If you’re still studying, or are looking for your first job or internship, you might be asking, “why are digital skills important in my field?” Regardless of your chosen industry or role, technology will evolve steadily, and be an important aspect of your day-to-day. You might think you’ve chosen a field that doesn’t rely heavily on technology. However, that’s probably not the case. Even people whose jobs don’t require them to spend the day on the computer still rely on technology. From communicating with coworkers, to presenting information to customers and sharing data on scientific discoveries, technology is embedded in nearly every element of today’s economy.
How can I develop digital skills?
Add a digital angle to every project and challenge you approach. To continue developing digital skills, get into the habit of thinking, “how could I solve this problem /achieve this goal using technology?” Focus on making your own processes more efficient. Whether it’s how you prepare for an important meeting, or how you contact clients. Consciously implement technology into your life outside of work as well, and become familiar with a wide range of digital tools.
Learn a new technology or design skill. It probably goes without saying, but one of the most important things you can do as a student or young professional is to learn how to use new technologies. Take a coding class, develop a basic understanding of user experience, or get a certificate in graphic design software. Find out which platforms and programs are most widely used by experts and leaders in your field. Familiarize yourself with all of them, and find a few to master.
Conduct market research. Learning how top professionals and firms in your field use technology to their advantage is an excellent place to start developing your own digital fluency. Follow your professional mentors on platforms like Twitter and Medium, and even reach out directly to ask what types of skills they’ve found most essential to their success in the field.
Why are digital skills important to include on my CV?
It might seem silly to include your digital skills on your CV, considering how absolutely essential they are. However, not everyone in the workforce possesses digital fluency, and therefore your ability to solve problems with the most up-to-date technologies stands out on an application.
For many employers, some technological literacy is a baseline requirement for applicants, so it’s important that they see your abilities up front.
If you’re fluent in a coding language, that should be front and center in the “skills” section of your CV. Have you built your own website? Started a blog? Gained a social media following? Do you have your own podcast? How about SEO skills? Any and all of those should be on job applications, whether they’re related to a full-time role or not.
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