Fresh Graduate Struggles

I graduated with my Bachelors in CS at the beginning of December and been actively looking since late December. I did an internship at a company working with Juniper/Brocade switches, which in hindsight, might of been a mistake. I’ve received a bit of a shock both by the lack of entry-level positions in Atlanta as well as the overall process and I’m trying to find out what the reality is for someone like me.

So far, I’ve gotten two phone interviews through recruiters, neither of which went anywhere. The first one felt like it went decently, and we just chatted for 45 minutes about the projects on my resume, what they do, and some additional chit-chat about dependency injection and Swing. I asked a lot of questions because I was genuinely interested as well as wanting to appear eager.

The second one was a guy ahead of a small startup. He asked me about an object model for a car, motorcycle, and garage. I responded that I would have a vehicle class with functions such as brake, accelerate, on, off, etc that car and motorcycle would extend (so future vehicles could be added if needed, abstraction, etc). For the garage, I’d have a separate class with a data structure that would store the cars and motorcycles, and I would use a point system assigned to cars/motorcycles to determine whether or not the garage was occupied.

He condescendingly asked me if grew up with a garage.

I’m comfortable with Java and C++.
I’m teaching myself JS through “Eloquent Javascript”.
I consider myself a very sociable person with great soft skills.
I’ve written use case diagrams, E-R diagrams, and plenty more in the software engineering sphere
One of the values I market myself on is that I can pick up any language quickly (degree wouldn’t mean much if I couldn’t)

So, what’s the general reality here…

What type of time-frame am I looking at? I know it varies wildly but I feel like I know nothing.
Am I a bumbling idiot that doesn’t know what a garage is?
Does no one want entry devs without giant portfolios of personal projects?
Should I of just spent 4 years on personal projects?
How many recruiters actually exist? I’m currently talking to 8 or 9, don’t remember.

Time is a factor and sooner than later I’ll need a steady income. I can fall back on some connections that have general IT jobs if things are too bleak.

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Two days? Two years? There is not set timeframe.

Finding a job is tough. Yes, there are a lot of jobs and not enough people to fill them. But finding the right candidate for the right job is brutal. Your experiences are not unique. I would recommend browsing through the “Getting a Developer Job” for more advice. Just keep at it. Keep trying. Keeping honing your coding and interviewing skills. Keep building stuff.

The odds are you are in for a long and frustrating process. But when you finally find the right job, you’ll be set. It just takes a while.


He condescendingly asked me if grew up with a garage.

Did you ask him how your data structure is incorrect? I’d like to know whats wrong with the data structure in their mind. I mean it’s an open ended question with an open ended solution, and hell you can have a garage filled with motorcycles and car-lifts haha, all depends on what kinda garage we are talking about here

Regardless of how a garage would be implemented, as @kevinSmith said, your timeframe could range from 2 days, to two years. It all depends on how you apply, who’s looking, your networking skills and a bunch of other factors. Some you have control over, like what skills you know and who you apply to. Some you don’t, like where you live and who is looking. There’s also loads of luck thrown in.
Your resume looks fine to me, heck it’s a lot better than what mine was when I graduated.

The key to finding a job is networking and persistence. If your network is small, then you will have to be more persistent in your job search, apply anywhere for anyone within reason (or even beyond reason haha) every interview is good practice.

Just take every interview and application as a learning experience. Don’t take rejection as a failure upon yourself, things just didn’t work out. Your welcome to approach employers who rejected you and ask about why they did, so you can see if you can improve on it. Heck maybe they found some genius kid who took your position, or actually aren’t even hiring!

Keep applying, keep working on personal projects to keep your skills sharp and to learn more in the mean time. If you need money financially sooner rather than later, it’s up to you to decide if you can start an IT job for income, but prepare to drop/change from it if an actual developer job appears. This is a life choice dependent upon your current situation, there is no “mold” or set timescales in the same way no one’s path in life is the same.

Goodluck, keep your head up, and keep applying :smiley:

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Your resume is pretty solid as a college grad, you have a capstone project and internship experience, and a lot of leadership experience.

The truth is you might have started your search a little too late. Usually, it is recommended that you start actively search for jobs during your final semester so that you lock up a job offer before graduation. Around 4-6 month was what it took for some of my engineer friends back in college, through various career service, alumni network and club connections. It really is highly dependent on your network, your skill, your personality, and luck.

