Get front-end dev job from a European company with sample projects only?

How to get to work remotely as front-end developer for a European company? (European currently living in a country in Europe but outside of the European Union)

  • my CV is liked and 2 out of 9 recruiters were interested
  • about 3 years experience in mainly WordPress, HTML, CSS, PHP, Boostrap, JS but work for my friends’ foreign company (my employment status is not liked)
  • I like front-end. Should I venture into React, make 2 or 3 projects in React then apply for a job pretending I don’t have commercial experience? I think with React would be easier to get a salary that compliments my value

Why would you need to pretend you don’t have commercial experience in order to get react jobs? any coding experience you have is relevant to a react job so that makes no sense

You don’t need 2 or 3 react projects. Just make one really good one that isn’t ripped from a tutorial

I imagine it would be easier to find work in your own country than getting a sponsored work visa for the EU, but we don’t know which country you’re from.


@miketandy because I had a recruiter with no coding knowledge, his task was managing developers basically that made me realize that I did not know how to present my commercial coding experience in the best way

he hinted at the fact that I did not have a real job because I technically did not earn it by going through a normal recruitment process and I got the job due to my friends that have the company I code for

( a big project with over 200 pages) but my friends only gave me an opportunity and I worked and studied code a lot

I am proud of my coding experience and what I have done with it so far

This recruiter acted as if the big project I built did not matter, why I wanted to leave my friends’ company, how long would my notice period be, he did not like when I said personal growth and learn a language that they used at that company, because I did it at my friends’ company and not at a “real job”

my friends allowed me to gain experience and it started off as a hobby for me, I am not taking a salary. now i want to transfer these skills I gained at my friends’ company and get a good job that will introduce me to new web development skills with a salary

I just want an honest job as web developer but I am afraid other recruiters will be stopped at these two aspects:

  • working for my friends’ company

  • working remotely for a company that is based in a different country

I am confused on what would be the best course of action in my case to get hired as web developer

How can I talk about my coding experience in the best way possible so recruiters will love it?

I am a European citizen currently living in a non EU country, I don’t need any work visa to get employed within the European Union and I would have the same or almost the same timezone

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Why would you stop at one recruiter? If you want a job, stop fearing if they won’t recruit you.

Just say you worked at a job doing {x, y,z}, because that’s what you did. That’s all. Just highlight what you did, what you know, etc. You seem to have gained quite a bit of valuable experience, this stuff is good.

You don’t really have to explain your story to a recruiter. They’re just trying to judge whether you can get a job they put you forward for so that in turn they can make their commission. Don’t take it personally and possibly be a little more selective with what you say. For example, there is no actual onus on you to say how much you got paid, they are just trying to find out how much you’re looking for (you will find if you deal with more recruiters they will always ask this, but often apologetically & prefaced by “you don’t have to tell me but…”). There is no onus on you to say that you are friends with the person you work for: what is important is what you did, was it useful, etc.


@Dizzy_Tea_1170 and @DanCouper
yes I need to prepare myself a script with bullet points on how to explain my coding knowledge, I think is best to say the truth in this case along these lines:

I have been coding for a couple of years and I have been practicing via my friends’ company and now I am looking for a salaried job (This are the skills I acquired so far…) and then saying that I want to build more web projects with their xyz company

does it sound good?

This was my first time having a 2nd round for a web developer position on videocall with a sort of HR person instead of a phone call with a non-tech recruiter

he asked questions such as why did I move to the country I currently live in, it was clear his dislike of foreigners, even asking for my age and after that he wrote something down on a paper, he even said several times “Am I pissing you off?”, he was so rude I could not believe it, I never had an unpleasant interview at least he should have been professional

I mean it was a horrible first experience at being interview on a videocall (being interviewed on a video was awkward) and he was also registering the video and I said yes to it because I felt I had to say yes but I don’t want it

from now on I will be strong in my boundaries and if I get to talk with another rude recruiter I will immediately cut off the conversation and I will only reply to what I want, that is relevant to the job or not a trick to underpay me or whatever

This is the issue that’s caused the recruiter to say what they said. You sound like you are saying “my friend let me doss around for two years, I’d like a job”, when you need to he saying “I worked for this company x for two years doing y”. The fact that it’s your friend isn’t really relevant, nor, to be quite honest, is the fact this job was unpaid *as long as the experience is close to equivalent *


Ah right be careful here. You can just be polite, right, don’t do aggressive stuff. Also

Right, this is not how recruiters work (external recruiters that is, not recruiters who work internally for a specific company). Recruiters work on commission and they ideally need you to be paid as much as possible. What they need is someone who can do the job for the position they’re trying to fill, at the maximum wage available. A company may want to pay the minimum possible salary, an external recruiter wants you to get the maximum possible salary

@DanCouper this person was internal to the company (not a recruiter more like general supervisor) and was very rude even before he started to ask about my work experience. he asked more about me being a foreigner than anything else

Ok, based on me saying “I worked for this company x for two years doing y", how to answer smoothly to these questions:

  • “how much are you getting paid at this current job?”
  • “what is the notice period you should give before you can work for us?”
  • “what salary would you like?” (whether they display a salary range in the job ad or they don’t display it)

I thought to reply to the salary question with “alright, considering my value, the required skills that are xyz, and the current market I would like … as salary”, correct?

