How To Sell Yourself When You Have No Tech Experience
Landing a job in the tech industry can seem like an impossible task, especially if you don't have any prior work history in the field. You've probably lamented the old saying: Can't get a job without experience, but need experience to get a job.We're here to walk you through how to make it happen. For starters, getting some education and training under your belt will certainly help. Our bootcamps at Eleven Fifty Academy are designed to give you the skills and knowledge you need to work in several different high-demand areas in tech. But what else can you do to sell yourself when your tech work history is slim? Keep reading for the top three tips to sell yourself with no experience.
How Do You Sell Yourself if You Have No Experience?
So you're ready to start looking for your tech job. There's just one problem: you don't have a lot of professional experience in tech. Maybe you don't have a lot of work experience in general. So how do you stand out from the crowd on job applications or in interviews where you might be up against others with more experience? Earn certifications, build a portfolio, and sell the workplace skills you undoubtedly do have!
One of the best ways to sell yourself in the tech industry without any related work experience is by earning industry-recognized certifications. Certifications like CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+ are regarded highly by employers, and they serve as signs that you're skilled and knowledgeable. You can list your certifications on LinkedIn and on your resume, and bring them up in an interview when you need to talk about the experience you do have.Many of our courses at Eleven Fifty Academy prepare you to take these CompTIA certifications, so you can go into the exam feeling confident and prepared.
Build a Portfolio
To prove you have the skills to work in web development, software development, UX/UI design, and more, you can put together a portfolio of your work. Depending upon your area, your portfolio should contain front-end or back-end examples of projects you've worked on. For example, if you've built a website or app in your free time, you can include screenshots or a link to the code in GitHub. At Eleven Fifty Academy, our courses provide the opportunity for students to work on portfolio-building projects in group and individual settings. These projects can be used in your portfolio once you graduate! And, if you need more portfolio-building practice, our Atlas program is designed to give EFA grads the chance to work in groups to gain more experience and build out their portfolio even further-and it's totally free for EFA grads! Not sure how to get started? Our career services team can help you build out a portfolio that'll impress prospective tech employers. Once your portfolio is ready, you can host it online and include a link to it on LinkedIn and on your resume. You may be able to bring it up or refer to it in an interview as well.
Don't Forget About Essential Skills
Even if you've never worked a job in tech you've got essential skills, also known as soft skills or employability skills, that employers want. You've gained the skills from previous jobs, educational experiences, volunteering, and more-you just have to show them off.Here are seven of the most in-demand essential skills for those working in tech, according to The Balance Careers. You can work these skills into your resume to really stand out. The Balance Careers also provides additional keywords for each skill that you can include in your resume or cover letter to really wow prospective employers.
- Communication: Can you communicate well with other people, either written or verbally? This is an in-demand skill in almost all industries, because every employer needs employees who know how to communicate clearly.
- Creativity: Are you a critical thinker or problem solver? Tech professionals need to be able to think outside the box to develop unique solutions to problems.
- Determination: Can you persist, even through the most challenging projects? Tech companies need workers who can stick with it, despite issues that inevitably come up when working on a project.
- Flexibility: Have you ever had to completely alter course while you're working on something? You're ready for a career in tech. The ability to work with changes as they come is a key skill.
- Leadership: You don't have to have been a boss to illustrate leadership. If you've worked well in teams, managed projects, or mentored someone, you've got leadership skills that are in demand.
- Negotiation: We don't mean negotiating deals here necessarily, more the ability to collaborate with others to reach a preferred outcome. People skills are useful no matter what industry you're in.
- Presentation: Finally, can you present information or concepts in a way that makes sense? Whether it's a team meeting or a board presentation, employers want employees who can convey information effectively.
As an added bonus, bringing up these skills in an interview when you're asked situational questions like "What are three words a co-worker would use to describe you," or "Tell me about a time you struggled with a project or task" to really illustrate your essential skill strengths.
Eleven Fifty Academy is Here to Help
At Eleven Fifty Academy, we truly care about our students and want them to achieve their goals. So whether you're a prospective student, a current student, or an alumni who just needs a little bit of support, we're here for you. We invite current students and EFA grads to reach out to our career services center with tips on landing a great job in tech.Prospective students who are interested in learning more about our courses and getting started on a path to a tech career can schedule a meeting with one of our admissions advisors.