How to Make the Most Out of School Career Services

How to Make the Most Out of Your School’s Career Services

For many bootcamp programs, one of the advantages offered is in-house career assistance, such as access to counselors, workshops, and networking opportunities. But how can you be sure you’re making the most out of your school’s career services? Here are five things to keep in mind!

Start early

The first thing you’ll want to do is start as soon as possible. The earlier you begin making use of career services and putting yourself out there on the job hunt, the earlier you’ll be able to see results. “The early bird gets the worm” may be a cliché, but it’s nevertheless still accurate — so be sure to reach out to career counselors if available, implement their advice, and attend workshops and events as near to the beginning of your program as possible.

“And the only reason I had the courage to start applying for those jobs is that our career counselor said to work on your resume early, apply to jobs early. It wasn’t my own idea … Those of us who were really proactive about that got hired early.”

Take advantage of workshops and events

When it comes to making use of events outside of class, the benefits are multifaceted. In some cases, schools will offer career-building workshops, such as building resumes or practicing interviews to help hone your material technically. And in still other cases, they’ll provide an opportunity to network and meet other people who can help get your foot in the door of a company post-graduation. So don’t shy away from making the most out of every opportunity.

“I spent many days and weekends applying to jobs through the typical online job vendors and websites, where I sent in resumes, cover letters, and what seemed like an endless stream of applications to job listings that fit my skill set, but luckily I found my current job opportunity through someone I met during my Demo Day (graduation presentation) at NSS.”

Maintain communication with career coaches, instructors, and alumni

Career services are there to help, but it’s also a two-way street — so it’s important to keep your connection with them active. In fact, in many cases they’ll still be available after you’ve finished your program. Schedule meetings with counselors and alumni. Ask questions about anything you may encounter during the job search process. Reach out for support or advice. Some may even be able to introduce you to connections they have at companies looking to hire. So don’t drop communication and try to go it alone, when you’ve got people there to help.

“[I] told them I was back in the market and what I was interested in, and they helped me land my current job at EveryMundo, which is a fair marketing airline technology company. Now I’m doing project management there. So for me, the job search process has been a lot easier than what I’ve experienced in the past, before I went to Wyncode. They’ve helped me a whole lot, and I give them a lot of credit because the job hunting thing can be so stressful, and I feel like they helped me a lot through two jobs now … It’s like having a network at your fingertips.”

Stay organized

When embarking on a new job hunt, you might find yourself faced with a deluge of information and advice (especially if you’re also attending class). So, it can be incredibly beneficial to make sure you stay organized. Take notes from meetings with career counselors. Maintain the contact info of people you meet at events. Keep track of applications you’ve sent out and interviews you’ve had. With everything laid out neatly on-hand, you’ll be able to best utilize what you’ve gained from the career services.

“They had a sort of career coach/guide at GA, and I worked with him to try to monitor all of the applications that I had sent out. I had an Excel spreadsheet where I knew exactly who I sent an application to, what kind of application it was, and did I include a cover letter, so it was really really detailed for every single job … I don’t think I ever in the past had monitored my applications as much as I did now, but I think moving forward I’ll always do that.”

Don’t rely solely on your school

Of course, there’s a wealth of resources available outside your school, so you don’t want to put all of your eggs into one basket. Find a middle ground between leaning entirely on your school’s services and going it alone. This way, you can cast a wider net and ultimately increase your chances of success. After all, you never know where you might find a connection or resource that could help you make your big break!

“A chance encounter at my local dog park resulted in a lead that turned into the best job I’ve ever had with a company I am extremely proud to work for. As they say, always be networking; you never know who you will meet out there!”

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