No contact so far, I need criticism!

Happy Sunday everybody! I’ve been learning/ practicing web development for a few months now and started applying around 2 months ago. I live 2 hours away from Silicon valley and Sacramento (California capital) and haven’t heard anything back from the hundreds of places applied too. I’m very patient but also very surprised I haven’t heard from anyone. My portfolio is at natespring.github.io if you kind souls out there want to criticize it :slight_smile: I’m just trying to find my next step!

A lot of different things I’m noticing across your portfolio site, resume, and LinkedIn profile. I’ll start with the LinkedIn profile because it’s what HR/recruiters tend to look at first.

LinkedIn:

  • You need to network to increase your number of connections. A lot of recruiters/companies look at that number and will judge you for it. Your first goal should be to get to 50+.
  • “I have skills in frontend web development languages such as JavaScript, jQuery, HTML/CSS, and Git version control” is unfortunately not very impressive. You need to do more than that to land a job these days—have you learned Angular, React, or Vue yet? There just aren’t many jobs that will realistically demand only those skills. Your About section needs to be either more impressive, or more unique. As it is now, your About section could just as easily be written by someone else.
  • Is “Spring Codes” a company? If not, change that to something else.
  • JavaScript, HTML, and CSS are not front-end frameworks—maybe you meant to write something else there? You could substitute “frameworks” for “technologies”.

Portfolio site:

  • The general look needs to be changed because it looks too much like a resume. Make this look like a website, not a resume. The only contact info you need on a website is your email, and it doesn’t need to be at the top. Put it at the bottom. And Google some professional developers and look at the kind of site that they make for themselves to get an idea of what to do. Basically, your site shouldn’t scream “oh this person is clearly looking for a job”. Make it so your site is a LOT less of that and more like “this is who I am and what I’ve done”.
  • Delete your “Download Resume” button, you don’t need to provide that on your site.
  • Your website for the Mexican restuarant is hosted on your personal GitHub Pages site? It’s confusing why it’s hosted there and not on a domain with the restaurant’s name. If that website is done, move it to a domain named after the restaurant.
  • Never publicly write that you did something for free. It’s not impressive, and that’s not something anyone needs to know either. Delete all mentions of “donating” or “donation”—all you need to say is that the restaurant didn’t have a website and you created one for them. That counts as work experience!
  • Make the images links to the projects. It’s counter-intuitive when they’re not clickable.
  • Re-write “Check Code” as “View on GitHub” or something else along those lines. “Check Code” is ambiguous wording and non-conventional.
  • While you can host front-end projects on your GitHub Pages site, it’s a better idea to host them somewhere else—either on your own domain, or something like surge.sh. Host back-end projects on Heroku or Netlify.
  • In general, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS are a given. You don’t need to specify those in your projects. It’s more distinctive and impressive to say other technologies like Angular/React/Vue, Node, specific APIs, etc.
  • Your “About Me” section needs to be re-written—on your portfolio site your audience is companies/recruiters (and potentially other developers). Think about what they might want to read and what their needs might be. Write something that will make you stand out and make them want to hire you.
  • Get rid of the percentage circles. Never show a measurement of your skills, it’s just not a good idea.

“Zero Hour” blog:

  • No offense intended at all, but the content on your blog is not the sort of thing you should be writing about.
  • First of all, I didn’t see any posts that had any technical substance to them. It reads like an personal diary of your inner monologue, and is definitely going to put off most recruiters/companies looking at it. It doesn’t concretely show anything that you know, and it makes you look incompetent and immature. Don’t write things like “I’m really brushing up on a lot of things that I glossed over the past few months.” (Day 171) or “I was so jealous. Here’s this guy being paid six figures to learn Angular at a company that has a napping room, catered lunches, and three remote days a week. While I can do without some of the cool startup-esque perks…” (Day 169) Do you think a company will want to hire you after reading that?
  • You need to put some technical substance in your posts and start getting rid of these diary-like thoughts that don’t do anything to make you look competent or skilled. Write down what you’re actually learning and what you’re actually doing. Show code snippets and use images if needed. For example, Day 166 you wrote that you had a “take-home assessment project”. The whole post as it is right now makes you look incompetent because you admitted you missed the instructions. Instead of writing an inner monolog, you could have shown the code you came up with and why. Maybe including a link to a GitHub repo where the code is available.
  • It’s pretty clear from skimming your blog that you seem to know quite a bit, but your wording/presentation is honestly cringe-worthy because of the constant inner monologue. My advice to you is to stop doing that, it really doesn’t help and in fact, does more to make you look BAD than GOOD. And be more conscious of what you’re writing—try to avoid unintentionally making yourself look incompetent. Google some other developer blogs to see more of what you should be writing like, rather than what you’re currently doing.

Resume:

  • Never share a resume in DOCX format. Always use PDF.
  • All of your contact info, including links like LinkedIn and GitHub, should be in one place together at the top. Don’t split those up.
  • Specify what’s actual work experience and personal projects because it’s not obvious. I’d recommend splitting those into separate sections.
  • You don’t need to list Microsoft Excel and Word as skills. Every person with a computer knows how to use those types of software.
  • Again, never mention that you did anything for free or donated something. No one should know that sort of thing, that should remain between you and a client.
  • High school should be deleted; the only education that matters on any resume is a college or university (or coding bootcamp).
  • Depending on what companies you’re applying to, I’d recommend discarding the split-column layout. They don’t scan well by ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), which are used a lot in large companies.
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Wow. Seriously thank you so much for going through EVERYTHING and really ripping into it. Although it hurts to hear, I’m extremely thankful.
The blog used to be a lot more related to the projects I was working on and the things I was learning, but I haven’t been working on any projects for a few weeks.
Time for me to get to work and renovating everything. Thanks again for the criticism, it’s just what I needed. No wonder why no one’s ever bothering to tell me no.

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Sure no prob, and that’s what FCC is here for! :slight_smile:

I’ve already started making changes all across my online presence. No more cringey monologging in the blog.
As far as my webpages being hosted on my github-pages, it’s because the businesses never followed through with hosting. Should I exclude them from my portfolio or separate them into sub categories?

If you can host for them I’d suggest doing that, otherwise I’d probably suggest something like either surge.sh, Netlify’s free tier, or AWS S3.