Critique my Resume and Portfolio

About me:

I started studying front-end web dev at FreeCodeCamp a couple of years ago. Gradually built up my skills and attended Recurse Center (a programming retreat) last year. Started freelancing on Upwork. Completed 2 large jobs and several smaller ones but I’m not very happy with the pay so I want to move on to full-time work at a company (I live in NYC). Sent out 100+ applications and have only managed to get 2 interviews so far. I would greatly appreciate any feedback on my Resume and Portfolio.

Also, do you think I should focus more on learning back-end technologies like SQL, Go, GraphQL etc or just continue to focus on Front-end, and maybe learn more in-demand languages and libraries like TypeScript or D3? What skills will make me the most marketable?


Is 2 years your total amount of experiences in Web Development?

yes that is correct.

I am not an expert on the topic. I just used to know a guy that learned in his early teens and by the time he was in his mid 20’s he was making 200k a year and never went to school. I don’t think that he really began to make a lot of money until somewhere near the 7 year mark. I am not saying that he made no money, but I don’t think he really made over 50-75K a year until he was at the 7 year mark. You might be able to make money other routes with programming though.

I know this because I asked him about what he made at the time and his past. By now his experience in most fields is around 20 years. He was at 300K a year the last time I talked to him about it and he had like roughly 10-15 years experience in quite a few different areas. He knew PHP, JavaScript, was a master with photoshop, was a master with DREAMWEAVER, CSS, HTML and I think that is it.

Yes I’m okay with making 50-75k and gradually working my way up. Just wondering how I can improve my resume and portfolio to land my first full-time position.

Are you allowed to refer people in this forum?

Would you be willing to pay $50.00 a month for videos from the guy I mentioned? I think he also offers 1 on 1 help. That was his going rate the last time I checked which was like 6 years ago. He gave me free access since I knew him as a kid from playing games online. He gave me free access years ago, but I never did anything with it. I did get to see some of his videos and they were very well laid out and made sense of things that I couldn’t figure out and had spent years trying to understand. I understood them in under 30 mins after watching one of his training videos.

Gary Simon google search, he is the first 3 pictures on the left hand side. I don’t know if he still offers courses, but he is incredibly talented and I’ve known him for 26 years. You don’t know me if he asks lol. That was actually the first time I looked up his name in over a half a decade. I see that he is on LinkedIn, Udemy, and some other sites. He is probably looking to hire people to work for him, he was about 5 or 6 years ago and offered my a job if I would learn PHP, but I gave up :). I asked him what he would pay and he told me roughly 20-25 an hr if I did reliable work.

Garysimon dot com :). That was his portfolio over 5 years ago lol. That will give you a good idea how to become a millionaire if you want haha.

Okay thanks for the links. Not sure if I’m going to pay $50 for his videos.

I think from what I am seeing, plural sight is his new site. That is with a dot com at the end of it. I think he offers a free 10 day trial on there, but I haven’t looked to see if there is any catch to it or not. Back in the day Gary was pretty up front, you got exactly what he said you would get. If I had the money I would pay for it and no I am not him.

You can get his ultimate plan for 450 a year, or the one below it for like 300 a year which is like 20 something a month. I will say this much though, if you paid for it in schooling then you’d probably be paying 10’s of thousands of dollars a year for what he shows you for less than 300. If I were not dirt poor I would :).

I wouldn’t pay $450.00, I don’t think that is a valuable investment for you (just my opinion). And it is not a great answer to your question.

Keep building. Your resume shows experience, but it kind of looks like the words are filling space (i.e. the use of space on the paper to cover all the white.) I know this is generally a good rule of thumb, but I might seek out another couple resume formats, input the same information, put them side by side, and then see what you think personally.

Some of your jobs have dates, and some don’t. I would try to be consistent down the page. (left justify the title/proj. right justify date ranges?)

