Looking for any feedback (Resume and Portfolio)

Hi I’ve been applying for jobs online for a couple of months now, looking for a web developer role, but I haven’t been getting any responses. I’m wondering if there’s anything I could improve.

My Resume

My Portfolio

My Github

My Linkedin

Any constructive feedback you can offer would be great!
Thanks in advance.

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from the description on your portfolio I would remove ‘looking for a change of scenery’.

The projects on your github are valuable for learning but I would suggest they’re not suitable for a portfolio. I have a tonne of these kinds of projects but I wouldn’t put them on my cv or portfolio. They’re too trivial and generic, plus someone browsing cvs isn’t going to look through several apps for one candidate, at best they might take a look at one. They also give the impression that you may not be comfortable programming independently without the tutorials.

Therefore it would be a good idea to build a non-trivial full-stack app that’s wholly your own and based on your own ideas, rather than being tutorial based. I have one project like this which I spent 2-3 months building initially and have been developing it ever since even after getting a job over a year ago. Whenever I want to learn something new in the MERN stack I integrate it into that application.

From the cv I would remove the stuff that isn’t strictly development related, e.g. long job descriptions for non-development jobs isn’t relevant to the jobs you are looking for. Job title, company and dates are fine, there’s no need for the bullet points. I would try to keep the cv to one page.

What you’ve done so far overall is solid though and you’re on the right track.

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Hi @Nootuff !

My advice would be to have a targeted approach instead of hitting apply and hoping for the best.
All of the developers I know that tried the spray and pray method of applying to jobs ended up not getting anywhere in the process.
Once they changes to a more targeted and strategic approach, they instantly saw a change and started landing interviews.
If you are just hitting apply, then I would suggest stopping and coming up with a different approach.

I am going to link two videos that I think will be helpful in your approach.

The first one is Leon Noel’s video on how to effectively get a junior developer job.

The second one is Danny Thompson’s video on how to optimize your linkedin profile to get noticed by recruiters.

Watch both of those videos and take the suggestions they give you to improve your chances of getting hired.

For your linkedin, I think you can put some more work into it because you are missing out on some opportunities to get noticed by recruiters.

For your resume, keep it one page.

For your GitHub, I would display your top projects with more descriptive readmes.
In the readmes, you can include things like features, upcoming features, etc.
I think it will make it more engaging that way.

Hope that helps and good luck! :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for the replies.

Hey there!

First of all, sorry to hear you’re not getting any responses. I can sympathize with that and it sucks. Unfortunately it is pretty typical in this industry even for experienced devs.

For what it’s worth, looking at your portfolio I stopped at DogBase and already knew you were job-ready.

Seeing that your last commit was over 12 months ago on that project and assuming that you’ve been continuing to learn and build over the last 12 months I would be very confident hiring you as a junior dev if I were in the position to do so.

I would absolutely take @jwilkins.oboe advice if you haven’t done so already. A more focused approach is much better than just sending hundreds of resumes out.

I’m not sure if those videos mention it, but I would also keep focus on networking. Attend meetups (even virtual ones) and conferences if you can. Get active on socials in dev communities, build and learn in public etc.

Most people I know, including myself, get that first lucky break through someone they know. They either work somewhere that has an opportunity come up and you’re the first person they think of, or they know someone who’s looking for someone and they refer you.

I’m not a professional resume writer so I don’t know how useful my feedback is but overall I think it’s fine. As a developer who’s sometimes involved in the hiring process I usually skim resumes pretty fast anyway and am more interested in seeing projects and code.

Personally, I think your DogBase app is a really good portfolio piece in terms of execution and in terms of a unique product idea. I’d be curious as to why you stopped working on it. I would keep running with it and see how far you can take it. I think if you treat DogBase like a real product that you intend to turn into a profitable side-hustle it would not only boost the heck out of your credentials, it could make you a bit of passive income while you learn too.

If you take DogBase seriously as a product with users that makes money, you can scratch it off your “Personal Projects” section on your resume and add it to your “Work History” and make it front and center.

Hopefully that’s helpful, and good luck!

Hi, thanks so much for your kind words and for checking out my projects. As a few people have suggested I’ve been working on my LinkedIn profile and I’m planning on trying out some speculative approaches with recruiters and hiring managers, never even tried something like that before.
With regards to dogbase, the reason I stopped adding to it is that I’m scared of making some small change and breaking the whole thing. I’m still not very confident with back end technologies even after building the site. The connections to the external databases seem really fragile and temperamental so I added every feature I could think of then decided not to touch it after launch like it was a house of cards.
I’m not really sure how I could monetize it either, it’s basically just a stripped down clone of Reddit. I’m glad you think it’s a good project though, thanks for adding me on LinkedIn too!

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Hey no problem!

Coding yourself into a corner makes sense to me. If you were to continue working on it I think it would be a great way to get some hands-on practice with automated testing. Using something like cypress.io is a great way to get started and you can get a lot of code coverage quickly.

Once you have areas of your app well tested it’ll give you more confidence making changes without breaking things!

As for monetization, it doesn’t necessarily have to make money for real but it would be good practice to give users the ability to spend money in the app. You could add adverts to get started which would be good experience, then maybe users can buy “premium” to hide ads. You could copy some of Reddits features too like giving gold etc

I look at a project like that and I see so much opportunity to treat it like a real product even if it never makes you a penny but it can become a next-tier portfolio piece which will definitely set you apart from the pack.

Just to give you some examples of what I would do:

  • Add tests and generate coverage reports
  • Continuing on UI/UX improvements
  • Setting up CI/CD to run things like your tests and lint your code before deploying changes
  • Adding support for ads
  • Add the ability for users to pay for a “premium” plan using something like PayPal or Stripe
  • Add the ability to apply filters to photos that you upload
  • Integrate with an AI service that can detect if a photo is actually a dog or not?

Those are just a few ideas that come to mind, and again you’ll probably eventually land a job long before you ever get around to all of that but I think you can learn a lot by continuing to build on top of something substantial that you already have.

And the key here is that in interviews this project would become your main conversation piece. You’ll might not know the best way to do all of this stuff but the fact that you’ve done it in an app of decent scale (for a solo dev building on the side) will put you in a position where you at least have an opinion on a lot of topics that are likely to be brought up in an interview.

Hope that makes sense!

@DanJFletcher 's advice is really good. The code looks decent on that project and it looks like a substantial amount of work went it into it for a personal project so is worth developing further (my bad for not looking at the code I just skimmed over everything in your portfolio initially).

If you set up a new branch to develop from and keep the main branch for the currently live site that should solve this issue of being able to continue working on the project without the fear of breaking it?

I’m currently making substantial changes to a project I haven’t worked on for a year so I’m pushing all changes to the new branch rather than master so i don’t change/break the live project.

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