Skip to main content

Applying to Jobs

Before we dive into finding and applying for jobs, itโ€™s important to set a few expectations about what a job search looks like in the current tech landscape.

Tech is a rapidly growing industry โ€” according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics overall employment for tech industry professionals like software developers, QA analysts, and testers is expected to grow 25% between 2022 - 2032, much faster than average for all other occupations. However, with the growing demand for coding professionals also comes growing competition, as more coding bootcamps and university computer science programs send qualified job seekers into the market.

Itโ€™s not uncommon for a job search to take time โ€” more than just a few weeks, but often closer to a few months. On average, it takes the majority of Epicodus graduates between 3 - 6 months to find their first role, including the time they spend in class during these assignments. Companies are notoriously slow at hiring; it can take weeks for a hiring manager to even look at the pile of applications in front of them, let alone follow up for a phone screening, interviews, or a rejection letter.

With this in mind, applying to jobs frequently, consistently, and with targeted applications that set you apart as a unique and qualified candidate are all more important than ever. Itโ€™s easy to get discouraged, and to lose motivation as you settle into your job search. Our best advice is to be patient, to be consistent, and to focus on the elements of your job search that are in your control: the quality of applications you send out, the follow up you do, and the way you build and leverage your network. Find ways to get creative, and use any of the resources and tools you have at your disposal.

Finally, remember that you are not alone in this process. Your peers in your cohort and the upper cohort above you have been in your shoes and know what youโ€™re going through. Talk to each other. Share strategies that work, and commiserate about what doesnโ€™t. Find ways to get creative together, attend networking events together, or even share an informational interview together.

Get in touch with alumni through LinkedIn, our alumni lunch speaker talks, or the Epicodus Alumni Discord server (available to you after you graduate), and lean on their advice and experience.

Your advisor is also always in your corner to help you, whether that means answering questions, reviewing your application materials, or just being an accountability buddy to talk to for motivation or to bounce ideas off of. Donโ€™t hesitate to reach out to them anytime you need support.

Introduction to Applying to Jobsโ€‹

The purpose of this assignment is to get you prepared for regularly applying to jobs with maximum hiring potential. Because one of the most common roadblocks to getting hired is not applying for enough jobs, our goal is to get you started early, so you can get into good habits for consistently sending out applications. Your advisor will be checking your submitted application materials to help make sure youโ€™re on the right track.

Over the next few weeks, you'll be expected to apply for one to three jobs depending on the week, for a total of 8 jobs before you graduate. (See the end of this lesson for more details.) On Epicenter, you will send a link to the job posting as your submission along with a link to your Google Spreadsheet job tracker OR to this link if you used No More Cover Letter. Tracking your job applications will help you and your advisor keep track of every job that you've applied to, as well as your targeted resumes and cover letters. It's important to keep your tracker updated every time you apply to a job, even after you graduate from Epicodus.

Searching for Job Postingsโ€‹โ€‹

Before you write your application materials, find a job you'd like to apply for following this lesson on job boards.

Creating Your Job Trackerโ€‹

Create your own job tracker sheet by copying the template here. To do so, open the link and click on "File" in the top left under "Master Job Tracker." Then, click on the second option, "Make a Copy", rename it, and save it to your Google Drive.

Before you start writing your cover letter and resume, we want to make sure you're clear on how to do so in Google Docs. To create a new Google Doc, head to the main Google Docs page and click on 'Blank' under 'Start a new document.' This will create an empty project for you to fill out with your resume or cover letter. There's no need to save your work because Google Drive automatically tracks your changes.

When you're applying for jobs, it can be easy to mix up details of different positions. A job tracker spreadsheet helps organize the jobs you've applied for. A good job tracker not only records the basics but also gives you a place to take notes and mark progress or next steps.

Here are the essentials to record in your job tracker:

  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Contact information
  • Job posting URL (or where you heard about the job)
  • Tailored cover letter
  • Resume
  • Date applied

You can also choose to include these details if helpful:

  • Status of application (e.g., applied, interviewed, rejected, offer received)
  • Salary range
  • Benefits offered
  • Job location
  • Notes (e.g., interview questions, follow-up actions)

No More Cover Letterโ€‹โ€‹

Instead of using the Google spreadsheet job tracker, alternatively, you can use No More Cover Letter to track your job applications. To use, create an account on the website here. Please note that you must have a Gmail account to sign up. We will be using the email that you have on file for No More Cover Letter. If you want to use a different email, please let your advisor know. Then, upload the access token to gain entry. To upload the access token, go to your profile and find the key button overlay on your profile photo. Enter this access token:

pjmwadX0Bie6D0tcmztG

If you use No More Cover Letter, please paste this link into the submission box for the career reviews.

Application Materialsโ€‹โ€‹

Using the above method of creating Google Docs, follow this lesson on cover letters, this lesson on resumes, and this lesson on creating a modular cover letter and resume to create documents specific to the job you are applying for. It is a common pitfall for students to tailor their cover letters to different employers but send the same resume over and over.

