While the number of web developer jobs may continue to rise, getting the jobs isn't as easy you might imagine.
So how do you get a web developer job in such a competitive market?
Well, you need a great CV and covering letter to get you to an interview.
Then you need to demonstrate your web development experience at the interview.
Unfortunately it isn't, because you will always be competing against other applicants, or the employer’s concept of what they want from a web developer.
Web development experience and passion
So how do you make your CV amazing? And how do you wow the person interviewing into offering you the job on the spot?
You might have a university degree, but this qualification simply doesn't stand up to work experience and passion for your profession - the two essential ingredients that every employer is looking for in a web developer.
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?
The simple answer is to take the initiative to get your own work experience.
Get your own web development experience
First, take some time to look at all the different web developer jobs online and see what’s required. This way you’ll know what programming languages to pursue and what other requirements an employer may have.
Obviously, if you don’t know a programming language, because you’re only just looking into getting a web developer job, now is definitely the time to start teaching yourself one.
Choose a programming language
Learning your first programming language can be 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. They even do certificates too, so you can become certified in your chosen language and include this on your CV and covering letter.
Start a personal project
Once you've learned your chosen language, it’s time to apply it.
Experience and passion are the two things that employers want from a web developer. A personal project gives you both. And you should have some exciting stats and insights to share during the interview from this as well.
Besides, if you’re going to learn how to use a programming language properly, you’ll need a platform to develop on and understand the underlying supporting systems and common problems that someone might encounter.
What you decide to do as a budding web developer is entirely up to you. But the more personal it is to you, the better – because you’ll have plenty to talk about at the interview stage.
Also, you should never drop a personal project once you get the job that you want. You’ll always need it to further your career in the future – especially if it’s growing year on year. That demonstrates commitment as well as passion to a potential employer.
Create a killer CV and covering letter
Armed with all this experience, a language certificate and an exciting personal project up and running, you’re ready to stay applying for web developer jobs.
Now a covering letter should be easy to write, because you’re living and breathing web development through your personal project.
Meanwhile your CV should equally demonstrate your passion as a web developer, while highlighting the success of your personal project as well as your new skills and certificates.
A little bit of experience and enthusiasm goes a long way to actually getting you to the interview stage.
Wow them at the interview
Because you've got all this great stuff to write in your covering letter and on your CV, this means you have plenty to talk about when you get to the interview stage.
Often you’ll be asked to “Tell us about yourself.”
This is where a CV becomes an essential supporting document for any interview, because you have something to refer to, rather than going in cold and muddling your way through.
Instead, 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.
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 – which should be your personal project.
If you've been a web developer in your spare time, working on a personal project, then you’ll have a lot of the real work experience that they’re looking for.
In some instances, you may have practically been doing the job you’re applying for. And that means you won’t need as much (if any) training, which is a big plus for employers.
But most importantly, demonstrate your experience and passion for web development. Because that’s what employers are looking for.
Once you have some real work experience (thanks to your person project), you’ll have all the passion and detail you need to write a great CV, a great covering letter and give a great interview.
Simply having something to talk about in detail makes each stage of the job application process that much easier.
Best of luck out there!