Part of my job role is looking after a team of Front End Developers, recently we have been in the market for some additional people. Unfortunately, the initial application from most candidates is lacking some fundamental aspect(s) which results in a lack of interest on our part.
This is such an important part of the application. Whether a company asks for one or not, you need to explain to the company why you feel you would be the perfect fit for them. Tell them how your skills match the requirements and how passionate you are about front end development. A compliment about the co
mpany, based on your knowledge of them, will also go a long way. It shows that you have researched the company and are not just spamming everyone with a vacancy with your CV.
No matter how good your CV or portfolio is, a covering letter just shows that you care.
Spelling, Grammar, and Tone
Don’t just rely on Microsoft Word, consider using free online services such as Grammarly – who provide a more comprehensive check of your text. No matter what you use to check your spelling and grammar, they are not always right! In this article alone there are 3 change suggestions that Grammarly has made which I disagree with. In these cases, I have gone with my judgment.
Also, make sure you read your text through a couple of times and if possible have someone else read it for you. Consider how others may interpret the tone behind your words. What sounds perfectly innocent to you, could make you sound arrogant or inconsiderate to others. I often find reading something aloud gives me another perspective.
Whether you are a hobbyist or have years of commercial experience, you NEED a portfolio.
Would a football club take on a new player without watching them play? Would a designer be hired without first demonstrating their creativity? Would a nuclear power plant hire a safety inspector who couldn’t demonstrate that they can protect the employees? Hopefully the answer would always be no!
As someone who is applying for a Front End Developers position, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the skills that are listed on your CV. If you are lucky enough to have some live websites you have worked on in the last 12 months then including links to them may be enough. However, if you do not then it is imperative that you create something yourself. The best thing is, you don’t need completed sites in your portfolio. Small snippets that demonstrate your understanding of a variety of specific topics are great. Responsive, inline HTML5 video, Tabbed content, carousels, slideshows, etc etc – There are so many things you could put together to show off your skills. The other great thing about small snippets is that they are easy to maintain going forward, as technology changes or your skills improve you can update each one individually in minutes or hours instead of days.