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Getting your first web design job

We're in the middle of recruiting for a new web design post at the moment and it still amazes me that despite the wealth of information available on the web on how to write a good CV / application, applicants can still get it so wrong. For what it's worth, here's a quick and dirty run down on how to make sure your application at least makes it somewhere towards the top of the pile.

Your CV

This bit of paper isn't just to list your qualifications and employment history on. It should shout at the employer that they should hire you now and never mind about the other candidates. When you're applying for a design related job, showcase your design talent. Simply going with a standard template doesn't really encourage me that you are a competant designer. I want to see something that's nicely laid out, allows me to easily see what you've been up to lately and whether you have the skills I'm looking for. If I have to trawl through it line by line to try and figure out what you've done, you're likely to end up in the bin.


I'm a firm believer that a good eye for design can't really be taught. So whilst you may list on your application that you've done hundreds of sites, if I can't see any evidence of it, it means nothing to me. You're apply for a web design job, so a quick and easy win to prove that you are the person I'm looking for is to make sure that not only does your site look good, but that you actually have one. If I was to see a well designed portfolio with examples of all your great work, you'd almost be guaranteed an interview regardless of whether you have a PhD or a leaving certificate.

Stick to the Point

My time is short and I've got loads of applications to go through. So it's a good bet that I'm only going to skim read your CV / Application. I really don't want to know your life history from birth to the present day. Whilst I'm sure it's very interesting, I'm only interested in the bits that apply to the job you're going to be doing. Whilst it's good to be able to build up a picture of the person, if you put too much in the danger is I'll start skipping over it and miss something that is actually important.

Email Addresses

No doubt during high school and University it was great to have a wacky email address, but when you're applying for jobs, get a decent one. I don't want to see anything that describes your character in this, simply your name.

Make my life easy!

This is the golden rule for almost every employer. If you make my life easy, I'll almost certainly remember you. Give me a well designed CV that shouts your credentials and a portfolio site to back it up and I'll wave you through to the next round with much fanfare and cheering.