APPLYING FOr JOBS IN DIGITAL LEARNING

Blog Post: Applying for Jobs

Applying for Jobs? Here’s some Advice! 

We haven’t been able to present any school CV or career talks recently, so I thought I’d put together a short blog on my experience of receiving applications, and hopefully give you some tips on how to stand out if you are currently applying for jobs.

I’ve reviewed a countless number of applications over the years and less than 10% are what I would consider “good”. The good news is that it is pretty easy to put together a strong application that isn’t fully reliant on having the greatest skills and experience. This blog is for anyone who wants to give their application (either with us, or other companies) the best chance of getting noticed, and those who struggle to get past the initial application stage.

When I’m doing a school talk on applying for a job, I always ask students how long they think I spend reviewing a single application on the first pass. Nobody has got close to the actual answer of 30 seconds, which usually sparks the biggest reaction of the whole session. I often get asked “How can you tell if an application is any good in 30 seconds?” I can’t… but I can tell if it’s not good. Here are some of the usual suspects that will guarantee you a spot on the “No” pile:

  • Poorly designed/laid out CV. It doesn’t take much to google what a good CV looks like and if you’re going for a design-based job, this is absolutely essential. Don’t expect to get a second look if you submit a plain word document using Calibri.
  • No covering letter. Not everyone is with me on this, but our job descriptions always request a covering letter. If you haven’t submitted one, then you haven’t read the advert very well, or you couldn’t be bothered. Either way, you’re not for us.
  • Not addressing the job description. On my initial scan, I’m just looking for keywords. i.e. if an essential criteria is expert knowledge of Articulate Storyline, then make sure “Articulate Storyline” is easily spottable in your CV and covering letter. I’m always amazed at the number of applications I get that don’t even mention any of the key skills required.

All of these things are easy to avoid by just putting in a little effort. If you don’t spend time on your application, don’t expect someone to put time in to reading it. If however, you have addressed the list above, you’ve bought yourself some more time and I’m going to scrutinise the application further. I’m now looking for:

  • A clear explanation of how you meet the criteria of the job. So now, it’s not just mentioning that you can use Adobe Illustrator for example, but demonstrating it too. Some examples of what you’ve done previously, and a description about the techniques you are familiar with show you have the skills.
  • A personalised response. A generic cover letter is better than no cover letter, but not by a lot. I want to know why you want to work for us and what you can bring to the team. I want to see passion and enthusiasm. Again, a generic response says to me that you aren’t that bothered.
  • Show understanding of the company and the role. How will you fit in with our team and our values? Don’t be afraid to get in touch and ask questions.

If you happen to be applying for a job with us, you’ve got yourself a head start by reading this. You’ve already shown enthusiasm by finding this blog so well done – mention that in the covering letter and get some bonus points! This of course applies to other companies too – go through their social media and website to learn as much as you can – they will be flattered and impressed. You will also get a sense of if it is a company that you actually want to work for, which is really important!

If you want to discuss further, or want any help on applying for jobs, interviews or careers advice in general – I’d be delighted to talk to you and help if I can. Just drop me an email: phil@spokeseducation.com.

Even if we do not have any current job vacancies, send over an application anyway – if it’s a good one, then you might save us the trouble of advertising next time an opportunity opens up. 

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LEKSHMI ANIL

Lekshmi loves listening to music and spending time with her family and friends when away from work. She enjoys dancing and is a pretty good cook!

 

Kyle homer

I spend most of my spare time listening to music and usually plan my weekends around watching live music! I am also a huge Arsenal fan and try to go to games as often as possible, if not I watch them whilst hiding behind the sofa.

I have just finished my MA in Modern History and can often be found with a dull-looking book in hand! When I get the opportunity I enjoy travelling and experiencing new cultures and especially food!

DANIEL MENDONÇA

Daniel has a degree in Advertising and Publishing. He moved to the UK from Brazil to pursue new creative challenges.

Daniel is a DIY enthusiast. He is often painting, wallpapering, changing furniture or just turning his place upside down. He also loves cooking and you are likely to find him looking after the BBQ at a party. 

HAZEL SEPPINGS

Hazel has always been fascinated with creating things in her free time, and you’ll find her working on a painting or creating something from clay.

While waiting for those to dry, she’s either watching her latest tv obsession, exploring the local area, or going to gigs and exhibitions.

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vicky stafford

Vicky is happiest when spending time with her family, especially when exploring the outside!

She is also an avid theatre-goer (especially musicals!), loves a family film night on the sofa, and cosying up with a good book.

