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That's the number one question (IMHO) to ask a new hire, particularly if they have little paid "real world" experience. The ones that are passionate about something will have experimented and have something tangible to show for it.
You've got a portfolio that backs up the skills listed on your resume, so I think you're on the right track. Just make sure the sites are available during an interview.
should i even bother applying for them if i dont know the first thing about them.
or should i take the chance, apply and hope that the company will teach me?
If you want a web dev job, would recommend taking some time to learn something like PHP with MySQL as well as learn about server management (.htaccess, virtual hosts, Apache configuration etc.). You should concentrate on building your portfolio either with freelance work or by offering your services to local charities or non-profit organizations. For larger companies, either ASP.NET or Java will probably be required.
If you don't want to ge down the programming route, you could always go down the graphic design route, which would mean learning Photoshop/Illustrator as well as Flash animation and building a design portfolio.
if going for graphic design, create lots of designs - they don't need to be working sites, just designs that can be turned into working sites
if going for programming, create lots of working sites - they don't need to look good, but they must work well (faultlessly!) and you must be able to show come of your coding skills
as for qualifications, forget home study webmaster courses, go for a higher level qualification like degree (BSc / BA) etc
In reality landing a good position is incredibly difficult. It doesnt really matter what qualifications you have on paper, the main concern will almost certainly be "let me see your portfolio".
The is mighty importaint to get your portfolio filled up with as may high quality pieces of work as possible.
For many designers getting the foot on the ladder very often involves offering your services for free to non-profits and charities. This works well for both sides, you get a site to boost your profile as a designer, and the non-profit receives free high quality work. This is definatly something to look into.
You should learn a good scripting language like PHP or ASP, maybe Perl. Throw in connecting that to a database like MySQL and and the ability to add CSS then you have something marketable.
Less than those basics, you are probably not going to go very far these days.