Digital transformation is fast becoming the core focus for businesses. Technology is pushing companies to evolve and build their digital capacity. Landing a successful job in digital requires you to have current and applied understanding of many digital disciplines and channels - how they affect consumers and the organisation you want to work with.
So you’re looking to transition or expand your career in digital? Great choice. High calibre digital natives and tech experts are literally transforming businesses across a range of industries; solving customer problems, creating new digital opportunities and delivering significant competitive advantage.
First Steps: Your digital footprint
Chances are you have one or more social media accounts - Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat - and hopefully, as an active job seeker, a professional channel such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
Never forget that your public conversations with friends, family (and possibly enemies) can be easily viewed by recruitment consultants and potential employers with a quick google search. If you use social media as a form of communication that’s going to be a positive working in the digital space - depending on what you’re posting. It might seem obvious, but things you shouldn’t be sharing include: embarrassing pics (nudity, drunkenness), inappropriate comments (swearing, arguing, ranting) and privileged information (NDAs, client news, personal data, workplace information) to name a few. Remember: “what goes on social stays on social”, so best not to use it as a platform to discuss things you may regret later.
"Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face (or logo) on it."
- Erin Bury, CTV News tech expert.
So, before you commence any new job search, our advice here is simple.
Clean up your social media presence. Optimise your professional channels.
Read our tips on improving your LinkedIn profile HERE
Conversely, if you are going to be positioning and marketing yourself as digital media and/or marketing hotshot, but have no visible online presence, you could be selling yourself short in a competitive market. For professionals, LinkedIn and Twitter are both credible platforms that showcase not only your education and career highlights, but they can also showcase relevant digital conversations you are having and position you as a leader in the digital space through sharing industry news and making insightful commentary.
Need some tips for using social media to help with your interview preparation? Try these.
The Digital Edge - what employers want:
Beyond the obvious relevant skills and aptitude required to execute a digital strategy, plan and campaign, our clients are looking for candidates that demonstrate genuine digital curiosity. Why? Because the nature of the digital world is fast-paced and evolving quickly.
If you’re not being curious you’ll get left behind.
“Effective questioning brings insight, which fuels curiosity, which cultivates wisdom”
- Chip Bell, Blogger at Huffington Post.
Digitally-led businesses want people working in their teams who are willing to be agile and keep-up-to date with trends and technology. If you’re not as up-to-date as you should be, or you’re transitioning into a different digital role, do your homework and understand the basics and learn what trends are happening in that space. Make this an absolute priority before you start your resume refresh.
Even though personally, you may be highly active in the digital space - never apart from your smart devices, hyperconnected online and constantly consuming new media information and content - you need to demonstrate to prospective employers that you understand the digital challenges their business faces and why they need you as part of the solution.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
- Peter Drucker, American management consultant
Within a digital context, how can you demonstrate ways you not only understood, but creatively solved and executed similar problems for organisations and their customers in your previous roles?
Sure, you can tell us you used SEO, PPC, geotargeting, analytics, social media or NOWdata to build a relevant solution that best suited your business objectives, but WHY was this the best approach and what outcome did it achieve?
#3 Multi-faceted skills
T-shaped or specialist digital roles are on the rise. As digital and online channels expand, so do the array of skills and knowledge-based areas and solutions Marketing, IT and UX teams are needing to cover.
At the recruitment level, T-shaped talent is appealing for businesses because they have a basic understanding of multiple digital disciplines, while at the same time being a clear specialist in one or two key areas. Having a broad understanding of the digital, sales and even marketing mix enables teams to have more agile and responsive discussions internally and outside the business.
So, think about all the digital knowhow you have and isolate that from your specific areas of expertise. This doesn't mean you become a ‘generalist’. Far from it. Showing you have the capacity to stretch across ideas and add value to a digital team can give you that digital edge; just remember to back your skills up with results-led proof points.
A digital difference - standing out form the pack
Working in the digital world requires you to have the right skills and understanding of current digital channel and technologies. Whether your career highlight to date has been launching a series of blog content, building a unique ecommerce website, delivering a high performance PPC campaign or effectively used analytics and data to optimise your business’ UX; prospective employers want to hear about what you did and the outcomes you achieved.
Capabilities are continuously evolving for people forging their career in digital, so approach your job search from articulating how you can differentiate yourself from others, your signature digital strengths and specific examples you can bring to the table that showcase your up-to-date thinking.
Jo Krause - Digital Recruitment Specialist