Ana Ghidelli
May 28
5 min read
5 practical reasons why you should use a career accelerator like Outtalent
(Instead of preparing and applying on your own for your next job)
Google Campus in Mountain View
Outtalent is a program and a community designed to help engineers get jobs at companies like Google in countries like the US, Germany, and the UK. It is an online program taught in 3 months, covering topics in distributed system design, algorithms, data structures, personal branding, and salary negotiation. Seminars are taught by senior engineers and engineering managers from Google, Facebook, Uber, and Stripe.
This week Outtalent celebrated its second anniversary. And anniversaries are a great time to reflect and think about what got us here: a clear mission and the trust of our fellows. Gaining trust is not an easy task. In fact, throughout our journey, many potential applicants (and just generally curious people) weren’t quite sure why anyone should join Outtalent.
This is completely understandable. The “use now and pay later” business model we run is not so common in some regions, so people tend to get confused and even suspicious. There is also a clear fraction of people who question why we even exist, since applying to companies is a pretty straightforward process: you pick a job you like, fill in the forms and wait to get called.
One crucial thing to understand is that although applying to jobs is not a very sophisticated process, there are a significant number of ways it can be done, each with its own level of success. It’s also good to remember that many of the top tech companies have very slim acceptance rates. For instance, Google’s acceptance rate is under 1%.
Over time we’ve grown used to answering the “But why should I apply to Outtalent and not just try on my own?” question. Granted, when we started the program, we didn’t have data to back up the benefits of joining. And to make it a point of making the reasons for joining clearer, we ran a small research. When we started interviewing for the June 2021 batch, we always asked “So tell me, why don’t you just prepare on your own?”. Below you can find the most common answers we got.
  1. I want to minimize rejections, avoiding cool-down periods
  2. I don’t want to waste my time over preparing or navigating the processes
  3. I don’t get past resume screening, no matter how many times I rewrite it
  4. I struggle with discipline to prepare on my own for many months
  5. I get motivated by being around people who share the same goal
  6. I don’t know how to negotiate offers and I’m not comfortable doing it
  7. I’ve tried and failed before, I don’t know what should I do to improve
  8. I don’t know enough about the hiring processes of big tech companies
  9. I’m not used to interviews in which soft skills are needed
  10. I feel I move faster when I have someone telling me what to do to improve
  11. I want to avoid losing momentum or changing my mind about applying
  12. I want to meet other great engineers and broaden my network
  13. I don’t know many great companies other than the most famous ones
  14. I am not comfortable talking about myself or my experiences
  15. I’m not sure about my English and overall communication skills
Having those in mind, we consolidated 5 main reasons why software engineers should consider joining Outtalent to accelerate their careers:
We prepare candidates ~4x fasterOur program takes 3 to 6 months. Based on our research and empirical findings from talking to hundreds of previous applicants, when people try to apply by themselves, it usually takes them 1.5 to 2.5 years.
We are faster because in addition to using a structured course outline — meaning we know what fellows should spend their time on — group weekly check-ins where everyone talks about their progress and challenges, and of course, our high-quality mentors who are former or current engineers at big tech companies.
We consistently increase compensation by 20k USD, on averageWhen candidates get the job by themselves, they often don’t have all the information to negotiate their compensation and perks because they’ve never negotiated with a big tech company before. They also don’t have enough experience researching cost of living, taxes and average salaries at the new cities they could be moving to.
In addition to that, when people apply on their own, it’s rare that they can sync processes with different companies in a way that they get all the offers at around the same time. More offers from top companies mean higher chances of negotiation and consequently a better final compensation.
It is in our best interest that our fellows get the absolute best compensation. After all, we get a percentage of their base salary. On average, we can consistently increase offers by 20k USD from the first offer fellows receive and the ones they end up choosing.
We avoid downgrades that often happen to international candidatesOne of the biggest fears of international applicants is to get downgraded. That means that they are afraid they’ll get a more junior position than the one they are currently holding. Unfortunately, we see it happen most of the time for candidates outside Outtalent.
The first practical consequence of this is that they end up earning less money for a year and wasting precious time working towards a promotion that they should have from the get-go. The second is that throughout this period, they’ll learn less, and will spend their time building more basic and less impactful things.
We rely on a course outline, 100% of our last batch got offersLearning has never been easier. The internet allows people to learn the same topic from many different institutions, perspectives and people. We think that is great, but it can be confusing. Most people have to scour the internet until they find something that works for them. Even when they find a great resource, there’s no way to know if that is going to be enough to prepare them, or if that’s going to be way too much information.
On average, our fellows get referred to top companies after 110 days of having signed their contracts with Outtalent. We are proud to say that 100% of fellows from the last batch got jobs at top companies, the vast majority of them preparing only with our outline and resources.
We have outstanding mentors who give specific, constant feedbackHaving mentors is a massive advantage for candidates since mentors can help identify areas of improvement and pinpoint what should be done in order to achieve success. Without them, candidates need to have a great deal of self-awareness to figure out what they should know and what they need to improve.
Outtalent fellows have an additional advantage: all of our technical mentors are former or current employees from companies like Google, Facebook, Uber and Stripe. This means our fellows prepare for their next career step with the help of people who have already done it and who deeply know what is expected of candidates.
We hope this article will help future applicants who are still wondering whether they should join Outtalent. If you have any questions or feedback about what we wrote here, please send a message
If you know any software engineers from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan, please share this article with them.
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