I think that I’m ready to start looking for a job, but I’d love to know if there is anything that I should fix or could improve on.
Aaron, you’re ready.
The one thing you might consider improving is the readability of your about section. There is a lot going on in that image that is competing for the attention of the reader. You could try a darker overlay or swapping that image with the background image of the Projects section.
Hey Astaton. The code is great. I can see you can probably code whatever you want easily enough, so no problems there.
But the design of the website is lacking. I think the full images, and not the highest quality, make it seem unprofessional.
I recommend losing the big background images. Almost no website I know of uses them and the ones that do probably hire professional designers because they’re hard to get right. Go for something more minimal like this website, google, twitter, etc.
TLDR: Code is good. But redesign the site. Go cleaner, no background images, graphics on the site is fine such as https://www.hubspot.com/
Thanks csorrentino I’ll do something to clear that section up a bit and make it easier to read.
Thanks spyraklas I agree the design quality of the site can be improved. I’ll keep your ideas in mind for the next major revision of the page.
- Looks like you could use an extra line of space at the bottom, which you could achieve by putting your GitHub and LinkedIn URLs on the same line. And you don’t need the actual words “GitHub” and “LinkedIn” when they’re part of the URLs—that’s obvious by the links.
- Your Personal Projects have a whole lof of “tech speak” in them that recruiters and HR managers won’t care to read about. Your resume should be customized to appeal more to that audience, as opposed to other developers. So I’d suggest re-wording your projects in more practical terms—and you don’t really need that many bullet points for them either. 2 bullet points for each project would make it more concise.
- Your Work Experience, on the other hand, needs more bullet points because there are none. It’s difficult to read without any bullet points there, and you should aim to have 2 or 3 for each position.
- It looks like you rose through the ranks at “Eastern Standard Consultants” which is great, but it’s certainly not obvious at first glance. The formatting could be improved to make that more obvious.
- There’s no indication of where “Eastern Standard Consultants” is located geographically, so you should add city & state for that.
- You should also have a graduation year on your education—it sticks out that it’s missing. That could also be re-worded to say “BA in English Textual Studies” instead.
- I agree with the others on design, as it’s not great. The background images need to go, and I’d recommend replacing them with either solid colors or gradients. They clash with your site graphics and make the text harder to read.
- Run your site through both Google PageSpeed Insights and the W3C Validator, as both of them are reporting issues.
- Don’t minify your HTML code—while you can probably expect to do that for an actual production app, it’s a better idea to leave it un-minified so that people (i.e., developers who might end up interviewing you) can actually read it.
- Your text styling needs to be 100% consistent throughout. You have 3 different styles on the text throughout, none of which visually match with each other—just use a single style on everything.
- I noticed spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation errors throughout that should be fixed—use either a word processing app or an online tool to check all text-based content before you put it on your site. Even your own name looks to be improperly capitalized at various points, which is odd. Is your first name supposed to be capitalized as “AAron”? Since I doubt that’s the case, you should fix that everywhere.
- Don’t put “highly motivated self starter” on your site, it’s non-specific and cheesy language. I know some companies use that language in their job postings, but that’s not something you should copy from them as a job seeker, and it makes you stand out for the wrong reason.
- When you claim to know React, it’d be a great idea to refactor your site to use it—the fact that you’re not using it on your site is a missed opportunity.
- Once again, avoid using too much “tech speak”. When your goal is to get a job, you should be writing for the widest audience possible, with potential recruiters and HR managers in mind. It seems like you already understand that from your resume, so just make sure your site is consistent with that as well. Focus more on using “business results” type language and less on specific technologies.
- Your contact info at the bottom is easy to miss, as it doesn’t stand out enough against the background image. Make all of that stand out more visually.
- Font Awesome has very nice icons for a lot of things, including LinkedIn, GitHub, and CodePen—use them. You’ll need to get more creative with your FreeCodeCamp button though.
- Don’t post your resume in Microsoft Word format, and only send that to individual recruiters/HR managers if asked. Definitely leave only your PDF version up. MS Word is a tricky format that can have display issues on other computers that aren’t your own—and you don’t want anyone to see your resume where your careful formatting might not be translated to their computer.
