Careers In Culture
Digital Media - What You Need to Do
Work Search Strategies
On this page:
- Work in Digital Media is Everywhere
- Job Postings Online
- Show and “Sell” - Build Your Digital Media Portfolio
- A Great Digital Media Cover Letter
- A Great Digital Media Résumé
- Have a great “Interactive” Interview
Work in Digital Media is Everywhere
Perhaps you're a graphic designer who's interested in designing Webpages, videogames, e-stores, or mobile apps. Maybe you want to apply your organisational skills to producing Digital Media products. Or perhaps you're a communicator and want to share your opinions of videogames, music or new technologies. Whatever your ambition you'll find many workplaces where you can market your knowledge and skills.
Here are some examples of Digital Media workplaces:
- Application software development companies
- Computer hardware manufacturing companies
- Customer experience software organisations
- Educational institutions
- Graphic design studios
- Marketing and communications companies
- Mobile or telecommunications companies
- Telephone, telecommunications and broadcasting companies
- Training and communications departments in large
- Videogame studios
- Website development companies
If you've identified companies that interest you, then visit their websites to get a feel for their products and services, the names of their executives, managers, full addresses and phone numbers. Many companies that specialize in Digital Media products such as website development put samples of past projects on their websites.
Not sure about a specific company? Perhaps you're interested in a specific sector of the economy such as telecommunications or broadcasting. Use the Internet to get as much information as you can on growth and opportunities in this field or seek out your regional/provincial industry association for more information.
Job Postings Online
The Web is turning into a great resource for Digital Media work searchers. Use your online skills to find work in Canada and around the world. Here are some places to go on your work search:
Company websites – some companies post current job openings with detailed information about positions and their requirements.
Specialized job posting websites – sites where companies advertise openings. Some are Canadian only; others list available positions available in companies around the world.
Government websites – the federal government has several job listing sites, and your provincial/territorial government may also have sites with information about work in your community or region. www.jobbank.gc.ca
Career sites – some career sites not only post job openings so that you can perform a work search, but also allow you to post your résumé so that employers can search for you! Visit www.cultureworks.ca, www.jobboom.ca, or www.monster.ca, to see how you can find out what jobs are available and to let employers know you are who they are looking for!
Show and “Sell” - Build Your Digital Media Portfolio
People who hire Digital Media workers are almost always Digital Media specialists themselves – Art Directors, Project Managers and Producers. They'll want to see what you can do that will make you a valuable member of their team. Your portfolio of work could be one of your most powerful job-finding tools and, depending on its format, can be sent with your résumé or brought to an interview. Here are some ideas for building a Digital Media portfolio.
Portfolios, Web sites and Demos!
Create your own online or DVD-based digital portfolio so potential employers can quickly and easily peruse through your creations. Some organisations offer "demo-reel advice" to artist applicants on their websites, specifying what they want to see. Whether you are an up and coming Animator, Visual Effects Artist, Lighting Specialist, Motion Capture, Model &/or Texture Artist, you can demonstrate what you have to offer.
A digital portfolio can also be used to showcase your design, music or technical skills, showcasing projects you've completed. A demo is an excellent way to prove what you can do.
Your website – demonstrate your designing and programming skills by creating an interesting picture of yourself. Indicate the URL of your site in your résumé and always bring a hardcopy to your interview.
Remember that your profiles on sites like MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn represent you to future employers. Think about your privacy setting and consider that whatever you post online has longevity.
A Great Digital Media Cover Letter
Digital Media is about communicating information. This means that Digital Media employers are going to want to make sure you know how to communicate well.
No matter what kind of work you want to do in Digital Media, you'll require a high-quality cover letter and résumé that demonstrate your qualifications and experience.
- Customize your personal letterhead to represent your personality. Ensure that it supplies accurate information so you can be reached easily.
- Address your cover letter to the hiring manager by name, spelled correctly, even if it means a google search or a phone call to the company.
- Indicate the specific position you're applying for clearly.
- Show that you've done research on the company and its products. Tell them why you think the organisation's product or service is interesting and unique. Why are you drawn to it?
- Highlight reasons why you would be a strong candidate for the job. Sell yourself!
- Request an informational interview meeting or an opportunity for you to meet in person to discuss.
Sample Cover Letter
Cover Letter Tips
- Be brief and make every word count.
- Tailor your approach to the organisation you are looking at. Is it a traditional-type business or a next-generation studio environment?
- Produce an error-free document. Show your attention to detail and avoid the shredder!
- Be patient and persistent. Aim to get feedback on your CV and approach through your contacts.
A Great Digital Media Résumé
Aim your Digital Media résumé at the company and position
In today's job market, you can't use the same résumé for every work application. Put a Career Objective section at the top of your résumé to target the company and position you're interested in. Then write your résumé in such a way that the information reinforces your objective and highlights the relevant skills the employer is looking for.
Don't list your "Career Objective" as: To gain experience in producing Digital Media products. Tell an employer what you bring to the table and how you will help them solve a problem or fill a talent gap. Consider what the employer is looking for and not what you'll gain from the role.
Sample Digital Media Résumé
Have a great “Interactive” Interview
What comes after a cover letter and résumé? If you've caught the employer's attention, the next step is usually a face-to-face interview. This is an opportunity for you and the hiring manager to interact. One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to have answers to three crucial questions.
- Why do I want this job?
- What do I have to offer?
- What else do I need to know?
Why do I want this job?
Think carefully about a company you've targeted and why you would like to work there. When you know the answer, you'll be able to answer some important interview questions such as:
- How did you become interested in Digital Media? Tip: Show them your tech, business or artist passion!
- Why did you submit your application to our company/organisation? Tip: Demonstrate that you've done your homework and are sincerely interested in what they do!
- What are your general career interests? Tip: Consider how will you fill the skills gap that they have!
- What do you see yourself doing in five years? Tip: Consider how you might grow with the company!
What do I have to offer?
The employer has spent time putting all the key requirements in the job positing. Review the job posting and be prepared to provide examples of how you have demonstrated the specific skills and abilities they are looking for. Employers want to know why they should hire you. To find out, they often ask general questions that will help them find out who you are:
- What skills/strengths would you bring to this position?
- What kinds of work appeal to you most?
- What are your weaknesses? Tip: Offer what you're doing to improve, what you've learned, etc…
- How can you contribute to our company/organisation?
- What was your most important accomplishment at school or at another job?
What else do I need to know?
An employer will probably ask you: "Is there anything you would like to know about our company/organisation or the job?" Always prepare some questions of your own for the end of the interview. It proves to the employer that you're organized and are a forward thinker. Here are some topics to explore:
- The company's goals and challenges
- What supervisors look for in employees: "What are the key skills or personality traits you are looking for in a successful incumbent?"
- Please describe an average day for an employee in this role
- What success would look like within 90 days of joining the team
- Who you would be reporting to
- Who you would be working with
Prepare carefully for possible interview questions. Write out answers and practice them on your own and with family and friends.
Don't forget the Thank You note!
- Thank the company for taking the time out of their busy day to interview you.
- Re-state your interest in the work opportunity; show them you're passionate and hungry for the opportunity.
- Re-affirm your belief you'd be a good employee; remind the employer what unique skills and experience you bring to the table.
- Offer to provide more information and references if they like.