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  1. #1
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    I need advice about getting a job

    I need advice about getting a job

    Iíve earned ~60 hours toward a CS degree; however, during my last semester I had some health/financial problems and ended up with some less than stellar grades and a not so great GPA. So, my transcript is in sad shape and Iíve run out of money for college.

    Iíve done some work for several clients over the last several years, and Iíve worked on my own projects as well. However, I donít have as much available to put on my resume or in a portfolio as Iíd like. A lot of the things I have worked on over the years to gain experience were hobby-ish and personal, and are long since deleted.

    Here is a sample of code Iíve written:

    http://is.gd/gUo6d

    Iíve passed the PHP 5 certification exam so Iím a ďZend Certified EngineerĒ:

    I feel like if only I could get a break and land a job I would excel and finally have a more solid background making it much easier to then move ahead to more advanced positions, but Iím stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment.

    Right now Iím living in a rural area, and there arenít many PHP jobs locally. Iím completely willing to relocate if given the opportunity, but living far away from the bigger tech areas is another factor working against me at the moment.

    Iím not sure how to accurately and fairly describe my true experience level and abilities to employers, what number of years to list for php experience (I started using PHP in 2002 but Iíve never had a full-time PHP position), or even what ballpark I should be looking for as far as a salary range or if I ought to be applying for ďEntry LevelĒ or ďSeniorĒ or in between level or whatever.

    My portfolio could use some padding up. I have the free time and money is not an issue, but Iím having trouble finding work opportunities and thinking up projects to do.

    So basically, my question is: what the hell do I do?!?
    Iím stumped at this point.

    I would really appreciate any advice anyone would like to share!

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
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    Wow. I'm in a situation that's eerily similar to yours, and thus I'm eager to see what others have to say. I can, however, say what I've been doing as I look for a job.

    First, put your resume on Craigslist for the nearest metro area, saying you're looking for work, either part time or full time. Hopefully you can get a couple of clients that way and at least have something new to add to the portfolio, and you can add "freelance php developer" or whatever to your resume, if maybe even (if you're lucky) find a full time job.

    Second, start a blog. Not only will it give you something to work on, like a custom Wordpress theme perhaps, it will also keep you thinking about your work. More importantly, however, it can demonstrate how you think to any potential employers, and improve your writing skills (which I would imagine are always welcome). Also, as you brainstorm topics for your blog, you might want to try making some tutorials. This will not only keep you interested, but also give you things to put in your portfolio. You could start by covering how to make what you've got in your code samples.

    Now, I can't guarantee that these steps will prove fruitful (they haven't for me yet, but I'm also just getting started in them), but right now they're the best I can think of to keep the skill set sharp and to demonstrate my abilities to a potential employer. Good luck!


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