My latest experience job hunting

I’ve been seeking my first job as a front-end developer the last few months. Have a few years experience as a hobbyist and a computer science background. Having tremendous difficulty finding a job.

Had a recruiter from a company 2.5 hours away initiate with me on LinkedIn. She told me she thought I was a great fit and that she was interested in doing a phone interview. I told her the job seemed great but it was too far away and I wasn’t interested in relocating. She responds a couple hours later telling me that the company would be fine with me working remotely.

We proceed and have the half hour phone interview, it goes smoothly, and she wants me to have a second phone interview with the software lead. We schedule a second phone interview for the next week. I have a half hour technical screening and I do well. The software lead wants me to either do a Skype interview or traveling 2.5 hours to the office. We both decide an in-person meeting would be best and they schedule me to come in around 10 days later.

The day of the interview comes up. I get my father to drive me 2.5. each way to the interview because I have a medical condition that prevents me from having a driver’s license. I get to the interview early, interview with the manager, then the UX lead, then a developer, then a second developer, and then the manager to close things out. They tell me they have 5 other people to interview and they’ll be in touch within 1 to 2 weeks. I nailed most of the technical questions and feel I did very well. I left the meeting feeling very confident.

3 weeks have passed. They completely ghosted me and haven’t called or emailed. I didn’t even apply to this job, they found me. Several LinkedIn messages, 2 half hour phone interviews, a 5 hour round trip, and a 2.5 hour interview and they can’t even write me a rejection email.

I can’t believe the tech industry is this shitty. If this is how companies treat potential employees when the “NYC tech industry is booming!” I can’t imagine how bad this industry is when things are tough economically.

Applied for around 400 jobs and have gotten exactly 2 interviews, and this particular job I didn’t even apply for. Is becoming a front-end dev even a viable career at this point?

It’s definitely a viable career. (It’s my career in fact). Depending on what you mean by “front-end dev” plays some role in how large the market is. There are a number of things that can make it hard to get a job as a programmer, but even when everything is in your favor, it’s a miserable experience. I wrote my reflection on it here and many other members of our community have shared their stories and advice as well.

Do you have a 4 year degree in CS? Yeah, industry is pretty weird at times. But whatever, just keep improving. Everytime I get rejected, I make a conscious effort to improve. Make your designs better, write cleaner code, improve your website’s performance, do anything you can do to improve your portfolio. The worst thing you can do is take that many rejections, and not improve on anything.

The job hunting in this industry is an extremely exhausting and discouraging experience. Tailoring your resume for every job application that you see out there is a freaking a nightmare, add to that tailoring a cover letter as well, it just wipes you out.

After you go through all that struggle, you send out the application and after a week or so you get a generic rejection email message, or worse, you hear nothing back from them. You start questioning yourself, you get discouraged and you don’t know anymore if getting a developer job is even possible at all.

Honestly, it’s a fucking horrible experience, there’s no much you can do other than just keep improving, take a break (1 or 2 days) when you feel down and then come back stronger. Ask for advice for your resume and cover letter and look for examples online (there are plenty), keep learning new skills and building projects, but more importantly, don’t quit. If you keep improving and building really good projects, you will get there.