Job search frustration

Job search frustration
0

#1

I’ve been learning web development for about 3-4 years. I’m also about halfway through a CS degree but had to take a break due to health issues.

A few months ago I started actively using LinkedIn. Recruiters started messaging me almost daily about job openings. I’m proficient with HTML/CSS/JS, Sass, have built small apps with React and Redux, etc.

A couple months ago I started actively seeking my first front-end developer job. I’ve applied to 200 or so jobs and I still have not found a single offer. I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of recruiters initiate with me on LinkedIn, and STILL can’t find a job.

I live in the NYC metro area and despite my location I am having a hard time even getting in person interviews. So far I’ve only had 1 in person interview.

I feel like companies see that I’m 30 and looking for my first job in the industry and don’t have a CS degree yet and just throw my application in the garbage. What do I need to do to get my foot in the door? I see people with no CS background and much less experience/skill getting hired. I don’t get it. I also don’t get why so many HR people find me an initiate and then ghost me. I’m not a weird or awkward person or anything.

This job hunt is getting super frustrating. Dealing with HR/recruiters and their flakiness is testing my patience. I don’t understand how someone who doesn’t know that Java and Javascript are two different languages can accurately access my level of skill and reject me time and time again.


#2

Searching for jobs is tough.

I’ve applied to 200 or so jobs and I still have not found a single offer.

It took several hundred before I got an offer. This is not unusual, especially for someone breaking into the market.

I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of recruiters initiate with me on LinkedIn, and STILL can’t find a job.

Take recruiters with a grain of salt. They love blowing smoke up your butt. We probably can’t ignore them, but don’t let them get your hopes up. Or down.

I live in the NYC metro area and despite my location I am having a hard time even getting in person interviews.

Yeah, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and I had more than a few phone interviews with companies that were shockingly right around the corner. I think they prefer to start with a phone interview - it’s less comital and they don’t have to worry about letting a bunch of strangers into their office.

I feel like companies see that I’m 30 and looking for my first job in the industry and don’t have a CS degree yet and just throw my application in the garbage.

I had the same problem. Except that I’m pushing 50. I’m sure there were some companies that laughed and threw my resume in the trash. But I didn’t need to get every job, I just needed to get one.

What do I need to do to get my foot in the door?

You just gotta keep playing the game. Keep learning and build crap. Just keep learning and building stuff. That is what impresses people.

I would also say to keep working on interviewing. It is a skill. If you can, record your phone interviews and listen them with others. Practice interviewing with others. Find interview questions online and practice them out loud. Interviewing is an often ignored skill. At the end of each interview, ask them what they think you could have done better in the interview and what they think you need to work on as a coder. Besides making a great impression, you’ll get some great information.

This job hunt is getting super frustrating. Dealing with HR/recruiters and their flakiness is testing my patience. I don’t understand how someone who doesn’t know that Java and Javascript are two different languages can accurately access my level of skill and reject me time and time again.

Yes, but in some cases they are the gate keepers. You just got to keep at it. And keep learning and building. And becoming a better interviewee. And eventually your skills will intersect the job market.


#3

All of this sounds like good advice. I’m just a little shocked that it’s this hard landing a job when the NYC tech market is booming.


#4

But there are so many factors, between finding the right fit, the right tech stack, the right experience level, etc. And sometimes it’s just a cultural mismatch. Or just bad luck that they found someone else, it is a booming job market for deleopers, but it takes work to find the right fit. And it is maddeningly frustrating. But it’s also so worth it when you finally get it.


#5

Best of luck, I’ve been at this search for about 2 or 3 years after doing my 4 years at school and I’m still bussing tables.


#6

Not sure how it works where you live. But a good way in is to ask for an internship and show them you are willing to learn and have a drive. Sure, you will work for free for a couple of months but you could at least get references for when you apply for the next job.
At my school most people get job through their internship or through references from their internship.

Programmers in general is a shortage occupation here in Stockholm and Sweden. Forecasts say by the year of 2020 there will be a lack of about 60k developers the next 4 years.


#7

Holy cow, if I could move to Malmo that would be a dream… Unfortunately, the only things I can say in Swedish is hello, goodbye, thank you and flader ice cream. Yannow, the important stuff :smiley:

The job search is a frustrating process though, for sure. Im 40, no degree, just getting started in my career…I had the amazing opportunity to come to Seattle for an apprenticeship and now looking for work. Facing the same thing, where Im getting a lot of interest, but would love (and need!) to start working full time.

As far as the degree, I spoke to a guy who was a tech recruiter at amazon…he said that for anyone, that first job is the hardest to get without a degree. But, once you land that first one, it becomes less and less of an issue…and by the time you’ve been in the industry 3 years, you have enough experience that it doesnt matter anymore…if thats any consolation.

I will say this, prior to my apprenticeship, I was getting nothing…I had applied for jobs for almost 2 years before going into bootcamp, and then I searched for about 4 months when I got both my first job offer and acceptance into the apprenticeship in the same week. Since my apprenticeship (which ended last month) The job search has been easier in that I landed an interview relatively quickly. Most tech apprenticeships are paid btw, so definitely worth looking into those.


#8

Hey cndragn, may I ask for the name of your apprenticeship? That’s the route I’m looking to get into, after months of being ignored by the job market.


#9

Yes, definitely… Microsoft LEAP (http://industryexplorers.com) , I wrote quite a bit about here: From FCC to Microsoft. The current application window just closed, but they do 4 cohorts a year, so the next window will open up in about 3 months.

