10 Months of Applying, no luck. Trying to Get 1st Dev Job

I’ve been applying for Frontend Junior Level Web Developer roles since the start of the year. I sometimes do get a generic phone interview if I’m lucky to even hear from them (not even a technical interview).

I changed my resume multiple times:

  • experimented with 1 pager, 2 pager, pdf, doc, generic, very specific, etc. (lots of combinations)

I’ve also been constantly learning new skills to add and adding portfolio projects.

It is now 10 months and 21 days later, still no job.


  • Self-taught web developer (before the days when mobile development and HTML5 existed) while in high school…
  • Graduated 1 year ago with a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering degree.

I’m not sure what to do anymore. I’m mainly applying to places in California since relocating is very hard for me now (not enough money to relocate). I’m literally on the verge of just giving up and just getting a minimum wage job as a warehouse worker of some sort or land a job as a social media manager.


Any ideas or suggestions? I also live in the middle of nowhere in Southern California far away from the major tech cities.


  • Get a job as a Junior Web Developer. Frontend first.
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What are you currently doing? How many jobs have you applied for in those 10 months?

Consider sharing an anonymised resume and cover letter here for feedback.

I’m currently unemployed, spending each day practicing coding and learning new skills.
Also applying to jobs here and there. I’ve lost count by now. I’m confident that it’s over 300 applications. I’ve applied via:

  • ZipRecruiters
  • Indeed
  • Monster
  • JrDevJobs
  • CyberCoders
  • Directly on the company career site “jobs page”
  • GlassDoor
  • Dice
  • Linkedin Jobs Section
  • one more whose name I’ve forgotten…

(both small, mid, and large companies)

Currently, I’ve been learning React.js with Webpack since earlier when I had Vue.js as my only SPA, it didn’t get me anywhere.

Ok, here’s my resume: https://imgur.com/a/jL3Rd7I

If you’re confident that you know your stuff, try TripleByte. They are resume and education blind, pass their basic quiz and you get a video chat technical interview. If you pass that, they help you connect to tech companies for developer roles. Similar thing with Hacker rank where you pass the company’s timed coding test, they will contact you. These are more skill based options, and you are more likely to get a direct reply.

Given that you graduated from a CS program, I’d also use your school resources. Contact your school’s career services and Alumni network for opportunities and maybe some guidance.


Maybe you could rephrase(or cut) that. Honestly, when I first read it I thought you might be an old person who hasn’t learned much since :sweat_smile: But then comes the BS CS from last year …

You could also try to apply for a remote job. Whenever I look something up on stackoverflow I get those ads …

PS: cool that you are writing a blog!
(your pictures get squished in mobile view in mobile view > firefox 62.0.3, macOS 10.13.6)

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Thanks! I didn’t prepare when I tried TripleByte so I failed. I also noticed they snuck in Ruby problems which wasn’t part of my skillset sadly which contributed to my failure on top of lack of preparation…

I’ll check out HackerRank. I never heard of them before.

Good point. I’ll make a mental note.

Yeah, most of the remote jobs I’ve seen are senior level so… no luck on that part sadly.

Thanks! Yeah, blogging takes a lot of time so I do it whenever I feel like it and have the spare time. Thanks for the heads up!

  • The first thing you’re doing wrong is randomly applying for jobs online. Statistically, that’s the least effective way of actually landing a job, and it’s likely to take you a long time to land a job that way. So you need to stop doing that.

  • If you’re intent on applying to jobs online, you need to adopt a specific job-search strategy. Decide what kinds of companies you want to work at (size, industry, etc), what tech stacks you want to use, that kind of thing. Then look for people who work at those kinds of companies. Find real peoples’ names, and contact those people. You’re far more likely to get results looking for jobs this way.

  • The one thing I’m seeing that you’re doing wrong on your website is that you’re not selling yourself accurately. From all indications on your website, you don’t need a job. You call yourself an entrepreneur, web developer, and content creator. You have a blog, offer services, wrote a book, and have a YouTube channel. With all those things on your website, anyone would think: “Why is this applicant even looking for a job? He should be making sufficient money doing what he’s doing already!” Because that’s what I’m thinking, and if you’re not able to monetize what you’re doing now, then you really need to reconsider your job options. It’s actually almost contradictory. You call yourself an entrepreneur, but you’re not making money right now? That’s actually almost a red flag. You can’t legitimately call yourself an entrepreneur when you’re not actually working hard in a business venture to make money. And if you do have an actual business venture, then why are you looking for a job? Almost every legitimate entrepreneur sacrifices everything they have towards their business venture—all of their time, resources, and money. And when they create one business, they create another. It’s baffling why you’d look for any kind of regular job, let alone a software development one, when you call yourself an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur should become your job. If it doesn’t, then you can’t call yourself one.

