The coronavirus pandemic has left millions of people unemployed and searching for new jobs. Finding a job is always challenging, but doing so entirely from home can feel even harder. That’s why we put together a live event all about searching for a job, interviewing, and starting a job remotely.
Here at Codecademy, we’re passionate about helping people learn the skills they need to advance at work — and even start new careers. With so many people out of work due to COVID-19, we’re doing what we can to help. In addition to this event, we also recently launched a program to provide a coding education to up to 100,000 impacted workers. Learn more about that program here.
If you’re currently searching for a job from home — or thinking about looking — check out the full recording of our Interviewing From Home event.
Hosted by Codecademy community manager Alyssa Vigil, this Learn From Home Series event features members of the Codecademy People Team, diving into tips for searching for a job, interviewing for a job, and starting a new job from home. Plus, we meet some Codecademy community members who share their own experiences with working from home.
Read on for a rundown of just some of the wonderful tips shared in our live event.
Preparing to Find a Job Online
Codecademy VP of People, Randal Vegter, opened the event with a keynote. Then, Senior Technical Recruiter Madison Olson and Technical Recruiter Mia Biscaia kicked things off with a look at how to prepare to find a job online. Starting around the 16-minute mark, Madison and Mia share tips for getting ready to look for a job online.
Step 1: Prepare your resume
Before you start applying, make sure your resume is up to date. Be sure to include the following items, focusing on experience that shows why you’re a good fit for the job you’re applying for.
- Name & Contact Info
- Work Experience
- Skills (Optional)
- Volunteer Experience (Optional)
- Awards (Optional)
Try to keep your resume to one page. As for the font, don’t go too small. You want to make sure your resume is clear and easy to read.
Step 2: Prepare your LinkedIn
LinkedIn can serve as a nice supplement to your resume. More and more recruiters are visiting LinkedIn in addition to your resume, and some are even using it as a replacement for your resume.
Plus, having an updated LinkedIn profile makes you more discoverable. This means it'll be more likely that recruiters or hiring managers will find you when searching on LinkedIn for candidates for roles they're working on.
Here’s a quick checklist for LinkedIn:
- Ensure your information is up to date.
- Add a quick summary about yourself.
- Expand on your experience where you may not have had room on your resume.
- Add additional sections for volunteer experience, skills, and endorsements.
- Ask previous colleagues for recommendations.
- Add a photo if you feel comfortable, but this is optional.
Searching for jobs online
Ready to look for jobs but not sure where to start? In this section, we’ll dive into where to look for jobs, as well as share some tips that’ll help you make your job search more effective.
Where to look for jobs online
Here are a few places to start looking for listings:
- Careers pages for companies you’re interested in working for
- Dribbble (Design industry)
- Behance (Creative jobs)
- GitHub Jobs (Engineers and product managers)
- Stack Overflow Jobs (Engineers and product managers)
How to look for jobs online
Here are a few tips that can help you make the most of your online job search:
- Set up a time each day to look for new job postings.
- Keep a record of the companies and positions you’ve applied to. Keep notes on who you’ve heard back from, interview confirmations, and other information.
- Reach out to LinkedIn connections at companies you’re interested in applying to. An intro is a great way to get your foot in the door.
Interviewing From Home
Jeffrey Wolfson, our Director of Talent Acquisition, and Senior Technical Recruiter Emma Loftus, shared tips for interviewing from home in a segment starting around the 51-minute mark. They provide some great tips for interviewing in general. Plus, some tips for adjusting to online interviews specifically.
If you haven’t interviewed before, you can likely expect a few different rounds of conversations. Different companies do things different ways, but a pretty typical process includes a phone screening by a recruiter and then by the hiring manager, followed by a series of “in person” interviews. These in person interviews are now likely to be conducted over Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, or another video conferencing platform.
Preparing for your interview
Before the interview, you’ll want to be sure you’re prepared. Jeff and Emma shared some dos and don’ts.
- Research the company
- Find the company values and prepare questions
- Re-read the job description
- Re-read your resume
- Research your interviewers
- Forget to prepare questions
- Set a calendar reminder for 15 minutes before the interview
- Hesitate to ask the recruiting team if there’ll be a break
- Forget water, coffee, or tea!
Virtual interview tips
A virtual interview can come with its own unique set of challenges, so the following tips can help set you up for success:
- Practice your answers.
- Dress the part. Wear a top that strikes a professional note and matches the vibe of the company where you’re applying.
- Test the tech. If you’ve never used Zoom before, give it a try before your interview so you know what to expect.
- Think about the lighting in the room. Try facing a window or putting a light in front of you for the best picture quality.
- Turn off notifications. You don’t want any distractions.
- Talk about something personal.
- Don’t stress. Online interviews are new for everyone. It’s ok if the dog barks or your screen gets frozen.
- Don’t be afraid to take notes or ask questions. It’s also totally fine to ask the interviewer to repeat the question.
Starting a New Job Online
Getting set up: Before you start
- Ask your onboarding team for advice. What can you expect on your first day?
- Set up any hardware so you’re ready for your first day.
- Find out what software the team is using and familiarize yourself. What video conferencing tool are they using? Take it for a test drive.
- Set up a designated workspace at home. Make sure you feel comfortable in your space and that there’s limited noise or distractions.
- Think about what’s in the background before joining a video call. If your bed is in the background, make sure it’s made. Virtual backgrounds can help to hide any distractions in the background.
Getting started: First few days
- Embrace the challenge. We’re all in the same boat. So, while getting started remotely may feel awkward, everyone is getting used to the challenges of working from home.
- Be prepared to troubleshoot. It may take awhile to familiarize yourself with all the software, your internet connection, and more.
- Be ready to talk about yourself. You may be asked to share an interesting fact about yourself in an intro meeting. Be ready with a few things to share.
- Make connections with IT and HR. They can help answer important questions!
- Get to know your stakeholders. You’ll be setting up intro meetings with a lot of new people. Set up meetings with the people that you’ll be working the most closely with first.
- Come prepared with questions for your new manager.
Getting settled: First few weeks
- Ask your team for help or advice. What did they wish they’d known when they started?
- Keep learning about the company. Take every opportunity you can to learn about the business.
- Join in on social and networking opportunities. Things like virtual happy hours and game nights are a nice way to get to know the team better while working remotely.
- Check in with your manager on progress and expectations. Ask for feedback.
- Share feedback on your own experience, too!
Have you interviewed or started a job from home? We'd love to hear about your experience. Drop a comment below!