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How to Land the Web Development Job of Your Dreams

December 8th, 2023 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you’re looking for a fulfilling, lucrative career in tech, you can’t do much better than being a web developer. There’s just one issue: It’s extremely competitive. To snag your dream job, you’ll need more than just skills and desire. You’ll need to differentiate yourself during the entire interviewing process from making sure your resume gets noticed to wowing interviewers and employers into making an offer. 

Despite the challenges of landing a web development position, it can be well worth the effort to try. The U.S. News & World Report has listed “web developer” as the seventh-best STEM sector occupation and the ninth-best overall career. And those rankings aren’t likely to wane anytime soon. Employment opportunities for web developers are expected to grow significantly until at least 2031. At an average salary range of around $81,000, that’s a reason to get into the web developer game.

Ready to stand out as you pursue the web developer path? Put these innovative techniques into motion and you’ll position yourself for the outcome you want.

1. Ditch your old-style, single-template resume.

You might already know that plenty of companies rely on software programs to sift through the resumes they receive. Typically, those programs evaluate applicants on how well their resume information matches the job description. Resumes that contain appropriate keywords and candidate data will be more likely to reach human eyes.

In other words, your resume needs to be carefully tweaked every time you apply for a role. Yet it can be very time-consuming to rework your resume to fit each job opening. That’s where you can leverage the power of AI-fueled software. For instance, you might want to apply to one dozen or more web developer roles. Rather than manually updating and optimizing each one, turn to free software like Teal to do it for you. 

Teal offers job seekers a comprehensive platform that makes it easy to build your resume with AI and customize it to match closely with individual job descriptions. The company’s core SaaS product also provides users with a dashboard where they can track their customized resumes. Haven’t written your resume yet? No worries — Teal can make suggestions and keep your resume from falling through the cracks or being denied by an algorithm “gatekeeper.” 

2. Create an impressive portfolio.

Even if you’re somewhat new to web development, you’ll be expected to showcase your technical abilities. This is best done in an online portfolio that can be shared with potential employers. However, you don’t want to clutter your portfolio with junk or make it difficult to evaluate. Your portfolio should be streamlined and contain just enough samples to entice someone to ask for a first or second interview. (Or make you an offer!)

What belongs in your web developer portfolio? You should have some examples of projects that relate to the job you want. For example, let’s say an organization is looking for someone with extensive coding capabilities. Your portfolio should contain two to three examples of pages or site elements that you wrote the code for. Don’t just share the code. Describe the goal, talk about how you met the goal through coding, and illustrate the end result. This will paint a clear picture of the talents you’re bringing to the table. 

You can host your portfolio on any site you like, including on a read-only Google doc. Just be sure that you link to your portfolio on your resume. Don’t be afraid to include the link in your cover letter and, if applicable, your application form. Over time, be aware that you’ll need to update your portfolio and replace dated experiences with fresh ones.

3. Use social media to your benefit.

As with any field, web developers have online communities, forums, and groups. Consequently, you should become visible in these social communities. Present yourself as both a thought leader and an eager learner. For example, you might want to answer questions posed by others and post some questions yourself.

Publishing articles on LinkedIn can be another wait to gain some credibility among other IT professionals and corporate leaders. The same is true for posting, sharing, and commenting on Facebook and X, too. The more people you engage with in the IT sector, the higher your likelihood to hear about job openings — and get noticed. 

What if you’re comfortable in front of the camera or talking to a crowd? Setting up your own YouTube or Twitch channel devoted to web development could make sense. The higher your following, the more authority you naturally acquire. Plus, you may be able to make a little money on the side by coding live. Small-time Twitch streamers with 100+ viewers can net up to $1,500 monthly. That’s not exactly peanuts.

4. Stay up to date on the industry.

The world of technology is expanding and evolving at a faster-than-ever pace. In a flash, your knowledge can become outdated if you’re not keeping up. Therefore, it may be wise to invest in certificates or degrees, and the occasional coding bootcamp. (As a side note, bootcamps will offer the chance to meet peers and expand your network, which is a bonus advantage.)

Not sure where to start? There are many places that offer training to current and aspiring web developers. Some are well-known institutes of higher learning like Arizona State University and Capella University. However, other programs are run by companies known for web development. A helpful site for discovering short-term and long-term web development classes is Coursera. While Coursera offers some options that are branded to itself, others are through partnerships with universities and companies. For instance, Coursera features classes for learners at all levels from IBM. 

As you advance your continuing education credentials, be sure to add them into your resume as well as your LinkedIn profile. This step can be easy to forget, but it’s essential if you’re trying to highlight exactly what makes you a more appealing, well-versed candidate than someone else.

Web development might be a crowded field, but that doesn’t mean you can’t edge your way in. Just take a little time upfront to plan out your career strategy. Then, go forward with gusto. Someone has to land every job that’s available — and the next person who hears “You’re hired!” could be you.

Featured Image by James Harrison on Unsplash

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