Your Roadmap to Landing a Job in the Digital Media Field
September 22nd, 2016 | Natasha Englehardt
If you’re eager to land a job in the digital media field, we don’t blame you. It’s an awesome industry that’s growing faster than most, and it offers a fantastic work-life balance, plenty of creative opportunities, and the chance to shape the future of the online experience. Here are our best tips for landing that digital media job that you’ve been waiting for.
Build your skills, and do it your way
To get your dream job, you need to be able to do what your clients need you to do. Make sure your skills are up to date. Get certified and finish your degree to add legitimacy to your work. Getting your degree can also ensure you know the very latest software, techniques, and best practices in the industry. You can earn your degree while working and pursuing your own projects if you choose a school like Platt College San Diego which offers as many options as night classes as there are during the day.
Know the basics
Master and demonstrate digital-first communication skills
A 2014 MBA.com study revealed that the four most important skills employers are searching for in new hires are oral communication skills, listening skills, written communication skills, and presentation skills. If you haven’t mastered these, or if your resume doesn’t demonstrate your mastery of them, give this area some attention.
Social media is another piece of the digital-first communication puzzle. Even if you use social media all day, you may not have mastered it in a way that employers are seeking out. For example, being savvy with your own personal social media strategy isn’t the same as creating and executing a social media strategy for a business. Start honing these kinds of skills now, at school or in an industry organization, so you can demonstrate your expertise as a job seeker.
Stay on the cutting edge
To stay competitive, digital teams at the top agencies must be strategic in their work and stay on the cutting edge, both technologically and tactically. This centers upon the ability to imagine, based on hard data, experience, and a deep understanding of trends, how to frame messages and connect with users to provide the very best experiences.
Learn about and practice framing, messaging, branding, strategy, and UX as much as possible. Make sure your resume reflects this part of your work and training.
The ability to create interactive video, visual, audio, and written content is key to the new media landscape. Interactive storytelling is going to continue to be a sought-after skill, so having it will prove to be a competitive advantage for any job seeker in digital media who lists them on his or her resume. Make sure you have at least one excellent interactive piece in your portfolio, as well.
Make industry connections
There are so many important reasons to make industry connections. Obviously, it helps to know people who are looking for their next hire. Beyond that, if you’re still learning and gaining experience, it helps to collaborate on projects and volunteer your work with others in your niche. This helps you create stand out portfolio projects such as quick micro-sites and meet people who can vouch for your skills.
Networking also helps you receive mentoring and learn all new skills and techniques every day. Future business partners and clients are also the fruits of making industry connections.
Don’t wait to look
When you find agencies that you love and feel like great fits, don’t wait for them to be hiring. Reach out and make those connections. Write them personal notes, and show them that you would be an excellent addition to their team. Don’t be phony, just be yourself; if you’re really a perfect fit, that will shine through. And you never know—sometimes agencies create new positions for the right people.
Avoid obvious mistakes that hiring managers hate
As you search for your digital media job, don’t make obvious mistakes that make hiring managers cringe and hit “delete.” Always include a customized cover letter instead of just submitting your resume, but keep it brief and on point. Pay attention to required skills, and apply to positions that really are a good fit.
Tailor your resume for each position you submit for; digital media jobs and the people who seek them out have a broad range of skills, so make sure you and your skill set look right on the money. Edit everything you send and make sure you’ve checked your work for spelling and grammar mistakes. Finally, always follow any instructions provided in a job posting.
The great news about landing a job in the digital media field is that with the right preparation it’s totally do-able. The field is growing and thriving, so excellent new opportunities pop up all over the US and the world every single day. By making sure you have the right skills and background, and by featuring that experience in the right ways, you can maximize your chances of landing that dream digital media job.