I agree with the others, the design of your portfolio is lacking. They’ve already given some specific reasons why, but I’d like to share with you how I went about designing my portfolio.
How I solved it
I myself am not so talented at designing things, so when it came time to build my portfolio, I looked around at other developers’ portfolios and took bits and pieces (or whole sections) from their design and used it in mine.
When I could not figure out how to make a good looking nav and header/intro section, I browsed some other portfolios to see how they did it, and the same goes for color scheme etc…
My portfolio is not a masterpiece of web design, but I’m pleased with it at the moment.
I did NOT literally copy and paste their code into my project, neither did I copy their design pixel for pixel, I simply extracted their essence and tweaked it a little to make it my own.
Thanks astv99 for taking the time to go through everything so thoroughly. You make a lot of good points and I will make the changes you suggested. However there are somethings you pointed out that I’m not quite sure about changing.
I agree that I could simplify the tech speak in the projects, but I’m not so sure about cutting that section down. I feel like it’s the only place in resume where I can make my case as to why they should hire me for a front end dev position. It seems as though If I were to cut down the projects section and add more bullet points to the work experience section,they would spend more time reading about skills that are unrelated to the positions I want to apply for. Do you really think that would be for the best?
You also mention that I could make it more obvious that my work experience is me rising through the ranks of one company. I’m coming up blank on how I could format that better. Can you give an example of something that might work better?
The HTML code is minified in the production folder which I named public. The un-minified and commented versions of all of the files can be found in the build folder which I named src. I minified and compressed everything in the public folder as much as I could because I thought it would be bad form not to. I’ll think of a way to make that clearer so that anyone looking for the un-minifies versions can find them.
Yes I claim to know React and I used it to make my TicTacToe app which is in the projects section. React is good to use in places where you are going to reuse components or you ar going to make small changes to the DOM and you don’t want to re render everything. The TicTacToe app seemed like a good candidate for it. I could rewrite the portfolio page in React but as the page is now it wouldn’t make sense. If I can find a way to usefully incorporate React into the portfolio page during the next overhaul I will do it.
Thanks again for your input astv99
Thanks for the suggestion ninjaboynaru. I’m looking through the portfolios you suggested now.
@Astaton I hope you don’t find yourself discouraged by design criticism. I would certainly take any advice into consideration but please don’t hesitate to look for jobs based on portfolio design.
If you’re looking for developer jobs, the odds are pretty good that you will be given designs to work off and not be expected to be a designer as well. More and more I am seeing developers using templates or very minimal, mostly text based, designs for their personal website. If you decide to redesign, you shouldn’t feel like you are cheating by going that route. Your work should be the thing that gets you a job, not your site.
That’s understandable, but when you’re applying for jobs, the vast majority of people reading your resume will be HR managers and recruiters—who will be skimming over your resume in an average of 6 seconds, and won’t really be familiar with any technologies, so you’re essentially wasting words on them. The main thing that HR managers & recruiters will be doing is making sure that certain technologies are listed on your resume (in large companies, ATS software does this automatically, which is why it’s important for you to write them correctly).
If you want some ideas on how to better approach this section, here are some resumes I’ve seen that other FCC members have posted for review in the recent past, that were more concise:
- NhuTran_Resume.docx - Google Docs
About bullets on your Work Experience section, right now you don’t have any, that’s why I suggested to add them. Not having bullets makes your lines of text more difficult to read. I didn’t say to add more lines, which is what you probably thought I meant—you just need the bullet point itself to help with readability.
Try Googl’ing the search tem “resume how to indicate promotion”. This link seems to have some good ideas on the subject: https://uptowork.com/blog/multiple-positions-on-a-resume
Minifying & compressing is fine for your projects, but on your main portfolio site, that makes it more annoying for people like managerial/senior developers (and FCC members) who might want to review your code. I didn’t see anywhere where you posted a link to your code repo, but you should consider making it easier for people to review your code if they want to, and not harder. If you want to show that you know how to minify & compress, do that in a project, if you haven’t already.
Most portfolio sites aren’t a great use case for React. That’s not to say that you couldn’t do it anyway—does it have to be useful?