Feeling discouraged in the job search

I really sympathize with you because I’m in pretty much exactly the same situation. About 6 months of applying with only a handful of interviews/coding challenges and still nothing. Depression and lack of motivation have been issues for me, and a lot of the time it feels like I’m just getting nowhere. Even so, I’m doing my best to build new projects, learn new things and keep applying to jobs.

I’m really not sure I’m the best person to give advice on this matter, but I think employers would also want to see some projects using a back-end like Node/Express that connects with a database.

Also, I definitely agree with the networking advice. Getting to know people in person has been way better than sending resumes into the Internet black hole. In fact, I just went to a meetup this week and talked to the co-founder of a company who said he would get me a phone interview next week for his company.

As far as feedback goes, I’m not an expert (I’ve actually come to the FCC forums before for resume advice) but your cover letter looks good (could be a bit shorter though) and your resume looks very professional. I also like your portfolio site a lot except for the profile pic, which I think could be a bit more flattering (no offense at all).

Best of luck mate.

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@jacobbogers Thanks, I will check out your Github demo. I am definitely trying to build as many things that interest me as much as possible.

@adace123 I wish you were not in the same place as I am and I hope that all your effort will pay off with you finding the right job for you soon. I am working on learning Node too actually. I agree that many companies probably want well-rounded developers with a diverse skill set. I appreciate your feedback on my job search material. No worries on not liking my profile pic. It seems like everyone else agrees it’s not the best pic of me. So I will be changing it soon. lol.

So, you graduated a year after I did with the same degree. Woo Hoo, go PoliSci grads!

Anyway, you might consider putting some work experience on your resume, even though it’s not going to be related. It shows potential employers that you are used to the world of work and it’s especially helpful if you worked in an office environment.

As far as what to do going forward, I would dedicate no more than one day to posting to jobs, since it usually goes nowhere. Work on projects, be creative and build those skills! And, as everyone else said, go to events where you can network / learn from more experienced people! As a side note, I am hoping to get into web development also, after 8 years as a Systems Administrator. So I am pretty used to the whole recruiter / contractor business and I would say 90% of my legit job leads are from LinkedIn (this is of course probably very different from Web Dev, but maybe not when you are just starting out …)

Also, since you have gone through the basic training a few times over (FCC, Udacity and Thinkful) I would start looking at job descriptions for mid-level people and identifying the skills you lack and start learning those. It would be more self-directed though.

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You will get a job, we have been there before. I would suggest you work on a more complex example and put it on your GitHub. Something like an e-commerce website. The projects you have posted are good but you need to set yourself apart. If it is possible, make sure you push to GitHub at least 5 days in a week. My current job did not involve interviews or job applications, someone saw what I did and hired me immediately. So I encourage you to push more work on Github. All the best.

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Where are you living?

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@kijm lol Hooray for worthless college degrees!

Yeah I was conflicted about adding my past irrelevant job experience because I hear both sides of it. I hear what you’re saying though. I think my past customer service experience could translate into good communication skills and working well on a team. Both are important in a team of developers. I guess I can just add my most recent work experience.

I do need to get back into networking. I spent a good deal of time going to meetups but I got so burnt out from it after a while. It’s the introvert in me. lol. But I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and keep pushing since there are bound to be opportunities at those meetups.

@michaelgichia I think 5 times a week is a good number to aim for. I just want to make sure they are meaningful commits and not just committing frivolous stuff just for the sake of it. lol. Good on your to get that job. I do have a couple ideas in my head I could build for a more complex project. Thanks for the encouragement!

@carpben Portland, OR

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“… Hooray for worthless college degrees!..”

You should dedicate a website or something to this, it’s not so much the money you wasted, but also the time, that’s something that never comes back to you, time you could have spent learning something that the market would value (hence others are willing to pay you for it).

You are in an unique postition to do.

I have some other projects you might be interested in, just drop me an email (its on git-hub)

The resume and portfolio site look great but I have a few thing’s I would bring to your attention.

The picture of you on your portfolio site is not flattering at all. You need a clean professional look.

Your project’s look like you took time on them and made them well polished but they are very generic and don’t stand out at all. You should come up with your own project idea’s.

Third, the GitHub documentation doesn’t stand out at all either. Take a look at my documentation to get some idea’s. You want your documentation to sell your projects. https://github.com/ChristCenteredDev/Coding-Rev-JS-Course/tree/master/Section%2010/MusicDB

*Update: I just looked at the documentation for the Markdown Previewer. That one is exceptional. All of your projects should have documentation on par with that.

As someone else pointed out. Your GitHub commits are not consistent. Start coding and committing daily.

Your cover letter is also too long. I would put it at two paragraphs max. You want to grab the reader’s attention quickly. If they lose interest and don’t read it all then if will not strengthen your candidacy.

I hope this helps. Keep plugging along. If you don’t quit you will succeed.

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  1. I feel as though you are trying to sell you ‘skills’ too much. As a Junior developer, companies are not necessarily looking for skills as much as they are looking for enthusiasm and attitude. They know that you’re not going to be the best coder.
    They are looking for someone who is always open and willing to learn. I’d say you need to get more of your personality out there, why did you start coding? what do you love about coding? Try and flesh our your interest section abit more and be specific. What is your favourite meal to cook? Unless you are going for a corporate role, you need to get your personality and enthusiasm across. Dont be afraid to make your CV 2 pages long (max) to go into more detail.

