We Offer Career Coaching for Our Students: Here’s How It Works
By: Justina Hwang
👀 Psst! It also includes a job guarantee! More on that here: Does Skillcrush Have a Job Guarantee?
We talked with Stephanie Ciccone-Nascimento, one of our real-life career coaches and the Head of Career Counseling here at Skillcrush, to get all the details on Skillcrush career coaching and how it works for Break Into Tech students working through our Get Hired Track.
In this post, we’ll talk through exactly what you can expect in your experience with Skillcrush career coaching.
Table of Contents
- About the Skillcrush’s Career Coaching program
- Getting Job-Ready
- Applying for Jobs
- Job Offers
- Does Skillcrush career coaching work?
About the Skillcrush’s Career Coaching program
Skillcrush career coaching is a feature of our new Get Hired Track. Enrolled students get access to the job search curriculum and training in our online course dashboard. And on top of the online course content, they’ll also work with one of our career coaches.
“You’ll have tons of resources,” Stephanie says, including readings, videos, check-in sessions, quizzes, “and also the extra support of one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and mock interview coaching all the way through the program.”
In the Get Hired Track, you’ll get step-by-step instructions on how to update your resume and LinkedIn and establish a strong, professional online presence. Your coach will review your portfolio and other hiring materials, and work with you on interviewing skills and other job search skills.
On top of that, you’ll work one-on-one with your coach to answer your particular job search questions, and meet weekly for Q&A check-ins with your coach and your cohort of job seekers. “You meet the other students job searching, you get mock interviews, you get a one-on-one coaching,” Stephanie says. “So, there are lots of different ways to get support.”
“There’s also a Slack group where we all check in and talk about questions that come up,” Stephanie says. “You’re in a community, you have support, and we’re with you at every step of the way.”
For Stephanie, the fact that you’re job searching in a community and with a ton of support is a huge help — “not only do you have support from us, Skillcrush, myself as a coach, my team, and the instructors, but also other people going through the same process as you.”
Working with your coach isn’t just about the one-on-one support — it’s also about the support network you build with the other students in your cohort.
She adds, “One of the biggest benefits we’ve seen from students who’ve gone through the program is that they’ve really enjoyed the community support. Having others go through it with you, experiencing interviews at the same time, hearing questions that others are asking, and hearing tips that they have from just being a few weeks ahead of you is super, super helpful.”
She continues, “Having community support is one of the biggest things that has really supported our students in getting jobs because you don’t feel alone. You can ask questions, you can ask us questions, you can ask other folks questions. That really helps with that feeling of “this can really take a long time and it can be arduous.”
Who can sign up for Skillcrush career coaching?
Skillcrush career coaching is only available to Break Into Tech students who have completed all of their technical training courses in their career track (either the Front End Developer or Designer Track) and who have submitted a portfolio for review.
You start the Get Hired Track with a job curriculum that teaches you how to write or update your resume, LinkedIn, and online portfolio.
Once you submit these materials, you’ll meet with your career coach. Your career coach will review the materials and give feedback and advice so that you can launch your job search.
What does it mean at Skillcrush to work with a career coach?
One of the first things you do when you work with our career coaches is submit your job search materials — resume, LinkedIn, portfolios — to your coach, who looks them over, advises you on how to improve them, and helps you prepare for interviews.
You’ll do at least one practice interview, and get hands-on support as you apply for jobs, interact with hiring managers, interview, and field offers. Your career coach will help you put your best foot forward as well as support you in your job search from behind the scenes.
What calls do students have with coaches?
1. Kick-off call
You have a one-on-one kickoff meeting with a career coach to discuss your career goals and kick off the job search.
2. Weekly Career Q&A group sessions
You also have weekly Career Q&A group sessions with your small-group cohort to review how your job search is going and talk through your questions and concerns. You continue participating in the weekly group coaching session until you find a job.
3. Mock Interview
You will have one mock interview with your career coach to prepare for the interview process.
Is there 1:1 personalized attention?
Yes! There is 1:1 personalized attention from your career coach while you prepare for the job search. In addition to the group Q&A sessions, there are resume reviews and at least two 1:1 meetings with your career coach — a kick-off meeting and mock interview — as well as a private Slack channel for cohort-mates to receive support during their job search process.
