Struggling for the second job?

Hey guys, I’m looking for a bit of guidance on how to land my second job in the field. My first job lasted around 9mos. (mostly remote gig) and now with the virus situation, I’m not sure how long my unemployment will last. I continue to learn new tech, listen to podcasts, and code every day. My resume, linkedIn, everything is updated, my portfolio site was recently made showing a mix of personal and professional projects, and I apply on various sites, then message people working at those companies at LinkedIn.

Since January, I have had 6 take homes all to have been rejected in replace of another, more experienced candidate. On each of the take homes, I submitted them before the deadline, ensured I put my all into it (which clearly wasn’t enough), and have been rejected each time with a “Sorry” e-mail. There are much worse things in life, so don’t think my intention here is to complain, but it is incredibly discouraging to get these takehome tests without speaking to a person — potentially having some human interaction? I don’t want to plug my GitHub or LinkedIn, but I guess I’m looking for overall advice as to what I could be doing wrong or how hard the competition really is out there?

I agree. I hate application processes that start with a coding test. I understand why companies do it, but I hate it. Whiteboarding has its flaws, but at least companies are investing their own time into them. Take-home tests, in my opinion, make it easy for companies to expect applicants to put in a large amount of upfront effort when the company may not seriously consider them.

(I know that’s not helpful, but it’s definitely not just you.)

Thanks a lot. I wish I could at least meet these people in real life and just talk with them. I’m more than willing to learn from anyone who knows more about a certain subject and I care about my work. I love to work on a team, so I’m having such a hard time understanding why they don’t even want to try and get to know me.