Snagging the job - Portfolio and GitHub Feedback!

Hello FCC!

First, I am so grateful to Quincy and FCC for providing such an incredible resource to the world. Though I got my foot in coding on Udemy, FCC helped divide the process into more manageable chunks and the game-ified approach was far more encouraging and less daunting than a x-hour megacourse.

I recently started applying for jobs after feeling more comfortable with React and the basics of HTML, CSS, and other languages. I wanted other eyes to take a look at my portfolio and resume to see what I can optimize, for better results. I’ve only started applying 5 days ago, and haven’t heard anything back so far.


Thanks again for ya help!

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Taking a quick look at your resume, it looks a little, ummm, how do I say … nonstandard.

  • Consider the possibility that someone may want to print this out. Imagine how much toner that would take. If you must have this much color, consider having a separate one to print.

  • It’s a little light on details. I think you could get another 50% detail in there. What did you study in college. You mentioned years of developing apps? Like what?

  • Put your full name at the top. I would put my contact info there too. Hiring managers don’t like to search.

  • Where do you live?

  • In the US, photos typically aren’t put on resumes. If you must, I’d get a more professional looking one. That one is a little too goofy and a little out of focus.

  • I would really consider getting your own url. You can still have it point to the github pages thing, but I would consider hosting it somewhere. You build web pages but did the “laziest” portfolio hosting possible?

  • I think Udemy should go under education.

I would consider searching the internet for developer resumes and seeing what is more common.


Portfolio site:

  • The first thing I did was run this through the W3C Validator and Google PageSpeed Insights, neither of which came back with very good results. As a front-end developer, you absolutely need to improve your results on both to show that you’re competent in front-end development.
  • A great thing to do, when you assert to know React, would be to refactor your portfolio site with React to show that you know it.
  • Another great thing to do would be to deploy your BarePay app to a live URL where users can interact with it, instead of linking to the GitHub repo. Only developers will want to look at your source code, but virtually everyone will want to play with it and see how the app behaves.


  • Is it safe to assume that you live in Austin TX based on the info from your portfolio site, and thus you’re applying for jobs in the US? If that’s the case, then you need to remove your photo. Put a photo on your LinkedIn profile instead, and link to the LinkedIn profile on your resume—the absence of a LinkedIn URL on your resume is sort of a red flag.
  • I agree with everything kevinSmith just posted—insert your full name at the top and location.
  • Are “BarePay” and “Justicia” names of companies? If they are, add some additional information on their location, and if they aren’t, well you need to make that clear then, because these should be names of companies. Also, Udemy shouldn’t be considered as work experience unless you actually worked for Udemy in some way—taking Udemy courses is something else entirely. Additionally, your work experience should be focused on accomplishments or results that made an impact for your client or company, not how you did what you did. As I’ve been saying in other resume reviews, the content here needs to written as if it’s addressed to the average person who doesn’t know anything about coding—leave out the tech speak and try to use things like dollar amounts, or statistics or percentages, or something along those lines. Quantify the work that you did so that it makes a strong impact.
  • “I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends and family, working out, meeting new people, and playing video games!” should be deleted. Your resume isn’t supposed to be written something like your Facebook personal bio, and this is irrelevant information that will end up negatively impacting your consideration for any jobs. Everything on your resume should reflect your profession (web development) and look professional at the same time. Companies want to know that you’re committed to working for them.
  • Looking at your technical skills, it seems that you probably meant to write “Visual Studio Code” and not “Visual Studio”, which is a Windows-based IDE for Microsoft technologies such as C# and .NET.
  • It seems that you went for “impressively” long with your list of skills, but it would have greater impact if you shortened it a bit. This is how I would suggest shortening it: HTML, CSS/Sass, JavaScript, Bootstrap, jQuery, MERN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node.js), D3.js, Photoshop, Sketch, Git/GitHub. Neither “Visual Studio” nor “Babel” really add anything useful to the list of skills, particularly when you’re clearly not a Visual Studio/Windows developer.

All great tips I’m going to use in my resume.

1 Like

Firstly, let me run off a few points about your website:

  • As said above, there are far too many “Skills”. You need to list what you are really competent in but not much else. There is no order in what you have listed either, and on first glance it is confusing and I skimmed straight over it. GitHub, VSCode can come off straight away I would say as you show you can code, and also you display your Github account so it is self-explanatory you can use that website. Maybe look at getting it down to two lines (at most). Think about re-ordering it so that the development skills are together, and the design icons are together.

  • Link to the actual hosted projects (if you can) and don’t just rely on source code. Recruiters/HR staff likely aren’t going to care too much about your code, they want to see something that they can use and visit.

  • Don’t use the word “old”. Replace it for “past” or “previous”.

And your resume:

  • I’m sorry to say, but it looks unprofessional. I have found it generally ok to have designed resumes (often people will ask to see both - especially recruiters who aren’t interested in designed resumes and only want word documents or pdfs), however I am in England and things might be different in the US.

