You’re at that stage in your career journey where you’re looking to level-up, or maybe even transition into web development from an entirely different field. Whatever the case may be, you're aiming for the perfect role - not just any job.
One of the most important pieces of a web development application is to build an impactful resume. So we’ve created an easy-to-follow guide to help you create a solid web developer job application.
What Is Web Development?
At this phase, chances are you already know what web development is. But in case you’re applying for your first ever web development job, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.
Web development is the process of building and maintaining websites and software applications. Every website and application we see and use is created by web developers.
There are 3 main types of web development:
Front-End Development – When we access any site, the pages that we view and use are part of the front end.
Back-End Development – The back end of a site consists of all the underlying code that makes a site work. This includes storage and server management.
Full-Stack Development – This involves both front-end and back-end development.
There are also specialties within these three types of web development that focus on sections such as mobile application development, web security, web design, storage, and more.
What Companies Expect A Web Developer to Do
The responsibility of web developers is to build sites based on client requirements and specifications. They have to maintain the site and its performance. Traffic monitoring, integration of videos and images, and updating existing sites are some of the major tasks of web developers.
Typically, recruiters from larger companies expect web developers to specialize in different aspects of web development. They would then collaborate with other developers to deliver the final product.
Back-end developers work with the server-side of the site. They’re responsible for making the site work. They also maintain databases for storage, and optimize websites and applications for maximum speed. For any site, a minimum loading time is important. This is also taken care of by back-end developers. They use programming languages like Python, PHP, Java, and Ruby. SQL is used for database management. For that reason, recruiters expect you to know at least two of these languages to write efficient code.
Full-stack developers know both front-end and back-end development. They can manage the development of the entire site. Generally, individuals with experience and mastery in either front-end or back-end development end up moving towards full-stack development as their experience increases.
The Skills A Recruiter Looks for in A Web Developer
The skills that a recruiter looks for in a web developer depends on what type of development role they’re looking to fill. You’ll find out exactly what the company is looking for by reading the job description. Usually, they’ll tell you exactly what programming languages they want you to know so that you’ll be able to see if you’re a good fit before applying.
Generally, there are specific programming languages used for front-end development as well as back-end development.
HTML – Developers use HTML to tell the site what content and elements to display, and where to display them. HTML is easy to learn and is absolutely expected from a recruiter.
CSS – Front-end developers use CSS along with HTML. CSS tells the web page how to display the content. It’s a styling language that helps you set fonts, colors, images, and lots more. So, if you’re a front-end developer you need to know CSS.
Common programming languages for back-end development are:
PHP – Developers have been using PHP for back-end development for quite some time now. Although its popularity has decreased over the years, the knowledge of programming in PHP is still considered an advantage. It’s useful when working on building sites through WordPress and also for freelance web development projects.
Java – This is another popular language used for web development. It helps to make the site fast and more responsive. So you’ll likely be required to know it for back-end development.
Now that you know what skills are expected of you, it’s time to write the resume.
How to Build A Strong Web Developer Resume
For obvious reasons, you’ll need to show off your coding skills. Recruiters assess these basic tech abilities in addition to your spirit for learning, communication skills, and other hard and soft skills.
There’s a lot of demand for web developers, but there’s also a lot of competition. You want to make sure your resume helps you stand out from the competition. To do that, your resume has to be clear, concise, and professional. Recruiters need to know that you’re suited for the job after just a quick glance.
Generally, the recruiters that are looking over your resume aren’t tech-savvy. They’re usually comparing your resume with the job description. So when you write your resume, make sure you use keywords from the job description. This way, you’ll make it clear to recruiters (and recruiting software) that you’re a strong candidate for the job.
Now that you’ve got an overview of what recruiters are looking for, let’s dive into a bit more detail.
- Summary and Profile Details
This section should contain 2-4 lines and summarize your professional profile. It doesn’t need to be too detailed. Its purpose is to give a quick overview of who you are, what your intentions are, and your strongest skills.
For example, you might say something like, ‘A creative and detail-oriented front-end developer. My focus is on developing and maintaining a website for Company123 that provides an exceptional user experience while meeting the needs of the company.’
- Work Experience
Next, you’ll want to create a work experience section. Under this section, you should provide all of your relevant work experience. It’s usually best to write your work experience in reverse chronological order. While writing about your experience, it’s important to show how you’ve used your skills. You should include any of the sites you’ve built or successes you’ve had with other companies here.
When you list your projects, make sure to state the tools and technologies that you used. At an entry-level, you likely won’t have work experience. In this case, you’ll have to add all the relevant projects you did during school. You can also add any freelance projects you’ve worked on. A good idea would be to use GitHub to post your code for others to view.
When you’re applying for an entry-level role just after college or a coding bootcamp, you have to provide more details under your education section. List key projects that taught you relevant skills. You can also list any additional courses you took that would benefit you in this specific role. If you choose to discuss additional courses, make sure you talk about what they taught you in some detail.
- Technical Skills
While writing the technical skills section, group your skills in sub-headings like Programming Languages, Database, and Deployment Tools. This makes the resume look more organized and makes it easier for recruiters to find information.
Also, don't be afraid to reference your soft skills to this section. Companies want people with good communication skills and leadership abilities. Additionally, you can mention skills like problem-solving and attention to detail. You also need to make sure that you can prove that you have these skills, so think of examples of when you had to use those skills in case a recruiter brings it up in an interview.
- Additional Sections
Under these sections, you can add any other relevant skills or experiences. Try to keep them as appropriate for the job description as possible. You can add links to your social profiles such as LinkedIn, GitHub, and your portfolio website. Along with the links, you can add a line or two about what the links contain.
Building a portfolio will be super beneficial for your application. It allows you to display your skills from your resume to the recruiters. Your portfolio can contain your previous projects, any freelance work, and assignments you’ve done for school.
There's No Such Thing as Too Much Proofreading
When you create documents to apply for a job, like a resume or a cover letter, you need to pay attention to the font and colors you’re using. The font should be easy to read--this is not the time for fancy lettering. The font and size have to be consistent across all of your application documents.
Make sure you also proofread your resume (yup, one more time). You want to be 100% sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. One simple spelling mistake could cost you an interview.
As long as you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be set to land your dream job. Make sure to pair your resume with a strong web developer cover letter for the best shot at an interview.
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