Resume Feedback - Looking for 2nd dev job and struggling at it!

Hello all, I’ve been applying to a lot of jobs for the past 5 months and haven’t had anyone give my resume a serious look nor have I had any interviews. I got my first dev job in about the same amount of time (5 months) but in between looking and finding my job the first time around, I had code tests sent to me and phone interviews. Since then, all I did with my resume from then and now is add my new professional experience from my current dev job.

I feel like I dug myself a hole by adding that first professional job on there. Before, they assumed my ignorance because of my lack of experience, but now I feel that more is expected from me because I do have a little experience. I haven’t been at my current job for a full year so I know that doesn’t help, but my current job is not challenging. I barely touch JavaScript and am given small tasks that I finish quickly. I’d go talk to someone about it and ask for more, but my boss is basically in the same position. Only difference is his pay keeps him from complaining. (He’s sitting pretty comfortable and has no reason to request more work). I’m from Northern California near San Francisco, so I know the competition is fierce and there aren’t many jobs looking to mentor newbies, but I feel I need that with the lack of challenge my job is providing. I have React experience but not on a professional level so my React code is pretty basic.

Anyways, I’ve attached my resume. Tell me what you think and thank you so much for looking at it. It means a lot.

Orlando Larks Resume **Updated

Why don’t you try to create a website in react, calling some apis, and add it a feature or two every week. That’s a challenge. In 4 months you’ll have an amazing project that you can showcase as your resume. You can even have this website up-and-running with a domain.

Use strapi, or another headless cms to create your own API if you don’t want to use a limited api from another website.


In addition to coding, what motivates you?

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@germanbobadilla Thanks for checking out my post.

I actually do have a react app with a backend API that I created in express using the Open Financial Exchange (OFX). It gathers my bank data from my different banks and displays my current balance, gives me the last 30 statement items. It also has a calculator that has buttons for my current balances in my accounts. Its a way to help me budget so I’ve kept it locally on my PC. I need to host my server and haven’t really looked into finding a hosting site for it.

But that is an awesome idea. I think that would definitely help me stand out. Thanks for the advice.

What motivates me? I really enjoy programming and just want to get better. I want to bring value to people and their businesses and lives. I also support my family of 5 (including myself). So I’d say bringing value to people be it freelance or working for someone, I just want to help people with my skill, and my family.

Sure. But that’s the only thing that it does, right? How many features do you count there? 3? Calling the API, placing it on the users’ end. And the calculator. You can still add more features using Hooks, or Redux, playing with the API.

If you command your own API, you have more freedom to write the database. When you use someone else’s API, you can’t write in their database. I think.

If you don’t want to deal with backend, and be called a frontend developer, your best bet is a headless cms, because it’s a full fledged node/express/backend, and you can create your own api from scratch about whatever you want.

If you’re using React, have your components do crazy stuff.


If what motivates you helping people and business grow, then create one website for one for free, every month. Find a local business, or a family member, who is running one without a really good website, and use the best features from react/redux.

Imagine if you created a dashboard to manage employees shifts. That’s a big one there.

Good luck @realbwoi

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@realbwoi
Overall I think your CV is pretty decent. I see 2 points you could easily improve:

#1 Be concise

Let’s take a look at your profile:

I know you’re short on time so here’s me in a nutshell:
I am a creative frontend developer who loves to learn how things work. I have a strong eye for detail and I am a multitasker. I am a natural problem solver who enjoys solving difficult problems. I know that strong communication, planning, and collaboration is key to a successful project and interdependency is the key to a successful team.

So line by line:

I know you’re short on time so here’s me in a nutshell:

Well, i’m short on time, you can say this faster.

- I know you’re short on time so here’s me in a nutshell:
+ You’re short on time so here’s me in a nutshell:

I am a creative frontend developer who loves to learn how things work.

Alright, decent start

I have a strong eye for detail and I am a multitasker.

Is multitasking relevant?

-I have a strong eye for detail and I am a multitasker. 
+I have a strong eye for detail.

I am a natural problem solver who enjoys solving difficult problems.

  1. Is that really a natural ability or is that just a figure of speech?
  2. could be a bit shorter
- I am a natural problem solver who enjoys solving difficult problems. 
+ I am a problem solver who enjoys difficult problems. 

I know that strong communication, planning, and collaboration is key to a successful project and interdependency is the key to a successful team.

