Recently, we've been talking a lot about how to get jobs, perform well in interviews and utilise moving companies to your advantage. However, given the current economic climate and cost of living crisis, many people are looking for stability and assurance they will be in work and able to pay their bills. Upskilling enables you to strengthen your position, improve your skills and develop new ones. In times of economic trouble, employers may focus on retention and fill job vacancies internally, making it a crucial time to upskill for your career growth. So, whether you are still looking for a new job, or staying where you are, you can secure your position and increase your chances of success by upskilling – in digital, there is no such thing as knowing too much!
Upskilling - How To Do itEffective upskilling involves the combination of internal skills and external resources. Depending on where you work and what your current working situation is, you should be able to use a mix of your company’s training modules as well as your own creativity to your advantage. With so many of us working from home now it can be difficult to leverage company resources in the same way. So, whether you’re aiming to make a move, increase your pay or just make yourself more versatile, here are some of the top ways to upskill remotely, or fit it into your new hybrid working.
#1 Make it a part of your routineIf you are trying to fit in upskilling around working from home, it can be really challenging. By the time you've done your work it can be really hard to stay at your desk and commit to learning. But, here's the thing. If you don't commit to it, you won't do it. Try starting small, half an hour before you start your working day for example, or a quiet hour after your evening meal.
#2 Listen to podcastsThis seems to feature a lot in tips and blogs online and for good reason! There is a wealth of great information out there now, easily accessible and easy to fit in your life. You can listen to a podcast at the gym, on the bus, doing the washing up, or while working. Check out some of these upskilling podcasts as see what you think.
#3 Read industry news and booksWhile many books are available online to listen to know, podcasts aren't for everyone. Try subscribing to industry newsletters or magazines and looking for industry-related books you can enjoy with your coffee.
#4 Try out new technologiesTake the opportunity whenever possible to have a go at new technologies. This might be something you get the chance to do at work or something you need to take on yourself. The truth is, even non-tech roles require a certain amount of technical proficiency in the digital marketing world. There are usually free tutorials for many platforms which aren't too time consuming or labour intensive.
#5 Use online course providersThere are so many courses available online now. Udemy and LinkedIn Learning provide thousands of course options for a reasonable price - LinkedIn offers a one-month free trial. Google Analytics Academy and Codeacademy have free courses available and both provide fantastic insights for those working in digital industries.
#6 Attend virtual eventsEven though we are back out in the world there are still plenty of online events and conferences which allow you to attend from your own home and connect with people around the world. A great way to learn and upskill without leaving the house - saving you time.
Upskilling Is FutureproofingWith virtual options and free courses available, if you are thinking about upskilling for any reason, there really is nothing to stop you. Just don't overload your schedule. Start with small and manageable learning and see what works with your lifestyle. Don't forget to ask your employer if there is something specific related to your role or company you want to learn - they may be able to share excellent resources with you and might even give you time to learn in your working day. For more content like this, head to the dotgap blog!
As we are coming out of summer, the Christmas countdowns will be starting before you know it. The rest of the year has a tendency to slip away very quickly and if you are job hunting, you may feel as though everything grinds to a halt and you may as well wait until the new year to find a new job. You may have even heard that companies don’t hire in the fourth quarter of the year because of the holidays. The truth is though, the worst time of year to find a job is actually over the summer, during the school holiday period. Hiring remains relatively high across all sectors with a notable increase in hiring across hospitality and leisure, retail and media, marketing, advertising, PR and sales. These industries are the most active recruiters at the moment. October through December are certainly very busy for businesses but companies all across the country will still be actively recruiting and keen to have open positions filled for the new year. On top of this, if you don’t find your dream job to apply for there are still plenty of things you can do to help get a job before the year ends.
Networking Can Help You Find A JobPart of the reason the holiday season seems like a daunting time for jobseekers and hiring managers is the busy social side of the end of the year. It is likely your calendar will fill up with social events with friends, family and work events all vying for space. Instead of writing off the last quarter of the year to parties, why not make them work for you? 85% of job openings are filled through networking in the UK. Now, we aren't suggesting you try and network with your granddad at your Aunt Linda's Christmas lunch but you never know who you might meet at a holiday party. Someone might know of an opening at their work or put you in touch with a friend who's hiring. Consider taking business cards with you or connecting on social media. Keep it professional though - Linked In is best. For tips of how to network successfully, check out this article on networking at tech events.