I like your incorporation of personal interests in your projects. This is VERY cool and it always gives you something to talk about. SQL is always useful, and you are going to encounter this wherever you end up in any company, so I would definitely consider this as a fundamental skill.

I would be scouring BuiltIn, for links like these : and I would probably be on Meetup to see what sort of talks, events are around (you are in a huge city!). I have attended many meetups in Chicago, and the host company is generally always looking for talent, and from what I have seen sometimes, the hiring manager is there, and willing to talk to you about any and everything.

Additionally, your undergrad shows technical acumen, I am just not sure how this could better be presented, discussed? If you do a cover letter, be sure to research the company, why you may want to work there, etc. Glassdoor has good blog posts, among others. An example

Resource Center sounds cool, do they have alumni career resources? 2 interviews is greater than 0. Stay positive!

@jasonmfetzer Thanks so much for your advice regarding my resume. I will try reformatting it based on your suggestions. I will also work on leveling up my SQL knowledge. Also built in nyc looks like a very valuable resource.

Do you have any advice regarding my portfolio page? I was going for a clean, simple design where all the information is easy to find, but perhaps it’s too plain? I’ve seen some really fancy one’s like:

I’m wondering if I should make something that really shows off my skills like those pages, but I’m not sure if hiring managers would appreciate it or would just find it overly flashy. What do you think?

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BuiltIn is an INCREDIBLE resource and everyone should know about it. Regarding your portfolio page, I can’t offer "expert’ advice, but maybe if you have time, you could experiment with a couple different layouts? Because it relates to this community, Bootstrap Cards are a wonderful addition to sites, and I think these help immensely with navigation. That is a personal opinion, but maybe little smaller Bio section, little more emphasis on your work?? Others can chime in. Best of luck.

Hey! I think you have a lot of cool content and your code looks great, but I think you can make improvements on how you are presenting them! Stuff like font size, contrast, line height, word spacing, making certain elements 5% bigger or smaller, etc… on both your resume and the website will make the user experience much better.

Quick examples - I feel like the resume is a bit crowded and hard to read so I’d add a little more space between lines. I would also prefer if your header and individual sections had a bit more space. If you had to cram everything in because you need a 1 pager, maybe omit some info and just include the most important stuff.

In the portfolio I think the mobile layout is great but the large screen aboutSection div makes your projects harder to read.

You can even consider a template like html5 up for a portfolio page if you want a quick and easy fix without taking a deep dive into design.

Anyway, good job with all you’ve learned so far and good luck!

As others have mentioned, the appearance of your resume and portfolio could use a tweak.

The content is really good and shows off some technical proficiencies that are lacking in a lot of early career devs - so I don’t think you need to learn much more technically to land a job.

But as a mostly front end developer you may need to train your eye for design a little more, which is something I really struggle with too.

One resource I found helpful was Hack Design. Especially their concept of designing everything in your life as a way to sharpen your design intuition.

As an aside, I also started watching all sorts of TV I’d previously written off as too trashy if it had a design focus: Project Runway, Master Chef, Tiny Homes… Any thing that has a strong emphasis on presentation and aesthetics.

I’d also reiterate what @jasonmfetzer mentioned: get along to meet ups.

When I finally landed a job, it wasn’t one I applied for - an opportunity found me at a meet up I nearly didn’t go to! I’ve been working there for over a year now.

It wouldn’t hurt to dive into backend a little, but assuming time is limited I’d prioritise the other stuff.

Good luck, you’re nearly there! I’m sure your job will land soon!

@ jasonmfetzer Yes I will try changing the layout. How do you think I should incorperate Bootstrap Cards? Thanks.


Yes I agree I need to get better at design and I will start reading Hack Design. Do you think that it’s a matter of developing a general visual sense, or are there specific things related to web design that I should be paying more attention to?

It makes me feel really good to know that you believe I can land a job soon. Hope it’s true! Thanks! I came across this pen, but imagine something like this with your project desc, links, etc.