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Stress isn’t an individual problem. High turnover and increased absences cost businesses money. Employee retention is important for success – as an employer, you cannot afford to overlook stress and mental health of your employees. This month, stress awareness month, we have been talking about the causes of workplace stress and how to manage it. Today we turn the focus around to employers and look at how they can better look after their employees' well-being at work, specifically with regard to stress.   Read on for more ways to reduce stress for your employees and increase happiness and productivity.  

10 Ways To Reduce Stress In The Workplace

Reduce Stress With Better Communication

  1. Set clear expectations and goals. This will help provide employees with a sense of direction and purpose. Unclear expectations or excessive workload can lead to stress and burnout. Employers can also work with employees to set realistic goals and provide feedback and support to help them achieve those goals.
  2. Lead by example. Consider how you can model healthy work habits, managing your own stress effectively. When leaders prioritize their own well-being and manage stress in a positive way, it sets an example for employees and promotes a healthy work culture. 

Make These Environmental Changes To Reduce Stress

3. Create a supportive work environment by promoting open communication, providing resources for stress management, and encouraging work-life balance. Prioritising employee well-being and promotes a culture of support. 4. Employers can create opportunities for employees to connect with their colleagues, build relationships, and foster a sense of community at work. This can be achieved through team-building activities, social events, or collaborative projects. Social connections can help employees feel supported and reduce workplace stress. Increased remote working can make this more challenging. Managers can help with this by investing in internal messaging tools or  setting up a virtual 'water cooler' space for  people to connect and chat about non-work things. 5. Employers should encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the day and utilize their paid time off to recharge and relax. Taking breaks and time off can help employees manage stress, prevent burnout, and improve overall well-being.  6. Employers can offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options, flexible work hours, or compressed work weeks, to help employees manage their personal and professional responsibilities more effectively, reducing stress related to work-life balance.  7. Promoting a healthy work-life balance, such as avoiding after-hours emails or limiting work-related tasks during weekends or vacations can help employees maintain a healthy balance. This helps with reducing stress related to work overload.  For more about the importance of a work life balance check out How To Maintain Your Work-Life Balance and Feel Good About It.

Provide Adequate Resources

8. Provide resources for mental health support. For example, employers can offer access to mental health resources, to provide employees with confidential support for managing stress or other mental health concerns.  9. Providing training and development opportunities can help employees build their skills and confidence in their roles. This can reduce stress related to feeling overwhelmed or under-skilled at work.  10.Stress management programs such as mindfulness sessions, yoga classes, or other relaxation techniques can help employees manage stress effectively. These programs can be offered during work hours or as part of wellness initiatives. 

Reducing Stress Is A Win Win

There are many ways employers can  better look after their employees' well-being at work. Start by reviewing what you currently have on offer, and asking employees what they would find helpful. By creating a supportive work environment, offering adequate resources, providing flexibility and training opportunities and  encouraging breaks , social connections and time off, employers can help employees manage stress effectively and improve overall well-being in the workplace.  For more articles head to our blog. Don't forget to let us know what you do to help improve wellbeing in your workplace!

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April is stress awareness month.  Since 1992 this month has been held to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern-day stress epidemic. 40 years on, and stress and poor mental health are the biggest public health challenges that we’re facing. The continuing separation of mental health and physical health but the reality is they are two sides of the same coin.  Stress affects the body in many ways. From physical problems, like heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues, immune system challenges, etc to more serious mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.  First, we will take a look at what causes stress at work, then look at some ways to manage it.  

What Causes Stress At Work?

There are many factors that can cause stress at work. The challenge face by colleagues and bosses is that everyone experiences it in different ways. The six main areas that contribute to work-related stress are: control, support, role, change, relationships and demands. For example, workers who feel they don't have control over the way they do their work or don't feel they receive enough information and support can experience stress. Similarly, too much demand, lack of understanding about their role or trouble with relationships at work can also be factors. The variety of contributing factors and the response of each individual can lead to symptoms and behaviour manifesting in very different ways. For more advice on how to recognise stress in the workplace, you can head to the Stress UK website A man standing by pile of cardboard boxes. Each box has a word printed on it. Stress, problems, anxiety, deadline, work, break up. The man has his arms raised as if he is about to push the pile of boxes over

How Can You Manage Stress?

