Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned professional I think the following blog post will help you further your career should you wish to find a new job in the Web Design industry.
I have been recruiting Web Designers, SEO consultants and PPC specialists for my agency for the last 6 years, having interviewed over 60 people.
Here are some helpful tips I have picked up along the way.
This is a strange opening point, you need to be employable! Your CV should display your experience as accurately and honestly as possible… No Cheating!
You should review your “online persona” make sure that your FaceBook page or your Twitter profile is free from filth! It should be spotless, if you have pictures on your social media profiles of you steaming drunk at your mates Stag Do or Hen Do think twice about leaving them online to be viewed by potential employers… This can depend on the company you are applying to.
Stand Out From The Crowd
There has been a huge influx over the last 5 or 6 years of new web designers graduating from the colleges and universities here in the UK. The industry has got a whole lot more competitive! You need to stand out from the crowd, have something the others don’t. I lose track of the amount of times I have seen very similar websites being churned out by graduates hoping to land a job, not one of them has had their own BLOG!
Blogs are a fantastic tool when looking for a job, they give the employers an insight into your knowledge, employers love to see people who have had the initiative to set their own portfolio site up, even better if they have an active blog on it.
If there is one piece of advice I hope you take away from this post it would be set your own blog up.
“but what do I blog about?”
I hear this a lot too, it doesn’t matter to some degree what you are blogging about, just get started, try to keep blogging regularly too. Blog about what you have done at college or uni which is related to the web industry, blog about that new jQuery script you have just figured out. Anything really which will show that you have a keen interest in your chosen industry!
Once your blog is up and running, Join Twitter! Get speaking to other people in the industry, show them what you are working on, they will more than likely give you some tips on how to improve or alternatively share what you have been doing (which can only be a good thing).
Remember Networking is vital in our industry, if you want some tips on how to build a network please read my previous blog post.
Now you have your blog in place, and you have removed all the embarrassing photos from your social media profiles it is time to create your CV and email it out.
What info to put on your CV
Be honest here, don’t make experience up, I have interviewed people who have done exactly this, they get caught out when being questioned by an experienced professional.
Make sure your CV is relevant to the job you are applying for, we don’t want to know that your first job was sweeping the floors in a fruit & veg shop (yes this was my first job), as an employer we are really only interested in your relevant experience.
There is obviously the standard stuff to put on your CV, Name, Address, Contact Details, Education, Work Experience etc…
Your Personal Statement / Covering Letter
You should always write at least 2-3 paragraphs for your personal statement or covering letter. This is the first thing employers will read, make sure you sell yourself! Describe your strengths and try to portray your enthusiasm for the job role.
TELL ME WHY I SHOULD EMPLOY YOU!
It is important to tailor this personal statement to the company or individual you are seeking employment with. Make sure the contents of this letter are relevant to the job role.
Send It Out!
The are two main ways to get your CV out there, the first is to find yourself a recruitment agency, submit your CV and let them do the hard work of finding you a job. Be careful as some agencies are specialists in certain areas, and some potential employers won’t deal with agencies.
The second, and by far the most impressive if done correctly is to direct email the companies you wish to work for. This can be difficult if you don’t know who to send your CV to within the company, my advice is to first check their website for a “recruitment” page, if they don’t have one you need to get creative, some examples are:
- Follow the company on Twitter, and approach them this way.
- Find the company on LinkedIn and approach them this way.
- Find the company on FaceBook and contact them via their profile.
- Use “www.companycheck.co.uk” to find out who the head honcho is in a company and mail them, yes write a letter!
Finally, remember once you have found out the correct person to deal with, tailor your covering letter to be addressed to this person.
Ok now we are getting to the fun part, THE INTERVIEW (cue the scary music). Interviews are wonderful things, they are nothing to get nervous about. Honestly they aren’t, and this is why, THE EMPLOYER CHOSE YOU, out of the numerous CVs they have seen they have pulled yours out to one side because guess what… They were impressed or they liked what they saw!
This automatically should make you feel confidant, confidence is important in the interview and there are various things you can do to help yourself.
Be prepared, research the company you are going to have an interview with. Find out their products and services.
Discover who the bosses are (www.companycheck.co.uk), dig about into their company history, check “companies house” for information, you can discover a lot by using the “WebCheck” service.
Review the company and produce a list of questions which you want to find out answers to.
Know Your Strengths
Understand what you are good at (and what you aren’t) these will become key points to talk about in the interview, note down your strengths so you have a prompt on what to discuss.
Simple really, apply for a job to suit your level of knowledge, if you are new to the industry don’t apply for a managers role, instead try to find an entry level job.
You won’t get every job you apply for, that is a certain Fact! Don’t get down hearted, be persistent continue the process above, continually improve your skills and continue to add to your blog. Remember the employer who is interviewing you liked your CV and was impressed with your skills and experiences, he has short listed you to work for him! Take this as a positive!
Thanks for reading.
Andy – @Andy_Morley