Be Ready For Short Notice InterviewsAs we have already mentioned, hiring doesn’t slow down in Q4. However, you need to remember that many employees take time off for the holidays and this can slow down the recruitment process while staff cover for one another. You might notice you wait longer than usual for a reply to emails. Don't let this put you off your efforts to find a new job. You may receive interview confirmation and a date with little notice. With staff off, it will be harder for companies to organise interviews. o, you should be ready to go at short notice. Read up on interview skills, think of answers to common interview questions and think about why you want to work for this company. When you get called in for an interview, you'll just have to focus on researching the company. You'll be able to go in armed with knowledge and feel confident you are prepared.
Get A Headstart On The New YearObviously, there are many reasons you may not find a new job by the end of the year but there are still reasons why you should be active in your industry during Q4. The fact that many believe there is no hiring in Q4 will work in your favour, you might find there are less applicants and you are more likely to land an interview. Even if your dream company isn't actually hiring until the new year, you will benefit from networking. It is a great time of year to network and if you are memorable, you might be the first person they bring in for an interview. You can avoid being lost in a pile of new year's applications.
Now Is A Great Time To Find A JobThe average time to hire in 2022 is 42 days. If you take into account the time on either side of that for you to find a new job, and to get ready to start, the whole process can take longer. By October, many companies will be making plans for the new year which includes seeing whether they need new staff. Instead of hiring someone in January, it’s much more beneficial to hire someone in the months before so their new hire can be fully onboarded and ready to contribute once the calendar rolls over. For your next opportunity, contact doptgap today and find your next job!
For a long time, digital industries and media agencies have had a lack of diversity in regard to their employees and senior members. Gender, age and race are the least balanced but this article will also look at LGBQT+ and disabilities to help highlight the problems, progress and areas to work on for a more diverse digital media world. While stats across all industries showed some improvements in these areas over the last decade, unfortunately, and especially in media agencies, this progress was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with stats showing a drop across all areas. For more information, you can check the IPA 2020 Census. This report suggests the pay gap widened too, as did the number of female employees. However, it would be remiss to ignore the latest findings of the same report. Only a year later we can see some improvement and there are some encouraging findings:
- More individuals from a non-white background are holding senior positions, as well as an increase in those holding entry-level and junior roles.
- There has been an increase, albeit a marginal one, of women holding senior roles in media agencies.
Diverse Workforces: Ethnic DiversityAccording to data collected by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, a sobering 88.8% of employees in the digital sector are from a white ethnic group. What's more, a study entitled 'Black, Qualified and Unemployed' found that BME individuals who graduated with a first degree were twice as likely to be unemployed than white graduates. 2020 was a year of big change in terms of bringing racial discrimination to the foreground of public opinion. The Black Lives Matter Movement was unlike anything seen in decades and was impossible for businesses to ignore. BAME representation has improved in media and advertising agencies in the last few years, there is still more that can be done. There is so much untapped potential out there. It has been suggested that if individuals from BAME backgrounds were able to reach their full career potential through opportunities and progress in the workplace they would add 24 billion to the UK economy with the most diverse companies over 30% more likely to have higher earnings. If you are interested in hearing more, BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) are pushing for more initiatives and accountability around improving diversity. They believe that a diversity index with baseline diversity stats would help everyone to set targets and see how much further it is for the UK sector to go. Head to their website for more information.
Diverse Workforces: Gender DiversityWhen it comes to gender, women are taking up less than 40% of roles. So we need to ask why. Gender imbalance in digital and tech starts all the way back in the UK primary, secondary and higher education systems. Recent estimates have found that 50,000 girls turn away from STEM subjects every year, despite out-performing boys across STEM subjects. Some studies suggest this starts with general misinformation about what school subjects can lead to what roles. For example, there are many outdated preconceptions around STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and careers. But we should not forget that non-STEM subjects can lead to digital roles too. Digital, media and tech companies can counter this by doing outreach in schools, giving talks and making sure they are involved in communities in some way. Schools should be communicating career opportunities and pathways to all students. There is still an image of STEM subjects and digital jobs being more masculine which is not helped in male-dominated classrooms and workspaces. Combined with a lack of support, from those teachers or parents who don't understand tech and digital, this can lead to a lack of confidence which sees women perhaps not going for careers they want.
