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Discussion on: Six Principles Your Resume Should Follow - So Recruiters Will Read It

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gergelyorosz profile image
Gergely Orosz Author • Edited

As a hiring manager, I hired generalist web engineers, where we didn’t care about the portfolio: knowing a programming language (JavaScript / TypeScript) was more important. This mirrors companies - especially larger ones - looking for generalist engineers.

Portfolios, in my view, are more important when applying to smaller companies, possibly agencies. However, hiring managers and recruiters won’t click through to links in a resume if:

  1. There are a LOT of applications: they’ll just shortlist the most promising ones based on resume contents. Then check those resumes in more depth
  2. If the recruiter filters, and the hiring manager instructs them to look for certain technologies (eg React, Resux, JavaScript) and X years experience.

So yeah, portfolios won’t hurt and can also help, but your resume first needs to pass that “first scan” and fit the checkboxes the screener is looking for.

My honest view is that there’s a lot of advice on create a great portfolio that comes from non-hiring managers (people who ended up getting a job) amd people really want to believe the portfolio will help a lot. It’s a purpose that keeps you busy, helps you practice: but it will probably play less of a role than you expect.

I say think of how you can stand out from the crowd: yes, build a portfolio, yes, learn new skills while you do it... but push yourself further. Eg have you thought of contributing to a popular open source framework? Now that could make a resume stand out 10x more than any portfolio at companies that are big on code quality or contributions to open source.

(Hint: to you can contribute to dev.to codebase and claim that your code is used by 500K devs on your resume: now that is something!)

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squidbe profile image
squidbe

Resux

Freudian slip? ;-)

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gergelyorosz profile image
Gergely Orosz Author

Hahaha, I missed it: now I'll leave it and pretend it was deliberate :D

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danielsobrado profile image
Daniel Sobrado

As a Hiring Manager and Hands on Engineer I look into the details of personal websites and github repositories of the candidate, and I often include question in their interviews of their own published work, I find it very useful.

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gergelyorosz profile image
Gergely Orosz Author

It comes to show how hiring managers and recruiters have very different approaches, especially based on the company size.

If I started a a startup, I’d do exactly the same. If I got 10 applications for a posting, I’d still do the same.

At a large company, where there are many inbound applications and/or there is a conscious effort to not have bias that impacts people with no personal projects negatively (eg they don’t have additional time to do these or cannot publish them), hiring managers/recruiters might just skip what another person would look at.

You can only have an upside with your side projects: you learn for sure, you practice, and some hiring managers will pay additional attention. You’ll just (unfortunately) never know which ones!