  • The picture is FAR too big and looks blurry. If you want a picture make sure it is a professional image/portrait (much like @kevinSmith 's avatar which is a fine example). Sure, I like my avatar but I wouldnt put it on a resume.

  • The fonts are FAR too big. They are taking up most of the page.

  • A resume needs to include all the personal details about yourself and why you would be an asset to any company. You need to write about your strengths in any past experiences/jobs you had (and essentially blow your own trumpet). Even if you just worked in a store, then write about your experience with customer service, time keeping, team work etc etc…

  • Again, rid most of your skills images. They are uncecessary and take up valuable space when you could list them in word form. To be honest, I would keep it short and sweet. Html, CSS, JavaScript (React, Node etc), Adobe Suite, Sketch. Probably all you need to be honest.

  • The About Me section needs rewriting. It needs to be in a professional manner. This is mine for instance:
    A natural problem solver and rational thinker, I have excelled at a career in the construction industry, managing a small group of ducting installers on numerous multi-million pound contracts. I am a highly motivated individual and am comfortable working by myself or as part of a team. I am highly adaptable and believe I can mould to fit any environment.
    Mid 2017 I made a decision to peruse a career I felt more passionate about and get back to my web design roots. I applied for Google’s Front-End scholarship scheme and was successful. During this time I advanced my knowledge of CSS and used Javascript/ JQuery to build an interactive web application. Based on my work and contribution to the community, I was one of 2,000 from 230,000 original applicants awarded a full scholarship, and this promises to teach React, Node and various other cutting edge web technologies.
    I actually had only the top section, however on speaking to a recruiter I have been doing a lot of work with, he mentioned I should include a section about the development I have done, however he said you need to leave it open to questions. Let whoever is reading it want to find out more, and ask things.

  • You have a law degree man. Find some way of pulling the strengths you have learnt from doing that.

  • Dont class Udemy as development experience. I wouldn’t even include it on there at all.

  • Write more about your Justica and BarePay projects.

  • Rewrite the tagline. “a crush on” isn’t working. Maybe make it sound like… Creative Front-End Developer, or something more professional.

Sorry if some of this sounded harsh, however it isn’t. You always have to remember that whatever job you are applying for, there is probably already people applied for it who are better and have more experience than yourself. That is the fact of life and whilst you are starting out this is going to be the case!

Be prepared to do your research into the company and offer them something that you think they need and change your resume each time you apply for a job (in my opinion). For instance, I applied for a games development company (front-end role). Their social media accounts are pretty pittiful (despite being a well known company) and I boosted the fact I have experience in social media, growing businesses through social media etc etc. This played out well, and I got an interview even though I was possibly a bit less experienced than what they were looking for.

Thank you all for the incredible feedback - you guy are saving so, so much time from the job search and plenty of unneeded heartache. I’ve been fighting illness for the last couple weeks and couldn’t respond until now. I’ll be updating what has been mentioned, and writing back soon.

A lot of people have commented already but just putting in the 2 cents:

I would refrain from putting the title “engineer” anywhere on a resume or portfolio unless you have taken the qualifications of being a professional engineer and the rigors that go with it. Putting “developer” would be a much better title. Sorry, I am a bit anal on this because I studied engineering (not software) and people shouldn’t be designating themselves as engineers when they aren’t.

Your resume should showcase to your potential employer your best qualifications in the top 1/3 of the page. If I have to scroll to the bottom half to even start reading your experience I’ve already tossed it. Try a barebones template with just your Name/contact info/links to your portfolio/github/linkedin at the very top. Next your experience. Showcase to me that you have the experience of a front-end developer.

Try describing your experience section using the reverse STARL method (Situation, Task, Action, Result, Learned). The first sentence should describe to me what you’ve learned/major result – then the action you took to complete it. Describe the result quantitatively if possible.

Example: Developed front-end application to process payments 20% faster resulting in a 25% increase in user satisfaction from exit interviews

List your skills section as a very very small section at the bottom detailing how experienced you are with each skill. At most 1 line. Use the first 2/3 of the page to put your projects and go deeper into the technologies you used to create them. the last 1/3 should be any other work experience you have that isn’t specifically related to web development (this is where you put that you worked at xyz as a customer service or something etc).

Get rid of the entire format of your resume and rewrite it row by row. Nothing vertical. No colours. It’s just going to show up black when I print it out.

Lastly, only at the very bottom can you put 1 line about your extracurricular activities.
Organizations: IEEE Member 2012- , Rock Climbing member at XYZ Climbing Gym, Ultimate Frisbee League Member of XYZ Team

Don’t get me wrong the extracurricular activities is important - it shows me that you have interests outside of web development it just can’t be the focus of your resume.

The big takeaways tl;dr for the resume:
Focus on the top 1/3 by showcasing your major projects
Clean and professional looking - no pictures, colors, goofy stuff put that on your website if you really want it
The resume is to show your competency not your personality.