Managing stress at work is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, improving productivity, and enhancing overall job satisfaction. Here are some strategies that can help: 
  • Prioritise and Organise: Organise your tasks according to their importance and urgency. This will help you focus on the tasks that need your immediate attention and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by a long to-do list. 
  • Take Breaks: Take regular breaks throughout the day to give your mind and body a chance to rest and recharge. This can help you stay focused and productive throughout the day. 
  • Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a technique that involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts and emotions. This can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being. 
  • Seek Support: If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't hesitate to seek support from your colleagues, manager, or a mental health professional. Sometimes talking about your stress can help you feel better and find solutions to the challenges you're facing. 
  • Take time off: It's important to take time off, even when working from home. Use your vacation time to take a break from work and recharge. 
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve your overall health. It can also help you clear your mind and stay focused on your tasks. 

What Are The Unique Stressors Faced By Remote Workers

Working from home can bring a unique set of stressors, such as difficulty separating work and personal life, feeling isolated, and increased distractions. Practicing mindfulness, taking breaks and generally looking after yourself still apply but here are some strategies that can help you manage stress when you work from home: 
  • Set boundaries: Create clear boundaries between work and personal time. Establish a designated workspace, set a schedule, and communicate your availability to colleagues. 
  • Stay connected: Stay connected with colleagues, friends, and family through virtual communication tools. This can help reduce feelings of isolation and increase social support. 
  • Practice self-care: Take care of your physical and mental health by getting enough sleep, exercise, and eating healthy. This can help you build resilience and better cope with stress. 
  • Limit distractions: Identify and limit distractions that can interfere with your productivity, such as social media or household chores. 

Stress Can Be Eased With Self Care

Remember that everyone's experience with working from home is unique, so it's essential to experiment and find what works best for you. By practicing these strategies, you can manage stress and thrive while working from home.  It takes time and practice to develop effective stress management strategies that work for you. Start with small steps and be patient with yourself as you navigate the ups and downs of work stress.  Look after yourself – we all need to think more about self–care. Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you feel too stressed.  The most crucial thing you can do when you are stressed or anxious is to make sure you are continuing to look after yourself. Make time to relax when you need to and learn to say no to requests that are too much for you.  If you enjoyed this article you might enjoy these from our archive: How To Handle Difficult Conversations With Your Boss As A Remote Worker New Job Anxiety: How To Have A Great First Day    

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Digital marketing requires a diverse set of skills, both technical and creative. Switching careers to digital marketing can be a great decision if you are interested in the field and have the necessary skills. It can seem a daunting task. When you start looking at job listings you will see that experience of some kind is listed as a requirement. Many roles are highly competed for so it is easy to understand how you might be put off from applying!  If you do not currently work in digital, you are in a similar position to a new graduate, forced to think about how you can demonstrate you've got the goods using your experiences so far in other areas. Transferable skills, sometimes called portable skills, are the skills you have developed that can be transferred from one job to another, like good communication or time management skills.  This post will look at some of the key transferrable skills that can be useful for a career in digital marketing so you can leverage your experience and get the job you want! 

Top 7 Transferrable Skills For A Career In Digital Marketing

#1 Communication

Digital marketing involves working with a variety of stakeholders, including clients, team members, and external partners. Good communication skills are essential for effective collaboration and project management. If you are a teacher, sales person, or work in customer service it is likely you can demonstrate excellent communication skills. 

#2 Analysis

The ability to analyse data and draw insights from it is a highly valued skill in digital. In search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising analytics are crucial for success. People with engineering or economics backgrounds tend to have a solid background in working with numbers and problem solving. This is a good foundation for working with analytics. 

#3 Creativity

Digital marketing involves developing and executing creative campaigns that stand out in a crowded online space. Having a creative mindset can help you generate unique ideas and develop effective strategiesEvents, hospitality and teaching are good examples of careers where you could leverage your creative abilities to move into digital marketing. 

#4 Writing Skills

Writing is an integral part of many digital marketing activities. For example, content marketing and email marketing. Being able to write well-crafted, engaging content is essential for success in these areas. This is a skill that some people are lucky enough to possess naturally, but it is also a skill that can be learned.  

#5 Project Management

Digital marketing projects often involve managing multiple tasks and stakeholders. Strong project management skills such as prioritizing tasks and meeting deadlines are crucial for success. People with project management certifications, IT professionals, lawyers and engineers often have excellent experience of running and managing multiple projects. 

#6 Technical Abilities

Understanding how websites and online platforms work is essential for many digital marketing activities. Basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and website analytics can be a valuable asset. A professional with a technical background in IT or statistics will tend to have the ability to understand things like automation and AI. 

#7 Adaptability

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so marketers need to be adaptable and willing to learn new skills and tools to stay relevant. Being open to change and able to adapt quickly is essential for success in this field.   Check out 5 Top Tips for Becoming A Digital Marketer for more advice!

Your Experience Can Be Relevant To Your New Career In Digital

Switching careers can take time, but with the right approach you can find the job you want.  For more career advice and job seeking tips, check out our blog page here.    

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The shift from office-based to hybrid and remote work during and after the pandemic has had an adverse effect on workplace relationships. Those managers who were really great at communication in the office might not be as good now their teams are not working together all the time. Remote communications and successful team collaboration require different management styles and responses from all parties. The remote work environment overall needs to be more structured to ensure workers feel supported, and in general, tough conversations can be avoided if regular comms are managed proactively. In December 2021, 54% of professionals said the pandemic had a negative impact on their relationships, and we are still seeing evidence of this. Having difficult conversations with superiors or colleagues has always been hard.  It relies on a solid foundation of trust and regular communication. Fully remote work is impacting how we establish these relationships in the first place. Consider workers who have only come on board as remote workers and so may not have had the chance to meet their co-workers at all.  Remote working means red flags can be easily missed. For example, poor communication with colleagues or customers can go unnoticed for longer - especially if someone has only come on board recently as a remote worker. Having difficult conversations is essential for maintaining a healthy working relationship and achieving your goals.  Here are our top tips for approaching difficult conversations at work when you work remotely.

Top Tips For Handling Difficult Conversations With Your Boss

 #1 Prepare How and What You Want To Say

Before you initiate the conversation, make sure you have thought through the issue, identified your concerns, and prepared to articulate them clearly and succinctly. You may also want to consider the possible reactions your boss might have and prepare responses to address those reactions. Consider the other person's perspective and ask for feedback from someone who is not involved in the discussion to see what they think  

#2 Think Carefully About The Time and Place

If you can have the conversation face to face, do! This is not always a) possible or b) suitable if you have never met face to face, for example. But being able to read someone's body language is very important and can help make difficult conversations easier!   Try to choose a time when your boss is not too busy or stressed. If you know there is a big event or meeting ongoing for example. Agree a location where you can have an open and honest conversation without interruptions or distractions. Work together to select a time when both you and the other person are likely to be in the right frame of mind. 

#3 Focus on The Issue

Separate the person from the issue. It can be easy to get worked up and emotional - especially when you are remote working and perhaps don't have anyone to vent to.  Stick to the topic at hand and avoid bringing up past issues or unrelated topics. Be specific about the issue and avoid making generalisations or assumptions. 

#4 Be Clear And Concise When Having Difficult Conversations

Without the benefit of body language, your actual language becomes even more crucial. When discussing your concerns, use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. For example, instead of saying "You never listen to me," say "I feel like my opinions are not being heard." Be clear and concise. Stick to the facts and avoid using emotional language. Be direct and specific about the issue you want to address. 

#5 Listen Actively

Allow your boss to express their thoughts and feelings and listen actively to what they have to say. Active listening is a great skill to learn and practice.  Listen without judgement and avoid interrupting. Maintain eye contact. If you are having your difficult conversation online, make sure you look directly into the camera regularly. You still need to look at the other persons face, as you need to try and read and respond to non-verbal cues but by regularly glancing into the camera, it mimics direct eye contact.  Try to understand their perspective and look for common ground. Repeat back what they have said to show that you have heard and understood them. 

#6 Be Open To Solutions

Instead of just highlighting the problem, offer potential solutions to the issue and be open to compromise. You can also ask your boss for their input on finding a resolution. Collaborate with the other person to find a solution that works for both of you. 

Difficult Conversations Are Normal (But Can Be Avoided)

After the conversation, follow up with your boss to ensure that the issue is being addressed and that you are both on the same page. Check in regularly to show that you are committed to resolving the issue.  Remember that having difficult conversations with your boss is a normal part of the workplace, and it can lead to positive outcomes for both you and your organization. By preparing, choosing the right time and place, focusing on the issue, using "I" statements, listening actively, proposing solutions, and following up, you can have a productive conversation with your boss.  Forbes has a great article for managers looking for helpful advice on difficult remote conversations. If you enjoyed this post, you can read more on our blog.

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How many women in digital are there? Over the past decade, there has been significant progress in terms of gender diversity in the digital industry.  Amidst the growing awareness of the importance of inclusive hiring practices, many companies have made notable commitments to diversifying their workforces and digital marketing is no different. For example, in 1971 the gap was almost 40% and a decade ago it was 10.4%. The number of women working full time increased by 299,000 in 2021. So, there is a positive overall trend. However, there are still significant challenges that women face in the digital industry. The gender pay gap persists in many fields, including tech, and women are often underrepresented in leadership positions. Discrimination and harassment are still prevalent, with studies showing that women in tech are more likely to experience these issues than women in other industries.  Additionally, women are still underrepresented in certain areas of digital, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, which are expected to be significant growth areas in the coming years. Addressing these challenges will require concentrated efforts on several fronts:

  • Policy changes
  • Increased investment in diversity and inclusion programs
  • Cultural shifts in the industry. 
This article will look at just where we are in the digital marketing industry, what challenges are ahead and what companies can do about it.

Women In Digital 2023

Digital marketing and ad agency industries have been traditionally dominated by men. However,  women have been making significant strides in the digital marketing industry over the last decade.  Many women have taken on leadership positions in the industry, including CEO, COO, and CMO roles.  More women than ever also starting their own agencies and businesses.  Women bring a unique perspective to the digital marketing industry. They are often more focused on building relationships with customers and clients, which can lead to better marketing strategies. 

 Challenges Faced By Women in Digital

Despite the progress made, women still face challenges in the digital marketing industry. For example, women may not be taken as seriously as men in the industry, or they may be paid less for the same work.  There are several challenges facing women in the digital marketing and ad agency industries, including: 
  • Despite progress in recent years, there is still a significant gender bias in these industries, with men occupying more senior roles and earning higher salaries than women. 
  • Women are underrepresented in leadership positions, particularly in the tech and engineering aspects of the industry. 
  • There may be a male-dominated culture in these industries that is not always welcoming to women, and there may be a lack of support for work-life balance or accommodating maternity leave. 
  • Women may face discrimination or harassment in the workplace, which can create a hostile work environment and limit their opportunities for growth and advancement. 
  • Women may struggle with self-doubt and imposter syndrome, leading them to hesitate in pursuing leadership positions or taking risks in their careers. 
Overall, these challenges can make it difficult for women to succeed in the digital marketing and ad agency industries. However, there are efforts underway to address these issues and create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for everyone. 

How Can We Improve Digital For Women?

You might be reading this thinking, this is the same story again and again; minor improvements but no real change. Support networks are crucial for women in digital marketing industries.  With examples of women in leadership positions and supportive peers we can help younger generations see they too can succeed. We need to work on providing access to women who can offer advice, support and guidance. For example, mentorship can be a very important tool. Diversity and inclusivity are important in all industries, including the digital marketing industry. Companies that are diverse and inclusive are more likely to succeed in the long run. For more article like this, and for jobseeking tips, head to the Dotgap blog now.  

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As with all digital marketing advertising, PPC is constantly evolving. This week's post is going to look at the top PPC trends to look out for in 2023. PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising is a digital marketing model where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. It works by placing ads in front of the target audience when they search for related keywords or browse relevant websites.  There are several advantages to PPC advertising. PPC campaigns work quickly with immediate results. The moment your campaign is launched, ads will start appearing on search engines and other websites.  Specific targeting of ads helps to ensure the right people see your ad at the right time. PPC allows businesses to target based on keywords, interests, demographics and behaviours. PPC campaigns are easily measurable, allowing businesses to easily track the success of their campaigns. Detailed metrics include click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on investment. With PPC, businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ad, making it a cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience And finally, PPC campaigns can be easily customised and adjusted quickly to reflect changes in a business's marketing strategy, budget, or target audience. 

Top PPC Trends To Look Out For In 2023

PPC Trend #1: Automation

PPC automation is the number one PPC trend of 2023.  As machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to improve, we can expect to see an increase in the use of automation in PPC advertising. This will include automated bidding, ad creation, and targeting. This will allow advertisers to save time and increase efficiency.  For example, Google is continuing to double-down on their automated bidding strategies, strongly encouraging marketers to rely on automation and AI to manage their campaigns. 

PPC Trend #2: Audience Targeting

Advertisers will continue to focus on audience targeting, using data such as demographics, interests, and behaviour to reach their ideal customers. This will help to improve ad relevance and increase ROI. 

PPC Trend #3: Visual Searching

Visual search technology is becoming more advanced, allowing users to search for products by uploading images. This will create new opportunities for advertisers to target customers based on their visual searches. 

PPC Trend #4: Video Ads

Video ads are becoming more popular, with platforms such as YouTube and TikTok offering advertisers new opportunities to reach their target audience. We can expect to see more businesses incorporating video into their PPC advertising strategies. 

PPC Trend #5: More Personalisation

As we have already pointed out, one of the benefits of PPC ads is the targeted personalisation. This personalisation will continue to be a key trend in PPC advertising. Businesses will continue tailoring their ads to the specific needs and preferences of their target audience. This will help to increase engagement and drive conversions. 

PPC Trend #5: Increased eCommerce Advertising

ECommerce advertising is becoming increasingly important, with businesses using PPC ads to drive sales on platforms such as Amazon and Shopify. We can expect to see more businesses investing in eCommerce advertising in 2023. 

Pay-Per-Click is Here to Stay

PPC can be a highly effective digital marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes, helping to increase visibility, drive traffic, and generate leads and sales.  Overall, these projected trends highlight the importance of using new data and technology to improve the effectiveness of PPC advertising. Advertisers who stay on top of these trends and incorporate them into their strategies will be well-positioned to succeed in 2023 and beyond.  If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also enjoy How To Create A Results Driven Marketing Strategy or Looking Ahead - What To Expect in 2023 Remember, nothing stays the same for long in digital marketing and while the fundamentals of marketing will always serve you well, it is vital to keep learning and keep up with the latest PPC trends.    

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Interviews are a crucial part of the job application process. It's a chance for both the employer and the candidate to know each other better. While the interviewer will ask many questions to determine your suitability for the role, it's essential to keep in mind that there are some questions you should avoid asking. Hiring managers will be looking for more than your qualifications and the worst thing you can do is give the wrong impression based on your questions. In this blog post, we'll discuss five questions that you should avoid asking during an interview. 

5 Questions To Avoid Asking At Your Next Interview

Asking bad questions in your interview may indicate a lack of interest, preparation, or even intelligence. Similarly, asking a good question at the wrong time can be just as damaging. Most of these questions should never be asked in a job interview, and some questions should be saved until a job offer has been made. When an interviewer asks you if you have any questions during a job interview, this is your opportunity to do three important things:
  • Collect final information on the things that will help you make your decision
  • Demonstrate to the interviewer that you have listened and have done some research
  • Show them you are interested, a good fit and would be a great choice if they make you an offer

#1 Asking About Salary And Benefits

Asking about money can be really awkward. While it's important to know the salary and benefits offered for your potential role, you need to avoid asking about it too soon. A first interview for example. If you ask about it too soon, it may give the impression that you're more interested in the compensation than the actual job.  Questions like:
  • How much will I get paid
  • How soon can I get a raise?
  • What discounts do I get?
  • Will you pay for training or an advanced degree for me?
  • What other benefits do you provide?
can give the impression you are not really interested or passionate about the job. Overall it presents a more selfish persona. Obviously, these are important things to know, particularly if you are lucky enough to be comparing several job offers! An exception to this rule would be in they ask you for salary expectation or current salary. In this case you can tell them your salary expectation /requirements are dependent on other aspects of the job like flexibility, training, or raises.  

#2 Asking About Time Off

This can be a tricky one and it comes up all the time as a recruiter. Asking about time off during your first interview may send the wrong message to the employer. It can come across as though you're not committed to the job, and you're already thinking about taking time off. It's best to wait until you've been offered the job before you ask about vacation time or other time off. Try to avoid bluntly asking about time you won't be at work.
  • How much paid vacation time would I get?
  • How soon can I take a vacation after I start work?
  • How many paid personal and/or sick days are allowed?
You are there to talk about the job and demonstrate why you would be a great choice for them.  As with point #1, these kinds of questions give the impression that you are more interested what you get than what you get to do. However, before you start, at some point in the interview process, you should be asked if you have any holidays/time off booked. You can discuss your requirements for vacation and holidays, but this should be part of the negotiation when there is an offer on the table for you. There are a great many benefits to taking time off between jobs - always bear this in mind when you are talking about when you can start!  