This sentence is a bit of a mess. All it says is: you know something is important. While that’s nice and all, what you probably want to convey is that you are good at that stuff, the stuff you say is important. I suggest you rewrite that sentence.

After all that you should have save 1 line on the page - use that as whitespace.

Apply the same editing to the rest of the CV.

#2 Use your work to convince me

All the stuff you said you are or you are good at - I want some form of proof.

  • Your love to learn? -> FreeCodeCamp is a good proof
  • You have a strong eye for detail? Show me!
  • You are a problem solver? What problems have you solved? On which project was that skill necessary?
  • You are a good communicator? When was this important? Do you have any proof?

This may come off as confrontational and maybe a bit strong - I’m not trying to put you down or anything. But when I read your CV and you make a claim – I want to see something that can back up your claim.

For example you could say that your eye for detail was instrumental in redesigning ArteQuesta because the client did not have a clear art direction (I’m making this up to illustrate the point). Or you could show some good writing in the README.md files in your GitHub repos or code review comments, or copy you wrote for a website as proof of your communication skill.

I know this sounds like a lot for a 1 page CV. But I mostly don’t get 1 page CVs, I get 2-7 pages (longer is usually worse). So if you have room for a bit more you could elaborate on your achievements/deliveries during the projects you’ve worked on. Redesigning a website - what does that entail? Complying with GDPR and CCPA - how did you achieve that?

#3 Don’t get in line

So this applies only if you have a limited number of target companies. Don’t just submit your CV via an online career page. I mean - submit your application of course.
But also try to find someone who works there already (Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit) and establish a connection - tell them you want to apply and have questions about the working environment (or something like that), that’s a perfectly valid reason to cold email/dm them. Worst case they don’t reply. Best case you strike up a conversation and get some advantageous information (e.g. maybe you’ll learn about the employee referral program and your new contact is incentivized to put your application in as referral, because they get a cash bonus if you get hired). It’s a bit of a hustle, but finding a job is much easier this way.

I’m running a bit long with this answer so I’ll leave it at 3 points. I’ve given CV/application advice here before and summarized it here (but I think you’ve got those bases covered).

Lastly I wholeheartedly disagree with @germanbobadilla’s last response suggesting you should create a new webpage for free every month. You have proven that you have the skills to build something valuable, you should not work for free just to get a portfolio.

Cheers
Nemo

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That’s very true. That app doesn’t have many features. I think I’ll create something and add new features over time just like you said. I really appreciate the feedback.

As far as creating a website for someone goes, that’s another good idea. I think that will come a little later as my time is already tight with work and family. But I do like the idea of some employee management system. That may be my project overall.

I’ll post an update on my future success so you know your words actually helped me. Thanks again!

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Great. Keep us posted. I, myself, am building something that I know doesn’t exist. It’s its very early stages, like UX/UI stages.

I personally think it’s a good idea to create websites for free because, us non cs degree people need to show more of a portfolio of code that anyone can really put there. The part that can get you the experience is, like I said, creating websites for other people.

The part that can really showcase your skills the most is ONE project with lots of features about something that you are passionate about.

And it could be a website where you can gather data from it. With its own domain.

The dashboard with the employee management certainly exists but you can improve to what already exists.

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Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for.

The profile portion definitely needs a tuneup and I’m willing to make any changes necessary, especially if it means getting to the point and saving me some space to write more stuff.

As far as proof goes, I agree overall. Not confrontational whatsoever. The challenge is picking what to remove to allow for elaboration and if elaborating on unnecessary topics will hurt me more than help. I just have to be tactful about it. I’ll probably end up changing my claims to create a better narrative. But I agree, so thanks for the help.

Lastly, to your point about networking, I’ve been doing this. Not to the extent of Twitter or reddit, but I have been reaching out on LinkedIn and asking about the job, but I can say I did not think about employee referrals so thanks for that as well.

I’ll jump on fixing my resume and drop an update when its live.

Thank you for spending your time looking my resume over. I can’t thank you enough!

That’s awesome, when your idea is in a prototype state, let me know. I’d like to check it out.

I already work at a company creating lots of webpages and websites so that’s where I already have some proof. To move from just creating webpages to creating dashboards and UI/UX heavy SPAs, I feel that focusing on a single project that allow me to showcase those skills is where I feel I should be spending my time instead of creating websites for free. If I was looking for my first job, then I think this would be more beneficial but I need to go bigger on my second time around.