LinkedIn and Amazon also have apprenticeships… and theres also Apprenti who places apprentices in companies. Those are the one I know of off the top of my head, but you may be able to research some in your city if you’re not able to move. If youre interested in Microsoft LEAP, read my post and shoot me a pm.


#10

Hmmm the thing is, I believe, that most HR people are looking for someone who can demonstrate work skills and not just CS knowledge. And perhaps that’s one of the reasons why people with internship experience may be able to land a job quicker.

So here is what I would do if I were you. I would either look for an internship but I believe that by being away from college it becomes kind of a dead end. Also I wouldn’t mention you stopped school because any health related issues. Maybe (like me) you could ask for accommodations to better suit any need you have.

Now what I think it would be a good choice is to try and find someone who does freelancing (or even do freelancing yourself), and offer your services, aid etc. It could be in any area of your choice. You could also build a small store with different sites to sell for a dollar or anything that demonstrates you have work experience with whatever you are looking for.

HR people follow guidelines and are looking for something else than technical description. Specially because technical description comes from the company. Therefore those HR companies are looking into experience, personality etc.

I have many relatives and family that work in HR and I know for a fact that they might not know the difference between Java and JavaScript but they are looking for a profile of a worker that will not abandon a company on the next week for a better paid job and will be able to deliver. Therefore they follow some analysis on curriculum content etc. And just you saying isn’t really going to cut it. It got to be demonstrated somehow.

So like Mr. Smith has said interview is a skill worth learning. But also understand what makes both HR and tech companies getting attracted by your resumé is what will make you break into the tech industry. And that would be a clear demonstration of skill and work experience and knowing how to deal with clients, workmates and so on. Check at HackerRank they have some good information about what HR wants there (and some cool graphics). :wink:

I have a friend who works at a big tech company and all he says all the time is that people think they’ll be hired based on skills solely. Although that information is true, it’s not the whole picture. You need people skills and those people skills are what needs to be demonstrated in order for you to start in a tech work (besides tech knowledge of course). Because like you and many others, we might have the skill to develop a product but what they are looking for is beyond that.

So those are some of the tips I have. I also have some health related issue that made me stop advancing my studies in CS. But for me, offering to do some work as a volunteer on a NGO site was what made me get other opportunities. There are always people needing help and that might come back with more to add to us both as professionals and human beings. A thing HR people love.

I hope this helps you get somewhere. Cheers.


#11

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#12

Hey, thank you for the link to your post. I read the entirety of it and found it informative. Will definitely apply to LEAP going forward, until luck decides to give me a chance at a junior position :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

Hi, could you send your github/portfolio to check your projects?


#14


Here is my portfolio site

Feedback is appreciated.


#15

It’s possible that while NYC has a lot of opportunities, it also has a lot more competition due to it being a densely populated metropolis that’s trendy. Locally you already compete with graduates from multiple universities and colleges near by and several coding bootcamps, not to mention other professionals in the area, so there might be some difficulties standing out for a self-taught developer with no experience.

At the same time, it is a great location to network because of the dense population and proximity to companies, so be social and attend some programming and coding meet ups, collaborate on a civic project. This increases the likelihood of referrals and jobs that are not on the open market


#16

Yeah, I don’t know if living in a tech hub is as much of an advantage as we think, at least for beginners. I lived in the San Francisco area, and there were a lot of jobs, but there was also a lot of talent. And the expectations of the employers were ridiculous sometimes. I saw an ad for an internship that literally required a college degree and two previous internships. I saw “entry level” positions that expected 5 years professional experience and would list of the 20 languages/frameworks you were expected to have. I eventually had to move away. I hope you have better luck,


#17

Im running into that now I feel like… I was soooo stoked to come to Seattle, huge tech area, and I felt like having Microsoft on my resume (my apprenticeship) would just be the cream on top. Now that Im here, Im realizing Im truly a little fish in a big pond, and having msft on my resume isnt all that exciting since so does everyone else. Competition is fierce and standards are high. A couple people in my cohort came from NYC, and they said they kind of expected that here, because thats what they faced back home.

That in no way means Im throwing in the towel on this city, by far there are still a lot of open jobs which means opportunity is there. However, I am keeping an open mind, since Im not settled in here yet I can go anywhere. If I end up finding a job in another city/state (and they offer relocation), Im on it. Except Florida… I lived there soooo long, I want and need to explore somewhere new.


#18

Hi, your github is really nice with many repos. Maybe you should rename those where you write ‘tutorial’ avoiding to look newbie.
Also you could do a small MERN project as you have the skills, then call yourself a fullstack developer.
If you have the motivation, you could focus for 1 week on learning a very basic concept of graphQl/apollo. I guess many react dev don’t know this hype tech, you will look cool :).

Dont hesitate to lie and say that you did some freelance projects… try different strategies and evaluate them.

When the company check your profile, they must see that your skills are better than fresh graduated students, and that you will work harder as it is your passion.


#19

Given your location, have you considered enrolling in any programs of the kind that come with a guaranteed job placement?


#20

Thats very approximately 1 programmer per 25 businesses, all of which will have very specific needs. You would assume similar figures for the US so I guess around 1 million new programmers are needed. I’ll be conservative and say 1 per 50 in the US, maybe there are a huge amount more tiny businesses or the US is less technically advanced or something, that gives you around 500,000 new programmers needed which sounds like a huge number but just isn’t at all.

Edit: didn’t include non-business employers like public sector, so say maybe 1 programmer per 50-100 organisational units (business/charity/university/regional part of public body/whatever)? 60,000 programmers needed would be an abnormally large number of it were say Iceland, but not Sweden.