Knowing what you actually want to do is half the battle when it comes to choosing your career. That being said, as potential candidates, what can you do to win the war?
Knowing your career path is certainly a great start – and with the digital sector proving to be one of the fastest growing industries in the UK, it’s easy to understand why more graduates each year are choosing to work in the digital industry. But without experience just how do you get your foot in the door?
Well the good news is you don’t have to be a computer whiz to get a job in digital. With different skill sets required and new roles emerging all the time, there are plenty of opportunities for candidates who can demonstrate initiative and show attention to detail.
As an internal recruiter for Search Laboratory, it is my job to recruit and retain the best talent on the market. With career opportunities in the digital sector on the rise, applying for jobs in this industry can be quite competitive. To really stand out from the crowd it’s not just about having the right degree, or the most relevant work history (don’t get me wrong – that definitely helps you in the selection process!) it’s also about demonstrating your creative and technical flair, and giving your prospective employers something to really talk about. So for those looking to join the industry, I’ve put together a step by step guide to help you get ahead in the selection process!
Starting with the basics
Your CV and covering letter are the first things an employer will see. It’s really important at this stage to make the right impression. As with Search Marketing, employers are looking for relevancy. If you dont have the previous experience, emphasize why you want the job, why you’re interested in the industry and highlight any relevant and transferable skills you possess that could be applied to the role.
A few tips when writing your CV:
- Ensure your CV is no longer than two pages – Make your CV relevant, concise and to the point
- Employers will be interested in your most recent job so always start with your previous employer at the top
- When writing about your previous roles it is always best to format your responsibilities in bullet points – this helps any relevant experience stand out on your CV
- Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for – in your Personal Statement or Profile highlight why you’re looking to work in the digital industry, your career objectives and talk about the relevant attributes you possess.
So your CVs made the cut, and on paper you’re looking great! At this stage, employers will have shortlisted candidates who they’re keen to speak to and will now be looking to conduct initial telephone calls. Use this opportunity to show off your personality, answer the phone confidently and professionally and always remain enthusiastic when talking to your potential employer. Always keep track of your applications and remember which jobs you’ve applied for – you don’t want to be caught off guard when asked about the role!
Of course you never know what questions you will be asked when you get that initial telephone call, but that doesn’t mean you still cant prep! Generally employers will want to gauge the reason behind your application and will use this opportunity to further assess your commitment, so expect questions such as:
- Why did you apply for this role?
- Why are you looking to leave your current employer?
- Why do you want to work in the digital industry?
- What can you bring to the role?
Attending an interview can be quite a nerve-wracking experience, so to make the process run that little bit smoother, always go prepared. Research the company website and job to see how your skills would complement the current team, look objectively at your CV – if there are gaps in your skills, consider doing work placements or internships to gain more experience. Remember, an interview is a two-way process, it’s as much an opportunity for you to assess the job and company, as it’s for the employer to assess you. So always write down any questions you might have and take your notes along to the interview.
Go the extra mile
With competition amongst candidates applying for jobs in the digital industry increasing, having a relevant degree or work experience these days wont always secure an interview. For potential candidates looking to get ahead in the selection process, it’s also about demonstrating technical and creative ability. Show your commitment to the industry by creating and contributing to a blog, keep up-to-date with industry news or for those of you who are more technically savvy, have a go at creating and designing your own website. This will really highlight your passion and initiative!
With a continuously-evolving landscape, the digital sector really is an exciting industry to be a part of, whether you’re great at math, IT or English – there are many roles in digital that could utilize your skills!