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Land a Job in the Web Industry

Today’s job market is competitive to say the least, and you need to be able to stand out from the stack of resumes to make overwhelmed interviewers sit up and take notice.  Here are a few resume and interview tips that can help you land a position in the web industry.

Resume Tips
  • Be Clear and Focused: Your resume is not the place to tell your life story.  Stick to experience that is relevant to the exact position you are applying for.  Furthermore – within each job or web project listing point out the activities that are relevant to the position you are applying for now and try to leave out the rest.  Also consider using a list format, it’s easier to scan and will force you to leave out superfluous details.  The idea is to strike a balance – make sure its as easy as possible for the people in charge of hiring to get the basics, but have enough information on there to make it clear you are qualified for the job.
  • Promote Yourself: Your resume should make it crystal clear why you deserve the position.  Include everything that adds value i.e. talk about whatever programming language you are an expert on, apps you’ve built, the projects you managed, what exactly you were responsible for and how everything ran smoothly.  Also make sure you keep your language professional, but don’t be afraid to put in a bit of your personality.  It will help you stand out from the stack of resumes you are competing with, and anyone can spot insincere business speak anyway.
  • Quality not Quantity: It’s important to include a portfolio – but it shouldn’t contain every single site you’ve ever worked on.  Pick out a reasonable number of your best sites and include links to the actual sites.  Screenshots are great but won’t cut it alone – most of the people responsible for hiring will want to check out your code, the site’s usability, etc.
Interview Tips
  • Be Professional: An interview is usually the first impression, and you won’t get another chance.  First of all you should dress appropriately.  In the web industry this can be a bit tricky as workplaces are generally more casual, with not much in way of a dress code.  However part of the first impression you make will be based on your appearance – so its best to look good, example: no need to wear a suit, but stay away from jeans and sneakers.
  • Be Informed and Interactive: The ideal interview is a 2-way conversation.  Sure the interviewer will ask questions, but if he doesn’t ask about something you are particularly proud of on your resume speak up and talk about it.  Do some research so that you are able to discuss the organization or website and actually know what you are talking about.  It’s also important to ask questions, remember you are trying to see if the position is a good fit for you, not just vice versa.  Research will also help you know which questions you should be asking.
  • Don’t show up empty-handed: While this is sometimes part of a resume, you should always bring a portfolio to your interview – and you should be prepared to leave it with the interviewer.  Make sure it is put together well (on nice paper, in color, maybe in a folder etc.) and that it serves as evidence of your best work.  This is standard procedure and expected, showing up to the interview empty-handed will imply you are unprepared and/or disorganized.
  • Follow Up: This is perhaps the most over-looked component of the interview process.  A few days after the interview make sure you follow up with the company to re-emphasize your interest and qualifications.  Realistically this won’t make a big difference if the interview didn’t go well, but if the interviewer is deciding between a few people the candidate that follows up will get the job 9 times out of 10.  So whatever you do, make sure you follow up – be it through a thank-you note, email or short phone call.

Once you land the job check out our post: 5 Great Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Web Designers

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