Office Hours: I've helped 100+ job seekers land jobs at top tech companies. I work with Elphas who are looking for new jobs & I'm the Head of Career Counseling at Skillcrush.Featured

Hi Elphas! I’m Stephanie Ciccone-Nascimento. I support Elpha members who are looking for new jobs (you can book time with me for free by cashing in some of your Elpha points and I’m the Head of Career Counseling at Skillcrush, an online coding and design school for women. I'm currently building out career services programs to support bootcamp students in their job search after learning to code or design. On the side, I'm also a career coach who works with tech professionals to land their ideal next job. Throughout my career, I’ve helped 100+ job seekers land jobs at top tech companies. I love working with high-achieving and non-traditional talent to help them get unstuck when it comes to job hunting and interviewing. Ask me anything about job searching, interviewing, pivoting into tech, where to find the best natural hot springs in northern California, and more!
Thanks so much for joining us @stephaniecn!Elphas – please ask @stephaniecn your questions before Friday, July 2nd. @stephaniecn may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites πŸ”₯πŸ‘πŸΎβž•
Hi Stephanie!I have a meandering career spanning analytics, entrepreneurship and B2B Sales in social impact. I quit my job in 2020 to switch into tech, and have been working on mobile app ideas. However I have stalled a few projects due to lack of substantial evidence/high product dev costs. Now I have a gap on my resume without much to show in terms of output! 1) Would you recommend launching the products anyway to account for the time i have spent working on it 2) would all the work done until actual product development firm suffice as evidence of work done (research, screens, mockups) Thank you for your guidance!
Hi @smitakumar - Thanks for your question!This seems like a bit of a personal decision on your end. But I can give you my thoughts from the perspective of your resume and job searching. If you are actively job searching the short answer is yes launch at least one product to have evidence of your work and also put it on your resume. If you've been doing work building products, whether for fun or experimentally, it's good to put it on your resume - particularly if it's relevant to the next job you want. If you leave a gap on your resume people will wonder what you did during that time so I always suggest being candid upfront. Whether you took time off, traveled, did family care, or explored entrepreneurship. All of it is valid and employers understand that life happens. It just has to be clear upfront and make sense as part of your career narrative. Hope that helps!
Hi Stephanie - and thank you for offering your expertise.We are a tech based startup looking for our first "big" hire for a product engineer. We'd like to offer them equity option (as we are still bootstrapped and are just starting our investment round). I wanted to ask which platforms, other than Linkedin, would you recommend to conduct a search for entrepreneur-minded engineers who would be interested in an opportunity such as this. Thank you!
hi I would suggest, depending on your financial package offer to either find an engineer using the YC/start-up school co-founder option or if you are offering a good salary, places like toptal, and posting on Angelist.
Hi @stephaniecn, I want to know how do I make a transition within roles in the tech industry like from software QA to a data role now, tried creating a portfolio of projects done and dashboards,but thats not helping me get calls .
Hi @Malvika1 - Thanks for your question!If you aren't getting interview calls I suggest examining your resume, LinkedIn, portfolio, and application strategy (aka how you are applying to jobs). One or more of these likely needs to improve. If you are pivoting careers it's especially important that it's clear on your resume and LinkedIn that you are looking to move toward a Data role. Use keywords from data job postings and make sure you brand yourself clearly on your LinkedIn and resume. Also, if you are only applying online to jobs there is a low chance of getting callbacks. I suggest networking and reaching out to people inside the company to ask for referrals and warm introductions to hiring managers. Hope this helps!
Lovely to read about your experiences! Glad you’re here with us @stephaniecn!What advice do you have for folks pivoting from more established fields (mine was startup operations management) into emerging industries, such as DEI/DEIBAA? Particularly as it relates to what’s been changing since the pandemic. Much appreciated ❀️
Hi @LindseyMiranda - Thanks for your question! My biggest advice for folks who are pivoting career paths is that you have to tell a compelling story that makes sense to hiring teams. Your story starts on your resume and LinkedIn, so I suggest auditing your career materials to make sure it's clear on paper that you are moving toward a new role. Once you are in interviews you need to tell a story that makes sense to people about why you are interested in this role/career/company, etc. It doesn't have to be complex it just has to make sense. For example, it could sound something like this - "Last year during the pandemic and uprisings that happened in the US, I realized I wanted to move my career more in the direction of my passions of DEI at the organizational level, so I started taking XYZ training, etc etc."Hope that helps!
Thank you, Stephanie, it does help! I appreciate your time in answering :)
I’m looking to pivot into User Research, and have heard mixed messages about portfolios. Some job postings ask for them and others do not. Is a portfolio necessary for a user researcher?
Hi @shanda49 - Thanks for your question!I've helped several UX Researchers get jobs and only a few of them had an official portfolio. I think it doesn't hurt to have a public portfolio online because it strengthens your professional brand, but it's not an absolute necessity to get a UXR job. You will be asked to present case studies and examples of your work during the interview process so you want to be ready for that with research projects to showcase. Hope that helps!
What are some red flags to consider before accepting a job offer?
Hi @mianguyen - Thanks for your question! The red flags to consider before accepting a job offer will depend on your goals and what your top priorities are in a new job. By the time you have an offer, you should have a lot of clarity about whether you'd take the job or not. The red flags will come out in your evaluation of the team/company from the questions you ask and the candidate experience during the interview process. Get really pointed in your questions to the interviewers so you can determine if it's a fit.For example, for me, it was always important to ask about DEI policies and how much people worked outside of work. These were non-negotiable depending on what kind of answer I got. Also, pay attention to your candidate experience because it's usually an indication of how they operate internally. Basically, things don't get better than what you see and experience in the interview process. Take it all at face value because that is how hiring teams evaluate you as well. If you have a bad day and don't do well in an interview the company will not think "oh she just had a bad day let's hire her anyway." They will move on with other candidates. So I suggest doing the same in your evaluation of the company. If you sense there is a red flag don't talk yourself out of it by saying "oh it will probably be fine once I start." Often your gut feelings are right and you want to avoid joining a team where your day-to-day will be miserable. Hope that helps!
What is your advice on evaluating job postings? One of the biggest struggles I have with job searching is deciding what jobs I should apply for. I'm looking for a front end web developer role right now. When I look at job postings for front end web developers, I often see postings that list skills I don't know such as C++, .Net, and Java as part of the requirements. Should I apply these roles even though I don't know these skills?
Hi @britishpandachick - Thanks for your question!My advice about evaluating job postings is don't spend too much of your energy on it. Job postings are a wish list the company has come up with but they often change and they don't expect everyone to have 100% of the requirements. My advice to everyone is APPLY ANYWAY!If the title fits apply. If you fit 50% of the requirements, apply. Don't disqualify yourself before you even apply. Hope this helps!
Thank you for the great advice. I'm going to do what you suggested to help me along my job search.
Hello StephanieCN,It's a pleasure to be here in this community, and I would like to break into tech as an administrative professional. I would be looking for roles as an Executive Assistant and as an entry-level Customer Success Manager. I would appreciate your feadback as to how I might gain traction in this arena. I should note that I am a non-traditional candidate and am looking to make a pivot into the tech space. I'm sure my skills are transferrable, but I am wondering if there are sites more suited to me where I might access entry-level opportunities? I would also be open to additional skills training as needed. TYIA!