4 Online Job Search Tips for Web Developers to Remember

By Kathleen Taylor, Bud E. Smith

Part of Getting a Web Development Job For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Searching online for web development jobs is kind of fun, like playing a video game with tens of thousands of dollars in prize money. Also, while you’re looking for a job, every new listing has the potential to represent perfection – an easier commute, new challenges, more interesting colleagues, a tolerant boss, and work/life balance. Reality, of course, hits soon enough whenever you actually start a new web dev job.

Here are a few tips to help make your web-development job search easier:

  • Look when you don’t need a job. Looking at job postings online keeps you up to speed with new tools and technologies that employers are looking for, lets you know where in your area jobs tend to be concentrated geographically, and more. If you know what’s needed, you can work the hot new tool, for instance, into your current projects so that you’re ready with relevant experience when it’s time to look for a job again.

  • Get your resume in shape with these online tools:

    Download this resume template to use in creating your own:

    And check out this sample resume for ideas.

  • Search only in places that are easy to get to. Both authors live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area, and there are many jobs that aren’t really practical for each of us to look at. However, it’s very tempting to apply for a job at that hot new startup in San Jose when you live in Oakland. (It’s about 45 miles away, but about a two-hour drive during rush hour.) Just don’t do it; search first in the areas that are easy for you to get to.

  • Use the phone. Job listings are often cut-and-pasted from previous geologic eras of job search, meaning perhaps just two or three years ago. They can be out of date, and things you don’t like — misspellings, confusing job descriptions, out-of-date technologies and tools — may be an artifact of the process, not a true representation of the opportunity. (The same goes, of course, for things that you do like about the job posting.)

    If the listing is confusing, call to ask questions before you respond. And if the listing looks great, go ahead and apply online, but then give the recruiter a call. You’ll avoid wasting very much of your time — and you’ll stand out head and shoulders among people who just send in their resumes.