Almost every job nowadays involves some level of digital competency, so acquiring even a basic level of these skills is absolutely essential.
Age is no barrier to learning new digital skills, so if you think they’re only for the young, think again. With women having to work until they’re 67 you’re pretty much guaranteed to need these skills in the workplace. The House of Lords has suggested that digital skills should be taught in schools as the third core subject, such is their importance.
Nearly every company utilises digital skills in one form or another and your CV needs to reflect these job-specific needs without your prospective employer having to wade through irrelevancies.
Follow these tips to ensure your key digital skills stand out:
Keep it short and simple
Research has shown that a great many employers only spend around 10 seconds reading a CV. That’s not long to grab their attention so make sure your CV is short, sharp, relevant and easy to read. Make sure you list any specific skills the job requires; if you don’t have them don’t exaggerate your abilities because you will be found out.
Highlight skills based on experience and age
If you’re fresh out of Uni the employer will know that you have the basics so just list the ones most relevant to the post and any that are specialised or of an advanced level. However, if you are older or have been out of the workplace for some time it is important to show that you are reasonably competent in current skills, so list all your digital skills.
Invest time in free courses
If you don’t have any digital skills, then it is easy to acquire them using a range of free online course. Google’s Digital Garage has free and easy to use courses covering the basics of digital marketing on everything from social media to online advertising. State on your CV that you are doing these courses as it demonstrates a willingness to learn and keep your skills up to date.
Only include relevant links
Links in your CV are a great way to demonstrate the skills you highlight. However, be selective. Only use hyperlinks if they are relevant to the job or showcase a skill. If your social media pages are just family and friend’s gossip or some nice pictures of cats, then don’t mention them – only if you have set up a company page or a professional site is it relevant.
Image skills are highly desirable, so consider training
In the age of social media, strong image skills are key to increasing visibility. Showing that you have the ability to take good quality, high resolution, relevant pictures and manipulate them with editing tools such as Photoshop is an essential skill and covetable skill that can elevate your CV. As the saying goes ‘a picture says a thousand words’ and images are increasingly crucial for marketing and branding purposes.
Engage in online communities
The blogging market is a key industry that many brands want to get involved in, but many simply don’t know how to engage these communities. By establishing yourself as a blogger or vlogger, you can demonstrate your ability to communicate in these markets and create meaningful interactions. Quality interactions are much better than having thousands of followers, as it shows that people are listening to what you have to say, so consider imparting some of your business skills. Blogging also shows that you have the ability to build and maintain a website.
Some people reject the digital world through a fear that it, coupled with automation, will lead to a loss of jobs. Whilst digital has seen the job market transform, it has also created a wealth of opportunities and the reality is now that if you don’t invest in training, you will get left behind.
Finally, don’t forget to have someone proof-read your CV; correct English, punctuation and spelling are key skills. If your CV is sloppy then it is more than likely a reflection of your work ethic.
About the author
After having various management roles since leaving school I decided at the age of 45 to give it all up and go to university, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Although my current position does not use my actual qualification of Environmental Land Management it definitely utilises skills I acquired whilst studying. I currently produce videos and blog on a diverse range of subjects including gardening, barbecuing, Christmas, garden furniture, local events, organisations and people and everything in between. Angela currently works on the online content team at Hayes Garden World.