Since you've already gotten feedback on a practice resume and cover letter, you should have a good idea of what to do now that you are applying for a real job. However, we want you to keep getting feedback on how to improve your applications. While working on your resume and cover letter in class, ask for help from your advisor and teacher if you have any questions or want feedback. When you're done, you'll submit your applications to Epicenter for review.

A Note About Cover Lettersโ€‹

Youโ€™ll notice in this lesson that we ask you to submit both a resume and cover letter for each of your applications, even though there will likely be jobs that you find where a cover letter is optional.

Every job you apply for should have its own unique resume and cover letter to show employers that you're interested in them specifically. For this reason, you should not use any "Quick Apply" feature to apply to jobs for this assignment. Your career advisors will be checking your applications to make sure that your resumes and cover letters are targeted towards job postings.

The requirement for a cover letter is intended to give you a chance to practice updating your cover letter and an opportunity to build out additional examples for your cover letter (like we covered in the modular cover letter lesson ) during class time where you can ask questions and get feedback from your advisor. In our experience, students who apply with a targeted cover letter and resume are more likely to get to the interview stage than students who do not.

None of this is to say that roles that don't ask for a cover letter are not worth applying to, and we never want a student to have to miss out on applying to something that could be a great fit just because the company doesn't offer an option to submit a cover letter.

However, if the cover letter is simply optional, we highly recommend including a targeted cover letter in your application, and it is a requirement for any jobs submitted for the Applying to Jobs career reviews. If you're ever in doubt if an application counts towards these assignments, you can reach out to your advisor for support.

Submittingโ€‹โ€‹

Once you have written a resume and cover letter, send in your application to the employer!

Add the links for your resume and cover letter to your job tracking spreadsheet or to No More Cover Letter (make sure they are shared and visible to anyone with the link), and then submit your job tracker in Epicenter as your career review submission. Even though you've already submitted your applications, your advisor can give you feedback on your resumes and cover letters that you can use to make future applications even better.

To submit your materials as a career review using the Google spreadsheet job tracker, click on the "Share" button at the top of your resume, cover letter, and job search spreadsheet. It will prompt you to give your document a name and then open a window called 'Share with others.' In the top-right of this window, click the button that says 'Get shareable link.' Open the drop-down menu that says 'Anyone with the link can view,' and change the option to 'Anyone with the link can edit,' then copy the resulting link. This way, your advisor can give you feedback directly on your documents and view your job search tracker.

If you use No More Cover Letter, please paste this link into the submission box for the career reviews. Please remember to click on the "Share" button at the top of your resume and cover letter so it says โ€˜Anyone with the link can edit'. This way, your advisor can give you feedback directly on your documents.

Weekly Expectationsโ€‹โ€‹

Work with your pair and apply to jobs together. Proofread each other's application material before applying.

Share good job posting finds with each other! Support each other in the job hunt. Your fellow students are your first network of peers in tech. When one person gets a job, your network expands through them. When everyone succeeds after Epicodus, it only reflects better on you for having gone through the program.

Note: The schedule below applies to the full-time program. If you are in the part-time program, your schedule will be different. Check with your advisor about dates and expectations.

Applying to Jobs 1 - C# - FT Week 17 / PT Week 33: Apply to at least two jobs by the end of the day.

Applying to Jobs 2 - CS Class - FT Week 20 / PT Week 39: Apply to three jobs today. You should have at least five job applications by the end of the day.

Applying to Jobs 3 - Capstone - FT Week 22 / PT Week 43 : Apply to two jobs today. You should have at least seven job applications by the end of the day.

Applying to Jobs 4 - Capstone - FT Week 24 / PT Week 48: Apply to one job application today. You should have at least eight job applications by the end of the day.

Other career service projects you can do if you have extra time during class hours set aside for career services.

You will apply to at least eight jobs total over the course of these assignments. However, you may opt to replace a maximum of three of your total job applications with an alternative job-seeking activity. For one of these activities to qualify as a replacement for your job applications, you will need to provide proof of your attendance. Here are the activities you may choose from:

  1. Informational interview
    • Please provide a screenshot of the email confirming your meeting or a copy of the notes you took at the interview.
  2. Meetup or other networking event
    • Please provide a link to the event and a list of at least 3 people you met.
  3. Hackathon or code challenge
    • Please provide a link to the project or code you created.
  4. Interview with an employer
    • Please provide a screenshot of your follow-up โ€œthank youโ€ email.

Networking events are a great addition to your job search, however, they should supplement rather than replace job applications.

For students in the part-time cohortโ€‹

For students in the part-time cohort who are arranging their own internship and who have not yet secured their internship, you may choose to replace up to 1 job application per week with internship outreach.

  • Please BCC your advisor on any emails sent to potential internship companies or take a screenshot of the email / message and link it in your tracker.