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I'm looking to nail my first Junior Front-End Developer role in Sydney.

When speaking with recruiters the most common questions I get asked?

  1. Do you have any industry experience?
  2. What industry are you looking to work in?
  3. What skills have you acquired?
  4. What programs are you experienced in?
  5. What are your salary expectations?
  6. Do you have a portfolio?

My answers...

  1. "I have 1+ year freelance experience developing 2 websites."

  2. "Ideally a digital agency however as long as I contributing to the work I love and enjoy, I am not fussed."

  3. "I am proficient in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. I also have frequent hands-on experience with CMS's."

  4. "Experience with Adobe software such as Photoshop CS6, Illustrator and Indesign. Hands on experiences with text editors such as Visual Studio 2013, Sublime Text & Dreamweaver. Unified Modeling Language (UML) software such as Visual Paradigm."

  5. "As a Junior position, I believe a salary expectation between 55-60k+ super is reasonable and fair."

  6. "I have a PDF portfolio."

With all the above mentioned, I'm still having difficulty landing that first role. Is there anything that I NEED or REQUIRE to nail that first Junior. How can I stand out from the pack?

Do you guys have any tips or must have's skills in landing that first initial front-end dev position.

I would love to hear your tips and experience at this stage of becoming a developer.

closed as off-topic by Jim G., Masked Man, scaaahu, gnat, paparazzo Aug 19 '15 at 6:03

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  • Is your salary expectation in line with what your local market is paying graduate programmers? – Jane S Aug 19 '15 at 3:52
  • Are you getting interviews for jobs? Are you applying for positions yourself as well or just waiting for the recruiter to find something for you – Brandin Aug 19 '15 at 5:55
  • @Brandin I've gotten 2 employer interviews and 3 face-to-face recruiter interviews and about 3 employer phone interviews since the early July 2015. – Andrew C. Duarte Aug 19 '15 at 7:35
  • @JaneS The figures of my salary expectations are well researched online across multiple sources. – Andrew C. Duarte Aug 19 '15 at 7:37
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Remember, that recruiters are just fishing to find someone that matches what they need. They don't necessarily have any jobs for you, so don't feel like you're being rejected because of what answers you are giving.

Having been a software developer, tech lead and hiring manager in Australia for... err, a very long time, when I am looking to hire graduate developers I am looking for the following key skills:

  • Do you have a degree? If so, when did you graduate, and what was your GPA (grade point average)?
  • What were your majors? How did you do in the subjects relevant to what I am hiring for?
  • What was your industry project?
  • What other work have you done specifically related to what I need?
  • Ensure your CV outlines any skills you have, and experience so I can see exactly if you are going to fit my team
  • Are you being realistic in your salary expectations?

I strongly recommend you go on to SEEK if you haven't already and start putting in some search parameters that match what you are looking for.

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    I have recently graduated and received a Diploma in Web Development. Does having a diploma in the field I'd like to work in help me or do employers don't really care about it? – Andrew C. Duarte Aug 19 '15 at 7:43
  • @AndrewC.Duarte Relevant certifications and qualifications are almost always of value, especially for someone early career. – Jane S Aug 19 '15 at 11:57
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  1. "I have 1+ year freelance experience developing 2 websites."

This is an okay answer, but could be simpler: "More than a year developing two websites in the X industry using Y technology" where Y is the backend.

  1. "Ideally a digital agency however as long as I contributing to the work I love and enjoy, I am not fussed."

That's a pretty wordy answer with low content. Maybe you could simply say "I have no preference other than preferring an employer who embraces modern technologies" or whatever you are looking for.

  1. "I am proficient in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. I also have frequent hands-on experience with CMS's."

Good, except what is a CMS? (Please spell it out.) Also, instead of frequent, how about a rough usage: a week or eight months?

  1. "Experience with Adobe software such as Photoshop CS6, Illustrator and Indesign. Hands on experiences with text editors such as Visual Studio 2013, Sublime Text & Dreamweaver. Unified Modeling Language (UML) software such as Visual Paradigm."

Visual Studio is not a text editor (it is a computer software development tool): a gaff such as this could sour a deal. I would also omit CS6: let them ask if it matters which version.

  1. "As a Junior position, I believe a salary expectation between 55-60k+ super is reasonable and fair."

Almost certainly an employer and recruiter knows way better than you what a fair and competitive salary is (so don't tell them you know better). If that is the proper range (see salary websites like Glassdoor), give a single number a little bit high, for example $72k. That allows the employer to bid slightly lower but without you feeling you gave up anything. (Why is "super" there in the middle?) So something straightforward but also inviting discussion like "I'd be happy with $72 k" is a great way to answer. Recruiters often are compensated based on a percentage of the salary, so they already have good incentive to quote an optimistic salary.

  1. "I have a PDF portfolio."

While Yes would be a reasonable answer, this is a great springboard question to hint at some tantalizing experience details. "My portfolio extensively shows my X skill with X and my X skill with X. There are also X human factor design choices displayed.

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    "Super" means superannuation in Australia. :) – Jane S Aug 19 '15 at 4:09
  • For 6: Try "Yes, here's the link." or "Yes, do you want me to send it to you?" That you have one doesn't help the recruiter if he can't show it to clients. – Sumyrda Aug 19 '15 at 6:06

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