And yea, the employee dashboard is very commonplace. I have another idea that I may flesh out that will allow me to tick all those boxes of creating UI heavy SPAs.

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Excellent.

With the new FCC curriculum that’s coming, that’s enough websites that one can create.

My dashboard will have the following features:

  1. Auth with firebase. Google and email
  2. Token id to access a placement test
  3. Teacher’s ID to create placement test
  4. In the UI, students will be able to monitor their competency levels.
  5. Questions and answer will be coming from an API.
  6. API can be fed with teacher’s action. (If they want to use the services for free, they have to allow the system use their questions/answer to assess other students.)

Technologies that I will definitly use:

  1. React/Hooks
  2. Strapi for the backend with Mongo
  3. Gatsby for fast generation, and to use it for blogging, and SEO

If that goes well, I’ll add a python library to gather data from the user interaction to know:

  1. The hardest question to answer
  2. The easiest question to answer
  3. How long it took them to finish a series of question about a competency level
  4. To compare new questions from new teachers and let them know that that question already exists…

… and much more.


This is why I’m so hopeful about the new curriculum that it more python friendly. Let’s see what happens.

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Whoa, that’s awesome. I like the idea of sharing Q and A’s to assess the students competency.

I’ve never heard of Strapi, but just looked it up and it seems great for more front end focus folk like me.

Really great inspiration. Thanks for the help. And yes, I agree, I’d love it if FCC had more of a focus on Python so here’s hoping!

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@nemo_oudeis
I just updated it a bit. Same link above. Reworded some things and including experience descriptions. I’ll be updating my README.md files on my Github account.

Like I said before, thanks for the feedback.

The CV updates look good. The only thing that’s missing is hobbies (but that may be a cultural/regional issue, I don’t know what’s customary in your area :woman_shrugging:)

I don’t think there’s much to optimize that’s worth the effort now (following the 80/20 rule), instead focus on other things to raise your profile:

  • Portfolio projects
  • Networking
  • Dev community work: presentations at (virtual) meetups, tech blogging, tech videos
  • More applications - have you considered remote jobs? Especially with covid-19 many companies are opening up to that. There’s job boards & resources for remote first companies online, e.g. https://weworkremotely.com/, https://github.com/remote-jp/remote-in-japan (I’m based in Japan, so this is what I know, your geography likely has similar lists), etc.

@germanbobadilla

Let me reply to this:

I personally think it’s a good idea to create websites for free because, us non cs degree people need to show more of a portfolio of code that anyone can really put there. The part that can get you the experience is, like I said, creating websites for other people.

I totally agree that portfolio and experience is key for non cs degree holders. I just think you should do get paid. If you have the skill to build software that creates value you should get paid.

I think you are better off building something for clients on upwork, fiver, moonlight, etc. than building stuff for free. These real projects show that (a) you can use technology and (b) you can do so within the constraints of a real project & deadline & quality. Typically clients don’t care that much about the detail technology choices (react hooks vs class components? - they don’t care). Clients care about the business value the software creates. On free work you don’t get the same focus & expectation, the investment from both sides (you and the beneficiary of your free work) is different.

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Hobbies aren’t really something focused on here as far as resumes go. It’s more of a “what can offer me” business culture, and my hobbies wouldn’t fall into that arena.

I’ve been applying to about 1-4 jobs a day. Remote and in different cities. I can’t relocate so that doesn’t help, but I’m next to Silicon Valley near Apple and Google HQs so there are a lot of opportunities, but that also means there are a lot of great candidates to choose from. But not discouraged. Just aware of what I’m facing when applying.

I was sent a code test yesterday and sent it in, so hoping it leads to a job.

I do agree with the idea of getting paid for creating websites. I said this in a reply yesterday, but if you don’t have any work to show your skills and you want to get professional experience without chasing people down for work, then do a website for free, but once you have that under your belt, start charging for your skills.

I’ve learned valuing your skills early will aid you in the long run financially.

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Hey there,

Many things have been said here already. They are so OK. Do check your LinkedIn link.

A question to members of the community: how many features do you advice a junior to have in an app so that he can showcase it in their resume?

Just a little update on my job search:

The updates to my resume worked! I have a phone interview on Wednesday the 24th with the company I did a code test for last week. I’ll let guys you know how that goes. It’s a remote job which is what I’ve been looking for.

Not putting all my eggs in one basket though, so the job search continues until I actually get a job. Thanks all!

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