Freelance Omen! 9 Ways Not To Get Hired

written by aext on April 18, 2010 in Freelance & Business with 43 comments

There are many things an employer will look for when interviewing for a new employee, and most people know these, but what no-one talks about is the things you shouldn’t do. So here I have compiled a list of ways to not get yourself hired and why. Some of these also apply to what you add into your work.

Never call yourself a “Webmaster”!

I'm a Webmaster

Anyone who knows anything, knows that if you call yourself a “webmaster” then you probably aren’t a master of anything. The term “Webmaster” has become a translation of the word “amateur”. The web has diversified into so many different ‘realms’ that the word webmaster is no longer meaningful. (Was it ever though?)

Don’t call yourself a FrontPage Expert

Any developers / designers with a degree know that Microsoft FrontPage most definitely isn’t a professional tool. FrontPage will pass for Mom and Dad who want to create a website dedicated to their dogs, not someone who’s trying to do business. I’d argue that a solid Web Developer should work at code level, or at least use a program such as Dreamweaver or the likes.

I’ll Submit Your Website to [Inflated Number Here] Search Engines

i will handle search engine submission for you

Submitting your website to hundreds of search engines would be great… 10 years ago. Websites are indexed by relevant search engines by how rich their content and keywords are. Search engine optimization is big business and submitting sites to search engines simply isn’t the way to get to the top of… well, anything really.

Don’t ask for a “Designed By ….” Plug on the Bottom of Every Page

These people pay you to create a marketing tool for them — not a billboard for you. A website is a launch pad for a business and Poindexter Mcdonald is simply the man behind the curtain – don’t hesitate to STAY THERE.

I Created a Cool Website for [Insert Family Member / Friend Here]

Your business needs someone who’s been there before. The most common answer to my “Who was he and what business did they work for?” question is “Oh, he did a website for the CEO’s daughter’s [insert lame organization here].” I honestly hear that friend-of-a-friend story all the time. Choose someone with a sizable portfolio that can provide references.

I Can Make You a Great Splash Page Flash Animation

wasting time for splash page

Translation: “I can spend dozens of hours wasting your money to create something that will take too long to load and will be skipped more times than dessert at a bad restaurant.” Consistency and website flow are important to web design — not meaningless animations that waste visitors’ time and your client’s money.

Never Mention You’re a HTML Expert

Who the hell isn’t? I would argue that dropping any language acronym on a customer (PHP, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, etc.) unless they ask is meaningless fluff. A mechanic could use a banana on my car if it would fix it. Keep your tools, especially HTML, to yourself — the customer doesn’t care.

I’ll Fit a Cool Counter on Your Site

showing counter website

You’ll add an ugly relic of the early internet on their site so that my competitors have an idea of my web stats? Sweet!
Counters make a website look as unprofessional as possible — don’t use them.

I’ll Place a “Best If Viewed in…” Message on Your Website

Any real Web Developer knows that he doesn’t make the rules. Follow standards in the initial build and then fix it in Internet Explorer — that’s the flow. No responsible programmer would place a “best if view in…” message on the front-end of a website.

That’s my low-down on the don’ts for developers. This can also be used in reverse by employers. Watch out for any of the above as it will either prove you are amateur or make you look it, and remember, IF THEY DON’T ASK THEN THEY DON’T WANT TO KNOW!