Job Hunting Tips 2020 for Digital Professionals

Are you determined to start the new year with a new job? We speak to our digital recruiters worldwide for their tips on getting hired in the new year.…

Are you determined to start the new year with a new job? We speak to our digital recruiters worldwide for their tips on getting hired in the new year.

Our recruiters spend a fair amount of time not only with our hiring clients but the digital professionals (we refer as talent) in the market.

In a week, they can speak to up to 40 digital professionals and possibly receiving twice to three times the amount of that figure in resumes. The initial conversations are always focussed on the talent’s abilities, their motivation to work and of course, an exchange of information about the client who is hiring.

Having conversations with a vast number of talent in the digital landscape, our recruiters are equipped to advise clients on the existing market capacity and guide digital talent to reach their aspirations, be it a job or in their career as a whole.

In this blog, we speak to some of our consultants worldwide. Meet:

22Jan20_Job Hunting Tips 2020 for Digital Professionals_Cogs-Asia-Digital-Consultants 22Jan20_Job Hunting Tips 2020 for Digital Professionals_Cogs-Europe-Digital-Consultants
Cogs Europe Consultants
  • Amreen, Senior Consultant for Design and Creative Talents (e.g. UX, UI, ECD, ADs etc.) in Singapore
  • Selma, Principal Consultant for Commercial Talents (Marketing, Advertising, Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, Brand Marketing etc.) in China
  • Connie, Principal Consultant for Commercial Talents (e.g. Marketing, Advertising, Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, Brand Marketing etc.) in Hong Kong
  • Dennis, Consultant for Data talents (e.g. Data Analytics, Data Engineering, Data Strategy, Machine Learning, etc.) in Hong Kong
  • Matt, Principal UX, Product and Service Design Consultant  in London
  • Christopher, Head of Technology Recruitment in Berlin

Hi team! Thanks for taking the time to speak to our readers and fellow job seekers looking forward to new career opportunities. You’re all hiring for different roles within the digital ecosystem. What are the top skills clients are looking for in your hiring speciality?

Amreen: Team players who are flexible and have a “can-do attitude”. Obviously hard skills and the years of experience is always essential to any role, but we are seeing more and more clients putting emphasis on the personality and culture-fit. Sometimes if a candidate lacks a certain hard skill, they can pick it up e.g. a software, but it’s the soft skills like kindness and empathy in the workplace which can’t be taught. And these can go a long way.

Selma: Solid related experience from a similar role and industry is always the first thing that our clients would look at. Other than that, for the marketing roles, most clients would consider communication skill as well as creative and strategic thinking as a MUST requirement; for project management roles, technical skill/project management skill and communication skill are essential.

Connie: I’d say digital performance tracking skills are trending among my retail clients, especially those that have established their own eCommerce sites. There are a lot of businesses in HK hoping to tap into the Greater China market – so clients are looking to hire talents with solid China Content Creation and Social Media experience.

Dennis: Technical skills are still essential and necessary (Python, SQL, predictively modelling, Big Data platform, cloud-based environment, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, data visualization tools, etc.).  However, the understanding of how data can translate (analysed) into real business solutions plays a huge role in setting you apart from the herd.

Matt: User research skills and the ability to consider the whole user journey, both online and offline – are some of the skills that clients across London and the UK currently have high on their agenda.

Christopher: We are seeing a huge demand for a variety of emerging tech roles which looks set to continue into 2020. In Berlin and Germany specifically, these are the area that we are seeing most growth on the job front; ADAS, ADTF, QNX, SPS (PLC), Kotlin, HMI, Autosar and Cloud Native.

How and what should candidates prepare when meeting clients?

Amreen: At the design desk, I’m constantly working with candidates on their presentation because having a solid portfolio is one of the key ingredients to landing an interview. The portfolio is what I like to refer to as the “hook”. The other key ingredient is doing your homework before meeting the client. Go through their website, look them up on their social media or other platforms to see who they are and get a sense of their culture, so when you go in for the chat, you’ll be well prepared e.g. if the environment is conservative, don’t go in wearing a t-shirt and flipflops. Similarly, if you’re chatting to a start-up and their style is casual, showing up in a suit might not be necessary.

Selma: Learn about the role and research the client. Understand the brand/organisation, the business and their culture – these will help you. Before an interview, organise your most relevant experience and skills for the job. You can prepare some (successful) case studies or projects samples and share them with the client either through verbal expression or written portfolio would add value to the meeting.

Connie: A work portfolio will help impress the interviewer. The portfolio should include some case studies with how they come up with the idea, action plan and the campaign performance (i.e. conversion rate, engagement rate etc.)

Dennis: Prepared candidates are often more successful. Prior to the meeting, candidates should do their research on the company’s background and some of the main projects in their pipeline. Show your relevance as to ‘why you make a good hire’, with examples of your own projects, dashboards, etc. This would be helpful.

Matt: It is vital that candidates have relevant case studies relating to their own portfolio on hand to relate to the company/client they are meeting. This will demonstrate your value you’d bring to the team.

Christopher:  A candidate definitely needs to have a look at the company website, prepare questions, think about any potential positives and negatives of the job and role. The candidate should think about what he/she would need to know if they were to start the job tomorrow – ask questions!  Also, an obvious pointer but important nonetheless, be prepared and sure to map your journey to the interview and dress appropriately (dependent on the company’s dress code).

What is the one parting secret/tip you want to share with talents who are job searching in your country/region?

Amreen: I come across a lot of talent who act like prima donnas, and they go to interviews acting entitled and with a lot of attitude. Please don’t show up for job interviews with this kind of disposition. Clients always gravitate towards profiles that have a growth mindset who are flexible and are team players.

Selma: Some companies in China would expect their employees to be more flexible about putting in extra hours when necessary. Therefore, expressing your passion for work (there) and your commitment to complete project/task on time is helpful. For expatriates, sharing your understanding about China including your Mandarin and your willingness to live in China is highly appreciated.

Connie: I suggest that candidates research more about the interviewer and the team (that they will be joining) members on LinkedIn before going to the interview. You’ll then know exactly where to start the conversation and what are the right things to highlight.

Dennis: Since local (data) talents are still in the buddy phase, companies are interested in bringing on board foreign talents who have more exposure and experience with cutting-edge technology(ies). That doesn’t mean it’s over for locals! Be sure to highlight all the tools/ languages you are proficient in to get your foot in the door.

Matt: My best piece of advice is to be open to different sorts of companies and products/services because you might just end up being really interested in something you hadn’t thought of before!

Christopher: Don’t apply a thousand times to the same company, even for different roles ( it doesn’t look good on you, the candidate). Also, don’t apply for one hundred different jobs  – be selective with your applications.  Only apply to jobs and companies you really like, where you can identify with their culture and products (or services). You should also consider whether or not you could be a good asset (bring value) for their business and how.

— END —


Thank you, team, for taking the time to respond to our questions. We hope that their answers

Looking for a new job? Do you want to be the key to helping companies transform digitally? View all open roles here.


These other topics might be of your interest:

Our Annual Salary Benchmarks

The Tech Talent Gap in Singapore and SE Asia




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