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MIA ABRAHAM

Mia enjoys attending gigs and festivals, and snowboarding in her spare time.

When she’s looking for something more chilled, you’ll often find her mooching around a good charity shop.

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EMMA EYTON-JONES

Emma loves exploring the UK and Europe in her campervan and having adventures with her dog Skip.

When she is not away, she can be found playing tennis (badly) or watching a good film.

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DANIELLE MARCH

Danielle loves spending time with her family and enjoys day trips to the beach, watching a new crime drama with a good cuppa and baking for her friends and family.

When time allows, Danielle also loves to explore a new country but believes there are too many great places to go back twice (unless it’s the Maldives!).

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Zoe Barnes

Zoe is a PGCE-qualified English teacher, with experience of teaching in secondary schools both in the UK and internationally. During her teaching career, she particularly enjoyed delivering CPD sessions on good teaching and learning practices, and mentoring trainee and newly-qualified teachers. She now applies these skills to learning design and developing our courses.

Zoe loves to travel and see the world, and has lived in The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Portugal. She enjoys weekly Parkrun 5ks, and the occasional 10k race. She continues to create and share teaching resources with the online English teaching community.

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Emily HARDY

Emily has always had a passion for animation and digital media. After getting her masters degree back in 2013, she’s spent seven years in the industry, collecting knowledge and honing her skills. 

Her time animating professionally has given her a wide range of knowledge in everything from 3D to stop motion!

When she’s not at work, she’ll be at home chilling out and watching a film with her partner, dog, and two cats. Weekends are reserved for pub trips and beer-making!

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Hannah Webster

Hannah is responsible for social media and communications, and will likely be the first person you speak to if you get in touch with us.

Hannah has recently completed a degree in Business and Management at the University of Sussex. She manages our social media accounts and email inboxes, as well as helping out on development projects.

Outside of work, Hannah enjoys socialising with her friends and going out walking. You’ll find her happiest with a large cup of tea and a packet of biscuits.

PHIL HALSON

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AMBER MILLER

Amber is a talented graphic designer and an expert on accessibility. She can put her skills to anything creative, working with the Adobe suite to make courses, materials and collateral look attractive and professional.
 
Amber is involved with the local Autism Strategy and creating the local autism resource website. In her free time, Amber trains her rescue dog, Scout and she also enjoys learning Spanish and coding.
 

GARY FITZHUGH

With 20 years of creative experience, Gary brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in everything design, from print to video and 3D to web. As our motion graphics lead, he brings content to life through attractive and engaging videos and animations.

When he’s not busying himself at work, Gary enjoys long walks with his dog, running, snowboarding and watching an unhealthy amount of YouTube.
 

KAYLEIGH MESSINGER

Kayleigh is formerly a physiotherapist with a background in digital media. This means she is extremely versatile and can also use her Learning Design, Articulate and Adobe skills to work across all areas of the business.

Kayleigh is an English Kiwi, who loves travel and adventure. When she isn’t out and about with her friends and family, she can be found chilling at home with her partner and her cat, Pickles, where she enjoys creating art, reading and baking.

MATT GARVEY

Matt has an extensive background in the service industry enabling him to work across all areas of our business. He works primarily with the development team on Storyline projects, but he also leads our audio/visual work, managing our voiceover roster and producing our AV assets.
 
Matt is an avid reader, who loves queuing up the next thing to enrich his mind. He is also a gamer with his own YouTube channel, where he reviews retro-inspired video-games, as well as being a keen runner and keep-fit enthusiast.
 

CHARLOTTE SIDDALL

Charlotte brings a background in media production and content creation. She is another versatile member of our team, able to apply her skills and experience to an array of tasks, including storyboarding and course development.

Charlotte enjoys watching horror films (despite being terrified half the time), scenic walks around National Parks, yoga and reading whatever she can get her hands on.

CLAUDINO MONTEIRO

Claudino has 8 years of experience as a digital media designer and is an expert in Articulate Storyline. Heading up our development team, Claudino ensures all of our courses are interactive, accessible and functional. He is also a skilled designer and illustrator, so substance is always with style.
 
As a new dad, Claudino spends a lot of his spare time playing with his son. When not doing that, he enjoys cooking (he’s a major foodie) and playing video games.
 

RACHEL MURRAY

Rachel is a former teacher with a wide range of talents. She specialises in learning design and development in Articulate 360. She was our first employee so knows the business inside out and will be able to help with anything you need!

Rachel is at her happiest when spending time with family, reading her kindle, singing badly to loud music or drawing up pretty things on her iPad.