If you’re applying for your first digital job, it can be hard to know where to start because a lot of the advice that’s out there regarding things like climbing the digital career ladder just isn’t relevant for you because you’re pretty much starting from scratch.

Needless to say, the digital sector is an extremely competitive one, particularly when it comes to entry-level jobs (a job we recently advertised had well over 100 applications!), so you really can’t afford to make any mistakes when it comes to your applications if you’re really serious about breaking into the sector.

Now, we’ve covered things the top mistakes graduates make when applying for jobs and how to get your perfect graduate digital job before – but we’ve never actually talked about what to do if you’re applying for your first entry-level digital job (graduate or not) – so today I thought I’d change that.

In this post, I’ve outlined our top Dos and Don’ts when applying for entry-level digital jobs.

DO:

Rework Your CV:

Think you can use the same CV you’ve always had when applying for digital jobs? Think again! As I said before, the sector is extremely competitive so a standard CV which just lists your previous jobs and education probably isn’t going to cut it. You need to put a bit of time and effort into reworking your CV to make it super-relevant to the digital industry and to make yourself stand out as a relevant candidate. If you don’t do this and just send in a CV which is in no way relevant, your CV will immediately get dumped into the ‘no’ pile. Not sure where to start? In this blog, we’ve explained exactly how you can make your CV relevant to the digital sector.

Research The Company:

When applying for any job, it’s important to research the company you’re applying for – and this is especially true when applying for your first job. Why? Because you obviously don’t have any big names or relevant jobs on your CV to support your application – so your enthusiasm and knowledge of the brand is going to count for a lot, particularly when it comes to their digital work and presence – and you need to demonstrate this in your cover letter.

Now if you’re applying for a job which is being advertised by a recruiter, you obviously can’t put as much research into the company because you’re not 100% sure which one it is – but you can pick out the terms used to describe the company in the advert and use these in your cover letter eg. “I’d love the chance to work for a major eCommerce business which is really successful and growing rapidly because I feel like a company like this would be a great place to start my digital career.”

Demonstrate Your Passion For The Digital Sector:

As I mentioned before, your enthusiasm for the company you’re applying for is going to count for a lot – and the same can be said for your passion for the digital sector. When it comes to entry-level jobs, employers want to hear from candidates who have a genuine interest in the industry and who are fighting for a chance to get their foot in the door – so this is something you really need to portray on your cover letter and CV if you’re really serious about breaking into the sector.

DON’T:

Send In A Generic Cover Letter:

Just like your CV, when applying for your first digital job, it’s really important to put some time and effort into your cover letter to make it relevant to the digital sector and the company you’re applying for. Simply sending in a cover letter in which states which job you’re applying for isn’t going to hit the mark – and you’ll just end up wasting everyone’s time. Instead, create a cover letter which explains what job you’re applying for, why you’re a good fit, why you want to work for that company and why you want to break into the sector. Remember, your cover letter is your opportunity to highlight your relevance to the role and your personality – so don’t waste it!

Apply For Jobs You’re Clearly Not Qualified For:

Although you’re applying for entry-level jobs, there are still going to be some, particularly in the digital sector, which have certain requirements – so it’s really important to bear this in mind and only apply for jobs which you’re in some way qualified for. For example, if you’re clueless about coding, it’s definitely not worth applying for junior web developer jobs. Why? Because if you’re not even familiar with the basics, there’s no way you’re going to get the job – and you’ll just end up wasting time and effort. Instead, put more effort into finding and applying digital jobs which are the right fit for you.

Forget To Clean Up Your Digital Footprint:

Think all you have to worry about when applying for your first digital job is your CV and cover letter? Think again! In the digital sector, it’s really not uncommon for employers to use social media to vet potential candidates, particularly if it’s a social media vacancy, so it’s definitely a good idea to put some time and effort into cleaning up your digital footprint on things like Twitter and Facebook to ensure a rogue tweet doesn’t cost you the job.

So there you go; out top tips for applying for your first digital job. Think I’ve missed something out? Feel free to leave a comment below.