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📓 Preparing to Apply for Jobs

Programming is fun, but job hunting sucks! Some of the best advice that we can offer you is: You are awesome. You've come a really long way, and every one of you is on track to be a great junior dev. If you're not feeling that way, you're not alone — being a junior dev can be intimidating, especially when you're putting yourself out there for jobs. Remember how far you've come since the beginning of class! You know a lot, and you'll be great at your job.

One thing to keep in mind as you're talking to employers is to not undervalue yourself or say negative things about yourself. The worst thing you can do is say "I'm not very good at coding." If you've gotten this far in the course, you are a great beginner! Nobody's going to hire you for a senior-level job, but you will do great work at a junior-level position or internship. So don't offer up your weaknesses or paint yourself negatively. The interviewer should know where you're coming from and can figure out your weaknesses on their own — it's your job to emphasize your strengths.

Be confident about what you know, and what you don't know. Experienced developers often value junior developers because they are eager to learn and to be guided. Be confident in that you know where you are at now, and you can help someone understand where the holes are in your experience.

If you enjoy programming but are interested in other sides of the industry, there are many awesome opportunities in QA, support, testing, project management, business development and other roles that will make use of your various skill sets. Knowing how to code really makes you stand out for these types of positions.

Coding skills alone are not highly correlated with job success, but skills coupled with the number of jobs applied for and quality of applications, are. Your goal when you are applying is to apply to 10 per week. It's important as well to cast a wide net. It's better to apply to too many jobs than too few; you can always turn down a job offer, and each application is good practice. Keep an open mind for other languages than what you studied. Diversified experience you gain in the industry will be extremely valuable years from now.

Once you're in job application mode, it's important to move quickly. Make sure you have a great cover letter ready to be edited to fit each job you apply for; if you wait to apply a job may be gone, or you'll be the lowest priority. A huge factor in the job search is still luck; some people's job hunts will be longer than others. If you have your mind set on one particular technology or language, it can take longer.

Not all amazing interviews come to fruition as job offers and not all job offers result in employment (we've seen start-ups dissolve between making an offer and the start date). Please keep searching and applying for positions until you've received an official offer and/or begun working.