Job Search Tips for Digital Pros

Digital job seekers are in an exciting industry where roles and rules are constantly changing. Here's some professional advice on how to stand out and get the job.

The demand for digital talent is strong and opportunities are abundant for those with the right skills. Agencies, in particular, are in hot pursuit of digital talent, according to TCG's latest research.

Right now, employers are looking for UX designers, mobile designers, front-end web developers and content strategists. Web designers with HTML/CSS and responsive design skills are also highly sought. In addition, companies seek individuals who have experience in website design, app development and user experience strategies.

So, how can talented digital professionals land one of these lucrative jobs? Scouring job boards and networking are two common strategies. But you can enhance your employment search by partnering with a specialized staffing firm. It's free to do and there are many advantages to connecting with a recruiter.

I spoke with Jen Morel, senior recruiter in our Washington, D.C., office, to find out how digital job seekers can maximize their experience with staffing firms.

Choose wisely. Not all staffing firms are created equal. Be sure to choose a recruiter that specializes in finding and filling digital roles, preferably one with experience in the specialty he or she is recruiting for. When your recruiter has a firm understanding of your skills and the clients' job requirements, he or she can make a better match.

Recruiter tip: Digital job seekers working with a recruiter can get an informed look at a company's culture and job expectations so they can better prepare for interviews. Because recruiters often also know the hiring habits of their clients – some companies may want to bring someone in as a consultant before hiring them full-time, for example – candidates can gain a clearer understanding of the opportunities available to them.

Decide to be different. The portfolio of a digital candidate is of utmost importance. It's vital to have a variety of digital assets to showcase – be it from professional experiences or school. Digital portfolios have become the new normal, but you have to set yourself apart. That said, creativity doesn't give you a pass on the basics. Your portfolio must be user friendly, engaging and, most important, targeted to the position.

Recruiter tip: Digital professionals should get used to carrying more than just extra copies of their resume. Bring your own tablet or laptop so you can show off your portfolio on a device you are familiar with and know works well. This will help you walk a hiring manager through your work in a more interactive and interesting way.

Know your narrative. Although we can't be fully prepared for all of the conceivable tough questions that may arise during a job interview, you should be able to navigate the conversation and tell your professional story effectively. Top candidates have the technical skills employers are looking for in addition to the soft skills that give them the ability to properly communicate their value.

Recruiter tip: Clients rave about interviewees that are able to bring their portfolio to life through effective storytelling. You should rehearse with your recruiter who can help you learn to take employers on the journey of your projects. Answer these questions: What was the objective of the project? How did you brainstorm and what ideas did you come up with? How did you come down to a final choice? What were the results? Once you can tell your story well, you'll be ready to take on any interview!

 Related post: 5 Reasons to Work With Creative Staffing Agencies