Want to land a job in tech? This career coach from Flatiron School has some pointers

Finding work in the middle of a global pandemic is nothing short of overwhelming.

If you’re shifting gears and looking to find a job in the tech industry (which is definitely hiring), Flatiron School has some tips for you.

Founded in NYC’s Flatiron District, Flatiron School was among the first coding bootcamps of the early 2010s to make tech training more accessible through accelerated programs. Today it has campuses in 10 cities, including D.C., and is Course Report’s #1 ranked bootcamp. With its immersive 15-week programs in software engineering, data science and cybersecurity, followed by dedicated one-on-one career coaching, Flatiron School’s D.C. campus has a track record of placing 100% of its students (which was 48 at the time of this 2019 report) in jobs with an average starting salary of $71,582.

“I started working with my career coach in January, right after graduation,” said Mary Beliveau, a 2019 Flatiron School software engineering graduate. “My coach helped me revise my resume and prepare for interviews. By early February, I’d received multiple job offers by attending Flatiron School’s quarterly career fair and started a job by March. Having my coach as a guide and sounding board throughout the process was invaluable.”

In the spirit of giving back during this difficult time, Flatiron School recently launched a free online resource called “How to Land a Tech Job: The Complete Curriculum.” The same career prep curriculum as its IRL program, the guide includes over five hours of helpful information, resources, articles, templates and videos to help you successfully perform your job search.

We sat down with Jolie Brown, senior career coach at Flatiron School, to give readers a taste of what’s included. Here are four of the most important things a job seeker must do to secure a tech gig in today’s climate.

Stand out.

Right now, platforms like GitHubLinkedIn and Twitter are being flooded by people actively looking for jobs. It’s time to go beyond simply having a social presence, and make your presence known.


  • Try a new approach to outreach, like sending an engaging video message to hiring managers instead of a standard letter.
  • Lead with an offer. Provide a part of your services for free to get in the door, or propose doing pro bono work for small companies in need of support during these challenging times.
  • Tell your story. Paint a strong picture of who you are and what makes you different. Why are you passionate about what you’re doing? Why are you making a career pivot to tech? What skill sets do you bring to the table?
  • Refresh your profiles often. Continually post articles, blogs and projects so that your name becomes familiar and your posts land at the top of hiring managers’ newsfeeds.

Network effectively.

For anyone that dreads it, remember, networking is just a fancy word for conversation. Try not to think of it as “selling yourself,” but making human-to-human connection. After all, people get hired by people.


  • Do your research. Before you reach out, do some digging into who you’re messaging to ensure your note feels relevant and personal. Also, of course, research the company you’re applying to — its mission, values, work — and incorporate that knowledge into your message, as well.
  • Listen. At Zoom or IRL events, it’s important to be a good listener. Start small: Walk up to a few people, listen to their stories, and wait to find an opening where you can make a meaningful contribution to the conversation.
  • Get those deets. Most importantly, always get people’s contact information before you leave and follow up with an email or LinkedIn message so you can continue the conversation. You never know where a connection will lead.

Be scrappy.

When all of the usual steps aren’t working, it’s time to step outside the box. Think of ways to use your skills and knowledge to show hiring managers what you’re made of.

One student Brown coached wasn’t gaining momentum in her job search, so she started a podcast and included it in her outreach. Another student rolled up his sleeves and reached out to 10 data scientists a day, sharing his best work, until he finally got an offer.


  • Be flexible, open-minded and creative in your job search.
  • Consider applying for locations, industries, or freelance roles you might not have before.
  • Be proactive. Hiring managers get busy (possibly from covering for the very role they’re trying to fill) and may unintentionally put things on pause. Get back on their radar and remind them of your value to the company.
  • Always follow up after an interview. It’s not nagging, it’s taking initiative and reiterating your passion for the job.

Pursue mastery.

Never stop learning. In an ever-changing industry like technology, it’s especially important to continue learning so that you stay current. Even in the midst of looking for a job, keep your skills sharp through volunteer, pro-bono or project-based work.


Craving more? Get Flatiron School’s free resource, “How to Land a Tech Job: The Complete Curriculum” for more tips and tricks to optimize your job search and become a “no-brainer hire.”

