Graduate weapons for attacking the job hunt: digital
By Hannah Roberts
Digi-devils this one’s for you. At a time when it’s not uncommon to see career paths and industries disappear altogether, there seems to be a growth in innovative career paths of a digital nature allowing for a blossom in opportunities for the computer literature, socially savvy graduates of today. Not only are we seeing a rise in opportunities, but there’s been a significant increase in support and funding for the digital sector. With estimates of more than 1.2 million new science, technology, maths and engineering jobs by 2018 as a result of rapid advancements in technology; careers in digital will continue to rise. The other promising factor lies within the range of potential jobs that exist under the digital umbrella from marketing and advertising to digital account handling, and social media. The ever changing and emerging job titles that 5 years ago were unheard of, only serves to demonstrate the increasing demand for digital skills.
The beauty of this industry lies within its diversity, with careers to suit both left and right thinkers. From logical problem solvers and analysts to writers and creative individuals; the digital industry caters for both, not just the technically able. Similarly, degree requirements are broad and dependent on the area of the industry you are applying for. Here at Inspiring we’ve placed History, Arts and English grads into content production roles, and Maths, Economics and Science graduates into the more analytically focussed positions.
Your personal online presence is often the first thing that employers will look at. Employers investigating candidates’ social profile is common practice these days. Furthermore, digital industry employers will ideally be looking for pre-existing evidence of your digital competence. Your blogging abilities, website creation skills and examples of your ability to build online connections are all essential skills in high demand. In addition to this any skills in or an understanding of HTML, CSS or WordPress will be of significant interest. Ensure you include as many skills as possible on your CV, even if it’s simply a basic understanding of a programme or technique. It could be just what your employer is looking for; do not overlook your abilities. And the same applies to experience, any previous online experience you have will be of extremely attractive to employers.
Your ability to communicate will be of particular significance to roles in the social side of digital. Companies will be interested in your ability to build and maintain an online presence to communicate their brand. They’ll be interested in candidates that express a passion for their company and the industry on a whole; these are the makings of a strong brand ambassador.
Targeting your application
A large proportion of the digital sector’s growth stems from young start-up companies. If the company you’re applying to fits within this category then you must ensure that you tailor your application accordingly. Such companies will be looking not only at your experience but your personality. They’ll be assessing whether you’re the type of individual who’s prepared to get stuck in, your communication skills; your overall ability to work within a small team. Someone with personality, that’s able to maintain professionalism.
Do your background reading. Industry trends, the company’s history, these are basic things to be aware of; arming yourself with background knowledge will illustrate your passion for the industry.
Ask questions. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but it works. It demonstrates confidence and an interest in the position and can only benefit you, providing you with a greater insight into the company.
Network. Use the social platforms you’re so familiar with. Follow the company on Twitter, follow their competitors, their clients. You should receive the details of your interviewer prior to your appointment; connect with them. It not only shows a positive keenness but it provides you with a little insight into their background, you may even find you have some common ground that you can use to develop a more meaningful conversation.
Your Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, blog, website; your online portfolio. Make this prevalent on your CV, it’s what employers will be looking to see – hand it to them on a plate!