Thanks guys! I’m just overwhelmed by the generous amounts of input you all gave me. They were all very helpful and gave me motivation to keep going. I hope that I can return the favor someday. You guys are awesome!
I have applied for five positions and got seven interviews. Do the maths Two havent worked out due to salary, one I got through to the next stage but got pipped by someone who was more experienced and one I got to the technical test section and am waiting to hear back. The other two I was contacted by the company and I have landed myself ongoing work with one, and havent yet heard back from the other. I don’t have any more experience that yourself and actually technically you are more advanced than me… Here is my two cents:
Rewrite your Cover Letter - This needs to focus more on your strengths as a person and what you could bring specifically to the company rather than just saying “I believe my skills would be a valuable asset to the team”. What skills did you learn in your last job? Are you driven? Have you worked in a team before? You need to blow your own trumpet without sounding arrogant or pig headed. Its tricky!! But important.
Rewrite your Resume - Dont focus on the projects in my opinion. Once again, if you have had a job before, then you need to concentrate on telling what you learned from there and what experience that has given you (team work, organisation). The independant web developer section needs to go more in to detail about the jobs for people you did. Its quite generous to call that work experience when all it is is your own projects and help people on freecode camp… see below. Focus more on your degree as well as Udacitys nanodegree.
Get some REAL experience - As stated above, personal projects just arent going to cut it for work experience. You need to network and get some freelance work. Speak to people, ask around friends and family, get yourself on Instagram SEE NUMBER 5. I actually spoke to a recruiter yesterday about a job, and he rung me back and said his missus was looking for a website for her business and would I be able to do it. Chances for jobs are literally everywhere! Look on peopleperhour and similar but be cautious about it and keep your wits about you. I got screwed over on Upwork massively and never got a penny out of them.
Github - Like @wwSchrader has mentioned above, you need to be constantly updating, rewriting readme’s, contributing to projects. This is your main point of call for people looking in at your technical skills and having two weeks of no contributions unfortunately doesnt cut the mustard. Maybe have a sort out of your repositories, follow some people, fork some projects and get contributing. I have had positive comments on my own account - http://github.com/jabedford - Feel free to take a look and take what you want from there! As you can tell I only started last November.
Network, network network - Arguably the most important point of them all. Get yourself connecting with people and recruiters on linkedin. Also get yourself on Instagram and start documenting your journey. I have landed myself three freelance jobs through this platform and met a lot of like minded people from around the world as well as local. I am in regular contact with senior developers from just down the road from me! It is a social network that is often overlooked but it has been incredibly valuable for myself and many others. I went from 70 followers to over 1500 in four months (70 pictures), and this is 1430 more people I am getting my work and mindset in front of. There are loads of local companies I can follow and connect with on there - https://www.instagram.com/countryside.coder/ - Take a look and see what sort of stuff I am posting. It has worked well for me, and often particularly small companies like the fact that you are involved with social media… People make good careers out of social media marketing, so this is another skill to add to your tool belt.
I hope you take something away from that buddy . Don’t feel disheartened, everyone has been there are some point! I was feeling a bit gutted because of the technical test I did at the weekend (I made some mistakes). My old man came in with his pearls of wisdom and said “I fucked a technical test up beyond repair once and still got the job”. Read from that what you will, but this reinforces the fact for me that sometimes people will employ the person rather than their skills. Get yourself in front of the right people, and as long as you show the same attitude and eagreness you display here things will be fine!
One more thing to think about, how are your projects different from any other camper? Portfolio rewievs I think you’ll find these useful and keep building everything . And try to find some meetups or hackathlons too.
Ask friends, family members, former colleagues or class mates. I was browsing on linkedin and checking out my network, and two people in my network contacted me asking if I was interested in a job.
As others suggested, meetups are an excellent way to get contacts.
It’s also a numbers game. Here is an interesting story by a Phd student who sent 60 applications until he finally got an offer.
Here is another story by someone who sent 109 applications.
I am a but late, Could you get a job?