ana says.
Look for keywords in job descriptions, match them with your experience, and pack your resume with those. For instance, when the job requirement says “Strong knowledge of E-commerce,” make sure your work experience reflects a role connected to E-commerce, for example:
Jan 2019 - April 2022
Sellmyclothes’ shop manager is responsible for managing the entire E-commerce sales cycle for the market in France.
When listing your past job experience, also try to present your approach to complex situations using soft skill terms. Instead of just listing your past achievements, mention which qualities helped you succeed.
Wisely crafting your resume will play a crucial step in landing your dream tech role.
Highlight your previous experience
There are many areas in tech where domain expertise is valued over skills that could be quickly accumulated. You may be new to developing banking apps, but your previous experience as a cashier manager will prove you know how to deal with financial software. You may have never scanned a code for bugs, but you used a sharp eye while working with accounting documents. Write down a list of valuable hard and soft skills you have relied on before. Ask your mentor or a career specialist how they can benefit your resume.
Indicate your specialized education
Be straightforward about your education, even if it is unrelated to the tech field. Hiring managers see the big picture and look for people who match the team.
Briefly show your background, focusing on things you consider helpful for the desired positions.
Create a portfolio
A portfolio usually presents examples of your previous work and is a great way to showcase your professionalism. Recruiters tend to shortlist profiles that have invested time to create a vivid portfolio, whose interests and tone of voice can be traced by what they share and how they comment.
Even if you’re new in tech, show the projects you have worked on during your studies. That can show the breadth of your experience, problem-solving skills, and fluency in tools necessary for your future job.
How to prepare for an interview
Do your homework
Many do not research articles, videos, or other materials about what to expect during the hiring process. But it’s a great way to relieve the stress associated with an interview and prepare yourself for any surprises.
For example, data scientists should often show exquisite analytical skills, be prepared to describe the architecture of projects they have worked on, and leap into theory. Product managers should be ready to show examples of clearly written user stories or brainstorm a product roadmap in seconds. Software developers are often asked to prepare for a coding assessment before applying for a job.
Go over your previous interviews
There is a chance you will have many interviews before getting an actual offer. Don’t let it discourage you: every interview is a fruitful source for revision and improvement.
Write down questions that were hard to answer
Analyze what went wrong and work on fixing it. Sometimes anxiety can play tricks on you, especially if the area is new.
Look back on all your sensations
Each new interview helps you recognize the team, environment, and work conditions that suit you best. Write down not only what you liked but what you disliked about the attitude and work conditions.
Think about your salary expectations
Sometimes the reason for failed interviews in tech is unrealistic expectations regarding salary. At times, companies spend months interviewing candidates, hoping to get a perfect ratio of skills and cost. For entry positions, keep the fork for your desired compensation open. Proactivity in asking for the budget the company is ready to invest in a specific role indicates professionalism.
Start with zero experience and land a job with TripleTen
TripleTen offers intensive, yet flexible bootcamps for people wanting to break into tech! One of our core strategies is getting you prepared for hire. You will get tons of support as you learn, so once you’ve graduated, you will be fully equipped for a job outreach. With TripleTen, you will create a portfolio highlighting your experience and practice taking interviews and assessments in test environments. Our career mentors will be there to consult you and give feedback as you get ready to land your new exciting job in tech.
An exciting new IT career is closer than you think. Check out our top-rated bootcamps today!
Unsure which bootcamp to choose? Take our short career quiz.