Diverse Workforces: Ageism And DiversityThere is an age divide in the media, advertising and digital industries. It appears the under 25s and over 55s are affected the most. A report from 2020 found that only 7% of those employed by agencies were under 25 and only 6% were over 50. With an average age of 34 in most media agencies, what causes this and what can be done to counter it? The truth is, with a wide age range of employees, you will be able to successfully talk to more consumers, something which is particularly important in the media advertising industries. If creativity and communication is the goal, creating a multi-generational environment can help fuel better solutions. "More than 500% of budgets are targeted at millennials; yet consumers 55+ spend more than double the 18-34s." - Annalie Killian, Sparks & Honey, from this article in The Drum, reminding us that the older generations have more money to spend, so perhaps it is time fore a shift in focus.
Diverse Workforces: LGBTQ+ RepresentationThis is a more positive section of this article, the All In census found the number of employees identifying at LGBTQIA+ is significantly higher in media advertising agencies than the UK population average. The UK average is 3% whereas 10% of those working in agencies identify as LGBTQIA+. However, this census did find that almost 40% of those who identified as LGBTQIA+ felt under-represented at senior levels, compared with only 23% of heterosexual employees. It would be important to examine the reasons why this could be the case in your agency, and be sure to encourage all co-workers to apply for promotions and senior roles regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Research by The Valuable 500 found that out of all the articles discussing diversity published in 2019 and 2020, only three percent referenced disabilities. So, while there is a big conversation around other aspects of diversity, this is one community who are continually side-lined. People with disabilities are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the world including more than 750 million individuals. Disability inclusion significantly widens the talent pool. Moreover, companies that excel at disability employment and inclusion are likely to experience higher revenue, higher net income, higher economic profit margins and an increased likelihood of outperforming their peers. A related point, taken from another blog post on disability diversity that should encourage all of us to care more about this issue is this: Unlike the other diversity types mentioned in this article, a disability can be developed at any point during your life. You can become disabled at any time so equity and inclusion should be important to all.
Diversity And Inclusion Mean SuccessIn short, being inclusive of gender, age, disability, race and LGBQT+ will give your company a diverse and representative workforce. What this means is that your output will likely be better for your consumer. Bringing as many different ideas and perspectives to the digital table is paramount to inclusive, supportive workplaces and brilliant products/services that are built with all users in mind. Having more diverse teams at every level of development in a digital company means that end products and services can better reflect users and wider society. Creating products free of bias and prejudice cannot be achieved without a diverse creating team.
What Can We Do To Be More Diverse?Within your company, you can make every day, micro-level changes. If we use gender diversity s the example here, you could think about preventing a male-centric groupthink, or encouraging a female colleague to go for a senior position. Something as simple as making space to listen to the concerns of women in the workplace can help to build a respectful, comfortable environment. People from different countries, cultures, religions, genders, sexual orientation, ages and so on must embrace such diversity – not just tolerate it. They need to seek out the opinions of people who may seem foreign to them and think differently from them. They need to bring them into the tents of strategy-making, business process redesign, business model revolution, and skill building. That’s the inclusion part of diversity, and it’s just as important as having a multitude of very different people from very different walks of life. Digital companies have to take the initiative and become pro-active when it comes to diversity. New initiatives nationally and regionally are worth engaging with, as well as looking at your recruitment policies and diversity and inclusion training for current employees. Blind hiring and unconscious bias training for all staff is a great way to start your journey to a truly diverse company. Policies and procedures in the workplace to support diversity, create comfortable workplaces and ensure employees don’t drop out are all well and good but starting at an earlier stage, before candidates get to the workplace is important too. Think about talking to your recruitment agency next time you are hiring. For more blog posts about media agencies, jobseeking and roles, head to dotgap now.
Do you have itchy feet? Maybe you are looking for new opportunities in a market with more room for growth? Or are you simply dreaming of sunnier climes? With global travel becoming increasingly accessible again, and countries once more welcoming visas and immigration, there's no time like now to start looking for your next job abroad. Before you embark on your next adventure, you need to make sure you CV is up to scratch. Read on for three simple tips to optimise your CV for international job search.
Always Write A Personal StatementSome things never change. From our experience, all countries look favourably on a personal statement. Whether it’s explicitly asked for or not, it is a great way to showcase you personality, achievements, and ambitions as well as a way to expand on your previous experience. Your full job history may not fit on two pages of your CV* so a well-written personal statement gives you a great opportunity to sum up what makes you the best fit for this role. *Bonus tip: some countries even prefer a one-page CV, and others permit three!
