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Here's my dilemna. All my prior experience is in the banking industry. I quit this field because it made me so miserable. I tried my hand at doing some freelance web design/development. But it's just too much waiting and unpredictable. I want to try and get a job doing "webmaster" stuff for a corporation.
Unfortunately, my resume is quite small (4 websites to be exact)I'm not sure this would be appealing to a perspective employer. My skills or more than adequate.
My questions is this. Would it be wrong to build fictitios web sites to put on my resume to make it look more appealing? I really want to do this thing right but I'm running out of solutions. Not to mention the rent is due.
Can you guys give me an opinion on this one?
That way, not only do you actually get more practice at the skills the employer is likely to be looking for, but you've got a whole range of 'work' to show off at an interview (or put links for on the resume).
Design and web-related fields are one of the few areas where a portfolio can get you a job by itself, where a degree or years of 'resume filler' experience can't. Take advantage of that! :)
That's kind of what I meant when I said, "fictitious websites." So do you think it's ok to build various different webs just to display my work; fictitious or not?
The domain idea: I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem having a long subdomain name for various webs but how about when you have to put these usually long subdomain urls on a paper resume. I'm not sure that would be ideal. Do you guys think I should purchase a couple urls to make it look more professional?
If you don't know what charities to go after look around your community for medium sized organizations. Think:
* youth soccer clubs or other sports,
* local youth organizations (street counseling),
* local job search assistance organizations,
* drug addiction counseling organizations,
* hospital fund raising groups,
The list is endless. The only downsides are cutting the ties (and links) when you become employed and its pays little or nothing in the short-term.
From a resume standpoint, focus on a functional rather than a chronological resume. Many employers don't like them, but it's the best way to showcase your skills without overemphasizing your limited employment history. Doing some free sites for charitable organizations would be a plus, too.
BTW, on both your sites and resume, do a spell check and have an experienced writer/editor check them out. I know forum posts aren't illustrative of anyone's best writing, but it looks like spelling may not be your strong suit. Nothing turns an employer off faster than a resume or cover letter with spelling or other errors, and a web site with errors is an even bigger faux pas.
When you're saying "webs" that's generally referred to with FP or some free hosting sites that use templates, where they call different subfolders sites or webs.
Having long subdomain names is a problem, especially the way some are set up with totally irrelevant banner ads running. Take a regular domain name, it looks more professional. One domain is all that's needed with intuitive navigation to show legitimately presented work examples.
And if you don't "feel" like a professional to begin with, don't worry about it. It's OK until you get a bit established because some people out there aren't willing or able to pay professional prices. Forget about not willing, they're generally a pain under any circumstances but some folks truly don't have much to get started and could have wonderful sites given half a chance.
It can quite often be a reciprocal thing over the long term, too. You help some deserving people out by giving them a bargain deal, you get a genuine portfolio item with a link back and PR in return, and some of them turn into incredible sources of referrals down the line.
You can do some little bit of freelancing while you're looking for employment and have a showcase with a little variety. Some people put up what they call a "gallery" with examples of the graphics and design they can do. They're not even presented as client sites, just the type of portfolio a print artist uses to diplay work in one of those big folder type things in the real world.
But not for a business site, looking to become a professional. You can get a domain name and hosting for a year, both for $25 or less. Or at least a domain name with free hosting (not redirected) is better, that's $9 a year. Just take the name directly from a regular registrar independent of the host; that can lead to problems except for an odd exception here and there.
At least that way you can get to use SSI and/or PHP and CGI and build your demonstrated skill level if you need to. You can always change hosting with a domain name. Not so with a subdomain on a free site.
It's OK for some type of resumes, but for what you're looking to do, unless your previous job experience relates it's more important list and if possible demonstrate what specific skills you have that employers might be needing.
Some people simply can't afford even $9 for a domain name. Those folks should just start where they are and do the best they can. I once did a site as a favor for someone who was counting out loose change to put gasoline in the car - and ended up supporting a household from the website, with enough extra to take the family on vacations - on a free host. It depends a lot on the target market.
If someone really wants something, if times are tough, as they often can be especially in between jobs, they can start where they are and move ahead when they can.
If I were you, I'd volonteer to work on an already established, preferably large website. Such an opportunity is not that hard to find.
Find a cause you're interested in, find your local chapter, and offer to help design/redesign/manage their website. Not only will that give you a 'real' website for your resume, but you'll also be able to put your volunteer community work in your resume (which many employers tend to love!).
A lot of good work on websites is a great thing, and I consider it heavily, however...
Positive experience in a work environment is worth 5 well-made websites to me.
I've had great designers and programmers who didn't work well in a real work environment, and this inability to communicate/cooperate/change was more of a hindrance than anything else. On the flipside, I've had people who came to our company with no knowledge of how the web worked -- but because they were hard workers with team experience and a willingness to learn, they became some of our best employees.