COVID-19 has been devastating, but it has also been a learning experience for our education system, businesses, and society. Our Head of Education, Nico Kruger, outlines the biggest lessons we’ve learned about the explosion of digital transformation, the importance of education models that aren’t locked in the past, and smarter, more agile strategies to keep business competitive.
In this first part of this three-part series of lessons from COVID-19, we cover the first big lesson we’ve learned in the past 6 months: that whether you’re a business or a job seeker, you need to have a strong digital presence.
Get online. Now.
With lockdown and the cessation of non-essential business, industries of all kinds leapt at any available way to stay open. Remote work, video calls, digital services – all of these things which had been put on hold or called ‘ineffective’ for years before were suddenly the new heart of business. This digital transformation many had called for for decades went from nice-to-have to mandatory almost overnight.
Internet use surged with massive increases in traffic. At one point, the world’s largest streaming platforms deliberately throttled the quality of their video services to help internet infrastructure cope with the dramatic increase in use. Zoom became a household name almost overnight, in a gold rush that was so fast-paced that the share price of a lesser-known company called Zoom technologies (the wrong Zoom) rocketed up by over 1800%.
With the rapid online migration of business we are experiencing, software and web services are more crucial than ever before to the world economy. As an inevitable consequence, coding itself has become a highly sought-after skill, with demand for programmers skyrocketing. For us, as not just an online education provider but a coding education provider, this has resulted in greater interest from people from all walks of life who are now looking at learning software development skills. We have seen students, such as Bettina and Natasha and from various other sectors, pivot and look at the possibility of rather going into a tech direction in order to ensure that they change with the times.
Having an online presence is vital for job seekers too
“If you want to stand out from the crowded post-COVID-19 marketplace, you need to have a professional and job-relevant digital presence”
A strong digital presence is non-negotiable for job seekers too. Most employers, especially those in tech, will rely on your digital resume and online presence when evaluating you for a role. At HyperionDev, one of the ways we make our graduates career-ready – which I will emphasise for all job seekers – is to help them build a professional brand for themselves online. If you want to stand out from the crowded post-COVID-19 marketplace, you need to have a professional and job-relevant digital presence in the form of your LinkedIn profile or online resume and portfolio of work. If you work in tech, you especially need a Github portfolio to prove you have a track record of relevant skills.
“Recruiters hiring for companies look at a resume for an average of 7.4 seconds!”
As an article I was reading puts it, “as many as 77% of people you talk to are going to Google you to find out more information, and you need to make sure your personal brand reflects who you say you are, not who others say you are.” On your LinkedIn profile, add a professional profile pic, and add a ‘Headline’ (e.g. Software Engineer or ‘Aspiring Web Developer’) which appears next to your name in search results and provides the most relevant info about your experience and background at a single, quick glance. Add your skills to your LinkedIn profile, and ask your previous managers and colleagues – or even teachers or academic project partners if you don’t have much work experience – to provide endorsements and recommendations that recruiters can consider as informal references. Establish your technical and professional profile, so you control what appears in the search results for your name.
Make sure your CV matches your online persona
It is equally important to invest time in creating a resume that is easy to read yet conveys the most crucial information about your experience and qualifications. Recruiters hiring for companies look at a resume for an average of 7.4 seconds! It’s necessary that your resume stands out from others in those 7 seconds. Clearly highlight your education and list your professional experience in a concise manner indicating dates of employment, quantifying achievements where possible, and starting with the most recent ones first. Look out for specific skills and keywords in the job posting and customize your resume to highlight your skills which match them.
If you’re a job seeker, you must build and maintain your professional network. Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates, find other professionals in the same industry using LinkedIn or Facebook groups, and share your professional thoughts and insights through Medium, LinkedIn or your own website/blog.
For both employers and job-seekers, the choice is simple: learn these important lessons from COVID-19 to secure your future, or go bust. In the next part of this series, we’ll examine the central place that risk awareness and mitigation is playing, for both employers and job seekers alike.
The new normal of digital services, remote work, and huge demand for software and technology systems have made coding skills more crucial than ever. Our specialised coding bootcamps teach people the skills they need to have to get working in the tech industry in less than 6 months. They get 1-on-1 mentorship and expert code review, with all the career support they need to get started in their tech career. Plus, we offer a free trial that offers all the beginner essentials to get future coders started.
At HyperionDev, we’re looking for talented people who care about accessible tech education, and want to help people create better lives for themselves through rewarding tech careers. If you think you’d be a great fit in our home-grown start-up that’s making a global impact, please visit our careers page to see what opportunities await you at HyperionDev.
Continue reading the second part of this three-part series here.