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I recently graduated from a pretty top-tier engineering school and received a B.S. in computer science. Looking for jobs has never been so frustrating. I've worked in two different startups my 3rd and 4th year of college, with my second internship being directly relevant to web development/front-end engineering (which is what I want to get into). I'm looking in the San Francisco area, by the way.

I've gathered a list of websites that I use to find jobs:

  1. Indeed
  2. Dice
  3. SimplyHired
  4. Glassdoor
  5. Stackoverflow Jobs

When I type in key words such as Junior Front-end Engineers, either Software Engineer or Senior Front-end Engineers pop up. I've applied to 100+ tech companies where a Front-end Engineer position does pop up, but I'm getting rejected left and right because obviously I don't have 3-5+ years of industry experience.

My question is, am I not looking in the right places? Are my key words phrased incorrectly? Or are there just not a lot of junior front-end engineering positions available?

closed as too broad by IDrinkandIKnowThings, jimm101, Chris G, gnat, Myles Nov 4 '16 at 20:14

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • @Nelson, as stated in the question, San Francisco/Bay Area. – patrickhuang94 Nov 4 '16 at 7:05
  • What are your skills in front-end development ? What languages ? – Weedoze Nov 4 '16 at 8:43
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    I'm not in the US. But here in Europe I've never, ever seen a front-end position being labeled as "Front-end engineer". It's "Front-end developer", if anything. And most companies will not hire a Comp.Sci. graduate to do just front-end development.. It's a bit overkill. Full-stack web developer, maybe. But just doing front-end stuff? Not likely. – cbll Nov 4 '16 at 10:04
  • It could simply related to the site/location you're searching. Just make a wider research on the net and you fill find tons of jobs, specifically company specialized in web development. @cbll I (France) saw some specifically front-end, with eventually nodeJS as backend for full stack – Walfrat Nov 4 '16 at 10:06
  • What is the correlation between pretty top-tier engineering school and B.S. in computer science. Is your CS program in your Engineering Department where you graduated? Throwing the word Engineer around could potentially make you more marketable. – Timmy Nov 4 '16 at 13:21
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My question is, am I not looking in the right places?

You are looking in the right places - I believe you are looking for the wrong position title.

Are my key words phrased incorrectly? Or are there just not a lot of junior front-end engineering positions available?

I believe the correct term for what you are looking for is "Graduate Engineer" or "Graduate Developer", not "Junior".

"Junior" is typically 2-5 years experience, "Mid-level" or even just plain "Developer/Engineer" is 5-8 years experience and "Senior" is 8+ years experience.

My location may have something to do with the titles but a quick check on Indeed.com for "graduate developer" in San Francisco (and clicking the Entry-level filter on the left) seems to bring up positions requiring at most 1 years relevant work experience.

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    On a side note on the east coast, I have seen Junior refer to 0-2 years of experience. Also another title I have seen is Software Engineer level 1. – Anketam Nov 4 '16 at 11:29
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Does you school not have some form of Career Services department? Stanford Alumni Career Services would be an example from Stanford as an example. Chances are your school may well have opportunities or other post-secondary institutions in the Bay area. Course Meetups and recruitment firms may also be another idea for networking purposes rather than going directly to corporate web sites.

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I don't really what are the common website for recruitment in USA thus I cannot help you about those website.

Your first job

I graduated last June (2015) and would advice you to fist look for a full-stack developer job. This will help you to get the professional way to code.

I started as a .NET developer but I also had to do front-end development. You will start like this, learning new technologies, frameworks, libraries,...

Discover new technologies

You do not learn everything at school. If you have opportunities to do training at work or time to learn new framework, do it ! The more technologies you discover the more you will know what you really want to do later. Learn a list of front-end framework : AngularJS, ReactJS, NodeJS, Backbone, VueJS,...

Don't stop because of the year's experience asked

When you send your CV to an offer, send it to a opportunity that is looking for the skills you have.

Most of the time you will see something like :

3-5 years experiences : CSS-HTML-Javascript

Better if you know : AngularJS, ReactJS,...

Try to learn those plus.

Outside working hours

You can easily do front-end development outside your work hours. Create simple website but with different technologies. Try to learn the best practices.

Note : Search for Junior front-end withour the engineer

  • Even though there is good information here, the question was about finding junior level jobs, not making oneself more appealing to software engineering positions. If you cannot find an opening then it does not matter how good you look on resume. – Anketam Nov 4 '16 at 11:26
  • @Anketam OP said that he applied to 100+ company that were hiring Front-end Engineer but the lack of experience was a problem – Weedoze Nov 4 '16 at 11:27
  • All those positions required X years of professional experience, which in the US is a nonstarter if you do not have it. No amount of awesomeness you include in a resume would overcome it, since it immediately would get thrown out. It is totally irrational, but it is reality. – Anketam Nov 4 '16 at 11:38
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College Job Fairs

The business that show up for college job fairs are actively looking people who are about to graduate college. These can prove very effective since business are competing with each other to snag the best that are going to be graduating that semester. Check with your university or college to see if/when they are hosting their next one. Even if you have already graduated, it can still be worth showing up to one.

Willingness to Move

It also greatly helps if you are willing to move, nothing as drastic as going from the West coast to the East coast, but junior positions can be hard to find and the best one for you, may be in a neighboring city or state.

In my case for my first software engineering position I moved from Virginia to Maryland. After I got enough years under my belt I moved back to Virginia.

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Front end is the most visible aspect of a project and nobody wants to hire a sloppy painter. First impressions are everything and companies are more willing to hire junior roles for things that are under the covers, like mid tier and back end. This is why front end roles tend to be intermediate or senior.

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One reason is that the colleges and universities are turning out poor programmers and employers do not want to take the risk on someone without a proven record.

If you're just starting out, the job boards may not be for you. Try to network with people and get your foot in the door that way.

Also, the word "junior" is falling out of favor as it is a very vague term with no real definition any more, due to the way the industry has changed in the last decade.

Instead look for the keywords "Graduate" or "New Graduates" or even "Entry Level". Failing that, just slog through the boards and look for listings that specifiy 0-1 years of experience. et cetera.

You may also want to make some cold calls to some recruiting agencies.

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