For the last 7 years, I have been the IT Director at a marketing company. Pretty much since I started, I have been looking for another job, but I’m having trouble even getting interviews.
- I’m a male in my early 30s.
- I’m responsible for all aspects of IT for my current company, including development.
- I’m very skilled in Python, Django, PostgreSQL, Linux, HTML/CSS, and Bootstrap.
- I’ve done a couple projects with React - not a beginner; not super proficient.
- I have a B.S. in Mathematics.
- I completed the coursework for a M.S. in Mathematics (including a master’s project), but to make a very long story short, they require a 3.0 GPA to graduate, and I had a 2.9, so I didn’t graduate. (Fun times.) I denote this as “coursework” or “credit hours” on resumes and the like. This was immediately before I started my current position.
- I started teaching myself about computers when I was an early teen and I am self-taught. I recently got the AWS Developer certification, and for what it’s worth I’m a 3CX Intermediate Engineer (a phone system). I also got an associate-level CISSP but let that lapse (a security certification).
- I have one fairly-decent project on GitHub. It’s enough to prove that I have an in-depth knowledge of Django and can write clean, clear Python.
- I have 1,000-1,500 reputation on StackOverflow (on another account).
About my current company:
- Roughly 25 employees. Been in business roughly 40 years.
- The company specializes in direct-mail marketing and email marketing (more commonly known as junk mail and spam).
- The main company website is awful. But, our CEO designed it himself with Squarespace, and he’s in love with it.
- Our other public websites are pretty basic, and the snazzy client-facing websites are proprietary and require logging in, so I don’t feel like I can share my best professional work.
I’m looking for $90k+ as full-stack web developer (Python/Django, PostgreSQL, etc) in the Dallas area or remote. The 50th percentile StackOverflow career calculator returns $99,000/year.
Why can’t I find another job? Below are all the possible reasons I can think of:
- I don’t have a degree in computer science.
- I didn’t finish my master’s degree.
- It appears that I have a senior-level position and am applying for junior- to mid-level positions. Or, I can’t qualify for a senior-level position because I’m competing against people who are full-time developers, while I can only devote part of my day to development.
- The city in which I live isn’t big on Django, and the competition to get a remote job is more intense.
- I currently work in a disreputable industry.
- My company’s website is awful and this reflects poorly on me.
- I need to develop a better portfolio.
- I need more certifications.
- I need to get professional help for my resume and cover letters. (I think it's fine, but you never know.)
- I’m not doing anything wrong; I just need to keep applying for more jobs.
None of these seem like they’re dealbreakers, yet I remain unable to get interviews or find a new job. Why?