Dr Stephen Brennan, director of marketing and strategy at the Digital Hub, has said that the 80-plus enterprises located there are increasingly finding jobseekers don’t demonstrate the soft skills they’re looking for.
He was speaking at a skills seminar organised to mark the culmination of the agency’s ‘Best in Show’ internship competition.
“Everyone in the digital content and technology sector knows there’s a skills shortage in Ireland, with 2,500 unfilled jobs as a result. A major problem is we’re not producing enough graduates with the types of skills needed by enterprises in this sector,” he noted
“But the required skills-sets aren’t just based on academic qualifications and technical expertise. Employers are also looking for people who demonstrate creativity, flexibility, self-motivation and strong communications skills. The digital sector is generating new types of jobs in an emerging marketplace. And jobseekers must respond accordingly.”
Jobseekers’ common mistakes
Brennan said feedback from businesses located at The Digital Hub highlighted a number of mistakes commonly made by jobseekers.
“A major turn-off for business-owners is when jobseekers neglect to tailor their approach. They don’t make their cover emails relevant to the business in question, they don’t say why they want to work for that business in particular, or they don’t highlight their relevant experience.
“Another common mistake – particularly in our sector – is when job-seekers don’t include links to their online profiles on their CVs. If you’re applying for a position in computer gaming, software development or animation, one of the first things the business-owner wants to see is samples of your existing work. So post a show-reel online and include a link to it in your CV.”
He added that potential candidates need to be brave and to stand out from the crowd. “Daunting as it may seem, it’s often well worthwhile to just pick up the phone to the owner of a business where you’d like to work, and explain to him or her what you could bring to the table.
"Even if they don’t have something on offer right now, they might bear you in mind for future vacancies or offer you a work experience placement as a result. Many employers in our sector admire a more forthright approach.”
Best in Show internship winners
At today’s seminar, the winners of The Digital Hub’s Best in Show internship competition were announced. The competition – which is run on an annual basis – invites digital content and technology students to submit samples of their work to be judged by industry experts.
The best submissions under five category headings win internships in relevant businesses. In 2011, internships are being awarded as follows:
- Animation: Graham Tormey from Dublin, a student at the Irish School of Animation in Ballyfermot.
- Audio / Music Production: Conor McGinnity from Co Louth, a student at DCU; Emer Landers from Dublin, a student at Trinity; and John Neary, from Co. Louth, a student at the Sound Training Centre.
- Digital Design: Mary Fannon, from Co. Roscommon, a graduate of the National College of Art and Design.
- Film / Video Production: Keith Bogan from Co. Laois, a graduate of Athlone Institute of Technology.
- Multimedia: Pedro Bretas from Brazil, a graduate of the National College of Art and Design; David Dooley and Ros Madigan, both from Dublin, graduates of Dundalk Institute of Technology, and Aoife Hester from Wicklow, a graduate of Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.
The businesses involved in ‘Best in Show’ were: Areaman Productions, Athena Media, the Digital Skills Academy, Gaumina, Igloo Animations, payByMobile, Red Dog and the Riviera Media Group.