  • Most recruiters and hiring personnel will be thinking exactly that question: “why is this applicant looking for a job when he’s doing so many other things that seem to be taking up his time?” And that thought will create a red flag: when you’re involved with so many things, most hiring people will assume that you won’t have the time, energy, effort, or commitment towards a full-time job. And these people will then discard your resume without a second thought.

  • If you’re genuinely looking for a junior-level front-end developer job, you need to totally re-brand yourself, and not make yourself out to look more than what you really are. You graduated recently enough that you could legitimately call yourself a recent graduate, in which case you should be applying for internships. Don’t oversell yourself and claim to more than you are. There’s absolutely no shame in being a “recent graduate” if that’s what you are. Use that to push yourself forward!

  • Also, networking is statistically one of the most effective ways of landing a job. If you’re not doing it already, you need to start asap. Go to local tech meetups, career fairs, conferences, etc. Don’t stay at home and code all day because that will get you nowhere.


I was going to offer some advice to the OP, but… just read @astv99’s reply and you will be set.

astv99’s reply really covers a lot. I’ve had similar doubts when I checked your website. Your focus seems too split and your website’s focus as well.

  1. Make your WebDev portfolio separate from your business portfolio/site.
  2. Highlight the skills you’re hoping will get you the job. Your content creating (unless you’re applying for that), entrepreneurship and side hustles (unless they showcase your webdev skills) don’t come before what you can actually offer the company that’d hire you.

Besides all that, have you been doing any freelancing? Have you actively looked for clients that could new a website? Small local stores, pizza places, other freelancers who want to promote their services? You seem to be offering a lot of services but I don’t see any testimonials.

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@astv99 @vaidotasp Thanks for the helpful suggestions/criticisms! I’ll start making some plans as to how I will approach rebranding the content.

Got it. Yes, I’ve done a few freelancing gigs before which do involve Wordpress theme development, but they were back when I was a noob still so the quality of those works are absolutely terrible (plus I don’t want to be a Wordpress developer) so I left it out of my portfolio and resume.

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I do agree you should make a second website just for job searches and really sell yourself with your best projects on it. I like your github. Your imgur link you shared seems broken. I would also remove your picture. Change your LinkedIn, also don’t say front end or I want to be just list your skills and you can say looking for opportunities to work in full stack development.

Also I wouldn’t be applying to Junior developer jobs. You will get more serious call backs. HR doesn’t look at your resume to see if you can do the job, and think “oh he can do more than junior!” No they look at it for 30 seconds, they don’t care, they just use check marks, they see junior then they will not consider your considerable skills. You obviously have done a lot, are inceredibly proactive and judging from you github activity are far better than the average junior developer that I have known.

HR is funny and most people do not understand how they work. I recommend most people do a little research into the black whole of HR to game the system.

Again HR just looks for keywords good and bad. They are the gate keepers you need to get past to talk to an actual Manager. You need to use the key words they use. Don’t be too clever on your Linked profile. Use keywords recruiters search for. Angel.co is very good for startups. ( maybe stack overflow?.

Also one page resume. You can put more on your LinkedIn profile. i do like everything there just not the top box. I’m seriously surprised with your experience you don’t have recruiters contacting you. It’s because they don’t know,But you need to set your Linkedin up properly. because they search through key words.

So my humble suggestions from my experience in business and Hr are:

  • no picture of you or make it black and white or sepia.

  • lose the junior developer tag ( I’ve looked through your github. If they want to hire you as junior then awesome just dont give them ANY preconceived notions)

  • New Portfolio page. You can still have your entrepreneur website for side projects just don’t use it to showcase with. As stated above HR will see that differently ( I think it’s kewl) and put a no checkmark.

  • redo the top portion of LinkedIn using keywords and your knowledge. “looking for opportunities in Javascript, c++, react,…” also change your title from CEO, just founder is fine and is honestly more impressive.

  • One page resume, but as long as you want on LinkedIn. ( Again HR loves linkedIn.)

