With the vast majority of organisations now investing in the web to find and attract business, there seems to be more demand for candidates that specialise in online content creation. Many companies now use websites, social media and video to engage with customers and therefore there is a need for candidates who can both deliver content and interact with customers online. So how can you secure a job in this field? And what qualifications do you need?
In this latest career interview Jobulo talks to Kevin Bradford, a Content Producer, to find out some tips on how to break into the industry.
Tell Us About Your Career Background?
I was lucky enough to know the field I wanted to work in from a fairly early age, which enabled me to focus my career choices from the start. Having graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, I spent more than three years at a series of local and regional newspaper titles and affiliated websites in London. After achieving all of my goals in what was a fantastically challenging working environment, I decided to move to Australia hoping to pursue new adventures in the media industry here. I spent six months as a Senior Producer at ninemsn, often responsible for managing the content and agenda for the country’s most popular news website. In August 2011, I took a job as a Content Producer at Australia’s largest online appliance retailer, a role that I have adapted to incorporate a greater amount of digital content production, including video filming and editing, alongside written material.
What Made You Want to Work in Content Creation?
I wanted to work in content creation because I love having something tangible to show for my everyday efforts. Whether it is a by-line in a newspaper or a video on YouTube, it is possible to see the fruits of your labour. In my current role, there are people who monitor the analytics associated with the videos or stories I have produced. Results showing a greater engagement with the audience and customers give me a real buzz, and keep the pressure on to maintain high standards.
Tell Us About Your Main Responsibilities?
I was initially writing a lot of product copy for the website but suggested to the boss that I could help with video that may help engage with customers a lot more. He loved the idea and gave me the autonomy to purchase the equipment and arrange my own filming schedule with the aim of producing content covering the AV and appliance industry. I am responsible for organising the workflow for the video team, as well as producing, filming, editing and uploading the content.
What’s the Hardest Part of the Job?
The hardest part of my job is maintaining intensity each day. I run an almost wholly autonomous operation. I am contracted to the company, but it is similar to being self-employed. I often have to set my own agendas and deadlines for myself and my colleagues. Falling short of those would often not impact on many other people, but the desire for satisfaction and pride from my work keeps me focused.
What Was It Like Relocating and Finding a Job in Sydney? Do You Have Any Tips?
Relocating to find work in Sydney was a huge gamble. I had never tried to work abroad and was fairly unaware of the job market. Luckily, I was able to find a fair number of job opportunities to apply for via recruitment websites. My skills and experiences from the UK were looked upon favourably in Australia, and I was offered several positions. I put this down to having the confidence to apply for roles I was experienced enough to fulfil, and not settling for short-contracted ‘backpacker’ positions. Job markets are always changing though, and I did take a risk in coming over rather unprepared. My advice would definitely be to research the job market, have an idea of what you want to do, and get an understanding of what is out there. If you are relocating for work rather than just to travel, it may be worth delaying until the market is more suited. You can be living a long way away from friends and family, and there is nothing worse than feeling lumbered with a job you are unhappy in. Also, try to understand any differences between the markets, and find a way to relate your experiences from back home to what you want to do abroad. What can you bring from your old role that may not have been picked up in the country you have moved to? Another thing is to trust in the strength of your CV. If you are skilled enough to do a job you love back home, it will probably translate abroad. Send it out to any job you want to do, without the fear of thinking you are not prepared for it. If you believe you have done well previously, it will be recognised. And simple things like follow-up phone calls to make sure the CV has been received work the world over. Finally, understand your visa stipulations, what you need to work there, how long it lasts, and what your short/long term options are. When you go into an interview, you need to be able to explain your position. Make it easy for the potential employer, as they will not want too many questions hanging over you when you walk out.
What Do You Think Makes a CV Stand Out?
The simplest thing you can do to put yourself ahead of the opposition, is to have a simple CV. Make sure it is laid out clearly, with sections such as employment history, education, hobbies and interests, simply marked with headlines and bullet points. Don’t overwrite the CV either. Ensure there is plenty on there of interest and relevance, but enough scope to lead the interviewers into questioning. For many jobs in the media industry, it is about being concise, accurate, and punchy – where better to prove that early on than in the CV? Don’t worry about pictures, pretty colours, florid text or hyperbole. Grab their attention with the facts.