Web dev jobs
  1. Web dev jobs intro
  2. Web dev jobs basics
  3. Resume & cover letter
  4. Portfolios
  5. Experience
  6. Freelancing
  7. Freelancing vs. real job
  8. Web dev jobs sites
  9. Web dev job interviews
  10. Getting the job
  11. Keeping the job
  12. Outsourcing
  13. Getting fired
  14. Summary

Web Development Jobs resume and cover letter

What's the key to getting the job you want? Is it experience? Good people skills? Besides those highly important factors there is also a well written resume and cover letter. Sometimes it is not what you say but how you say it. It is not necessarily enough to just have the experience, you need to be able to properly communicate what kind of experience you have in a charismatic way.

This tutorial focuses on:

Writing a good cover letter

Before the resume comes the cover letter. If your cover letter is really bad than it is possible your resume won't even be read. Let's hope that doesn't happen, but you have to put at least a little effort into it, you know?

A cover letter should be clear and to the point but at the same time professional and well written. A cover letter is a potential employers first impression of you. Make it count!

There are several aspects of a cover letter that you should make sure you have.

Proper beginning

Begin with "Dear Sir/Madam", not with "Hi", "Hello" or any other informal greeting. You are not writing a letter to your friend, the nature of this letter is strictly business and the language should reflect that and should also reflect the relationship between the people involved in the transaction - you and a potential employer. A cover letter MUST have a proper beginning.

Avoid the generic cover letter

Some people send out ten resumes a day and so they get tired of/annoyed at writing unique cover letters to everyone. So what do they do? They create a generic cover letter that works 'universally' for every job description they can find and send that to all the potential employers together with their resumes.

AVOID this practice! People in Human Resources departments know a generic cover letter when they see one. What impression do they get when they see a generic cover letter? The impression is "If this person could not put the effort to write a non-generic cover letter, what good would be they be for this company? How much effort would they actually put into it?"

A generic cover letter makes a bad first impression, and probably the only impression, as once a generic cover letter is recognized, the resume is probably not even looked at. There are exceptions to this rule but they are few.

Clear and to the point

Imagine this scenario: A potential employer puts up an ad for a job and gets 50 responses (all with cover letters). That's alot of time to read all those cover letters (and resumes). The last thing someone in such a situation would want is to read something that just goes on and on.

Your objective is to make a cover letter that is clear - it is easy to read without ambiguity or confusing language and to the point - you express your intentions and tell a little bit about yourself right away.

Profesionally written

While a cover letter should be clear and to the point, it should also be professionaly written. Remember three things - a cover letter is a business transaction, your relationship to your potential employer (strictly business), the language used should reflect this.

Proper ending

A cover letter should have a proper beginning, as well as a proper ending. Make sure to always end a cover letter with "Sincerely," skip a line, type your name.

Like this:
Sincerely, Karl Stevens

Job description and cover letter

Example of job description and cover letter response to it:
TriaTech Inc. a leader in online innovation and marketing is looking for a web developer to join our vibrant team of talented and hard working individuals to take the company to the next level. Requirements: B.S. or higher in Computer Information Systems or Computer Science Fluent in HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Ajax, SQL, and SEO 3+ years experience Compensation: Competitive
Cover letter response to this ad:
Dear Sir/Madam: I am writing in regards to the web developer position you posted on August 10th, 2008. I looked through the requirements that you mentioned and they match very well my skill areas, proficiency, and experience. My strengths and qualifications are many, and my dedication and work ethic are strong. You specify that you are looking for someone to take the company to the next level. I have a proven track record of going above and beyond with what I do. At my first position doing an internship (while still in college) I was assigned to do front-end maintenance and search engine optimization for the company I was hired by. My efforts in improving the company's image through their website and improving search engine rankings resulted in a 20% quarterly profit increase. I haven't looked back since - going beyond my call of duty and achieving something great every time. I am confident that I can bring this work ethic and mentality to your offices as well. I look forward to discussing this position with you in more detail. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, YourNameHere

Writing a good resume

Writing a good cover letter is tedious enough, and now we have to write a good resume too?! A good resume can go a long way and it's not that hard to write. Many resumes contain the same items - personal information (name, email, etc.), objective, qualifications, education, and experience.

Personal information

This part is very hard to get wrong (most people get it right on the first try!). All you have to do is include your personal information at the top of the resume.

Objective

A very important part of the resume. It could actually be more important than you think depending on who's reading it since some people believe you can tell something about a person's character by reading the objective on their resume. The important thing with the objective is to be specific to the job you are trying to get.

If you are going for a web developer position, don't begin your objective with "To obtain a position", instead begin it with "To obtain a web developer position". It's much more specific and makes you look more professional. Also, dazzle it a little with words like "challenging" and "rewarding". So instead of "To obtain a web developer position" it should be "To obtain a challenging and rewarding web developer position"

A good objective line:
OBJECTIVE: To obtain a challenging and rewarding web developer position where I can utilize my knowledge, proficiency, and skills to contribute to a company's growth

Qualifications

If you're going to include qualifications, write some good stuff about yourself but don't be too generic or plain about it, and hyphenate your abilities a little. Example - instead of writing "Good with front-end coding" as one of your qualifications, you could write "Highly proficient in front-end development"

Experience

Your experience should make you sound good at what you do and be specific about what you did. Potential emploters like specifics, so be detailed (especially when it comes to a technical field like web development)

NOTE: It's not necessarily what you say but how you say it

Education

Easy, right? Well, mostly. Include which college(s) and/or technical schools you went to for the education area of your resume. Include any honorable mentions like valedictorian. Also include GPA (if you think it will help).

References

For the references area of their resume some people put "Available upon request". Don't do this. Why state the obvious? If they want references they will ask for references whether you claim they are available or not. Don't include a "References" part on your resume.

Keep your resume up to date

Maybe you did some freelance work since your last interview? Maybe you learned something new? Every little bit helps. Remember to always keep your resume up to date.

Resume writing services

If you don't want to write a resume for whatever reason (not a good writer, not good at expressing things, too lazy, etc.) there are services out there that will write a professional resume for you. If you do get a job thanks to a resume that a resume writing service wrote for you, it will never match the satisfaction you will get from getting a job using a resume that you wrote.

Some professional resume writing services claim their services will land you in a better higher paying job. Maybe, maybe not. Of course they will claim such a thing as they are trying to sell a product, but it's up to you whether you want to use such a service.

Here are some resume writing services

Still in college?

If you are not at least in your third year, then you will probably not be taken seriously by a potential employer. If you are in your third or fourth year (preferably fourth) you can get an internship somewhere. This is the most likely job for someone still in college. Going through an internship (even if it's an unpaid internship) could be an important career beginning as it gives you experience and it's something you could put on your resume to make yourself look more solid when you're looking for another job in the future.

Never went to college?

Unfortunately, few companies are going to want to hire you if you never went to college. You will have the highest chances of getting a job if you do go to college and get a degree. If you really really don't want to go to college, do a bunch of freelance work until you have so much experience that you can be confident that you can always get freelance work (and do a good job at it) or can demonstrate to companies that are hesitant about hiring someone who never went to college that you know what you're doing.

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