How to Get a Web Developer Job
As our world becomes more integrated with the internet, the demand for web developers is on the rise, but how do you get a job in web development?
Well, to start with you need a convincing covering letter, an inspiring resume and then demonstrate your experience at the interview.
But if only it was that simple, because you will always be competing against other candidates or simply battling to meet the expectations of an interviewer’s ideal of a web developer.
Experience and Passion!
These are the two key ingredients that employers want.
So how do you demonstrate experience and passion? How do you get experience, let alone prove that you’re passionate about coding and creating beautiful websites?
Well, these ingredients go hand in hand. This poses a problem for many university or college leavers, because a degree doesn’t stand up to work experience. Because without work experience you can’t adequately demonstrate passion.
So before you even consider applying for any jobs, you’re going to need some real life work experience. But how do you get work experience when you can’t get a job to get that work experience to get a job?
Because you’re in a catch 22, the solution is to teach yourself and seize the initiative to get your own web development experience instead.
Choose a Programming Language
The important thing to remember is that you’re teaching yourself to be a web developer, you’re teaching yourself to become a computer programmer – as such, you want to learn a language or two that’s relevant to your interests and your needs.
There are countless programming languages to choose from, but HTML (Hyper Tex Markup Language) is a fundamental basic language for all web developer jobs, because it’s at the heart of every Web page and will remain the skeleton of the Web for the foreseeable future.
Similarly, PHP is absolutely everywhere because any website built on WordPress or Drupal uses PHP as well.
This isn’t to say that learning your first programming language isn’t challenging, but once you’ve mastered one language, learning other languages becomes easier, because you’ll have a good understanding of the different naming conventions.
Fortunately, there are loads of free online resources, like w3schools, where you can teach yourself everything you need for a career in web development.
These sites often offer certification exams as well, so you can become certified in your chosen language – which is something you should definitely put on your CV.
Launch a Personal Project
Learning a language is all well and good, but you need to apply it. And often the best way to teach yourself is through trial and error. So having a website, app or other project to work on is a great way to learn – especially if you’re motivated to make money from it!
A personal project gives you both experience and passion for web development. Experience, because you’re doing real work with code and passion, because this personal project is ‘personal’. It’s your creation. So when you talk about it, you should come across as very passionate about it.
Armed with experience and passion from your personal project and a certificate or two to prove your capability, you’re ready to create your covering letter and resume to start applying for web developer roles.
Because you’re living and breathing programming code and developing a web based project, you’ll have plenty to write in your covering letter.
And from your achievements, your CV should equally demonstrate your passion as a web developer, the success of your personal project and your new skills.
It’s amazing how just a little bit of experience and enthusiasm can help you get to the interview stage and make the interview a lot easier too.
Get the Job
Because you’ve taken the initiative to create your own personal project, get the work experience you need, gain valuable insights into real work with coding and you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you will have plenty to talk about when you attend an interview.
Typically an interview will start with an interviewing asking you to “Tell me about yourself.”
Now’s not the time to dry up, because you have so much to talk about. And this is where a well-written, bullet pointed CV becomes an essential supporting document for any interview.
You can quickly scan through and reel off the highlights of your work experience and paint a clear picture of yourself to a potential employer, rather than muddle through half remember facts and stats.
Just make sure that you keep it short and sweet, because the person interviewing you probably hasn’t read your CV. You can dive into detail if they show interest in any particular areas.
When I was starting out in my career, I’d get invited in for interviews because my resume hadn’t gone through any kind of filtering process.
I’d find myself sat in an awkward interview where I could show enthusiasm for the job, but not have an experience or work to back up my words.
But, once I launched my personal project and got myself a wealth of work experience in the process, I had plenty to talk about in a face to face interview and because of this, I was more confident too!
So in many ways, simply having something to talk about in detail is what makes each stage of the job application process that much easier, from applying, to interviewing and even starting.
Best of luck!