The digital agency scene is a mixed landscape, and often a difficult industry to get into. Here at Parallax we’ve put together a few hints and tips for finding the perfect role and getting a job at a digital agency.
Whether you’re looking for your first role after graduating or leaving school, or perhaps you’re a seasoned pro looking for a new role, we’ve prepared some advice for finding that dream job at a digital agency, in Leeds or anywhere in the world.
It starts with you
Choosing a career path is not an easy thing to do and finding the right work-life balance can be stressful. Roles in digital agencies are incredibly varied from development and design teams to the client facing and account management professionals.
As well as considering what you want to do within a digital agency, consider what type of person you are, and what type of work fits your personality. The work you enjoy the most is the work you will prosper in. If you’re not enjoying your work, you won’t perform as well as you can.
Once you’ve established what type of role your personality and skills set match, it’s really important to invest time in researching and understanding the different types of agencies and researching how they operate.
Dedicating time to understand different agencies is paramount. From researching the company’s values and existing work on their website, to using Linkedin as a tool to discover more about the people that work there can be a great place to start.
More than likely the agency will have a strong digital footprint. See what the agency are talking about on social media; if you manage to get an interview, then demonstrating that you know the company and what they’re up to will definitely impress.
Investigate their client portfolio and the range of work they do. Does this match up with your expectations and the type of work you want to do?
Once you’ve done your research and shortlisted a few digital agencies who are hiring or might be in the future, make sure that the type of work you do (or want to do) matches their brand and culture. Check out their blog and see what they’re talking about and what type of agency they are in terms of your expectations.
Some initial questions you might ask yourself should include:
- What type of work does the digital agency do?
- What do they do that is unique?
- What kind of clients do they have?
- Do they invest in training and help employees develop?
- What aspirations are there within the company?
- Is there room for progression over the years?
- Who are their current staff?
- Does the digital agency seem like a place I would like to work?
- What is their reputation in the digital sector?
Drilling into these questions will help you make sure that the agency you’re looking at is right for you.
In your application you need to think that there will be hundreds of other prospective candidates who are desperate for getting a job at a digital agency. Give your cover letter or CV a reason to stand out from the crowd.
This depends on the type of role you’re going for, for example if you’re a designer applying for a position at a digital agency then the application should reflect a design focus. The CV could be beautifully crafted with careful design and created in Illustrator rather than in Word.
If a copywriter was looking for a position at a digital agency then the words on their CV need to reflect their skills by conveying convincing and compelling copy. The application process is a chance to show off and present your skills and abilities. Making this particularly relevant to the role being applied for should not be underestimated.
The content of your application should carefully reflect your capabilities and reasons for wanting to work not just in digital, but why you are applying for that particular company. Explain how you would add value to the organisation.
The Culture Glove – It’s a two way fit
Company culture is a huge factor in the digital agency world. Like any job, the person and company need to be the right match. The digital scene in particular has its own little quirks and untraditional work styles and practices.
Making sure that the culture is right for your personality is incredibly important and working with like-minded people is essential. If you’re not on the same wavelength then you won’t be creating work to the best of your potential. Have a chat with people in the office if you can and get a grasp of the company’s values.
We live in a culture where we spend more time with our work colleagues than we do our friends and families, so getting on with them and enjoying being their company is very important and will make going to work not really feel like ‘going to work’ anymore. Getting this mix right will see great results further down the line.
‘To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.’ Never has a quote run so true for a job interview. You’ve made the final cut and have the chance to speak face to face with the MD or Manager of the department that you want to be working in. You should feel confident and eager to show off how much you know about the digital agency and what you can bring to the table.
If you’re applying for a role in a digital agency it’ll likely be a creative position. Whether this is in design, development or content, make sure your work is up to date and showcases the best of your abilities. Even if you don’t have your own online portfolio or dribble account, you should include links to the work you’ve created including websites, articles or online tools. You’ll then be able to bring up these links and show off your work in your interview.
Remember, people want to work with people they get on with. Come across in a friendly and professional manor, and don’t forget to smile. Your body language and facial expression will give away a lot about how you feel and think. Think positively and come across confidently, but not arrogantly.