Advice on how to display my projects to recruiters?

I started applying as “freelance” to explain my experience in web development but I put it only on my LinkedIn. My CV has only my non-tech job experience

I got approximately so far 1.5 year of coding. I thought saying “student” was not the right way to define my current stage as now I am able to build projects

I made projects that show a clear eye for design and are visually unique, with the logos etc.

I show 3 major projects (especially the e-commerce and booking site) on my CV, LinkedIn and GitHub

  1. E-commerce
    (currently I screen-recorded a video when I am going over its 4-5 pages, processing order etc. via chrome dev tools showing the screen size of a tablet and a phone. I put these 3 videos showing this project live on my GitHub)

  2. Booking site
    (currently live, but I need to find a way in JS to send the booking info or pay for another tool to push it live on Netlify with a functional booking form)

  3. Blog
    (live, but some pages from the menu go to 404, I don’t know why )
    this was the only project that it is from a fCC tutorial and I put different images and some differences but the color of the website is the same as the tutorial

My portfolio is on Netlify and my projects are made in WordPress. So I need to convert them into static sites in order to publish them live on my portfolio

I would have to spend money on a pro plugin that can convert the e-commerce and then on another plugin to convert the booking site

Is it worth paying 2 different plugins to be able to push 2 of my projects live?

do recruiters really want to navigate through the web projects of applicants or screen-recorded videos are enough?

Is seeing web projects live really a decisive factor especially when applying with no previous job experience in web development?

considering that the first people to convince are the non-tech recruiters that do not understand anything about coding

I’m slightly confused by your post. If you’re trying to get jobs as a freelancer, then having a portfolio is important. If you’re trying to get through professional recruiters, then I’m pretty dubious that they look at portfolios (unless you’re specifically applying for a position as a designer, maybe).

My current goal is to get a web developer job where I would be an employee with a stable salary rather than freelancing

but maybe it would be quicker to get hired as freelance? time is of the essence and I am done waiting. But I am also afraid to get scammed as a freelance

I have seen some people on LinkedIn after their last non-tech job putting stuff like “freelance web developer” at “self-employed” or something like that describing this period as “I have completed this course in xyz and I have been building, maintaining and updating websites that use these tools HTML, css, xyz etc.”

Now these same people are professional coders working for xyz company

the projects I have done so far are either the product of fCC challenges or projects to show recruiters what i am capable of but they are not associated to contract jobs

could I lie to recruiters and claim my last 2 projects are the product of freelance work? would they want to get references if the job was freelance?

Do you think it would be best to add this “freelance web developer” experience on my CV too and not only on LinkedIn?

I want to make my experience in coding valuable to recruiters. Would recruiters like to hire a freelance developer in their company?

or recruiters would not want a developer that is self-employed because it would not make sense for them that I would want to move from being self-employed to being an employee?

I am not looking for a designer job, but I had a recruiter saying that one of my projects was pretty simple in regards to style and I also saw several job ads when they basically want to hire a developer that could also be a bit of a designer, focused on making projects pretty instead of functional and simple as developers usually do by default

but if I have no commercial tech experience, shouldn’t recruiters care about my portfolio as it is the only thing they can see regarding my tech skills? I am confused indeed

This seems dishonest and unnecessarily risky. If I’m interviewing someone who has this on their resume, I’m going to ask questions about their most recent contracts. If I ask you about how you managed a working relationship with your freelance clients and you tell me you never had any, I’m going to check the “Strong no-hire” box and my only comment will be “lied on resume”.

Similarly, if you say you were “self employed”, someone is likely to ask what business you were in.


I wouldn’t say it is quicker.
Getting started as a freelancer is just as competitive as trying to get a dev job at a company.

The only way it would be quicker to start getting paid for dev work is if you were strong in networking and were able to start building websites for people you know and charge a fee.
Then you can build up your portfolio from there and start getting more clients and experience.

I have seen that too, and I am not personally a fan of it.

I think people do that because they are uncomfortable with explaining gaps in their resumes to hiring managers and recruiters.

I think gaps are fine as long as you can explain what productive things you have been doing in that time.

I think a huge difference here though is that those other people you mentioned had prior job experience as a dev.

If you try to say that you are freelancing or self employed but you are not, then it will become very apparent in the interview and will work against you.

Most recruiters are not technical people.
They will just go off of if something looks professional.
The good news is that there are plenty of UI templates like tailwind templates and components that you can use to make your projects looks more professional.

I wouldn’t.
Because experienced developers will know if you lying because you won’t have anything to talk about in the interview about your contract work.

I would be careful about certain job posts that are looking for both a designer and developer.
Those are really two different types of jobs.
Some jobs will prey on people and ask for responsibilities of a designer and developer and pay you the salary of 1 job instead of 2.

Getting that first job is tough but luckily there are resources to help you navigate through this process and land a gig.

I always tell people to check out Danny Thompson because he has dedicated a good portion of time helping people land their first jobs.
He has tons of great information and resources as well as a discord community to help you.

FYI, freelance developers generally have more experience than so-called “junior” or even “mid-level” developers. Freelance developers have to be good at what they do, which inevitably means they’re at least senior-level. Also if you genuinely want to work as a freelance developer, you have to build all sorts of additional non-technical skills, such as project management, lead generation, and so on. So depending on your skill level, it could very well make more sense to find a job at a company.

I think this is fine. I’ve been unemployed for 1 years and 4 months, and I’d rather fill that gap stating my studies on web development than saying I did nothing for a year after previously being a disposable warehouse/hospitality grunt.

Also paranoid about the recruiters on there configuring their job postings to automatically reject candidates depending on when they were last employed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the case.