The Zero Experience Resume/Portfolio - Am I ready?

First of all, I just want to say how thankful I am to have FCC as a resource, not only for the challenges and projects that have helped me learn, but also for the helpful community here on the forum. I quit my job as a teacher in September and I recently finished my Front End Certificate and I want to start looking for jobs. It would be awesome if anyone wanted to take a look at and comment on my resume and portfolio to get some constructive feedback. I feel like I am ready, but there is a voice in my head that keeps telling me to wait because I have so much more to learn. Anyway, here goes:

My Portfolio
My Resume Draft
My LinkedIn Profile

If you are in the same boat:
Here are some forum postings that I have found helpful thus far:

If you are an amazing, generous person who wants to offer comments:
Don’t be afraid of hurting my feelings. Every critical thing you say here will help me prepare me for the tough search in the months to come. I’d prefer to be slammed here 100 times than to never be looked at as a possible candidate for a dream job.

Specific concerns I have about my portfolio:

  1. Some of my portfolio projects have SVG items which cause validation errors. I’m going to continue to work on fixing those errors, but I was wondering how crucial it is to have no errors on SVG objects. Are some kinds of errors not that big of a deal?

  2. I noticed that a lot of portfolios have sections with contact forms. I know how to format a form, but at this point, I don’t know how to make a form send data anywhere. Of course, I will eventually learn how to do this, but for the time being, I have just left my email as a form of contact. Does that automatically “out” me as a novice?

  3. I have an M.A. degree in Applied Linguistics(Computer Assisted Language Learning), so I put “Front-End Web Developer & Educational Technologist” under my name on the landing. If I am primarily looking for a front end job with creative opportunities, does the extra title help me by looking like an added bonus, or does it hurt me by looking like extraneous/confusing BS?

  4. Because I have zero direct experience in the field, I tried to highlight my projects in my resume. Do you have any other resume advice for campers who don’t have experience yet?

  5. My GitHub profile right now is very weak. Should I leave it off my portfolio until I start to build more there or should I not worry about it at this time? Or should I place my focus on GitHub instead of continuing FCC certs? It’s so scary figuring out the next steps!

Okay, I hope I didn’t annoy anyone with so many questions, but I hope that maybe a couple people out there will lend a hand, and I hope some of my links will help lead others in the right direction. With any luck, I’ll be posting soon about my first dev job!

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Hey Todd, I can see this is a super late response but nonetheless I wanted you to know that a friend and I stumbled upon your post and found it really inspiring. We’re in the same boat of having no experience outside of our personal projects, and we’re currently making our portfolios and thinking about a resume. That’s how we found your post.

We’re trying to follow your example and really promote our projects. Have you had luck with that approach? Hope the job search is going well or has ended with you accepting an offer! Thanks.

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Yeah, kind of sucks you didn’t get any feedback. The portfolio looks pretty good, but yeah, educational technologist does sound pretty vague. I’d imagine CALL is mainly just consuming other people’s software? If not, you need to explain how the skills relate to web dev.

The other thing which really stands out to me is the use of Codepen. If you want to be a web developer, its expected that you can deploy a website. That’s pretty minimal knowledge level I think. Codepen is really just a playground.

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Thanks! Glad to finally get a response. To answer your question, no, I didn’t have much luck just promoting my projects. However, I have kind of put things on hold for the past few months because of my newborn son and I also started a couple side projects with former colleagues. That’s where I’ve had a little luck. Right now I am completely redoing the website of my former employer for a decent fee. Because they know me and I know the school very well, I have been able to use the project as a chance to learn React.js and sharpen my skills at deploying a full-scale website. After that, I’m going to redo my portfolio to showcase this work and another side project. That’s not to say I’m fully committed to searching for a job, as the idea of working as a freelancer and helping small businesses is really appealing to me more every day. My advice to you (and keep in mind this advice is coming from someone who does not have a full-time job yet) is to think of the people in your circle and look for someone who would benefit from what you know how to do. If you work up something for them, whether they pay you or not, that might be a stronger way to showcase your talents. In other words, you don’t have to wait for some company to give you experience, you can MAKE the experience yourself and on your own terms.

