What potential employers look for

by Joe Gillespie — Jul 1, 2002

Quite different from the client's cursory flick through your work, the employer will want to dig deeper. This is not a one-off job but a longer-term relationship and probably not just between two people. A potential employer will be looking for unique skills that you can add to his or her team and also how you will fit into that team at a personal level.

Also, an employer will want to look behind-the-scenes of your Web pages. Clients won't care too much about this but employers will. Even after you have impressed them with what is on the page, they will look at how well you have dealt with the HTML markup and JavaScript code - this can be very telling. Are all the correct elements there? DocType? Encoding? Meta Tags? Are you working to modern Web standards or still using obsolete and deprecated HTML tags?

There's no hard and fast rule, and it depends on the particular situation you are applying for. Someone who produces stunning graphics will have different qualities to one that specialises in coding and that will be taken into account. Even though graphics or coding is not your thing, you should be aware of what is happening around you.

If you are of a 'right brain' disposition and you can produce good-looking sites, the fact that you have used off-the-shelf JavaScript actions is acceptable. If you are trying to sell yourself on your coding abilities, those telltale signatures of Dreamweaver or GoLive JavaScript functions are easily spotted and don't look too good.

There's nothing wrong with using a WYSIWYG editor provided you can show that you are controlling it and it's not the other way around. Finicky hand-coding might be efficient from a page rendering point of view but few people will be impressed with it if it takes twice as long and they can't see any advantages in the final result.

It's certainly good to know how to hand-code but it's not the only factor in the equation.

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