How the heck am I supposed to compete with 30+ applicants?!?!

I am currently employed at a web/mobile software development firm making $12.02 an hour. I have been there for over 7 months so far, and this is my very first developer role.

I am wanting to pursue other opportunities, but when I search on LinkedIn, just about all the jobs have 30+ applicants. Many have over 50+, and I have also seen plenty with 150+ and even 200+ applicants.

I am skilled in a multitude of technologies.

I took the linkedIn JavaScript assessment, and out of 179k who took it, I made the top 5%. In addition, I took the CSS assessment on linkedIn and also scored in the top 5% out of 650k people who took the test.

I recently applied for a rare position in my area. I live in a smaller city and this was the only Angular frontend position I have seen in a long time. They denied my application without even considering me for an interview! Come to find out, there were 39 applicants!

How am I supposed to compete against that!?!?!

I only posess a high school diploma, but as I said, I have over 7 months professional work experience and over 4 years of overall independent learning experience.

I am starting to believe I chose the wrong profession.

That sounds frustrating!

It’s hard to get a job, regardless of the number of applicants, but standing out can be tough when the is a lot.

Without seeing how you are presenting yourself, it is hard to advise you about how you might improve (feel free to PM me details if you like).

The generic advice I would give us this:

Don’t rely on one place for job hunting. It sounds here like you are only looking at LinkedIn - consider the many different avenues people use to find open positions: job boards, recruiters, career pages for interesting companies, meetups (Covid permitting), personal networks, dev communities, cold emails…

Ensure your skills are what are needed in your region - you mention this was the only Angular role you’ve seen…is Angular a deal breaker for you? Maybe it shouldn’t be.

Ensure your portfolio, LinkedIn, cover letters all present you at your best. 30 people apply, 1 of them has the best overall presentation - be that person.

I’m happy to review stuff for you. I just hired a new dev recently, so this stuff has all been top of mind for me.


Feeling helpless against the tide of life isn’t an uncommon issue. But working on oneself continuously to win against all odds is the really test of valor.
Firstly, try and work n your self esteem and reinforce the affirmation of how valuable you are irrespective of the environment and where you are coming from. This will not help you see beyond factors like; competitions, college degree, location, and opportunities. Hence, you’d be able to see deeply and understand how deserving of these opportunities you regardless of having 100+ more candidates to contend with.
Furthermore, try and apply for remote opportunities outside of your location.
Networking on existing connection as well as building new ones is highly necessary because this opens you up to accessing more roles.
I recommend that you read this book by Dr. Maxwell titled Theory of psycho cybernetics. I hope it helps. Go forth and excel

Where do I find the best community of coders, specifically web developers?

Best is subjective!

freeCodeCamp is good, obviously.

Twitter is great, with #100DaysOfCode being a good starting point.

There’s lots of smaller discord / slack groups around too… But I’d start on Twitter and discover the other stuff over time.

I’m trying to search in Meet up groups.

Have you asked them why? A polite phone call might help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses in your application. We don’t know how you applied nor how you application and personality were presented to the potential employer.

How about being persistent? Ask for an interview as they didn’t offer you one. Let them know that you want to help them with your expertise and knowledge.

Only 39 applicants; that seems quite low for any job these days.

Marketing and resilience.

It sounds like you have the skills, but that doesn’t mean you instantly get hired for a job on skills alone. You gotta sell yourself, learn from rejections and keep applying.

Something as simple as not having a college degree will get you denied on automated filters alone. Does this mean your not cut out for the entire profession? NO It just means you can’t get that 1 job. There’s tons of jobs you can apply for, so 1 rejected job application is nothing more than that, a single rejection from a single company.

Even in the best of times getting a job is hard. Unless you already have a job lined up, jobs searches can take months. Throw in the pandemic and there’s a large amount of uncertainty for everyone involved in the process.

As such I think there are a few things worth point out:

7 months at your current position is a rather short amount of time. This may be seen as a flag on your applications. Especially if this is your first dev position, you should have a good reason to leave, along with understanding the potential impact of leaving so quickly from your first position.

I wouldn’t consider 7 months to be long enough to gain a ton of experience either. So depending on how applying for that position went, you might be going back “to square one” where you essentially are applying with your background and minimal work experience without much relevant dev experience to promote.

If your clawing your eyes out in your position then yea leave might be good, but if its not that bad, I’d consider sticking it out and or looking internally within the company for more opportunities. Or just asking for more pay to do what you want (if that makes sense)

Just wanted to keep things in perspective, as you are in a better position than most. IE you have a dev job.

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Do you feel I am being underpaid at $12.02/hr as an entry-level developer? My title is “Junior Developer” at the company.

This really depends on your location and cost of living. 12$ an hour is below minimum wage in some places, but actually pretty good if your living somewhere very cheap.

If you feel you are under paid you can always ask for a raise. Or leaving for this reason is a valid reason to move on. However as I mentioned before its worth keeping in mind that 12$ with employment usually is better than 0$ with no employment and only holding 7 months of employment during the time.
So don’t quit until you have another job lined up.

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I cannot even afford a studio apartment here. It is Tennessee of course, but all the apartments I have inquired had a requirement to make 3 times as much as the rent.

So for an $800 apartment, I must make at least $2400 a month, which with my pay, I run short of that.

I still live at home, and I am 26.

I also don’t have any paid vacation or sick leave.

So it looks like minimum wage in Tennessee is $7.25/hr. If you’re getting paid $12/hr for any kind of software development job, I’d say you’re getting underpaid by a fair margin. Don’t work for a company that’s just taking advantage of you. I’d urge you to start looking for a new job. Plus, getting a new job will likely result in getting a higher paying gig.

I want second @bradtaniguchi point here.

We cannot make personal decisions for you; only you should put everything on the scale and make an informed decision.

However it’s very important to know that for many people (recruiters/managers…) 7 month of work in a place before moving may be seen as a “red flag”.

When I started my career, a friend of mine who was already in a managing role gave me this very same advice/warning : do not “jump” too much from one job to another, as it may mark you as unreliable.

Some will start questioning, if not your ability, your “commitment”.

Many places won’t take the risk of hiring you if they have the fear that after few month you will leave them as you have to remember that hiring people is still a sort of “investment” a company makes on you.

For example, in my mid '20 I moved a lot from places to places out of sheer curiosity to explore the world :slight_smile:

During my latest interview at my current job, the manager openly expressed its concern in hiring me saying that he didn’t want to hire me if after some time I would simply leave to move to a new adventure.
(Luckily I convinced him I was trustworthy and landed the job).

In conclusion only you should make the call, and I understand the struggle of working daily in a job or environment that you despise.
However you should also consider the other side, and if the job overall “is fine” you can still call it for what it is: your job for now until you gain more experience for a better one later.

p.s. Also for many tech manager 6 moths is generally considered the “on-boarding” period where you accustom yourself to the tech stack.

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Yes, you are being grossly underpaid. Entry level warehouse workers without any training in TN are making more money and are being offered paid time off, health insurance and retirement.

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