I wouldn’t define it in term of time, rather than experience. I’d say it takes hundreds of applications, at least 5 to 10 good interviews, at least 2 interviews that progressed well enough for you to be a finalist, most likely a lot of failures before you really find something.

It would be unfair for me to comment on the specifics of your resume as you’re in a far more advanced place than I am and also a different country, but I just wanted to give you one little pointer that may ease your mind.

Once you’re “in” a company, you have access to almost everyone in that company via the intranet and/or corporate phone book. You also have access to the internal job postings and message boards. Basically a gold mine of information and opportunities.

And in relation to you, if it means taking an IT support job (for example) at a company you would like to work for as a developer, then you may well find this a much easier route than endless applications to endless amounts of companies.

I work for global broadcasting group and my department hires at least 50% of candidates from internal applications. Some have strong technical backgrounds, others have come from unrelated roles like music rights and admin. But most of them wouldn’t even get an interview if they were external applicants. Sadly it’s just the way of the world - we got 1,273 applications for the last job we posted and company policy states that we have to look at every internal candidate, so it didn’t leave much room for the rest and so we only picked absolutely elite applications to look at from externals, who were ridiculously over-qualified.

It is honestly amazing how the barriers to entry are hugely diminished once you are an internal applicant and although it may seem like sneaking in the backdoor, don’t discount it as a method of getting the job you actually want.

Good luck!

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I also graduated with Bachelors in CS in November. I decided to first do the FCC projects and get better with Javascript and MERN stack and then search for jobs. I think I didnt learn shit at college and i have a couple shitty projects to show from college.

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You learned theory, and theory is what makes learning everything else easier. Negativity is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just keep building stuff. Spend every possible waking second building. I’ve sidestepped from the FCC curriculum to work on my own projects and Advent of Code, and the rate at which I have to look up syntax has gone down dramatically.

One thing I didn’t see is a github link, which is fine if you want to stay anonymous, but github serves two purposes: Lots of green == good, and it is a way of networking.

Thanks for the advice and information everyone, you guys are a very supportive community. I’m going to adjust my expectations appropriately and after 2 months, start ride-sharing/food delivery to survive. On the bright side, my GF is also a fresh CS graduate so we have 2 shots at stable employment. Just hearing that my resume is on the correct side of things is helpful. Again, I’ve kind of just felt in the dark on a lot of this stuff and everyone says something different regarding experience, knowledge, resumes, and expectations.

I have a feeling it might be due to your work experience section.

Many CS grads have experience as a developer and transition into a position after university with that coop experience as leverage.

You might have to take up some smaller contracts first before securing a full time position because the market for juniors is saturated with bootcamp grads and online learners. Though I think in your case the experience in Java is useful because bootcamps and online learners don’t really learn Java.

Best of luck in your job search

On average probably 3-6 months. Another factor in your case is that companies hire recent college graduates at specific times of the year (more or less at the end of each semester, with the larger wave being in the Spring). The larger companies will often begin that process a month or two before graduation (college career fairs tend to be in March or April). The timeframe from first conversation to job offer with a single company can often be more than a month.

I suspect that the interviewer wasn’t being condescending or calling you a bumbling idiot. I think that they were trying to help you out by giving you a nudge. They probably thought that you weren’t addressing the fact that there are multiple types of garages. He probably asked you if you grew up with one because he thought you were describing large parking garages and forgetting about personal garages and the variety of both that exist. He was nudging you to think of the garage in terms of classes and inheritance.

They do. Companies know that most college graduates don’t have giant portfolios. The more you’ve worked on large projects, especially with teams or in a professional capacity, the better because working on a project professionally is vastly different from school projects. Projects increase your attractiveness but are not required.


Tons. Most companies are going to have people whose full-time job is trying to find people to hire. If you’re talking about professional recruiters/headhunters, then there are lots of those too - although your relationship with them will be different. I’m not sure if you think that 8 or 9 is a large number or a small number. In my experience, it would be a bit high for recruiters that you are actively talking to at a time. If you’ve only been job hunting since early December, it’s a decent number of recruiters to have personally talked to in that 1.5 month period (especially considering the holiday season).

Thanks for the continued feedback, I’m taking it all very seriously.

It’s funny how things turn around a bit after you’ve started doubting things. Turns out one of the two phone interviews did end up going somewhere, just took more time than they initially said. I have an in-person interview next week and am going to be grinding whiteboard problems till then. :slight_smile:

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