The Candidate was delighted to be invited to speak at the BBC Academy's Digital Cities event held at University of Salford's Media City campus. Covering a range of topics from eSports to content production, students and digital practitioners were introduced to the future of digital. We spoke about helping the future of digital to develop their careers and how to be the perfect candidate in the digital sector.
Held in the impressive DPL studio at the campus, our afternoon slot followed a session on Virtual Reality, underlining the future of digital media and the cutting edge activities that are contributing to the sector in the region. The audience were keen to understand how they could stand out from the crowd and be the perfect candidate.
Firstly we covered the interview and key elements relating to it. We believe there are 3 areas to being this type of candidate:
This is absolutely key to securing your dream role and the first point after the CV to impress! Check out the job spec, do your homework and then try to prepare some mutual ground with the interviewer. Be confident and relax and even if there are a few nerves, they'll usually understand as it can show how keen you are! Sometimes you'll find the brief may change, depending on what you could bring to the role, so be prepared to be flexible. One stand out point from any interview is to not discuss salary until the end of the process and better still leave any negotiations to the recruitment agency as they are working in your best interests.
2. Skills and Experience
In the interview ensure that you show passion! This must come across if you are to be the perfect candidate for them. It would complement your skills highlighted in your showreel which should showcase your journey in the sector so far. Make sure you get your tangibles across and understand where you want to go! This mix will be sure to put you ahead of the others!
3. Personality & Cultural Fit
This is 50% of what employers are looking for and once you've done your homework then you can build a synergy in the interview. Do you like the environment that the company is set in? You'll spend a lot of your life here so make sure you like it and it will motivate you! Your personality fit will likely suit one company over another, so try and understand these ahead of any interview. Remember, not every company and every job will be for you, so don't be too disappointed if things don't go well.
Core to anyone's job searching is the use of social media. Key to this is LinkedIn and how using the effectively can generate rewards.
The recruiter's choice in 2016 and we predict this to last for some time now. This is the essential tool for helping those to find work and also those in work to realise their dream job and helping people to excel in their role. As the majority of professionals in our sector have a profile, it is important to not only have one but to keep it up to date, current and preferably engaging. Whether you're building your identity, your network or knowledge base, this should be the starting point for developing your career. What LinkedIn offer more than any job board or social media site is a database of passive candidates for recruiters and employers to browse. At some stage it is likely that any employee will be looking for a role and therefore LinkedIn will be in a position to help them.
Employers are using LinkedIn and actively searching for candidates on the platform. Top search criteria include headings under your name, job title, job description, location, geography, current and previous jobs, similar jobs, years in industry and work experience. Remember your LinkedIn profile isn't your Facebook profile so don't have your social life documented on there, that is a big no! Make sure the content on your description is relevant and keyword heavy, this will help employers find you quickly. Having a personalised LinkedIn web address may also help and alongside recommendations on your profile, you have a significant chance of being approached for appropriate roles. Getting a recommendation from a client, colleague or lecturer can be very useful in making sure your profile stands out. More advanced ways of making your profile stand out include having Rich Media on your LinkedIn profile and combining this with LinkedIn groups which can be very powerful, just to make sure they are relevant to your experience.
Working with recruiters
Unfortunately there are a significant amount of bad recruiters that exist, so it's important to understand how you can swerve the cowboys and work with the best. More than just a 'necessary evil,' good recruiters are contracted by major companies and employers to find you the right role. But beware, some recruiters will pick up your CV from job sites and attempt to win new business by putting your details forward and there's little you can do about it. We advise all candidates to work with a good recruiter by doing some research and getting recommendations. Check out who's won awards, who are affiliated to recruitment bodies and companies where staff have worked there for a long time. Working with them for the long term is the ideal situation, so they can be with you throughout your career.
In summary we advise you to act now. Start building your LinkedIn network now and find a great recruiter to work with. Remember social media is your shop front, start building networks on there and sharing content to build your social brand. Follow these tips and you'll be the perfect candidate in the job that you love!
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