  2. In your cover letter, you don’t mention why you want to work for the company. It seems again, as though you are trying to focus on your skillset too much which as a junior will never be your main selling point. Do some research on every company you apply for and express what you like about them.

  3. Get a professional headshot. Your picture looks quite blurry and doesn’t look like much care has been put into it. When you do get a good headshot, use it on all your platforms to keep your branding consistent.

  4. Try to message companies directly. Job boards for the most part are trash. Hundreds of people apply to jobs on job boards and most of the CV’s that come through are terrible, as many people apply to junior roles with ZERO experience expecting to get training on the job. Its likely that your CV doesn’t even get looked at. Try contacting people on linkedIn, directly through email or go to meetups and network.

You got this man, don’t give up. These are very useful tips that I have gotten by professionals in the industry and there is alot you can improve upon. I wish you the best of luck in your job search!

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@wmooney1984, Yeah it looks cute, you should start raising the bar for yourself, can you make something like this?
http://www.watchepisodeseries.com

  • notice the chat CSS 3d rotates into view
  • notice the fan out of the search (you also have a search, can you make it like that)

You seem to have the skills to do it, I would love to know if you can create something like that. I would hire you.

Cheers
Jacob

I did not read all of the replies, but I do have a suggestion for you. Can you find a temp agency that needs front-end developers in your area? This might allow you to hone your skills while doing actual work. It won’t pay much (maybe even minimum wage) but it will pay something. Also, I think there are some online companies that hire for peanuts. Have you tried those? It might be a step-up. I think your portfolio looks nice, and I think you are talented with front end work. (That’s not my thing.) I’m not an employer, though, so I have no idea how they will view it. Good luck to you.

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I would like to encourage you to keep working hard and trying. I have been in the same boat for some time and it was very, very hard.

I dove into development by self-teaching, just like you. Keep trying to get these interviews and it doesn’t actually matter so much if you don’t get the job because there are so many great developer jobs. Furthermore, the longer you will keep searching, the more you will be aware of the medium and the market and the better job you will score.

I would like to say that the interviews made me know what the employees are looking for and how to sell myself to them. I even learned a lot during interviews or immediately looked up on the internet after the interview. I kept coding and learning various data structures and algorithms. I noticed that it’s one thing that employees look at. Also, creating a portfolio website has helped me a lot but I see that you have one already.

I also tried building some apps from scratch for my dad and also talking and explaining what I do helped me a lot. I suggest for you to get some knowledge into databases and backend languages. Just to get familiar, not to become an expert. It’s better to be an expert on one thing, front-end in your case, then be average in both.

I would also suggest you to build apps with vanilla javascript. I actually fell in love with vanilla and I believe you would too. It’s great that you know React which is the most famous framework but frameworks come and go. The company might just switch a framework out of a sudden or even work on a different one. By knowing the basics you will be better to adapt to frameworks. If you need references/resources for this, let me know!

Don’t give up, you are almost there. Best of luck!

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You should focus on encouraging others. Your snide comments only hurt yourself. I used to be a cynical individual but that doesn’t bring life and now I am new in Christ. I hope you come to live an abundant life & to know the Living God. Take care.

Please keep your preaching off FCC…

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@drake-king
The misunderstanding was resolved. That wasn’t preaching. I know the main setting for this forum and respect the subject matter but if someone is rude or insulting I’m going to bless them because it’s what my faith call’s those who believe to do.

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Hugging you back @wmooney1984
I take the blessing in the spirit it is givin.

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Hello @envincebal,

I have just posted my Medium article on how I got my first developer Job. I hope it can inspire you in the way many articles inspired my self, I would advise you to work on networking. The article explains why.

Have a nice day!

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Yes I do admit I have just been using a template and switching out the position and company name. You are right. I definitely need to personalize it more to the specific job at hand. Thank you for your feedback!

I’ve heard it said that one hour is a suitable amount of time to spend on preparing one job application. That time can be spent researching the company (look at the code behind their website, figure out what they do and why they are hiring you, see if they have GitHub pages of their own), and based on your research, tailor the resume and cover letter. If there’s a phone number on the listing, you could also call to ask if the position would be suitable for a junior developer. Hope it can be helpful to have a concrete idea of how much to put into each new job application. Good luck!

Thanks for the feedback! I will try to trim down cover letter. Regarding my work history, I have worked mostly in customer service. In my old resume, I included it on there. But after speaking with a career coach, he recommended I leave it out completely because it wasn’t relevant to web development. He said I should instead leave more room to talk about my projects.

How long ago did you talk to the career coach? If it was a long time ago, and the changes didn’t help, then maybe the career coach was mistaken. In any event, since there are always more jobs to apply for, why not try A/B testing? For the next 40 applications you send out, flip a coin. Heads, you put in the customer service work. Tails, you leave it out. Keep track of how many responses you get for each condition. Then get back to us in forty days to let us know which one works better, or lands more interviews.

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i have some input that may help you, from my own similar experience, if you’re interested, let’s get on a call…
you can post conclusions here afterwards of course…i just have no time…sorry…

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Hang in there Envincebal! I looked at your site and I think it looks DOPE-AS-HELL! Just stay frosty, good news is on the way!

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