Either way, it would be great if you and your friend could post your portfolios and resumes on this thread, making this a good place for people without experience to share their advice and situations. I’d be happy to give your portfolio a look. Thanks again and best of luck!

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Much appreciated feedback! I totally agree with you about Codepen. I felt uneasy about hosting my portfolio projects there and putting it on my resume. I’ll be changing that in the near future. Would you recommend hosting on my own website or on GitHub?

As to calling myself an “educational technologist”, I also agree that it really doesn’t help make the case for me as a web developer. It’s just hard letting go because I dedicated a good chunk of my life to Linguistics and CALL, and felt that I had some great knowledge and skills. In the end, though, for someone looking at my portfolio, it’s not really about me, but rather what I can do for them, so I’ll probably get rid of that title too.

One of the best portfolios I have seen on here. I’m adding you to the standard for my projects along with @Neotriz 's projects. Good job. I think you are ready for a web dev job definitely, seeing that I know people who haven’t created projects 1/3 of the level that your projects are at, failed technical interviews and have jobs in the field. You were probably ready a while ago.

Good luck on your job search!!!

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I totally get it. I’ve been an EFL teacher for over 10 years and making the switch is hard. It feels like all my knowledge and experience and qualifications just became irrelevant.

But, those skills are NOT irrelevant. If you did a Masters in Linguistics, you must have a high level of research and analytical skills. And parsing JavaScript is not totally different from parsing natural language…

As for hosting, I’d recommend GitHub pages or Surge or Heroku. It’s not that hard once you’ve done it once. And its really good motivation to deploy your own site and grab a tiny corner of the web for yourself.

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Thank you,Todd! I’ll be sure to share once I have a first draft finished. I agree with a point that @EddieCornelious made above - I’ve seen portfolios with much less going on than yours from folks who have had success stories. I wish you the best of luck! Sounds like you have some good stuff cookin’ and it’s just a matter of time.

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“Ready” for a job? Are you kidding me sir? Your projects are probably THE best in terms of creativity I’ve yet seen on FCC. I’ve seen many pro devs that wouldn’t be able to do half as good as you.You DEFINITELY are ready to be a full time front end developer (and I really hope you already have landed a job, cuz the industry really needs more creative devs like you).

All the best from an “actual” newbie!!! :smiley:

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Since others are giving you feedback, I thought I would let you know your calculator project has at least one bug I found.

I can not add to decimal numbers (less than 1) together. Try entering 0.1 + 0.2 =

The same issue happens when trying to multiply, divide, or subtract to decimal numbers (less than 1).

On the tic tac toe game, if I click fast enough I can mark 3 in a row or column or diagonal, but the game typically still shows as tie at the end. In the following screenshot, I was the severed toe.

Lastly, your Pomodoro Clock project has a bug in that it skips the last second in each session. For example, in either the work or the break session, this is what I see:

0:05
0:04
0:03
0:02
 :00 // also not sure why you do not show a zero in the minutes position
0:59
0:58
0:57

instead of what I expect to see:

0:05
0:04
0:03
0:02
0:01 
0:00
0:59
0:58
0:57

EDIT: I also checked out your Simon game. It does seem to function correctly from the limited testing I did, but you should really avoid reloading the page to simulate turning the game off when it is on (see line below), because it takes a bit of time for the page to reload. Instead, you should create state for your game and initialize it to the pre-start conditions for the game to function correctly. This initial state would be set on page load and when the Off switch is selected.

document.location.reload(false);

Also, your JavaScript has so much repeated code. With just a little refactoring, you should be able to cut the number of lines of code in half or even more.

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Randell, I very much appreciate you taking the time to give my projects a critical look! I’ll definitely take some time to clean up my code and fix those bugs in the near future! Thanks!! :+1:

For Tic-tac-toe game there is another problem. You AI don’t choose to win in some position. If did follow youtube tutorial on that, you have to see Github repository, because the video has an error.

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Hi Todd,
Just found your post in a random search. I know it’s been ages but I was curious on the result. Did you manage to get a job with it? I’m in a similar position to where you were then and just keep on asking myself of I’m ready or not.

Cheers,
Tom

I miss the times when you could just fill out and send a resume :grin: