Hey there, job hopeful. It’s a tough, competitive world out there, so we totally understand if you’re feeling nervous about your chances. If you’re the kinda person who dozed off during your ICT classes at school, don’t fret. You can fill up your digital skills gap in no time, and, dare we say it, have fun while you’re at it.
Here are ten crucial digital skills you should be adding to your resumé stat, and some of our favourite resources to do so.
1. Design your own website – with a template
How it makes you employable: getting your own domain name is basically personal brand gold.
Our suggestion: If you’ve never had any website-building experience however, learning how to code straightaway might be a little daunting. Start playing around with a WordPress, Tumblr or Squarespace site to see how customisation works. All of these blog sites have pre-built templates you can install with ease, no code required!
Bonus: If you’re currently studying, you can get a 50% discount off your first Squarespace website with your institution email. Score.
2. Design your own website – from scratch
How it makes you employable: There are many resources available for casual users to build their own website (see above point). However, building a website from scratch will give you a variety of skills. Coding is of course, one of them, but it’ll teach you principles of visual design.
Our suggestion: Udemy have a great course on building a responsive website. This is a website that can adapt to any screen it’s on, whether on mobile, tablet or desktop. We also suggest Bootstrap, which is a great resource that gives you highly customisable templates. Reverse-engineer them to see how they work!
3. Run a paid Facebook ad campaign
How it makes you employable: Running a paid social media campaign is a highly employable skill, especially in the marketing/advertising industry. It shows a potential employer that you understand how to deal with a budget. It also teaches you principles such as CPI (cost per impression) and CPC (cost per click), which is beyond helpful when you’re trying to assess what is your most valuable marketing campaign. In this day and age, organic reach is fairly difficult to achieve unless you’re a pug eating broccoli. So take it from us – paid advertising campaigns are a necessary evil.
Our suggestion: You don’t need shed-loads of cash to play around with social media paid campaigns. Facebook is especially cost-effective. Check out this Buffer piece on what to do if you’ve only got a fiver to spend.
4. Start your own vlog
How it makes you employable: It shows off your personality! Think of it as a practice job interview, but a whole lot more fun. Besides, it’ll teach you how to film and edit videos, which is a highly sought-after skill. Beyond that, running a vlog take dedication and the good ones are consistent. It’ll definitely show employers that you’re reliable and can hold yourself to account with deadlines.
Our suggestion: This list of Youtube resources is particularly helpful. However, our alternative take? Facebook videos are on the rise too. Plus, building a community on Facebook could be even more valuable – so you could think about running your vlog on Facebook instead.
5. Create a content strategy for a website
How it makes you employable: Having editorial experience is a crazy useful skill. Not only does it highlight that you have an innate understanding of how to market yourself (or a product/company), you also show that you get what does well online. Building a great content strategy takes so many things into consideration: your ethos/values, what the public wants to read, and what is currently relevant.
Our suggestion: Start a blog or an email newsletter! For blogging, we again refer you to point 1, and for email newsletters, start with the free Tinyletter. Then, start an Excel document and plan out what content you’ll be producing over the year. We are big fans of Hubspot for resources on how to create a cracking content calendar.
6. Actually build a strong social media following
How it makes you employable: Being an influencer in whatever sphere you choose shows that you’re authoritative. Employers will see that you’ve got a strong sense of your own identity, that you’re confident, and that you’re a born leader.
Our suggestion: It’s not always about tens of thousands of followers. Anyone can buy those. It’s about the quality! Post often, and most importantly, interact with people. Make sure your social media bios are always up to date, and join in on Twitter chats to increase interaction.
7. Run a growth-hacking experiment
How it makes you employable: Showing that you can take something and make it viral will have employers clamoring to give you job offers. It shows an innate talent for business development, after all.
Our suggestion: If you’re running a blog or a Tinyletter, see how many people you can grow your following to in one month. Growth hacking 101 is all about offering your readers/viewers something in return. So why not run a giveaway? If not something physical, build a research infographic and send it to all of your new subscribers. Also, gating your content is the perfect way to pique curiosity. So, ‘lock’ your best content, and encourage people to subscribe in order for them to unlock it.
8. Become fluent in at least one coding language
How it makes you employable: A basic understanding of coding languages can take you a long way. What it shows is an aptitude for fast-learning, and the initiative to teach yourself something really technical. It’s not just about HTML or CSS either – learning how to code other languages like Ruby or Python will make you more employable because they’re rarer.
9. Get a real understanding of SEO
How it makes you employable: Living a digital life isn’t just about how to go viral on Twitter, y’know. SEO, or ‘search engine optimisation’ is a highly important digital skill to learn, as it reaps digital rewards in the long term. Essentially, you’ll be learning how to make a website or webpage rank highly on search engines. This means when you Google something (say for example, “How to improve my digital skills”), a high-ranked page will show up on the first page of search results.
Our suggestion: If you’re running a WordPress website you can download plugins like Yoast SEO to help optimise your pieces. Beyond that, Moz is a fabulous and humongous resource to learn the basics and keep up with the latest SEO trends.
10. Build an iOS or Android app
How it makes you employable: Ooh buddy. App developers are super employable for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it shows that you’re incredibly innovative. The best apps are incredibly useful and fills a need. Secondly, it shows you understand people. Building an app means figuring out to make it easier and slick for the user, after all. Thirdly, because it’s highly technical, and shows that you’re an advanced coder.
We wish you all the best of luck in improving your digital skills! Know of a resource we missed out on? Tweet us @DebutCareers and we’ll put it in here.