How to increase chances to be hired as a junior frontend developer
Have you ever wondered why you have not been invited for a job interview? Did you send another CV and no one responded? In this article, I’m going to give you a few tips how to increase your chances to be hired as a junior frontend developer. and improve your resume.
Make your own projects!!
You probably have heard it already but... rewriting codes from courses won’t make you a good programmer. You need to get your hands dirty 😉 Start coding every day on your private projects and work on your portfolio. It’s important for your personal development but also for the future recruitment. You need to be able to show in your CV to be “picked” for a job interview.
I can’t count how many cvs or portfolios I have seen that looked exactly the same or had almost identical projects:online calculator, portfolio landing page, todolist (the worst project type in my opinion 🤢🤢🤢)
What is the problem with a to-do list, you may ask? Let me explain from a developer point of view who’s going to review your cv. Usually, most of the above-mentioned projects...look the same. There are sooo many of them across the Internet already. Sometimes it’s not easy to see the difference between self-written code and copy-pasted from a tutorial or the Internet.
I’m sure you will find many interesting ideas across the Internet you can recreate. But if you want to stick at least a part of your soul to a to-do list add 🙃.
- Try and use firebase to store notes
- Setup authentication
- Add ability to voice record notes
- Integrate your app with one of the popular to-do list
My personal recommendations for portfolio would be to create at least:
- Static page to show you ability to develop complex layout and show styling skills
- Web Application to show an ability to work with different third party libraries
Reach out to other developers
Not many of you have the pleasure to know someone who works as an “IT guy”. Someone who can review your code or, in best case scenario, guide through a learning path. But you know what? Nothing is lost 😉. There are plenty of groups on Facebook (e.g HTML, CSS, JS First steps in Polish), also one of the company members, Olaf Sulich, has created a discord channel you are free to join. Check them out and ask for code review or where you should seek knowledge. Be open to criticism - it helps you develop yourself and iterate over your code with improvements.
When working with your project that you include in the front-end developer resume, remember to include documentation! It can be as simple as how to set up and run it locally. It will help a lot someone who is going to check your code: a friend that you found on groups mentioned earlier or an interviewer who might be willing to fetch and run your code before inviting you for a job interview
Learn useful libraries
It’s obvious to learn react and redux, isn’t it? It’s standard and everyone knows that. Try to show that you have a comparison to other libraries, the more you know, the better. That might be one of the topics you can talk about during a job interview: differences between an A and B library.
Open source projects and experience
Once you have your basics down, it’s time to start gaining experience. I know that’s what you are looking for right now, but you can get it with a bit of an effort. Contribute to open source projects and learn from them.
The open source projects give you a lot of opportunities to gain skills that you will need at work: working with multiple developers on the same code base, creating pull requests, doing code review, patching bugs and writing documentation. And to be honest, it looks great in your front-end developer resume! That truly shows that you are passionate about programming.
Probably, you have already thought of being a freelancer. At this point, it might be difficult to be one, but it’s worth trying, just check first few results in Google search. Competition there is huge, but who knows, maybe you will be lucky.
As far as I’m concerned, I asked around my friends and family if they needed a website for their company and... I did one... It was so awful that I would never charge money for that. The project has never been published. 🙂
Few words about improving your CV
Writing a good and clear front-end developer resume is a topic for another article. These 3 points are the most important in my opinion and should help you a lot:
- All projects in your portfolio should be made public on github. It would also be very nice to publish it somewhere to make it available online. Ab interviewer might want to check your projects without manually downloading and running them locally - There are plenty of free hosting providers: netlify, heroku, github pages and many more
- Remember to include your previous work experience, even if it’s not IT related. Focus on things that can be helpful to a software developer. If you worked as a waiter/waitress - include it! - you were working with clients all day and you probably have no problem with communication.
- Make it simple, and clear. Writing a few pages of the resume about something irrelevant, just to fill in the CV won’t make it good, on the contrary, it will make it cluttered.
And last but not least...
Never stop learning
While I have just pointed out a few tips to help increase your chances of being hired, these should help you get in the right direction. But don't stop there. You should continuously seek different and creative ways to gain the right skills to become a better developer. On GitHub, you can find an endless number of projects that will help you gain the tools needed to make awesome applications.
Everyone started somewhere, playing with code in their programming cave. The first junior front-end developer interview might be hard, that's obvious. Learn from your interview mistakes and don’t give up. It took me 8 months of searching before I was hired. In the end, it’s all about the journey, isn’t it?