How to Get Your First Break in the Digital Industry?

We caught up with 3 junior creatives who managed to get their dream jobs. Get some useful tips from people who’ve been there.

digital industry

It’s a known fact that for a junior or a grad to crack into the industry, with little commercial experience and minimal portfolio – it’s very difficult. We’ve caught up with 3 junior creatives who managed to get into their dream roles. Get some useful tips from the people who truly understand your struggles….

Giovanna, Junior Developer

What was your training/ education leading up to your current role?

I originally graduated in Foreign Languages, but the market being very difficult I decided to learn Front End development. I attended a three months course at General Assembly in London and found a job very shortly after that.

What would your best piece of advice be for a someone looking to get into the industry?   

Don’t be scared about coding, everybody has to start from somewhere, therefore just do it! I started quite late, but that didn’t stop me from trying my best, and it is definitely paying off!

How did you make yourself stand out when applying to companies?

I always try to stand out not only by showing my code or what I can build (which is very important), but also by showing a bit of creativity. I think having an original CV helps a lot with creative agencies, so my advice would be, put something original in your application and people will notice you!

 

Emma, Junior UX/ Researcher

What training/ education did you need to pursue your current role?

You don’t necessarily have to come from a specific educational background to become a UX Designer. I have met many UX Designers that are self-taught and on the job experience is probably the best kind, but studying the key processes and having the required software skills can certainly help.

I have a degree in BSc Psychology from Cardiff University. Then after years of working in advertising and digital design as a producer I undertook the immersive UX Design course at General Assembly London.

What would your best piece of advice for a someone looking to get into the industry?   

Take the plunge! Then keep reading, tweeting, going to meet ups and meeting like-minded people. The industry is relatively small at the moment and ever evolving so it pays to keep abreast of emerging technologies and make yourself known.

How did you make yourself stand out when applying to companies?

Play to your own strengths. I don’t come from a design background myself but I studied psychology and have experience working in an agile environment, managing stakeholders and leading the production of apps and websites for well known agencies in London. The course at General Assembly has helped too as I was able to hone my UX skills and build upon my existing knowledge of software such as Photoshop, Omnigraffle, Sketch, Marvel, Axure, Invision and more.

 

Amy, Content Publisher

What training/ education did you need to pursue your current role?

I studied Fashion Entrepreneurship at university which gave me an introduction to fashion, trend forecasting, layout design, creative writing and a good understanding of the relationship between fashion, technology and the digital world. I then landed my first job in London with a small start-up company which was a marketplace of gifts for women as the Community Manager, overseeing all things on the social media side so interacting with different brands across various social media platforms, I also headed up the design side of the website including creating imagery for various campaigns. This role gave me a greater insight into how the digital world/industry worked and made me want to progress further.

What would your best piece of advice for a someone looking to get into the industry?   

Do your research and always make sure you know what’s coming next within the industry, always stay on top of trends.

How did you make yourself stand out when applying to companies?

I always had a creative CV that I would change the design of when applying for a particular role. Sometimes I would use the brand colours or just use a particular tone of voice that the brand was familiar with – this always built a rapport with the brand and I feel like that makes a big difference when trying to stand out, doing something a little more original sometimes is the key and not always doing something that is too ‘out there.’

These are just three examples of how hard work, dedication and in-depth knowledge can be your ticket into one of the most competitive industries around.

When breaking into the world of digital, it’s important to fully understand your role and the expectations, as well as a solid knowledge base of the industry and companies you are applying for.

Make sure your CV is tailored to the specific role you are going for, and that your portfolio it’s filled with only the best and most relevant projects. Consider your personal brand, ensure your social feeds are clean and professional (find out how to create an all-star LinkedIn profile here.)

Many digital roles will require you to have some form of experience, whether that be an internship, an independent project or certification with a reputable trainer (like General Assembly) so grab every opportunity to develop your skills.

And remember, knowledge and experience might get you in the door – but personality, passion and enthusiasm will keep you there.

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