How to land your first developer job without a portfolio

How to land your first developer job without a portfolio


3 min read

Finding a first job is hard. Employers often require you to have strong technical experience in various technologies, showcase projects, and on top of that, a CS degree. Does it mean that you are doomed if you don't match the full description or don't have a portfolio? Not necessary.

Below, I describe a short, actionable strategy that I was using to land my first developer job. The main idea is to show that you are ready to learn, interested in the company, and role. So, the strategy:

  1. Find a position you like and where you can cover parts of the required technologies. Let's say 50%.
  2. Research what the company does, and reflect on how they position their brand. It will help you with the next step.
  3. Write a remarkable cover letter based on the insights you got. Explain why you are a perfect match and how the company will benefit from hiring you.
  4. Ask the company to give you an exercise to demonstrate your skills. It will provide you with more credibility and show that you are ready to invest your time. Also, you can showcase these exercises for other jobs, right?
  5. While the company checking your performed exercise, think about(and maybe even do) the improvements. This way, you can remind the company of yourself and stand out from the rest of the candidates.
  6. Not hired? Don't worry, find another company, and repeat the process. It will take many attempts, but you will eventually get there.

Important! Don't forget to create a list of all the applications you sent as many companies will respond to you after a month or two. So when this happens, you can quickly find all the information related to this position.

It is the end of the article :) I want to thank you for reading it and wish you luck on the journey. If you ever need help or advice, don't hesitate to write to me on Twitter as I am always happy to help.