“The support and the job search process is totally personalized,” Stephanie says. She adds that in the first class in the Get Hired Track, you’ll polish your “personal career narrative” to get ready to share in job interviews. “It’s very meticulous,” Stephanie says.
And it’s customized to the job role you’re going for. Stephanie adds, “If you’re a developer and you want to apply to front end developer roles, we focus on that and help you figure out what roles there are and where to look for them. If you want a bridge job, like a tech support job, we help you with that and shape your career narrative around that.” And the same for if you’re a designer, UX designer, etc.
“We support you in figuring out how to brand yourself correctly, how to then look for the roles, how to talk about yourself in context while applying for those kinds of jobs…and all the way through until you get an offer.”
How often can I reach out to my coach for help?
You can reach out to your coach for help at any time via email or Slack. While video calls may need to be scheduled in advance, your coach will answer your questions during normal working hours as soon as possible.
Will my career coach help me get ready for the job market?
Yes! Your career coach will help you get ready for the job market by reviewing your application materials, giving you advice about your career goals and job prospects, and practicing interviewing skills with you.
What does it mean to get my job search materials reviewed?
In a job search material review, your career coach will review your resume, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio and give you advice on what can be improved to better your chances of getting hired.
Will we do practice interviews?
Yes! Your career coach will conduct one mock interview with you. You’ll treat the mock interview like a real interview so that your career coach can give you advice and pointers to improve your interview skills. Your coach will train you on basic interview techniques as well as ask role-specific technical questions.
Stephanie says, “During the mock interview, a Skillcrush coach will pretend to be an interviewer and you’ll be the candidate, and we simulate an interview. We go through common interview questions and you’ll respond. We leave time at the end of the mock interview for your coach to give you feedback on how to improve.”
This is important because “you can take that feedback and implement it in real interviews,” says Stephanie. “And honestly, the interview is really where you’re going to get the job. So it’s really, really important to get good at interviewing.”
Applying for jobs
How will my coach help me apply to jobs?
Your coach will look at your application materials, such as your resume, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio as well as give you advice during the job search process. If you get stuck during a particular step in the application process, your coach can give you feedback and advice.
“The whole second class of the Get Hired curriculum is all about applying to jobs. You’ll get support in looking for jobs plus advice on where to look for jobs, and you can access a whole resource list on navigating job boards. And you’ll get our secret sauce method of what to do after you apply to a job online,” Stephanie explains.
Will my coach help me decide what jobs to apply for?
No. Your coach can certainly provide feedback, advice, and act like a sounding board when you decide what jobs to apply for, but you’ll look for opportunities and decide where to apply.
Will my coach help me if I’m not getting any responses?
Yes. Your coach will be able to give feedback about how your job search is going. For example, if you’re not hearing back from hiring managers, your coach will help you troubleshoot why that is and provide advice as to how to improve your applications, job search materials, and communications to get more responses.
How long will it take me to find a job in the Skillcrush BIT program Get Hired track?
Per Stephanie, “It really depends on how long it could take you to work through the curriculum. The classes in the Get Hired Track are set up to go step-by-step. Overall, the job search can take up to six months, so we give that timeline to students.”
📌 Related: How Long Does It Take to Get Hired in Tech?
She adds, “A student got an offer today and it took her 13 weeks. Some students do it faster. For some students, it takes a little bit longer, so it just depends on the things that are going on in your life and how much time you can dedicate to it.”
We guarantee you’ll get a job within six months of starting the job search portion of the Get Hired Track if you do not find a job.
📌 Related: Does Skillcrush Have a Job Guarantee? (Yes!)
However, keep in mind that only Break Into Tech students are eligible for the Get Hired Track, and those students start our Get Hired Track only after completing all of their coursework for their Career Track, which can take around four to five months on average.
Once you’ve completed all the curriculum and projects for your Career Track and Get Hired Track, you’ll start actively job searching.
So your time-to-hire is totally dependent on if you’re already enrolled and where you are in the Break Into Tech program, as well as other factors. We wrote a whole blog post about it here: How Long Does It Take to Get Hired in Tech with Skillcrush?
