The job hunt is hard. Whether you’re just graduating from high school, college, or a graduate program or looking for a career change, finding a job you’re interested in with requirements and qualifications that match your resumé is exhausting. And that’s just the beginning of the process. You then have to apply and wait nervously to find out whether you’ll be interviewed. If you get past that hurdle, you’ll have weeks of preparing for interviews, being interviewed, and more anxious waiting to learn the results. Multiply that stress by two or three job opportunities and you have a recipe for exhaustion.
While the tips offered in this article don’t guarantee your success in the search for a digital asset management (DAM) position, we hope they help you navigate this process with better outcomes than you had before.
7 Tips for Finding and Applying for DAM Jobs
1. Set clear goals
The first step in any job search is to set clear goals. Start by determining what type of role you’d like, what skills you’d like to grow and learn, and, most importantly, what you don’t want in a new position.
Realistically assess your current situation. What works well for you? What doesn’t? Are there pieces of your current job (or a job you’ve had in the past) that you wish you could do more of? Less of? What kind of organization do you want to work for? What do you want to learn and get better at? To get technical, what kinds of DAM systems do you want to work with? Do you want to jump into something complex and sophisticated or small and growing?
2. Define your DAM skills and experience
The next step is to define your skills and experience and how it translates (or doesn’t translate) into a potential DAM job. You likely have a “Skills” or “Experience” section on your resume. Copy and paste that into a new document and mark it up. How do your skills and experiences directly or indirectly relate to what you want to do? You may find that some of your previous positions that aren’t directly related to DAM are relevant. For example, many members of our current Stacks team started their careers as content creators, artists, or business people and have seamlessly transitioned to DAM positions.
One note here: don’t be afraid to clearly define what you can’t do or don't want to do. While you don’t have to stress this in interviews, it will help guide which roles you choose to apply for and which you don’t.
3. Prioritize organizational culture over job descriptions
Once you have a clear picture of what you’re looking for and how you could flex your skills and experience in a DAM position, you can start looking through job postings. Luckily, due to the growing demand for digital content across many channels, many organizations of all types and sizes are looking for help with managing their DAM program.
No matter your goals, our advice here is simple: organizational fit is the best place to start evaluating your choices. While it's important to ensure that the job description matches your goals and fits with some of your skills and experiences, organizational structure and culture have a big impact on a DAM program. It’s critical for you to learn as much as you can about them when considering a position.
4. Ask the right questions before, during, and after interviews
Asking good questions is likely on any “Interview Tips and Tricks” blog post worth reading, but asking good questions isn’t just important for impressing an interviewer. Being educated and aware of all the details of any potential job you’re considering is just as beneficial to you as getting to know you is to your prospective employer. Below is a list of some of the most helpful questions we ask when taking on clients looking for help in DAM:
- What are your goals for the digital asset management program in one year? Three years?
- Where do you see the biggest need when it comes to your DAM program: bandwidth (time), DAM expertise, or both?
- What’s the typical lifecycle of an asset in your current setup? How would you like that to change?
- What is the current state of your DAM standards (metadata, file names, rights and permissions, folder structure, core workflows)?
- Who currently manages the DAM program?
- What teams would I be working with most closely?
One of the primary reasons these questions are important when applying for a DAM job is the relative newness of these positions in most organizations. Because few people are truly familiar with what DAM is and all it entails, newly-hired DAM professionals can quickly become overwhelmed and buried by a lack of structure and assistance. Make sure you know what you’ll be stepping into before accepting a new position.
5. Emphasize your skills, experience, and goals
If you have a degree related to digital asset management or library sciences, it will be relatively easy for you to emphasize your skills, experience, and goals during the application and interview process. Because there are so few people in the hiring pool with these degrees, it gives you a big advantage over other applicants.
If you don’t have one of these degrees, there’s still hope. The goals, skills, and experiences you defined earlier in this process allow you to quickly and easily answer questions on applications and in interviews with clarity and precision. Just as you did when mapping out your experiences, don’t shy away from using examples that aren’t directly DAM-specific.
6. Continue learning more
As you search for, apply, and interview for DAM jobs, think about the feedback you receive and the skills and experiences you're lacking. Don’t be discouraged—use this knowledge as a roadmap for seeking out opportunities to learn and grow.
For example, you can enroll in online courses and search for ways in your current role to grow your skills in the areas you’re interested in. That way, when an interviewer notes your lack of expertise in a specific topic, you can note the ways you’re building those skills right now.
7. Be willing to grow with the organization or DAM program
Our final piece of advice is to be patient, both during the job hunt and once you’ve started a DAM job. Aside from the very biggest and most sophisticated brands, it’s rare you’ll find a DAM program that's fully formed. This presents a huge opportunity for you to learn and grow your DAM skills and become extremely valuable to your new employer. Don’t shy away from a little bit of immaturity and need when it comes to an organization’s DAM program. Being one of the people on the ground floor, leading the development of a new DAM program can be a very rewarding experience, both personally and professionally.
Now is a great time to get your foot in the door with digital asset management. The need for experts in this field will continue to increase as digital channels and the content used on them become more valuable and complex. If your organization needs help with DAM and is having trouble hiring the right people, contact Stacks! We work with many brands, both large and small, to help manage, grow, and support their DAM programs in both the short and long term.