This post was published in February 2011, so the information in the post or about me in the sidebar may no longer be correct.


As part of my placement at GSK, I’ve been helping look at the job applications for next year’s version of me. Here are a few things that I didn’t realise when I was applying last February, but which I’d definitely change if I had to do it all over again.

Note that I’m just me; if you’re looking for “Company Policy”, you’re most definitely in the wrong place. I’m (thankfully and obviously!) not the only person looking at these applications and I don’t have a huge amount of experience, but I’d like to think I might know what’s good in a job application for a front-end web person:

  1. If you have a decent, established web presence (i.e. you have a site and search results for your name contain more than one that’s obviously about you): link to yourself all over the bloody application. That might be going a little far, but definitely use your own domain as a contact email address and link to your site if there’s an ‘additional information’ section. It puts you ahead of the competition. Bonus points if your site actually has decent content and seems well looked-after.
  2. Module results don’t really matter: that doesn’t mean anybody could get 2 GCSEs and just pop right in. But first-year results aren’t as important as I was led to believe, for this specific job at least. I reckon that having loads of web-related experience is much more important than doing 10% better at university.
  3. PROOFREAD & SPELLCHECK. Seriously. The number of applications that come in with things like “Glaxosmithkline” or “Glaxo smithkline” is terrifying. I’m sounding picky; but if you can’t get the name of the company you’re applying for right, why bother?

Related listening: 37signals Podcast, Episode #25: Hiring or read the transcript.

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