#3 Asking Overly Personal Questions

While you want to seem friendly and relaxed, asking personal questions during the interview might be considered inappropriate. Make sure you are aware of the company's formality and what is expected. If in doubt, speak to your recruiter! Questions about the interviewer's marital status, religion, or political views should be avoided. It's important to keep the conversation professional and relevant to the job.  Questions like this are completely inappropriate and will probably kill your chances of getting a job:
  • Want to go out for drinks or coffee later?
  • Is s/he married or have a significant other?
  • Are all the employees here “hot” (or — much worse — “as hot as you are”)?
(They seem crazy don't they, but these are all examples we have seen in the recruitment industry!) Focus on questions about the job. These questions may feel like they’re tension breakers or funny, but they aren’t appropriate in a job interview.

#4 Asking About The Company's Reputation

Asking about the company's reputation may give the impression that you're not familiar with the company. It's essential to do your research before the interview and have a good understanding of the company's history and reputation. As a candidate, you should focus on how you can contribute to the company instead of questioning its reputation.  Avoid questions like "what does the company do?" or "who is the main competition" because you should already know these from your research and asking them will seem as though you are unprepared and uninterested. Research the employer and the location before you go to the interview to be prepared to ask good questions in the interview. If you aren’t interested in them, they surely are not interested in you.  A good way to find out more about the company than you can find online is to ask about company culture, for example:
  • How would you describe your company culture in 3/5 words?
  • What kinds of employee achievements are most recognised?
  • What is your favourite part of working here that I wouldn't see on a tour/read about online?

#5 Asking About The Job Duties

While you should show an interest in the job role and your duties, asking about them in the wrong way may give the impression that you've a) not familiar with this kind of job, b) haven't read the job description or c0 you've read it and forgotten it!
  • What does the person in this job do?
  • What are the requirements of the job?
Questions like this seem to show that you haven't prepared at all - not a good look! In any interview, it's important to read the job description thoroughly before the interview and have a good understanding of the role's responsibilities. If you have any questions about the job duties, it's best to ask for clarification rather than asking what they are. You should speak to your recruiter about the role and description if you aren't sure. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the job description into the interview with you. Review it before the interview, and refer to it during the interview, as appropriate.

So, What Should You Ask In Your Interview?

You need to prepare by reading and researching the company, job role and if you know who you are interviewing with you can research them! Often, they will answer most of the common interview questions. Be prepared and think about more questions than you think you will need and take notes throughout the interview so you can remember things that catch your interest. Personal (but still professional) questions are great for example:
  • What do you enjoy most about working here?
  • What have past employees done to succeed in this role?
  • What qualities are the most important to succeeding in this role?
  • Is there anything else I can do or provide to help you make your decision?
  • Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications or experience?
For more interview tips you can head to our previous blog post on the how to interview well. And make sure you follow up with these 4 things to do immediately after your interview to seal the deal.  In conclusion, it's important to keep in mind that interviews are a two-way conversation. While it's essential to prepare for the interview and ask plenty of questions, there are definitely questions you should avoid asking. By avoiding these questions, you'll be able to make a positive impression on the employer and increase your chances of getting the job.  Looking for a new role? Head to Dotgap jobs now for the latest in digital marketing and ad agency vacancies.

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Recruitment agencies can be a great resource for job seekers and employers alike. As a job seeker, a recruitment agency can help you identify job opportunities that you may not have otherwise been aware of, while employers can benefit from agencies’ access to a larger candidate pool and specialised expertise.   However, getting the most out of your working relationship means you need to work effectively with recruitment agencies. In turn, this requires a certain level of knowledge and understanding. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your recruitment agency partnerships.  

The Best Ways To Maximise Your Working Relationship With Recruitment Agencies

Whether you are job seeking or looking for the right candidate for your company you need to understand how a recruitment agency works, what to expect from them and what you should do. This article will explore all of these.

Understand The Recruitment Process

It’s important to know how recruitment agencies work. Ask plenty of questions if you are unsure of any part of the process. This will ensure you are on the same page as your recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies work by helping companies find and hire the right candidates for their job openings. The process typically starts with the company reaching out to the recruitment agency with their job opening. They will then work with the company to understand their requirements, job description, and any other necessary details. Once the recruitment agency has a clear understanding of the job opening, they will begin to search for potential candidates. They may use a variety of methods, including searching their database of candidates, advertising the job opening, and reaching out to their network of contacts. As potential candidates are identified, the recruitment agency will screen and interview them to ensure they meet the requirements of the job opening. The agency will then present the top candidates to the company for their review and consideration.  Choosing a recruitment agency to help fill a vacancy offers great benefits including helping improve diversity and saving you time. Similarly, as a jobseeker, while you may continue to search for jobs outside of using an agency, they are specialists, and using their network in your chosen field can help you find the job of your dreams.

