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Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a full-time position or if you're employed and exploring new opportunities, a good resume can help you stand out.
March 16, 2023
There are currently more than 35,000 web developers employed in Canada, according to Canada’s JobBank. And that number is expected to climb, with the demand for web developers in this country projected to grow at a higher rate than the average of all occupations.
Does this mean landing one of these coveted roles is a slam-dunk? No. Regardless of their experience and qualifications, candidates still need to progress through a multi-stage, competitive hiring process.
And the first step is to create a resume that stands out.
Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a full-time position or are currently employed and exploring other opportunities, a good resume and portfolio can help you stand out from the crowd, enabling hiring managers to quickly assess how your technical abilities align with their organizational needs, so they can (hopefully) shortlist you to move on to the next stage: an interview.
To demonstrate your expertise (full-stack, front-end, back-end, web design, etc.) and programming languages (HTML, Java, CSS, PHP, etc.), we recommend you develop a visual, skills-based resume to make it easy for hiring managers to determine your suitability for the role.
✅ Step 1: Determine what they are asking for in the job description
Since every organization is unique and looks for different things in a successful web developer candidate, it’s best to always tailor your resume to each job you are applying for, highlighting only those skills and technical abilities that are most relevant to the role. While it might be tempting to do so, avoid submitting the same resume to multiple job postings.
This is especially important when applying to companies that use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). When applying to these roles, tailor your resume to reflect the phrasing and language used in the job description, making sure it meets enough of the requirements to pass this initial screening and is flagged for review by an actual employee in the hiring process.
✅ Step 2. Do your research on the company
Recruiters and hiring managers for web developer roles typically sift through hundreds of resumes. To help your application stand out, read up on the company, assess its current and future website needs and adjust your resume to show how you’re the ideal candidate to help address them.
For example, when looking at the company’s website, determine what platform and functionalities they’re using, note any errors you see and assess whether the site is responsive (mobile friendly).
This information will not only help you create a resume that stands out, but it will help you prepare if you are chosen to move forward with an interview.
We recommend including the following sections in your resume:
Start with a full resume that includes an extensive list of all your experience, skills, technical abilities, achievements, special projects, education, certifications and more. This will act as the “master resume” that you can tailor or customize for each application. Remember to list only those skills most relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Popular technical skills to include on your web developer resume
Since technologies and trends are constantly evolving, be sure to stay current with the latest tools and languages in your industry and always reflect this expertise on your resume.
Popular technical skills include:
Popular soft skills to include on your web developer resume
It’s not only about technical skills. Web developers need to work on or lead teams and communicate with clients or customers, so it’s also important to highlight your soft skills, too.
✨ Tip: Rather than just listing a bunch of soft skills, try to incorporate them into your experience section, showing how you improved something (for example, by problem-solving or being creative) or drove better results for your employer.
Popular soft skills include:
“Update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your resume as it’s often the first page a prospective client and/or recruiter will review, along with your portfolio. Be sure to include your technical skills/programming languages in the descriptions of your various projects, because recruiters will often perform technical, skills-based searches for Web Developers on LinkedIn.” - James McLaughlin, Recruitment Manager, Altis Technology.
One of the best things a web developer can do is create an online portfolio to complement their resume, showcasing their web development skills in action. ✨Tip: Be sure to have a custom domain and URL.
Make sure your contact information is clearly visible and easy to use, with an active link for your email address. Include links to any relevant, professional social media profiles such as your LinkedIn or GitHub profiles (avoid listing social media platforms that are not relevant to your career).
Include a bio/about section with more information about you and your career. Be precise, while also highlighting your personality, so the hiring manager or recruiter feels more connected to you as a person. You can also include a headshot or professional photo in this section.
Your portfolio should include the previous projects that you worked on, with the appropriate details and accomplishments for each to provide context. For example, include the dates, client name, description of the work, challenges, quantifiable results, objectives, code samples, screenshots, etc. Bonus: For each project, add a testimonial from your previous employer or client to boost your credibility.
In addition to your professional projects, you can also include some of your favourite personal projects, such as those for friends and family members, or online games and quizzes you created—anything to further demonstrate your skills and capabilities.
✨ Tip: Beef up your portfolio by adding sections from your resume such as awards, education, certifications and more. And be sure to link your portfolio back to your resume by having your resume available for download as well.
It is always a best practice to have someone else (friends or family members) review your resume and portfolio, checking for formatting errors, typos and grammatical mistakes, while also ensuring all links and functionality are in proper working order.
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