Project Ideas to obtain junior role?

I am looking for projects that would stand out on my resume to apply for junior level roles.
I recently had an interview with a smaller company for a junior level role. The interviewer said my previous projects were a little too “youtube” and said they were all follow along projects. My question is; how do I create a unique project that shows I developed it without follow along guides etc. And what are some good ideas of projects to display this?

Hi @superquiz !

I am also building projects for my portfolio.

I am going to tell you something that a mentor once told me and hopefully it will help.

She said,
“Build things that help you stand out. You don’t have to create a completely original idea but just an original spin on a common idea.”

She then showed me her portfolio and suggested I looked at recently hired junior devs to see what theirs looked like.

The thing that I found was that created something that was unique.

For example, you could create an amazon clone, but that would fall into the category of “youtube” tutorial projects.

Instead, you can create an eccomerce store but centered around something that you like.

I am currently building an eccomerce store that sells music supplies, has a chatbot that assists you and you can setup appointments to speak with a fictional music specialist to help you buy the right instrument.

The concept of an eccomerce store is not original but your take on it can be. :grinning:

Unfortunately, I think a lot of portfolios end up looking the same.
Netflix clones, covid trackers, clocks, calculators, etc.

I haven’t been on the forum that long but I have seen a lot of those same projects over and over again.

The key is to stand out.

I would suggest studying recently employed junior dev portfolios.
I bet you will find a theme like I did. :grinning:
Their portfolios were uniquely theirs and didn’t remind me of youtube tutorials.

You don’t need to create completely original idea that no one has heard of.
Just create things that have an original spin on a common idea.

Hope that helps!

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You could develop an Open Cart project, it’s a php-based ecommerce platform and content management system,

The backend is pre-built so there’s already a lot of functionality to work with off the shelf so you can focus more on the frontend (if that’s your thing),

This platform is relevant for a lot of agency jobs I’ve used this a few times at work,

This would be a good non-trivial and commercially relevant application to work on

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I would try to see if you can work on a project with other people and try to solve a real-world problem. Go interview some users, or determine a problem you yourself and your team has, and go work on that!

Worst comes to worst, you have a handly and useful side project to show off!

I build things that interest me. I’m still pretty new. I did land a part time job, but I got it through networking, not through an awesome portfolio. My work is here: lawrencek1992.com.

I’ve gone from using fcc curriculum stuff to making projects that interest me. I think I write better stuff when I’m interested in the subject. I made a website for a local business, and I thought it was super cool to work with real people. I made a shopping app to sort my grocery list items by sections of the store, because I get annoyed going back for things on my list I missed. I’m planning my next project right now. I like to ride my splitboard in the backcountry, so I’m thinking about doing a map that pulls weather data on a variety of common backcountry areas in my state. I also think it would be cool to learn the d3 stuff in the data visualization stuff in fcc and maybe show graphs with total snowfall vs average or something like that for each area. As I said, still planning. But my point is, I think my projects are better when I make things I’m interested in, rather than just the fcc curriculum stuff or other generic things like making clones of well known websites.

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