Let’s face it - we’ve all been here:
If you relate to this meme, you’re not alone.
It’s the reason why many people take an EntryLevel program, because you get a portfolio after completing the program.
But what happens after you take an online course like ours?
How exactly do you use it to land a career in tech?
I talked to 5+ amazing EntryLevel students to get their answers.
According to our Product Management alumnus, Michael, you need to put all your effort into portfolio projects.
Leverage those projects you’re doing at EntryLevel. They really count.
The quality of your portfolio corresponds to the quality of your work. When companies look at your portfolio, they’ll assume you’ll put a similar effort into projects you work on at work if you’re hired. Your portfolio also shows that you do have previous experience.
Another tip for your portfolio is to pick projects that will benefit you in the long run.
For example, if you know you want to work in fintech startups, you can pursue projects relevant to that. This will align your experiences with what companies are looking for.
Not sure what you want to do?
Here are some short exercises to help you uncover your next career move.
Another tip from Michael?
Brag about the badges you earned.
Now, if you’ve taken an EntryLevel program, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
After completing a program, you get a certificate with badges that showcase skills you’ve demonstrated during the program.
You can use these badges to say “this shows I have this skill, because I did that.” That’s what Michael did, and he got hired and now works remotely.
Want tips for applying to remote companies? Listen to Michael’s interview here.
3 months after receiving a Product Management certificate from EntryLevel, Lola got experience handling multiple software products.
She took initiative by seeking opportunities to work with others.
Not only did she get experience managing stakeholders, she also practiced her communication and teamwork skills.
These soft skills are in high demand from employers. Anyone can learn how to use a PM tool or a design tool. But it takes practice to master soft skills - and you can start now.
Reach out to a few friends to see if they’d like to work with you. Or use LinkedIn to find potential project partners, which leads us to our next tip…
Hauwa bagged more than 5 scholarships through LinkedIn. Even though she just started using LinkedIn this year, she’s found so many opportunities through the social platform.
Start engaging with others in your niche.
Maybe you’re interested in Data Analysis. Start following others who are learning about the topic. Join communities to see what others are working on. Share your portfolio projects there. Maybe you can even work on more projects with people in that community.
You never know until you try. One more thing:
Be resilient on what you want.
If you want something, and you know it’s going to make a positive change in your life, you should work hard towards achieving your goal.
You can make time for that goal you set for yourself.
Hear more LinkedIn tips from Hauwa here.
Another reason to join a community is to get feedback from others, Alexa says.
Getting feedback - and learning how to fix your mistakes - is a valuable skill often used in the workplace.
If you can give and receive feedback well, you’ll succeed at work.
Collaborate with others to accelerate your learning. Your community can hold you accountable to your goals. Even if you don’t meet your goals, that’s okay.
According to Alexa, “you might not meet your project deadline, but the fact that you learned something while doing that project should matter. So you focus on the growth that you’ve achieved and don't beat yourself up. Try again, and make your project better.”
Get more motivation from Alexa.
Ati used the frameworks she learned in EntryLevel’s marketing program in job interviews, and now works at ClearCalcs.
Her advice for you?
Treat your job search like an experiment. Keep testing, learning, and getting feedback so you can improve.
Be smart about what you're doing so that you get your results faster.
Ati recommends not relying too much on mass-applying for big companies “where you might not get feedback until after two months.”
Instead, be proactive.
“Reach out to people so you can talk to them, understand what they're looking for and find out if you can meet those requirements. So instead of waiting for two months, if you can find that out in one call, why don't you do that?”
In fact, Ati has kindly provided a cold outreach email template for you. Find it on Ati’s interview page.
Christiana applied to 50 jobs before she landed an internship.
When you’re transitioning careers, it’s really not easy. It’s not as easy as they make it sound out there…what matters is consistency.
It might take 6 months, or even a year.
When you’re feeling discouraged, just know you’re not alone.
Keep at applying, learning, and improving yourself. Christiana applied to jobs for 3 months before landing one.
She also had 2 companies reach out to HER with jobs after optimizing her LinkedIn, as advised in our LinkedIn tips workshop.
Hear more about her story and how she ultimately landed her job (using LinkedIn connections - with complete strangers!) here.
It now lies on you to really keep doing what you’re doing, keep putting yourself out there. It might take a while, but it will surely come.
Here are your clear next steps for your job search:
Need more support?
Our free job search workbooks can also guide you through the job search process: https://go.entrylevel.net/workbooks