Do I Need A Photo For My International Job Search?Depending on the job your are applying for, and the country it is in you may need to provide a photograph. This list provides a fairly comprehensive overview of which countries require a photo with a CV submission. However, be wary, this can change, and may be different for different roles so be sure to consider tip number three below: research.
Do Your ResearchThis shouldn't be news to any seasoned job seeker but ALWAYS DO YOUR RESEARCH. Find out about the company, the company culture, the country's working culture, whether a photo is expected, or frowned upon, what personal information should be included. Treat this like your first CV and make sure you double-check everything. Carrying out research on new countries is easier now than ever before. You can join international jobs Facebook groups and connect with people who live there, or even connect with employees at the company via Linked In. Make sure to get a native speaker to read your CV, especially if you are writing in another language.
Checklist For Success In Your International Job SearchJust like any job search in your home country, it is vital to understand the CV norms and expectations. You can unwittingly exclude yourself from consideration for a role without even having your CV read to the end. In summary, here's our checklist for success:
- There is no universal template
- Find out about any local or national cultural norms
- Check out Linked In
- And don’t forget the usual tips on How to Make Your Job Application Stand Out
When it comes to updating or writing your CV, it can feel like a huge challenge. The jobs market is an ever increasingly fast-paced place, and jobs trends can change month on month with the market which means that CVs change too.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska at Pexels.comEmployers are looking for someone special and as more people gain qualifications, more types of jobs open up and digital jobs continue to boom, it is important to keep on top of things! Time for a spring clean of your CV? Here’s 5 things you MUST include in 2022
Talk About WFH Experience
Photo by Ketut Subiyanko at Pexels.com Photo by Vlada Karpovick at Pexels.comWhile the debate still rages over the benefits, or not, of remote working, there is no doubt that flexible working and the virtual office is here to stay. If you have experiences to share about successful and productive then talk about it! Make sure you sell yourself as a self-motivated worker, productive, proactive and working under your own initiative.
Highlight Results over ResponsibilitiesThis is one of the most common things people do in their employment history. It’s not a mistake to talk about responsibilities but if you fail to mention the results and achievements you made then it is a wasted opportunity! Don't feel as though you need to remove the word ’responsibility’ from your CV vocabulary, just make sure to follow it up with what you did with that responsibility. For example: "I was responsible for monitoring digital campaigns through the use of strategic reporting. As part of this process, I was able to identify new opportunities which emerged, increasing our client retention by XXX % in 2020"
Create a Compelling and Relevant IntroductionThis is a tip on every CV advice list but it is always worth repeating. It is too easy to get complacent with your personal profile and CV intro, especially if you are applying for a lot of similar jobs. Do:
- Check your introduction for each CV you send
- Use keywords from the job description
- Confirm you have the essential skills required from the role.
Writing Your CV for ATS
Photo by Negative Space at Pexels.comMany big companies now are using applicant tracker systems to whittle down large numbers of applicants. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure you make it through the first scan. As we have mentioned in the section above, identifying and using keywords from the job description throughout your CV (think skills, qualifications, experience) will be a big help in the ATS recognising your document as belonging to a viable candidate. Avoid ‘overdesigning’ your CV with fancy fonts and borders as these can confused the ATS search functions. Check here for acceptable fonts and more tips!
Address any COVID DowntimeThis is inevitable. Most people will have experienced either working from home, a period of furlough or even redundancy during the recent pandemic. This is an ongoing part of life for many and has affected the career prospects of hundreds of thousands of people. You are not alone in this. Think about what you did with your time during lockdown. Don't be afraid to get creative with writing it up! Gaining qualifications, reassessing your priorities and even taking part in sports challenges can teach you beneficial and transferrable skills, so let your prospective employer know about it.
Writing Your CV Doesn’t Have To Take Forever
Photo by Cottonbro at Pexels.comIt always seems like a daunting process, but not updating your CV will just mean your hours spent sending CVs out will be wasted. Keep it simple, keep it relevant and don’t be afraid to state proudly what you can do and why. Digital jobs can take you all round the world and offer some of the best flexible opportunities. The digital world has with room for more growth than many other industries. If you’d like to hear more, and see where your CV can take you, get in touch today! We’d love to hear from you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re unemployed or if you have a job you’ve grown tired of; either way, January is the best time to start your job search. The previous year is behind you, you’ve just had a break for Christmas and you’re ready to focus on your future. Are you ready to find a new job? If so, here are two reasons why January is the best time to look for new work.