My attitude is hurting me on my job hunt

Edit: redacted

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Why not discuss it in the group? You’re anonymous and others may learn from what is discussed.

By group, do you just mean here on this thread?

Yes. Whatever issues you are having with your interviews, I guarantee that you are not the only one. We can all learn from your problems and people’s suggestions. Explain what problems you are having.

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Okay Kevin. I have edited the original post with the details. Thank you!

Will the one year gap hurt me if I’ve done things in the interim and keep learning?

It either will help, it will hurt, or it will not make a difference. There is nothing you can do to change it, so just accept it. But if they ask, just spin it as a positive. “I really wanted to dig deeper so I spent some time focusing on some fundamentals …”

What’s the middle ground between showing that you’re willing to learn and coming across like you know enough?

That is a hard question to answer. Everyone comes off differently. One person can say one thing and it seems innocent. Another person can say it and they sound like a douche. Focus on what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

Remember, it’s not just about what you know, but how easy you are to work with. They don’t want to hire someone that is going to be a pain the ass to be around.

Do you have any friends in the same boat? Interview each other. Find a local meetup and and see if anyone is game. Start your own meetup called “Web Developer Interviewing 101” - you can talk about interviewing, do mock interviews, talk about common questions, common coding challenges, developing resume and portfolio, etc. I’m sure you can find plenty of material on the internet to help out.

What’s the general rule regarding listed skills on a resume? For example, I’ve listed Bootstrap because I’ve worked with it before but I need to refer to the docs when I use it because I don’t remember class names by heart. Is this being dishonest or am I overthinking it?

No one is expected to know everything. If they ask how well you know BS, tell them straight. It’s not dishonest to list it, but don’t call yourself a BS ninja unless you can back it up. Most employers expect a little fudging on resumes, within reason.

Is it okay to disagree about the scope of a job for a junior position? I’m afraid of being taken advantage of (like if they want me to do a ton of backend work although I like the frontend).

I would never disagree with an interviewer. They want a team player. If they want you to do a little backend, say, “Well, I’m more experienced on the frontend, but I’m always eager to learn new things.” They may need to shift people around a little as need demands. Don’t be a douche. Be a team player. If they say, “OK, and the CTO likes you bring his dog in and we take turns walking it.” Smile and laugh. Land the damn job.

As far as contractor jobs, many of us would kill for that. Get your feet wet, get some experience, build your resume and your portfolio. You can land that $120k salary position with medical/dental and 4 weeks paid vacation after you’ve proven yourself.

Should every project be “from scratch” or is it normal/okay to use tutorials as a blueprint and totally transform them into your own idea?

I don’t know if tutorials are a great place to start from, but most coders have some go to boilerplates (either ones they’ve made or others’ that they’ve used in the past.) If you can’t build them from scratch, then you probably don’t understand them. The point of a boilerplate isn’t to skip over parts you don’t know but to give you a headstart by skipping over boring stuff that you already know. Maybe code some things from scratch.

For kickers, you might want to link your portfolio and your resume so we can see what you’re working with.


Great points from @kevinSmith

Your priority should be to get your foot in the door! If that be contractor position, part-time, or full-time – just get your foot in the door!

I don’t know why you turned down that contractor position… it’s not like you have a current job at the moment. Contractors are usually paid higher since they don’t get benefits, or their contract is done after the project is done – so that translates to higher per hour rate… which would have helped to list in your resume as you look for that next job/project.

or maybe the company doesn’t want to make a high risk move of hiring someone unproven… they want to see someone’s performance as a contractor before offering them the full time position.

If you don’t have the long work experience to back yourself up, or a Stanford Phd credentials, or a high profile previous position at a big famous Internet company… don’t be too picky about jobs. The goal is to just get your foot in the door. Once you’re inside, then you can start proving to others that you’re a code ninja or can finish difficult projects, or a programming wizard. – cream rises to the top. If the company sees value in you, they’ll find you a position to keep you. You can move laterally to other departments, or the company can even create a new position just for you if you’re that talented/valuable. – but until then, you have to prove yourself to them. And you can’t prove yourself to anyone, if you’re outside the door, and not on the inside.

Don’t be a diva. Don’t be a diva. Nobody wants to work with a diva. Fucking. Nobody.

Be humble. Be a Team Player. Throw out that “not my job” mentality. Be willing to help.

Under-promise, but over-deliver. You’re more likely to impress people with that. Remember, talk is cheap. Results speak louder – but only if you’re in the inside.

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Thank you for the quick reply.

Good idea. I say something similar to this about expanding my skills and such.

Oh lord, this is where I went wrong. :no_mouth:

My friends either have jobs or are interviewing in different industries. I’ve been to meetups before and there’s a couple of upcoming ones I’m going to, I’ll ask people there some questions. Don’t know why that didn’t cross my mind.

Hmm… it seems it’s not a good idea especially if you’re junior. Although it can probably be done with tact.

Part of what turned me off from that was that some people have mentioned that once you start out with a bunch of spotty contracting experience, you can get stuck as a contractor easily. I know what you mean though. By now I would’ve been better off but I suppose I had to learn my lessons the hard way. You are correct, I have to prove myself and can’t just expect to go from 0 to 100.

That makes a lot of sense. Yes, I’ve coded some things from scratch and others are blended refactored tutorials and original code/features. I assume that’s okay…

I will message you in a min. Thank you again for taking your time to read through and respond.

I’ve no idea how to negotiate for that… I literally gave them a number that was in line with a full time position. They probably thought I was an idiot. :joy:

Yes, this is true, happened to me another time. I turned that one down also. I’m realizing just how many people are trying to get their foot in the door and here I am wasting opportunities.

I agree, I can’t afford this anymore. Although, how do I make sure I’m not just desperate and settle for ANY job, especially if I have some options…

I’m going to repeat this to myself daily.

Would you be willing to take a look at my resume and portfolio? I want to make sure I’m being realistic and not coming off as a know it all so I’d be grateful for your input.