10 Things Graduates Should Know Before Applying For Digital Jobs

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By Amy @BubbleJobs

Picture the scene; you’re in the very last stages of your final year at university and graduation is nearly within sight. You’re not entirely sure what you want to do when you graduate yet but you quite like the idea of working in the digital sector.

Why? Because it’s exciting, it’s fast-paced and the sector’s growing everyday… and you’ve already been told that you’re a ‘digital native’ so you already have some of the skills that employers are looking for.

Now, while all of that is true and a career in the digital sector is definitely worth considering, for a lot of graduates this year, it’s probably not going to be as easy as simply securing a degree and walking into a digital job with a leading brand. Just like any other sector, the digital industry comes with its own challenges and there are definitely a few things you should know before you charge in and start applying for jobs.

1. The Industry Is Extremely Competitive:

While it’s true that there is a digital skills shortage in some areas, the sector is still extremely competitive, with hundreds of candidates applying for some vacancies (trust us – we know!) – so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll only be up against one or two other candidates for each vacancy. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth applying – but it does mean that you will have competition so you need to make your application stand out!

2. A Degree Won’t Always Be Enough: 

If you’re counting on just landing a nice job in the digital industry because you’ll have a degree, you need to think again. Yes, a degree will definitely help when applying for jobs – but it’s things like experience that will set you apart from other candidates.

That said; it’s definitely worth trying to get a bit of work experience under your belt or familiarising yourself with the key tools used in the area of digital you’re looking to get into eg. Google Analytics or TweetDeck.

plan3. There Are Jobs All Over The UK:

Getting ready to make the move to London for a digital job? You might not have to! Yep, believe it or not there are digital jobs all over the country – even the quietest little villages (Bubble Jobs is based in a tiny Cheshire village!) – so you might want to look closer to home before you start to pack your bag and head for the bright lights of the capital.

4. You’ll Need To Be Willing To Learn:

Remember how we mentioned how fast-paced the digital sector was at the beginning of this blog? Well, this fast-paced nature means that those who work in the digital sector are always having to learn new tricks and tools – so before you apply for any digital jobs, you need to ask yourself if you’re ready and willing to be constantly learning and changing how you work in your job.

Why? Because if you do land a new job and aren’t keen to learn new things, there won’t be a shortage of candidates waiting to step in and take your place.

5, You’ll Need To Be Willing To Start At The Bottom:

Following on from the last point, when it comes to working in the digital sector, a lot of people have to start at the bottom and work their way up – and that’s probably what you’ll have to do too, even if you manage to make it onto a graduate scheme.

That said; when looking for vacancies, it’s definitely worth keeping your eye out for jobs with the words ‘Executive’, ‘Assistant’ or ‘Junior’ in them (don’t forget – you can set up job alerts for jobs like this on Bubble Jobs now!). Hint: Jobs with ‘Manager’ or ‘Director’ in the title are probably way too senior for a graduate so we wouldn’t advise applying for these to begin with!

6. You Might Not Get Paid As Much As You’d Like To Start With:

Been reading up on average graduate starting salaries for your degree and already have a figure in mind? That’s great – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll necessarily get it. As we just mentioned, when it comes to digital jobs you’ll probably have to start at the bottom which means you’ll probably get a fairly low salary to begin with – but don’t panic!

This figure will only go up throughout your career – and you could end up with a pay rise within the first year if you work hard and manage to impress your boss – just remember, your first salary is only a temporary thing!

7. You’ll Need To Choose Between Agency & Client-Side: 

When it comes to digital jobs, you generally have two options – work client-side/inhouse or work for a digital agency (freelancing probably won’t be an option until later in your career). The right option for you will depend on what type of work you want to do – however this blog should help to outline the pros and cons of both.

8. You’ll Need To Be Flexible and Chip In Where Needed:

As anyone working in the digital sector will already know, when it comes to day-to-day work, there can be quite a bit of an overlap between departments which means you’ll probably end up working on projects or working in certain areas that you weren’t expecting, particularly if you choose to work for a small company with a limited number of staff. This is particularly true if you’re working in a junior role – and you’re asked to help various teams out.

9. Companies Can Offer Much More Than Just A Job:

When applying for digital jobs, it’s worth doing a bit of research on the company you’re applying for a job with to see what their company culture and working environment is like and whether it would be a good fit for you. Remember, you’re going to have to spend the majority of your week in the office with your colleagues so you need to ensure it’s the right fit for you.

Yes, it’s important to get your foot on the ladder – but it’s just as important to find the right company, otherwise you’ll end up leaving before too long and that’s not going to look great on your CV.

10: Generic CVs & Cover Letters Won’t Cut It: 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – when it comes to digital jobs, competition is tough so you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd by putting some serious time and effort into personalising your cover letter and CV for the company you’re applying to. Trust us – simply sending a generic application in isn’t going to cut the mustard and will just ensure you blend in with the rest of the applicants. Research the company and consider if doing something a bit creative with your CV or cover letter would be welcomed and would tie in with their company ethos.

Whether you choose to go with a crazy design or something a bit more subdued, simply mentioning a bit about the company and how you’re a good fit for the role on your cover letter will be enough to show the employer that you’ve put a bit of extra effort in and you’re serious about applying for the job.

 

Don’t forget; if you are looking for a graduate digital job – Bubble Jobs are the leading job board for the digital industry. Sign up for your free account today.

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