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September 30, 2014
Tips for Getting Your First Web or Digital Job
There is a lot of different advice available on getting your first job in the web or digital arena. Even though there are lots of jobs available, it’s crucial to know how to look for them and which steps to take. The essential steps begin with building the fundamental tools that will get employers and possible clients interested and get your work noticed.

Before looking for a job, you need to consider your options: are you prepared to freelance, or do you need to hold down a job? It’s good to start with building your own website where people can view your work. You can also reach out to local organizations, personal friends or family, and businesses that will help you take on projects to gain some experience and create a basis for your portfolio.

Your resume and portfolio should be the primary reflection of your creativity and talent, and a message that you will benefit the agency you are applying to. Make sure that it’s captivating and customized. Agencies are constantly on the lookout for new talent and interested in seeing something they haven’t before. It should contain some links to your personal work as well as some freelance work that you’ve done showing your unique style. Creating at least one distinctive project will help you stand out and encourage employers to remember you.

It can also be very helpful to network with people on the media like LinkedIn, Behance, and Dribbble. These powerful networking tools can be extremely useful in getting you and your work out into the community of professionals already in your field and connecting with them. By creating a profile that highlights your skills, experience, expertise, and key "buzz" words, you attract potential employers and advertise yourself. You can use LinkedIn to follow companies or search for jobs that you’re interested in related to the location, and be notified of their vacancies. You can also network with people in your industry at conferences and events.

There are a number of ways to look for work. In your search for a job, specify your search to “web developer job boards” and check these websites constantly. Be willing to send out some cold emails to people or businesses you come across to show your eagerness and passion. If there is a specific market that you want to penetrate, you can offer to do some work for a local company, which will promote their products while promoting yourself as well. Starting with personal projects and getting your momentum going with some local clients will lead the way towards more work opportunities.

One of the most important pieces of advice is to stay in control of delivering your product, especially as a freelancer. Put enough time into each of your projects so that each client is happy, resulting in helping you gather positive referrals for future opportunities. Know your level of skill before accepting any projects and establish a sensible rate so that you can deliver the best value of your service to your customer. Remember: you are a representation of your own personal brand and its high level of customer service.

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Monique Rivers is an Australian tech blogger who also loves good food and fashion. She works at ninefold.com. Ninefold is a powerful Ruby on Rails platform, that allows you to deploy Rails apps quickly and easily. www.ninefold.com
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