Choose The Right Recruitment Agency

All recruitment agencies are not created equal.  While they may seem the same, they may not be the right fit for you. So, do your research and make sure you are working the right agency for you. These are three key things to consider when choosing a recruitment agency:


When choosing a recruitment agency, reputation is key. Look for agencies that have a proven track record of success. You can do this by researching the agency online, reading reviews from past clients or candidates, and asking for referrals from colleagues in your industry. A reputable agency will have a strong network and a thorough understanding of your industry, which will increase your chances of finding the right match. 


Some recruitment agencies specialise in certain industries or job functions. It’s important to choose an agency that has experience in your specific area of interest. This will ensure that the agency understands your skills and qualifications, and can match you with relevant job opportunities. For example, if you’re an SEO content specialist, you’ll want to work with an agency that has experience placing candidates in SEO content roles. 


Communication is key when working with a recruitment agency. Look for an agency that is responsive and communicative throughout the job search process. They should be transparent about the job opportunities they present to you, and should provide feedback and updates on your application status. If an agency is unresponsive or difficult to communicate with, it may be a sign that they’re not the right fit for you.   

Be Honest And Open

Be clear and upfront about your needs, expectations, and qualifications with your recruitment agency. This will enable the agency to best match you with potential employers or candidates. Being truthful and transparent is crucial. For jobseekers, if you want them to find the best job opportunities for you, it's essential to be honest about your experience, qualifications, and goals. If you're dishonest about any of these things, you're likely to end up in a job that isn't a good fit for you. For employers, failure to accurately disclose what the job entails, or be honest about your company culture you will end up with a candidate who finds the job is not what they were expecting. The result? they leave and you have to rehire! Not only will this be frustrating, but it could also damage your relationship with the recruitment agency. So, always be truthful about your skills, experience, and career goals. Your recruitment agency is there to help you find the best job opportunities or candidates  and they can only do that if they have all the information they need.

Be Patient

Recruitment processes often take time. Allow your recruitment agency to do their job and trust the process. Just as it is important to keep communication open, do feel free to check in on their progress and provide important updates from your end but don't bombard them! Remember the process involves candidate, recruiter and company so there can be some delays in response times.  Make sure you take responsibility for responding in a timely manner too and you will contribute to the process running smoothly. 

By following these tips, you can maximize the potential of your recruitment agency partnerships and ensure that you are well-positioned to find the job that’s right for you. 

Choosing the right recruitment agency can be a game changer in your job search or hiring process. By carefully considering factors like reputation, specialisation, and communication, you can find an agency that understands your needs and can help you achieve your career goals.

Remember to do your research, ask for referrals, and trust your instincts when choosing an agency to work with. 

Dotgap is a recruitment agency by digital marketers, for digital marketers so we know how to match the best candidates with vacancies.

Head to our website for the newest vacancies or to find your perfect candidate.

If you enjoyed this article, you ca find more helpful job search advice on our blog:

Finding A Job When Jobs Are Scarce: How To Navigate A Recession As A Jobseeker  Dotgap Tips To Ace Your Next Marketing Agency Interview 

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We all know that preparing for a job interview is important. And, once you've completed your job interview, you might feel there isn't any more you can do to further your chances. However, there are still small things you can do to continue making an impression and be as prepared as possible for the next step.  Taking the right steps after an interview shows eagerness for the job which can be a deciding factor if you're being closely considered against other candidates.  This post will discuss some of the things you should do in the week after your job interview to give you the best chances in your job search.

Immediately After Your Job Interview

Ask for next steps and contact information 

When finishing an interview, you should ask for next steps. This shows you are organised and should provide you with a timeframe for decision making.  Please note, this might be different if you have been working with a recruiter, as you will already have their details! Think about the questions you will ask ahead of time to try and get the most information. For example, rather than asking simply, "what are next steps?" You could try asking, "when should I expect to hear from you?" Or, "will there be a second interview, and if so, when will you be notifying candidates moving forward?"

Assess your interview performance 

When you get home, take the time to assess your own performance and takeaways from the interview. Write down the questions you recall answering and how you answered them. Importantly, also include the things you didn't say that you wish you had. You may be able to add these into your follow up email. The goal is to identify issues and why they occurred so you can learn from them. This will help you in future interviews. 

