If you arrive at coding bootcamp with no prior programming experience, you may feel like the odds are stacked against you when it comes to procuring a job in the industry.
This is where our Career Success team comes in handy. At Fullstack Academy and the Grace Hopper Program, this powerhouse of amazing humans focuses exclusively on preparing you to land a job in the industry. They work with you to polish your resume, make sure your LinkedIn is attention-grabbing, and much more.
Want some insider tips on how to enhance your LinkedIn profile? Here are some of our most surefire strategies for helping students stand out among the crowd.
1. Punch Up Your LinkedIn Summary — And Be Specific!
The Summary section on LinkedIn is still relatively new, but it’s the perfect place to show off your personality and give employers insight into your individual journey. Use this section to answer questions like: What were you doing before coding? What drew you to coding? What are you passionate about, and what are you looking for in your next job?
This is not the place to be shy or vague. Use direct, impactful language—this will increase the likelihood of attracting the interest of a company that will be a good culture fit for you, and vice versa.
2. Rely on Projects to Showcase Your Experience
You need to emphasize projects that you worked on during bootcamp and, more specifically, what exactly you did on them so that employers can see how you approach problem solving. At Fullstack and Gracae Hopper, our students work on a capstone project that is presented at Hiring Day to potential employers, in addition to other projects throughout the 17-week semester. These can all be used to point to your experience.
3. Include All Work and Volunteer Experience
Don’t delete jobs that aren’t related to programming from your LinkedIn. Employers are interested in candidates who can bring diverse perspectives to their company, and they want to see what you’ve done in your life before coding. We’ve taught musicians, artists, service industry workers, and more—and each of them possessed skills from prior jobs that are valuable to them as coders now. You should also include volunteer experience and extracurricular activities or groups.
If your Experience section is looking pretty sparse, consider listing your coding bootcamp education here. This has the added benefit of calling attention more effectively to the projects you’ve worked on.
4. Maximize Use of Keywords
Note: Be sure to indicate technologies or keywords that you’re interested in as well—not just ones that you’re already familiar with. This will communicate to an employer that you’re keen on learning the tech they use and make them more likely to consider you.
…And a Final Word About Resumes
Though it would be easier to simply print out your LinkedIn page and use that as a resume, they are not the same thing. LinkedIn is a more comprehensive view of you as a candidate, while resumes are best kept to about one page. In the header section at the top of your resume, direct employers to your LinkedIn page and GitHub, alongside your updated contact info.
We recommend hitting these items (in this order) on your resume: Education, Tech Skills, Coding Projects, and Experience. While you can have a short summary at the top of the page, there isn’t as much emphasis here as we’ve placed on the LinkedIn Summary. If you still want to add a glimmer of your personality, a short Interests section at the bottom is the way to go.
These tips should help you stand out as a strong contender. They are all action items you can implement yourself— however, if you are a prospective student, consider the value of the strong career services team at Fullstack. We’ll show you ways to pitch yourself, how to prepare for technical interviews, the art of salary negotiation, and much more. Learn more about Fullstack at one of our info sessions.