After graduating from the Grace Hopper Program (an all-women’s coding bootcamp) this summer, I spent the following three months on a Teaching Fellowship, mentoring the next cohort of GH students, and began my post-bootcamp job search in the second week of September.
During my seven weeks on the search, I connected with 45 companies and received four offers. It’s now the end of October and I just signed on with The New York Times! I definitely caught some lucky breaks, and my own privilege certainly played a part in my success. But I also worked really hard to make this happen, and I’d love to share with you how I approached the job search.
People often think a job search entails sending out hundreds — or even thousands — of applications in order to snag a job. But personally, I connected with fewer than 50 companies, and sent out only three actual applications. (and one of those was after the interview, just so that I was officially on file.) It doesn’t have to be a numbers game. There is a way to succeed in the job search with a “quality over quantity” philosophy. How, you ask?
The way I see it, there are two very different approaches people take to the job search: the “quality” route (networking) and the “quantity” route (submitting cold applications). My intuition told me the “quality” route would yield more benefits for the time spent, so I threw myself into it full-force.My strategy was simple: Get through to “a real person” and ask to buy them coffee or chat on the phone. The beginning of the job application process for me was always talking to a person, regardless of whether that was a person I already knew, a person I found cold on LinkedIn, a person I followed on Twitter, a person whose email address I guessed at until I got it right, a fellow alumna on Slack. How did these different sources of people compare?