Applied to 25-30 jobs over 1month and no responses: what am I doing wrong?

Hello freeCodeCamp,

I have been applying to around 25-30 jobs since early april and I have not received any responses.
I understand that the job search is very difficult and that I shouldn’t expect a job this quickly but I was also advised to get feedback on my resume and portfolio update them every month or so instead of applying to hundreds of jobs without feedback.

This is actually my second attempt at applying: I had started to apply in mid February of this year and landed an email response within a few weeks, but was ghosted after a non-technical skype interview.
I panicked and stopped the job search to learn new technologies such as MySQL and redux, build another fullstack project, and revise my resume before starting my current job search.

So my problem is that my skillset and portfolio are better than they had been when I first applied (as in I have more projects and skills under my resume) and I fixed some serious bugs in my personal projects yet I have received even fewer responses than I had during my first round of applications in february (2 interviews total).

Could you guys give me some advice on how to increase my chances of getting a job and what changes I can make to my portfolio and resume more competitive?
Did I make my resume worse when I updated it (I cut down my project descriptions, but they read as more dull)? And does the timing of my job search have anything to do with the lack of responses? I heard that around April, there is a flood of college students applying for internships and jobs, and their computer science degrees are much more attractive than my personal projects.

Thank you very much!

Here is my portflio: portfolio

My first resume from february:

And my current resume:

3 Likes

I would not focus on the fact that you are self-taught. You have that on the main landing and then again right below in the About section. Also, I would move the Projects up near th top and get rid of the Skills section. The skills should pop out while reading through the project descriptions. Maybe a smaller version of the icons instead of just listing them below the project title. Also, get rid of the skills section on your resume as this information should seen in the project descriptions.

The following paragraph is not important to an employer. It is not as important why you decided to learn. It is more important that your project demonstrates all of the skills you are wanted to highlight.

Is there any reason why you don’t have your own domain name for your site? It would look much more professional. You could then have each project as a separate page or subdomain.

Lastly, I recommend having projects which do not require extra steps just to see anything. For example, not everyone may have a Twitter account or want to have to remember the password to it just to view you app. Recruiters/Employers are not going to spend a lot of time looking at something that is either difficult to access or is not intuitive to use (should not have to read instructions to use the app).

3 Likes

Hi, I think your profile is good as you can do fullstack apps (not many beginners are able to do here).
Maybe you should do one more project more real life oriented such as a booking platform or ecommerce website as everybody would know its features.

I recommend you 1 day learning a bit graphql (just making queries on graphql playground) to make a good impression, as few developers can do it and it is a next big thing to learn for frontend devs.

You should maybe go to technical/startup meetups to find a small freelance project or job.

I think you ll find a job very soon, good luck.

1 Like

I like the look of your portfolio. The black and white works nicely with the font you chose. Also, the skills you have do seem to be a bit more than your average self-taught developer so that sounds like it should be working in your favor. I can only give some educated guesses as to what might be holding you back (as I’m just beginning applying as well) so here they are:

I agree with most of what @RandellDawson has said. I agree that mentioning you are self-taught probably isn’t doing you any favors. I also agree that your website would look more professional with your own domain (I just bought mine for around $9 and it only took me a couple of hours to set up as my first time doing so) and that twitterize is a bit difficult to quickly check out.

Now for my own critiques: I think the absence of a LinkedIn account might be hurting you. I can’t be sure how much, but all of the research I have done so far has pointed to it being a prominent factor in applying for jobs. Also, your GitHub profile is pretty bare and your heat map is mostly empty. I would imagine this could be counted against you if someone finds you there. Besides that, I’m wondering what job search sites you’re using, what city/area you are applying in/for, and whether or not you are attending any meetups for in-person networking (as these might be factors effecting your results). Lastly, some small issues I have with your site: the auto-scroll is slow for my tastes and the contact section seems unfinished - I’d like to click on your email address text and the mail icon as mailto links as well as click on the GitHub icon as a link to your GitHub.

Hope these suggestions help buddy!

2 Likes

Your portfolio looks clean and tidy. Your resume structure also looks appropriately set. There’s no reason why you can’t land a junior developer role. 30 jobs is not a lot of jobs to apply for to be honest, it took me hundreds before I got mine. Keep going and stay persistent. It will pay off.

4 Likes

I lost track of my own but after 10 call backs and dozen of applications I stopped caring at the number. Keep going and as someone who has experience and has had some stem schooling it still took me 9 months to find an offer that was humble in pay.

Be willing to go the distance. And keep going.

The truth is, you are probably doing nothing wrong. Hiring is an involved process and large organizations like corporate companines are by nature inefficient. It is very common to not get any feedback for an inexperienced candidate because chance are you are their lowest priority.

Cold application are literally like throwing bottle messages into the ocean. 30 bottles are a lot, but the ocean is so big that 30 is insignificant. You want more of a feedback, you have to go through another human being. It could be a recruiter, hiring manager you DM on LinkedIn, people you talked to in meet ups, people paired with you in hackathons, people with whom you worked on side projects. People you can track down and talk to are the one most likely to help you get feedback.

Thank you for all the insightful responses. I will keep applying, remove any mention of being self-taught, and purchase my own domain.

I have been using indeed, monster, glassdoor, ziprecruiter, and dice to look for jobs.

It never occurred to me how difficult using my twitter apps would be, but now that I think about it, they aren’t very obvious to use especially if you don’t/never have used twitter and most people forget their passwords and won’t bother logging in.

Do you guys think a video demonstration would be enough of an overview of my projects, especially for the viewers who don’t have twitter accounts? I forgot to mention that in my first attempt at applying, I had video demonstrations of my apps on my portfolio site instead of the images of the home pages and maybe that contributed to better responses.
I think the video demonstration would be more informative especially for people who don’t have twitter accounts and won’t bother logging in and skip over my resume.

This job application process of continuously applying with no responses or feedback is very demoralizing but I will keep at it.

I think rather than trying to make a video about the app, you should work on teams and do open source programming. There are PLENTY out there to contribute to and although I missed the chingu cohort that’s a recognized and great way to get familiar with working on teams but most of all learn more about coding in general.

That experience of working with other coders is what is usually what impresses during interviews. What a lot of developers freshly starting out don’t have is the understanding of TDD, unit testing and working on teams. Try getting some udemy classes if your budget allows and learn from some highly rated classes that talks about these and other advanced topics.

Lastly I know how demoralizing it is. But you have ability and you know what you’re coding and can easily do fizzbuzz work and testing which is what some companies often only want to see as some cs grads cheat their way into a degree.

It can be demoralizing and easier to say don’t worry if one is not in the same shoes you are, but after some time you become more numb to the pain of unemployment. It is not the same of course as being employed but to have that hunger is always beneficial to your career.

Getting your start is likely and by far the hardest part of being a software developer. After your 2nd year and if you’ve lead your own project and have done enough overtime to become a valuable asset you’re golden.

Best of luck!!!

If you need some interview experience, you can always try TripleByte. Fair warning, it is pretty hard and more involved than you typical entry level interview. However, they are resume blind for interviews as long as you prove that you have a decent foundation.

If you pass, then through their connection you’d have higher visibility and lower barrier of entry. More likely you would get direct answers from a company than you randomly applying on Indeed or Dice. If not, it’d be a nice test for you any way to see what a rigorous interview is like.