-I recomend looking at angel.co

2 more things search by programming languages as well as occupation.

and the last thing and most important one. Is when you are searching and researching companies ( again not randomly applying as mentioned above) try to find ones that speak to you. HR above skill will look for a good and stable fit that will embrace their corporate culture. Find companies that are doing things that you are interested in. You founded a company to help people achieve their goals and you seem to like teaching, focus on companies that do that?

Anyhoo when you find business whose mission statement speaks to you write that into your cover letter ( again HR rules you need a one page resume with a non generic cover letter) . The cover letter should be at most 3-4 paragraphs and with in those paragraphs because you have researched the company you want to write their pain, their difficulties and how you can solve it.

Show them you are interested and passionate about what they are doing. Show them you understand at least a small part of their company and what you can do to to make that part better and solve a problem they might be having.

Hope my experience helps.


They only say senior level ( Every company has their own definition of what that means, its a title not a skill set). If you think you can do the job after researching the company then apply.

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(response format: 1 paragraph per your paragraph)

Yeah, I have considered making a 2nd website in the past, but I wanted to keep my personal expenses low since being unemployed isn’t helping much… I guess I could explore the option of getting a free hosting account with a new domain name for hiring purposes. As for the imgur link, I ended up removing it since I thought no one was going to respond at the time. The one suggestion that surprised me is “remove your picture”. I don’t have a lot of experience in full stack so that’s why I’ve been focusing more on Frontend first.

Got it. I’ll give higher level roles a shot. Thanks!

HR is funny and most people do not understand how they work. I recommend most people do a little research into the black whole of HR to game the system.


Yeah, what’s even worse is if they use a ATS system (I’ve experimented it, and found out docx worked best for me based on my 10 months, haha) Yeah, I’ve tried angel.co and stackoverflow. For angel.co, I never get any responses (except that 1 time near the beginning of the year). As for StackOverflow, there’s not a lot of positions I qualify for in terms of skillset and experience. Most of them are out-of-state or out-of-country. No funds to relocate, so my options are limited.

Yeah, I’ve experimented with a one page resume before. Based on my most recent resume iteration, if I remove all side projects, I could do a 1 pager and hope that just my skills section is enough to trigger the ATS system to suggest me to the recruiter. Got it, I’ll revise my Linkedin.

Thank you for sharing your experience in the industry! :slight_smile:

I’ll give that programming language search strategy a shot.

Got it, I’ll give the focused interest method a shot when applying to companies.

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this valuable feedback!


Tbh, I would dump almost everything from the website except a brief statement about yourself, a CV, and that portfolio. There’s too. Much. Stuff. And it’s all.over the place. If your CV is anything like the website, this may be why you’re not getting responses. What @astv99 said is pretty spot on: you’re at a junior developer level, with a CS degree and knowledge of frontend web techs. That’s fine. Don’t state that you’re an entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean anything. And don’t say you’re a content creator, because that doesn’t mean anything either.

If I’m hiring someone I want to get a picture of who you are in about 30 seconds and the picture I currently get is that I have no idea, because I have to wade through lots of irrelevant stuff to get there, and I’m not going to do that (note the CV is more important here than anything else).

In particular, you definitely do not need a store page, or a press pack page, or a page for your self-published book (this is a massive black mark btw), or your affiliate links. Blog would be fine but it looks like it’s hella geared for affiliate links so, hmmm.


The one suggestion that surprised me is “remove your picture”.

I’m looking at this from a UK perspective (maybe it is slightly different in the US??) but CVs with pictures are a wee bit strange. If I really want to see what you look like social media can generally oblige, but of you’re trying to get hired, don’t include things that can bias decisions (subconsciously or otherwise on the part of the person doing the hiring).

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I just use my personal pic on my personal site mainly because that’s what I see most people do. Yeah, I’m from the US. Good point that you mentioned UK.

I’m currently playing with the idea of potentially just making a temporary portfolio website and just submit that and have my other stuff on my existing site. (1 website for my side stuff, and 1 other website strictly for employment purposes) But if I feel lazy, I’ll just start deleting, haha.

Thank you for your feedback!


Aside: that snapshotJS project is pretty cool! Is it using puppetter or something? It seems a bit like magic!


Thanks! Yes, it is built with puppeteer.


Try contacting recruiters and ask them to pass around your resume.

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