Within 24 hours of Your Job Interview

If possible, you should send an email to thank them for their time and the opportunity to interview. Check out this link for some inspiration.  If you have delivered any material in your interview, for example, a presentation, make sure the interviewer gets a copy of all that was presented. The easiest way to facilitate this is to go through your recruiter. Reiterate your interest in the position. Following up is an effective way to increase your chances of being hired. You can also ask for feedback which can be invaluable for your next interview should you need it! It is a chance to elevate yourself as a candidate by keeping your name fresh in the interviewer's mind. 


Keep Active and Research the Company 

Take some time to research the company that interviewed you. Yes, even after the interview! Make sure you know all the relevant details about the company, such as their mission statement and what they do. This will help you if you are asked to come in for a second interview.  Taking the time to learn more about the company can help you make a good impression and further demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. 

Always Stay Positive 

Even if you don't get the job, don't give up. Remember that every interview is an opportunity to learn and grow. Reaching out to contacts in your field and networking with professionals in your industry can help you find new job opportunities and stay up to date on industry trends.  It's important to take action after a job interview to increase your chances of being hired. Doing the things presented in this article will ensure that you are in the best position possible to land your dream job. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more job search tips and digital marketing news on our blog.    

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Creating a digital marketing portfolio is an essential step for any professional looking to showcase their work and stand out from the competition.  You can use LinkedIn to showcase your work. LinkedIn lends itself well to copy, content or graphic design but with so many portfolio websites available, it can be difficult to know which one is the best fit for your needs. An impressive digital portfolio can be that extra boost that makes an application stand out. This is especially important for those trying to enter the marketing profession for the first time. A portfolio will showcase that you have learned how to do different aspects of marketing, as well as showing your work product capabilities.  

Here's Our Pick of 3 Websites for Creating Your Digital Marketing Portfolios

Creating that stunning digital portfolio can seem impossible. Where do you start? There are countless websites that claim to have high-level tools to aid you in your creative process. While many of them do, there are a few that truly work wonders in creating portfolios for marketers and designers alike. In no particular order, here's our pick of the best free sites.

#1 Wix 

Wix is known to be one of the free options when it comes to portfolio creation. It is a great choice for anyone looking for an easy-to-use and customizable website builder. It offers a wide range of templates, from simple designs to more advanced portfolio websites. You also have access to powerful features such as drag-and-drop editing, SEO optimization, and social media integration.  The drag and drop tool makes it infinitely simpler to produce what the marketer wants. It is very flexible and functional without requiring any coding knowledge. Whether you are looking for a very simple choice or a more techy and professional outlet, Wix gives you the flexibility you want when starting out.   

# 2 Flickr 

Flickr is a well-known portfolio site. While it is a good place to display your own work, it is a great way to interact with other digital marketers and serves as inspiration for future projects. It isn't for everyone though - the heavy focus on the community aspect can make it difficult to get your work seen. Many people using Flickr recommend building a secondary digital marketing portfolio website and connecting to it from Flickr. Flickr has created a large community of creatives that are open to feedback, portfolio engagement, and images from other users. Flickr is also great for ideas and collaboration on projects.  

#3 Behance 

Behance is a very visual platform. If your content involves more of a literary or analytic theme, you might find this one isn't for you. Behance is perfect for designers, illustrators, and creative marketers. It is well-known for creatives to showcase their work, network with other professionals, and get discovered. It offers a range of portfolio templates to choose from and provides the ability to easily share your work on other social media platforms.  Whether you are looking for the attention of digital marketing hiring managers, or that of agencies, Behance is a great way for new marketers to show off their skills.  A key aspect of its functionality lies in growing the audience of its creators.

Which One Will You Choose For Your Digital Marketing Portfolio

No matter what platform you choose, creating an online portfolio is an important step in marketing yourself as a creative professional. With the right portfolio website, you can showcase your work, connect with other creatives, and stand out from the competition.  The site mentioned in this article are only a small selection but there is something to suit everyone.  Are you looking for your next step in digital marketing?  Dotgap is a recruitment agency with a difference. We are ex-agency so we know the ins and outs of working in this industry and are committed to helping you progress. Get in touch now or visit our jobs page for more vacancies If you enjoyed this article, you might want to check out these previous posts: Elevate your Job Search With These 3 Tips For Using Social Media 5 Essential Things You Must Include On Your Digital Marketing CV in 2023

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We would love to hear from you if you are either looking for a new job in the digital media industry or if you are looking to find talent and hire people from the digital media industry.

We work mainly with media agencies, advertisers, media owners, marketing agencies. technology companies and creative agencies.

Send us an email and we will respond as soon as possible.

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