Advice to land a junior web developer position

Question answered, thank you!

First, a good effort on both, especially if you’re new to this. However, your portfolio and resume contain a lot of mistakes I see commonly made, and fixing them would improve your odds at getting through to recruiters/HR.

Portfolio site:

  • First, the first pane on your portfolio site doesn’t grab any attention. So many people nowadays are self-taught web developers, and saying that about yourself doesn’t set you apart in any way. I’m not good with ideas, so not sure what to suggest, but you should come up with a totally different first pane. And try to use an image instead of only text.

  • Some would disagree with me, but I wouldn’t recommend calling yourself a “Web Developer” when you’ve had no professional experience. Try to find another way to brand yourself.

  • Your “About Me” section should be last, and I’d recommend making it shorter. Not many people will bother to read the whole thing. If you can, make it just one summary paragraph.

  • Your “Projects” section should be placed first on the page. Also your wording on each project description is way too low-level in terms of technical details. You need to “high-level” all of them and just state in one sentence what each app does in a general sense. If you want to mention the technologies, make a short bulleted list of just the technologies and use extra words very sparingly - i.e. “React w/ Hooks and Router”.

  • Your email address should be something not on Cornell. You’re not likely to have a Cornell.edu account forever, so use something like Gmail.

Resume:

  • Your URLs all should be spelled out. Don’t use HTML to hide them behind “Portfolio”, “GitHub”, and “LinkedIn”. And as I mentioned before, would recommend not calling yourself a web developer when you haven’t had experience yet.

  • The “Summary” should be deleted, that’s generally an outmoded thing on resumes today. It really doesn’t add anything for you the way it’s written anyway.

  • You should only list skills you’d be comfortable answering a random question about in an interview. Can you do that with Python and Java? If not, delete them.

  • “Experience” should be “Projects”. That’s a very misleading label otherwise.

  • High-level all of your project descriptions. Write down what they do in a general sense only, and delete the tech-speak. Your resume is for regular people (recruiters and HR) who usually don’t know anything about coding, not other developers.

  • freeCodeCamp doesn’t count as education and doesn’t belong on a resume. It’s fine to put on your LinkedIn, but not on a resume. And it doesn’t add anything if you already have a 4-year college degree.

  • Delete your GPA and coursework. Unless your GPA is 4.0, anything lower could count against you, and coursework is generally irrelevant on resumes.

  • What have you been doing since December 2018 when you graduated from Cornell? That unaccounted time on your resume will cause a red flag to go up for most recruiters/HR. You need to account for this on the resume somehow.

Thank you so much for your reply! I really appreciate all of these pointers and will get to working on them.

Try to find another way to brand yourself.

Do you happen to have any concrete suggestions? I’ve let this sit in the back of my mind for a bit, and I can’t think of any alternative ‘brand’ that still sounds remotely professional.

I’m not sure why the thread starter removed the first post but in general for people who lack professional experience as a developer I can’t think of anything either. IMO, until you get experience of at least a couple of years, it’s best to not say anything for a self-title. Any title implies actual experience or expertise which takes time to achieve and won’t happen immediately.

I get and understand the desire for a self-title, but no matter what you might go with, it can still be potentially misleading to an employer. Until you gain about 2-3 years of experience it’s best to leave one out so that employers have the minimum expectation from the resume content itself. Also some titles are really vague as well, especially “web developer” which is sort of nebulous. It doesn’t concretely say anything about someone. Titles like “front-end developer”, “back-end developer”, or “full-stack developer” are more concrete, descriptive, and useful.

Hi @aaa96 !

Welcome to the forum!

I understand that you received the answer you were looking for but it is not a good idea to delete your original post.

Reason being, is because this conversation now has no context because you removed the links for the portfolio and resume.

That is something to keep in mind for future posts.

Thanks for understanding !