How to Get Your First Job as a Web Developer: A Guide in 8 Steps
Preparing to enter the coding world and land your first job as a junior web developer can be challenging. Whether you are new to coding, or already have the skills to do the job, we will help guide you to your dream web developer position while keeping the process stress-free.
Think of your job search as a funnel: the further you are through the cycle, the closer you are to your dream job. Approaching your job search like this will help set you up for success and keep you on track toward your goals.
We have outlined eight steps that will help you keep focus and get an offer for your dream junior web developer job.
- Determine Your Goals and Objectives
- Break Down Your Short-Term Goals
- Build a Support System Around You
- Network with Peers and Industry Experts
- Dedicate Enough Time
- Stay Motivated and Keep Moving
- Acknowledge Your Accomplishments
- Always Follow Up
Let’s look at each step in more detail.
1. Determine Your Goals and Objectives
Your current focus is to find a job, but what are your goals and objectives for the months that follow? Don’t just think about them – write them down with details and action items that can be measured. Think beyond the basic “I’ll take any job that comes my way” and instead identify tangible variables like industry, title and company to create a clear outline of what’s required to find a job you actually want, while also working toward your long-term goals.
2. Break Down Your Short-Term Goals
Setting long-term goals is just the first step toward your employment success; you should also create a strategy for achieving smaller, short-term goals. These will help keep you motivated and moving forward toward achieving your larger objectives within your search funnel for a junior web developer job. For example, if your long-term plan is to work in a specific industry within one year, you’ll need a tailored path to get there.
Updating your resume and portfolio, networking with industry professionals, and taking extra courses are just a few of the short-term goals you may want to consider adding to your action plan. When you take our bootcamp program, you will enjoy opportunities for networking, portfolio building and resume support.
Need help creating an impressive resume? Check out our previous blog post with 5 Tips for Writing a Great Web Developer Resume.
3. Build a Support System Around You
Rejection is one of the most challenging things you will face as a new or senior web developer. Staying positive and motivated can be very difficult when confronted with a steady stream of “we have decided to pursue other candidates” from hiring managers. So, what’s the best way to endure rejection and remain positive when searching for a job? A solid support system.
Try teaming up with someone who will hold you accountable throughout the entire process, regardless of how challenging your search becomes. Choose someone you trust and respect: spouses, colleagues, family members and friends can all make solid accountability partners during your job search. You may also consider reaching out to teachers or industry professionals for guidance.
Once you’ve built up your support system, give those people the green light to offer you honest feedback, regularly check in on you and offer support and encouragement as you keep searching for the perfect junior web developer jobs.
4. Network with Peers and Industry Experts
While solid skills and experience are key components to any job search, who you know is often just as important. Start growing your professional network as early as possible. Industry events, support groups, coaching sessions and even online groups are all great ways to build connections with others in the coding field. This will not only grant you direct access to helpful hiring information, but you will also have the opportunity to share and discuss relevant industry details that can prove to be extremely helpful in interview situations.
5. Dedicate Enough Time
Many job-seekers are surprised to learn just how long the search can be. Go into the process with an understanding that your search will require a considerable amount of time each week and plan accordingly to accelerate the process. Keep in mind that for every web developer job, there are likely hundreds or even thousands of applicants. This can influence the length of your job hunt and interview process. In short, treat your search like a job until you secure the role you want.
6. Stay Motivated and Keep Moving
After you’ve established your long and short-term goals, created a support system and acknowledged that the process is a marathon and not a sprint, it’s time to take action. Start with your smaller objectives, completing each one as thoroughly as possible. Check off each item as you complete them and move on to your next goal. The constant cycle of actions followed by accomplishments can generate the momentum to drive you forward in the job search process.
7. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments
Job hunting for a junior web developer role can often be challenging and discouraging. However, as you start achieving your goals and gain traction in the process, you’ll discover that there’s plenty to celebrate. Always take note of your progress and accomplishments, celebrating major milestones at each step. These milestones may include a phone screening, interview invitation or post-interview assignment.
Acknowledge your achievements (i.e phone screening, interview invitation etc.) by rewarding yourself with something reasonable that means something to you—whether that’s an exciting purchase, a small getaway or simply an episode of your favorite show. Celebrating both big and small wins can help ease the feeling of rejection and keep you motivated as you begin the next item on your goals list.
8. Always Follow Up
Today’s growing market for web developer jobs means it is crucial for candidates to stand out from the competition at each step of the hiring process, particularly during the interview stage. After you’ve demonstrated your skills, talent and collaboration abilities, follow up with every hiring manager to thank them for their time and reinforce key items discussed during the interview. This practice may seem outdated, but a friendly follow-up note can help differentiate you from the many other applicants seeking the same opportunity.
The path to landing one of today’s many web developer jobs takes dedication and commitment. The process can be stressful, particularly for someone who is changing fields or re-entering the workforce after a few years. Many applicants find themselves overwhelmed as they compete for open coding jobs with the masses of other candidates vying for the same position. By following this guide, you can eliminate some of the stress in the process and bring yourself one step closer to your dream coding job.
If you choose our online coding boot camp program, you will enjoy the help of a career services team to help make your search for web developer jobs even easier. This support includes portfolio reviews, technical interview training, resume support and much more.
Learn more about University of Arizona Online Coding Boot Camp by filling out the form below.