Hi I’m a dev that has moved around a lot, I’ve not spent more than 2 years on a project and after working at a failed start up, I am struggling to find employment and I really don’t understand why. I know I can do the jobs that I am applying for and would be able to add value to teams and projects. I’m not sure what more I can do to make myself employable. I’m beginning to worry that I’ve been tarred with a certain brush because I’ve readily left studios to pursue other opportunities.

In my experience, if you are finding yourself stalled in the job search and you feel your sample size is sufficient, it is time to examine the evidence and decide whether you need to adjust your strategy. The hiring process is fairly boilerplate.

  1. Submit your resume/CV and cover letter if you have one
  2. Phone/Video Conference Interview
  3. Technical or skills take-home test
  4. On-site or Video Conference Interview
  5. Job Offer

As you pass each step, you proceed to the next. If a job seeker cannot expect to advance to a particular step regularly, it likely means that the previous step needs some work. Many new to the industry don’t get callbacks because their CVs aren’t properly tailored to the job they hope to get. Others have difficulty with interviews thanks to nerves. The important thing is to identify what step you’re having trouble with and focus on improving it. I noticed that I would often make it to the take-home test part of any candidacy, but would most often get the rejection or radio silence after completing the test. I then started doing review passes on my own work and asking others I trusted to help review my work before submitting my exams, and that significantly improved my overall advancement to the on-site interview stage. Practicing interviews with others or getting someone to review your resume may help things advance.

Finding a job has an element of luck involved - there’s your skills, there’s what the employer is looking for, and there’s the timing window where both of you line up and find each other within that window. Sometimes a job opportunity just isn’t the right fit for you. We can’t really control those. What we can control, however, is minimizing any unforced errors we might make so that we don’t sabotage ourselves when the opportunity presents itself. We do this by identifying our weak points in the hiring process and focus on improving them. We can use our overall job-hunting process results as a metric for evaluating our progress.

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