Get the free curriculum 

Career Coaching




Founder & President at iNVISION Group LSG LLC
Ephrata, Pennsylvania, United States Contact info

Businessnewsdaily: What does a career coach do?

At the most basic level, having a career coach is like having a brand awareness team, said Rachel Bitte, chief people officer at Jobvite.

“These professionals understand how to pinpoint the best aspects of your professional experience and market it in the most attractive way possible to potential employers,” said Bitte. “They’re well versed in crafting resumes, career planning, motivation techniques and, most importantly, network building.”

Vicki Salemi, a Monster career expert, said career coaches usually have extensive work experience in recruiting and/or human resources.

“They can help you with a variety of tasks,” she said. “For example, with my clients, we look at long-term dream careers, what they currently do and how their next job can lead them closer to their dream job.”

Coaches also ensure accountability to keep the job seeker on track and moving toward their next role, Salemi added.

How to find a career coach

The best way to find a career coach is through word of mouth and referrals from friends, but you can also find great coaches online, such as through LinkedIn.

“A career coach is not always easy to find,” said Bitte. “A referral would be [best] … but that’s not always an option. So, you’ll need to do some homework and dig through Google and social media to identify someone you can trust with your professional wellbeing.”

Lauren McAdams, career advisor and hiring manager at Resume Companion, said it’s a major red flag if a career coach asks for a large upfront fee.

Always pay by the hour for a career consultant’s time,” she said. “This ensures that you aren’t locked into a potentially underwhelming service long-term and protects you from by a fly-by-night operation.”

While a career coach is beneficial to anyone looking for career help, some people may not be able to afford one. If you can’t, you can become your own with a little discipline and direction.

“By applying some simple tactics such as taking stock of where you [are], seeking feedback from a group of confidants and holding yourself accountable, you can figure out your goals and lay out your own roadmap to make them happen,” said Bitte.

How much does it cost to hire a career coach?

Similar to the fees many professionals charge, the cost of hiring a career coach varies depending on the coach’s experience and credentials, field of specialty, success rate, and the location of their practice. A career coach who has published a book on their subject of expertise or is well known and respected in their field will be able to charge more than a coach who is not considered an expert. Career coaches who are in high demand or work in cutthroat fields may also charge more.

Generally, career coaches charge $75 to $150 per hour. More in-demand career coaching services can run from $250 to $500 or more. When you’re choosing a career coach, the bargain option may not be the best option. Ask the coach if you can talk to their former clients before you agree to fork over any major cash.

What kind of training do career coaches have?

Most career coaches don’t hold a specific career coaching certification. Instead, most have become experts in their field and decided to market their skills to help the next generation enter careers they’re passionate about.

While some schools offer career coaching or career counseling certificate programs, such a certification is not indicative of a career coach’s quality. Their resume, expertise, and the word of their references are much more valuable tools to measure the quality of a career coach than any certification.

What are the pros and cons of hiring a career coach?

If you’re thinking about hiring a career coach, bear in mind that not all coaches are what they seem. Although there are many reputable coaches out there who can help you with a career change, interview preparation, resume rewrite and more, career coaching can be rife with scams. Many career coaches have little to no experience in the field they claim to be experts in. Look into a coach’s background and make sure you can talk to past clients independently before giving any so-called career coach money. An even better idea is to ask your friends if they have used a career coach. You can choose a legitimate coach based on their recommendations.

When you find the right career coach for you, your investment of a few hundred dollars will more than pay off in the long run. Career coaches can help you land the job you’ve always wanted, get a promotion or even start your own business. Their expertise and unbiased attention will help you get the results you’ve been hoping for, often in a fraction of the time it would have taken if you’d continued making mistakes on your own. That is the biggest pro of hiring a career coach: They help you learn from someone else’s mistakes. Sometimes they were the one who made those mistakes, and they figured out how to get past them.

How do you prepare for a career coaching session?

After you have found the best career coach for you, ask them what you should do to prepare for a session with them. Every career coach is different. Some will want you to come prepared with questions. Others will want you to bring tangible materials, such as your resume or a list of your career goals.

If your career coach lets you take the wheel and determine what you do in your session, imagine your desired outcomes from that session and your relationship with the career coach overall. Write these outcomes down, and then figure out what you have been missing that’s kept you from achieving those outcomes on your own. If you don’t know what you’ve been missing, ask your career coach for help during the session.