There’s a growing demand for web developers. But most people who have been there can tell you that getting a great web development job isn’t as easy as it sounds. Top tier employers aren’t many, and there is now less focus on academic certificates and more on hands-on skills and experience.
In this article, we show you what to do to give yourself the best chance of getting a great web development job.
1. Get Some Experience
Most employers will require you to have some experience before they hire you. If you’re a newbie, however, or have just switched careers, you might not be in high demand. Fortunately for web developers, there are many ways to get some hands-on time before getting a job. The following are some of them.
Volunteer Your Programming Skills
Volunteering is a good way of gaining real-world, hands-on experience and giving something back to the community. By volunteering, you also get the opportunity to add some projects to your portfolio, which could go a long way in increasing your marketability. Think about approaching non-profit organizations or local businesses with your offer.
Embrace Freelance Work
Freelance gigs will play a significant role in your pursuit to establish yourself as a credible developer. You might not have access to mentors, experts, and the structured learning you’d get from an official job position, but freelance jobs help you put your skills to use and add projects to your portfolio. You also get to meet a lot of new people.
Contribute to Open Source Projects
There are tons and tons of open source projects you can contribute to. Additionally, the community goes out of its way to make the process beginner-friendly. Many projects have tasks that are flagged as good starting points for beginners.
Further, all your contributions will be vetted and confirmed by other members, which could help you grow your skills and learn the best practices in web development.
2. Grow Your Network
Networking is key if you want to find the best opportunities in this industry and acquire new knowledge. Networking, however, can be quite daunting for many people. Consider doing the following:
Participating in Hackathons
A hackathon is like a design sprint, only with a lot more coding involved. Many developers collaborate together on a project, so participating in one will guarantee that you’ll meet other web developers. Since you’ll be working together on a project, you’ll also find it easier to talk to your teammates and learn a lot from them in the process.
Joining Online Web Developer Communities
There are many online forums and communities tailored for developers. Stack overflow, bytes, CodeProject, and GitHub are some of the most popular. Ask questions, engage in discussions, and ask others to critique your work. You will, in the process, make a lot of valuable contacts.
3. Ensure Your Application Stands Out
You’ve been networking, and a great job opportunity comes your way. How do you make the most of it? The first step is to craft an application that stands out from the rest. You can do this in a number of ways:
- Tailor your resume for the job post
- Highlight the right skills
- Give examples of some of your contributions
- Craft a glittering portfolio
- Optimize your online professional profiles
Remember that if no one is enticed to read your resume, they will not consider you for the job no matter how good you are. So yes, a resume is a do or die thing. It isn’t just about your qualifications but also about how you present them. Therefore, be highly organized and choose a great format.
4. Prepare Well for the Interview
5. Keep Learning
Technology keeps advancing, and you must not be left behind. It is necessary to take up some online web development courses from time to time to keep your skills polished. This will not only make you competent but will communicate a zeal for learning which many employers find irresistible.
You Must Stand out
The truth is that there is a lot of competition out there. If you don’t differentiate yourself, it will be hard to get into a high flying role. While technical skills are important, work on your soft skills as well as they can make all the difference.