I am not talking about being aggressive but I want to show a confident vibe with body language and pause a bit before I talk instead of rushing into answering

That’s fine. If it’s an internal recruiter that’s slightly different but same overall advice applies.

Strong caveat here with what I’m about to say: I understand the issue you’re facing here very well, and I’m definitely not saying to lie. But it is my strong belief that simply being very straightforward about your current situation will bias almost any given recruiter against you. This is not fair, but it is what it is.

Everyone hates the salary question. What the salary question tends to do when it is used to determine how much should be offered is to penalise :

  • people who are currently working unpaid positions
  • people who have just taken time off work
  • people who are worked in geographic areas with lower salaries

And even outside of those situations, it just feels designed to make people squirm. I completely understand why it’s asked, but it’s not a question anyone likes being asked.

I don’t have any great answer to how you should approach it. I went from being a freelance designer to being a programmer. When I was applying for jobs I had many very similar experiences to you. But that was a long time ago, and since then I’ve only been in salaried roles. I have definitely penalised myself several times [in possible salary terms] by answering the question truthfully :man_shrugging: – I live in the north of England, and average salaries there are significantly lower than for equivalent positions in other parts of the country; it is a poor area.

The only thing I can suggest is that you can use the fact you are significantly removed, geographically, from the person you’re speaking to. Just say something neutral like you aren’t paid much at all.

That would be one of the main reasons why you’re applying for the job! One thing that also always gets asked is “why do you want to leave your current role?”. If you say you don’t get paid much at all, and want to get paid more [of a wage you can actually live on], that’s a perfectly valid reason that everyone understands.


This is much easier with external recruiters, because you can definitely say that, and they will be able to give you good advice, and try to match things.

With internal recruiters, umm probably. It is…very annoying if they don’t publish the salary range.

The notice period question is there because, although standard is normally a month, some people have [much] longer periods.

For example, if you worked somewhere that had a notice period of three months, but the hiring company needed a position filled ASAP, they may well prioritise other candidates with shorter notice periods if possible.

You can say you don’t have one, or you can just say a month if you want to avoid questions around why you don’t have a notice period. It’s just a box-ticking exercise, it’s just that question and it’ll never come up again (he says).

Also, check that you can get a reference off the person you’re worked for. It’s there to show you did work where you said you worked. It’s just a box checking exercise, and it’s asked for after you’ve been offered a contract etc., but it’s always asked for.

Anyway, caveat emptor and all that

thanks for your throughout opinion, I was so confused on how to talk to recruiters about my work experience

I decided to not put on my CV my work experience, it is too intricated to explain, too many pitfalls that might damage me in the eyes of recruiters

I will re-watch some great youtube videos that explained for web developers how to answer interview questions and what to ask and also what to say and what not to say (and avoid anything that might constitute a reason for a recruiter to not hire me)

I will analyze how other people, that put in their LinkedIn title “WordPress Developer” that are self-taught like me and that are now employed at xyz company, explained their coding experience prior to getting their 1st job as web developer at a company and I will adapt it for my CV and LinkedIn

Then I will build different projects 2 or 3 because recruiters always want more than one, that is what they told me, I put as timeframe for full completion of these projects a month starting now

I will make my portfolio and my projects super-eye catching, so much that recruiters will be even more impressed than they have been so far about my beautiful big project

I just think if you have work experience, you need to state that. Because experience trumps everything else. It’s more important than anything else. Literally the only way to get good at programming is to do it, and that’s what people hire for.

I do understand. Just be careful about removing two years of experience, because you’re likely then in a worse position, hiring-wise.

I will be careful, I know my plan will have success :slightly_smiling_face: @DanCouper thanks for your words, they encouraged me. I was quite lost and demotivated after that videointerview

I can see on job ads they focus a lot of having multiple web projects

I will build great projects, this will show my up-to-date coding experience

first step is easy, I just need to convince the non-tech recruiter

I will apply only on LinkedIn so they can see my LinkedIn profile as well and whenever possible I will message the recruiter that posted the job ad

I applied the tips given by Danny Thompson on youtube and that gave me an impressive success rate

What I mean though is that a large percentage of what is required in jobs is “I have experienced this business problem many times and I know how to fix it” rather than “I have these very fancy personal projects”

I have re-applied to other 10 jobs without putting my experience working for my friends’ company and the result was 0 phone interviews

In the last month though, I created another e-commerce and a booking site as side projects. I re-did my portfolio and it looks even better now

You are right, I think I will re-include my commercial experience working for my friends’ company as the response with my CV stating previous commercial experience have recruiters interested in my web dev skills