How to Stand Out in the Competitive Web Dev Job Market

Standing out in any job market is especially important in the wake of COVID-19. With so many of us out of a job, fighting for a position in our respective fields, it’s more important than ever to catch the eye of hiring managers with your unique qualifications that set you apart from other applicants.

Essential businesses and industries closely related to helping us through this pandemic are revving up their recruiting efforts, making their markets increasingly hard to find work you’re passionate about, actually interview for those positions, and ultimately land the job.

With the sudden shift to e-commerce buying and occupying digital spaces more often, IT is an example of one of those industries. Web developers are an integral part of making our online spaces more productive. Recruiters are sifting through hundreds of applicants to secure the top web developers for their companies as technology becomes increasingly embedded into our everyday.

Wondering how you can stand out in such a saturated market and land your dream web developer job even amid this pandemic?

Put Together a Solid Resume

Putting together a solid resume doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be the flashiest. It doesn’t have to earn the design of the year award. Nor does it need to contain a bunch of bold design elements, experimental fonts, and bright colors. 

Equal effort should be given to the content, appearance, and user experience of the document. You want readers to be able to comprehend the information given, navigate each section with ease, and not strain their eyes doing it.

Web developers, who are enjoying a bright future in the tech industry, possess many skills that uniquely craft our online experiences such as:

  • Creating websites
  • Writing code
  • Software documentation
  • Maintaining and improving a website overall
  • Graphic design
  • User experience

Craft your achievements and past job responsibilities in a persuasive, compelling way to ensure that your resume communicates just how valuable of an asset you would be to the team. Show don’t tell. For example, instead of saying “improved user experience on the website,” define your role with, “Created and used original code that improved web page speed times by 2x.”

Create an Even More Solid Portfolio

Web developer portfolios can be a bit tedious to put together, but creating a solid portfolio to accompany your resume will put you on track to distancing yourself from the competition.

A long-lasting web development career is dependent on a thorough portfolio that displays each of the skills detailed on your resume.

Demonstrate these skills by creating a functional portfolio website designed with user experience at its forefront. Potential employers should be able to get to your website quickly,  navigate to each piece in your portfolio seamlessly, jump from page to page without issue, and work through any other content on your site with ease via any device. At the same time, they should leave your portfolio website with a clear understanding of your skill level and how you can contribute to their company. 

In your portfolio, you can showcase: 

  • Design and creative ability
  • Social media presence and engagement
  • Pro Bono or personal projects
  • Github or Codepen projects 
  • Overall web development experience
  • Awards and achievements
  • Your comprehension and use of industry language

Prep for the Interview

After you’ve caught the attention of recruiters with your resume and kept it with your portfolio, the next step is an Interview. Many people devalue the importance of interview prep and how it can ease nervousness and anxiety going into the meeting. Intentionally preparing for your interview could also be what gets you the position or disqualifies you from it.

You can prepare answers to questions you know you’ll probably be asked like:

  • How do you see yourself fitting into our company?
  • Tell us about yourself and your web development experience.
  • What is one of your strengths? Weaknesses?
  • How would you navigate “this” challenge web developers face often?
  • Tell us about a time that displays your leadership skills.
  • What web development blogs or books are you currently reading?
  • What web developers are you following on social media right now?

You should also prep by doing some thorough research about the company you’re interviewing with. Ensure that you know the basics about how the company was started, its mission statement, and any other information you can leverage to show you’re a culture fit. You also want to prepare questions for the interviewer. This shows your enthusiasm for finding a position that best fits your and the company’s needs.

Conclusion

As a web developer, you’re responsible for the functionality and design of a website to ensure a pleasant user experience and that it’s a representation of specific business and customer needs. The skillset needed to perform at a high level is displayed in many quality candidates, making standing out in the competitive web developer job market that much more important. You can best showcase your skills through a stand-out resume, functional portfolio website, and seamless interview prompted by preparation.

Your comments are welcome!

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