How much time do I need to spend every week looking for jobs? How intensive is it?
While we don’t stipulate a minimum time you need to spend every week looking for jobs, the more time you can invest in looking for prospective jobs, applying for them, and following up with prospects, the sooner you can get hired.
Stephanie says, “If you can dedicate one to two hours a day, that’s pretty good, and that will definitely get you through the process faster. The more time you can dedicate the better.”
In fact, Stephanie emphasizes, “The job search is pretty intense — I’m not going to lie. If anyone has ever job searched before, you know that it’s something that takes a lot of time and effort. The whole phrase, ‘It’s a full-time job to get a job,’ is really accurate.”
She continues, “However, we do have students who go through the process who are working full-time or part-time. It’s still possible to do it even if you have other things going on. You just have to be really, really organized, committed, and dedicated, and make sure that you’re doing the basic things that keep everything going in your job search.”
Our job search process is not about hours spent — we have a tried and tested system that’s about maximizing the time and energy you put into getting hired.
The intensity of the job search process still depends on how much time and effort you put into it, but remember the old adage — no pain, no gain.
No one said breaking into tech would be easy! But it’s 100% doable if you follow our system — that’s why we’re so confident offering a job guarantee.
Do I have to accept the first job offer I receive?
No, you don’t have to accept the first job offer you receive. However, under the Get Hired Job Guarantee, if you don’t accept a qualifying job offer, you won’t be able to receive a refund for the Get Hired portion of Break Into Tech — in the case that you don’t find a job within six months.
Will my coach help me negotiate my salary and other benefits?
The Get Hired job curriculum will give you the skills and materials you need to negotiate your salary and other benefits. That being said, your coach can definitely help you practice salary and other benefit negotiation during your time together and via email and/or Slack. You can definitely bring a job offer to your coach to ask for advice on evaluating and negotiating the package.
Stephanie says, “We help everyone negotiate their offers. There’s a whole class dedicated to it in the curriculum. We teach you how to evaluate an offer, how to evaluate a contract, think through if it’s the right fit for you, etc.”
She elaborates, “If you want to decline the offer, we teach how to do that. Most importantly, we walk you through how to negotiate salary: what to say, how to say it, what kind of email to send, etc. — all of those step-by-step processes are broken down in the class. We support you from very beginning to end — everything from designing your resume all the way to the offer, and everything in between.”
So, does Skillcrush career coaching work?
It absolutely does! And we have the successful students to prove it. 😉 But here’s what happens if you don’t get hired after working through the program.
What happens if I *don’t* get hired after 6 months of searching?
If you complete the Career Track and the Get Hired Track of the Break Into Tech program and you are NOT able to land a paying job* in tech within 6 months, then we’ll refund you for the job search portion of the program ($899) in full.
*”Paying job” refers to a full-time salaried position, paid part-time position, paid contract position, paid freelance position, paid internship, and paid apprenticeship, all in the technical field and all spanning at least a 3-month timeframe.
Check out our explainer post for more information: Does Skillcrush Have a Job Guarantee?
A word of advice and wisdom from Stephanie
Finally, we leave you with this piece of advice and wisdom from Stephanie:
“My best advice would be to enter into the job search process understanding that it’s a whole other skillset that you have to build. I think that a lot of job seekers don’t realize that interviewing, understanding how to communicate, and getting interviews, all of that is another skill and it takes time to build.
It takes repetition. It takes trial and error, all the same ways like when you’re learning to code or learning to design and problem solve — that’s also part of the job search.
Our curriculum is laid out in detail, and it’s a step-by-step process, and you’ll get 80% of the way there. You still have to go into the interview. We’re not going to be sitting with you in the interview, so you have to practice and learn from your experiences and get better and iterate. And we help you do that. We help you zoom in on where you might need to improve, which helps speed things up a lot.
But overall, it’s a huge growth process where if you know that every little rejection or failure or thing to learn is going to make you better for the next one and the next interview, the faster you can iterate…the faster you’ll get a job. And that’s true for anyone job searching.
It’s a skill that you have to build every single time you do it because we don’t do it that often. So my biggest advice is to be open-minded and know that job searching is a growth experience overall.”