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Looking for career and job guidance as an immigrant - How to get jobs?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community7 months ago

This will be a bit of a long story so please bear with me, I am willing to give you more context.

I am a foreign student who graduated from computer science. I have been working in the field since 2021, I was more passionate about design and big data over intensive leet code coding. These were the projects I also aced in college getting 90% in Big Data or Front End Design projects and barely passing on coding intensive

When I graduated to maintain my status I had to be employed in an E verified company so I took what I got, a full stack developer position. My mindset was more, maybe it’s a fear once I dive into might overcome it. The company was amazing and so were my managers. I loved every moment working there - I even finished all the assigned projects ranging from maintenance to building full MERN stack apps in 2 1/2 years. I learnt a lot and got more confident in my developer abilities.

Despite getting things done and finishing projects, I did realize I want to dive into UI/UX/ Front End Development or Reporting, because I’ve always enjoyed doing that more than Full Stack. I had a talk with my manager to see if I can laterally move. He gave me a go signal, but I got laid off a month after.

I will take 100% responsibility here that I had got a little complacent with furthering my career “outside “ work hours, and I learnt my lesson which I am willing to change and I got time to think about it after being unemployed 2 1/2 years of all the things I could’ve done better.

It’s been 2 months. I’ve been applying for jobs and haven’t got any, barely got 2 interviews which I didn’t do well in, but I’ll keep persisting

A sticking point I noticed here, generally being introverted I have some discomfort with marketing myself better or more like an imposter syndrome, and I was passive during my last work too which I know is not serving me anymore

What am I doing which is in my control?

  • I enrolled in Googles UX certification and plan to get my portfolio ready in 2-3 months so in future I can be transition into my dream career
  • Enrolled in a SQL course so I can keep the option of reporting open
  • Joined this group because I never had much of a tech industry network or guidance, and I plan to take my career more seriously going in future.
  • Applying for jobs everyday, mostly Full stack because that’s what I can explain to the interviewer because I have experience. Since my OPT unemployment starts Nov 15 which I get 3 months of

My questions:

  1. What might be the possibilities that I am not getting interviews at all? I am not even applying to big tech, mostly manufacturing companies. Where can I send over my resume for review?
  2. I do want to make the change into either reporting or UI/UX, because I am passionate about that and I believe I can kill it In that, how would you suggest an entry-mid level developer going down that path?

I am open to any honest feedback.

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Discussion

(2 comments)
  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    7 months ago

    Welcome to the community! There's a lot of stuff here - For the future, I recommend splitting things up into several "sub-questions" for Taro. It will get you responses faster which are higher-quality/more targeted. This isn't just for Taro either - "Modularizing" asks will help you a lot in general (it applies to code too!). If you need help breaking up your question, feel free to just DM Rahul and I in Slack.

    I extracted the following 3 pieces from this:

    1. Optimizing your resume
    2. Career pivot (full-stack into front-end)
    3. Not getting interviews

    Optimizing Your Resume

    For this, I recommend going through our entire resume masterclass: [Masterclass] How To Write A Stellar Tech Resume That Gets You More Job Opportunities

    You can just use my latest resume as a template - Delete all my stuff and put in yours. You're relatively early-in-career so 1 page is more than enough.

    Career Pivot

    In this economy, I highly recommend leaning into what you already have. If your background is full-stack, apply to all the full-stack jobs. After you get the job, then you can try to transfer internally to the stack you want (this will be easier in bigger companies).

    For stack/role switches, the process is pretty much this:

    1. Do well in your current job (get one if you don't have it)
    2. Switch to the job you want within the company
    3. Do well at that new job
    4. Switch companies and enter in as that new role when you want to

    The most common one I've seen is SWE -> MLE. I knew a good amount of Meta engineers who wanted to go into ML, so they switched internally to MLE internally at Meta, learned the ropes/became a solid performer, and then left Meta to join other companies as MLE.

    The internal switch is important as companies inherently take a risk hiring anybody new. They don't want to double-stack it by hiring someone who's both new and pivoting at the same time.

    For front-end, it's very side project friendly so I recommend doing those too: [Taro Top 10] Building Impressive Side Projects

    Not Getting Interview Calls

    I'm hopeful that the resume optimization will help there (going through the masterclass and applying the changes should take 2-4 hours max).

    After that, follow the advice here: "How to get interview calls?"

    In this economy, it's best to apply to literally everything that fits your stack/experience range.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    7 months ago

    Which types of companies are you applying for? If you're not having success with one type of company (e.g. lots of people apply exclusively to Big Tech), then change it up! Use something like Wellfound to Find a series A startup, or perhaps even seed-stage companies. These companies don't get as many applicants so there's a higher chance you won't get ghosted.