You’ve learned many different skills and languages on your journey into tech, and now comes the hardest part of all — the job search. Job hunting can be a complete pain at the best of times, so we’ve put together this quick guide on how to find your perfect WordPress developer job.
Editor’s Note: Check out careers at Howard Development & Consulting for an opportunities to join Understrap team
First, if your resume has dust on it, it may be time to redo it
There are so many (unfair) ways in which employers use resume errors to disqualify good candidates. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) and formatting issues are the biggest ways to have your resume skipped over. The solution?
You should have an updated resume (ideally not more than one-year-old). It seems like every year the requirements for what makes a good resume change — and that’s because they do! Submitting an older formatted resume may give the employer the impression that you’re not serious about your job search. Also, you want to make sure all of your skills and education are properly updated and tailored to the job you’re applying for so you look your best.
This does not mean you have to spend extra money with resume writing services (although that’s a valid option if you want to). Public libraries and Goodwill job connection are two free local resources that often offer free resume writing and editing. The following resources also offer up to date resume writing tips for free:
Update your LinkedIn!
LinkedIn has waned in popularity among the developer community in the last few years but that does not mean that it is not still useful. LinkedIn is not only a way to network with professionals, but their job search engine is also one of the best online. It allows you to sort jobs by location, experience level, industry, and many other variables — including time posted. This is important because applying to jobs that have been recently posted can give you an edge over others. It also allows you to save time by not applying to an old job posting that may have been left up by mistake. Another important reason to update and use LinkedIn is that their job postings usually have direct contact information for the hiring owner/manager. The best way to get your resume in front of the hiring manager is by direct contact which most job search engines hide. The last reason why LinkedIn is so important is that hiring managers use it to look for new talent. If everything is up to date, you have a higher chance of being scouted and interviewed.
Create a portfolio and keep it up to date
The best way to show you’re the person for the job is to showcase some of your past work. Having a portfolio will put you ahead of the other applicants. Remember, you’re competing against thousands of other developers and you want to make sure you stand out.
Your portfolio should include:
- Your contact information (name, email, phone number)
- Your resume (this can be written on the site or lined to for download)
- Your skills (this should not only include programming and design skills but also other relevant job related skills)
- Your education (if you are self-taught don’t be afraid to list that as well!)
- Most importantly your work! Having examples and links to projects you have done is the best way to show your skills off.
The saying, “It’s about who you know, not what you know” is true to an extent in job hunting. You’ll definitely need to know how to do your job, but sometimes getting in the door is all about who you can meet. Networking is great in many different ways. You’ll get the chance to meet others in your field, you’ll get to ask questions and learn more about the different types of jobs available to you, and you’ll have the opportunity to get in front of a hiring manager or someone who is in a position to refer you to a job.
The best ways to network are:
- LinkedIn — Good for job searches, resume services, and its original purpose — networking! So many people reach out on LinkedIn for jobs, education, and just general help with trying to score their dream job.
- Local Community Mixers — While a lot of jobs have gone remote recently, the vast majority of jobs are still in person. Going to local mixers and social events for job seekers is a good way to meet local professionals in your industry. Some have even gone to weekly/monthly video chat meetups for a safer meetup. Eventbrite is a very good resource for finding these events online or in person.
- Social Media — A lot of people use Facebook and Twitter but not a lot know that many employers post job ads on these sites as well. As with LinkedIn, the sites give you a greater opportunity to get your resume directly in front of the hiring manager. Just typing in “hiring wordpress developer” brings up jobs within a recent time frame.
Keep a record of where and when you applied to a position
Keeping track of where you apply can be very important. It prevents you from double-applying to the same job which some employers, unfortunately, see as a red flag. It also can give you a leg up on other applicants. There will be times where you get all the way to the final interview, and you’re not selected. This doesn’t always mean your journey with this company is over. There are many interviews that get to the end of the search process without selecting anyone at all and have to restart their process all over again. Why is that good for you? It’s another chance to apply. Taking your feedback from your interviews and previous experience could get you the job on your second try.
On the other hand, keeping track of when and where you apply may keep you from reapplying to a job that you had an absolutely awful experience with. If you don’t think you are a good fit then your time is better served applying to different jobs.
Keep track of your applications using an Excel or Google Sheets document listing the date, name, and location of the company as well as the way you applied, where you found the job, and if you received a response. Here is one I did a few years ago:
Take breaks when you need to!
If you’ve been job searching for a long time, sometimes the last thing that you want to hear is to take a break. However, a break is sometimes the most important thing you can do for yourself. It’s easy to get discouraged when applying for jobs, especially when you’ve been on the search for a long time. That’s why taking healthy breaks to prevent burnout is key. If your mind is clouded by worry, it’s easier to make a mistake. These mistakes can lead to a missed opportunity and make your search even longer.
Try meditation, getting out of the house for fresh air, or any activity which brings you peace and helps you relax. Once you are calmed and ready to get back on your search, you’ll notice that you can proceed more calmly and with less stress and worry.
Good luck with your job search! With these tips, you’ll see your job search become easier, less stressful, and more successful.