Featured in Closer Magazine. Up your IT & digital skills to bag a better job

UK employers have struggled to fill a third of vacancies, as people aren’t tech savvy. Vicky, Founder of Vicky White Communications explains the basics you need to update your skillset to readers of Closer.

Closer magazine

Tech jargon can be off-putting, and if you haven’t had to use it much before, it can make you fear you’ll struggle to find work. Eight in ten UK jobs now list tech skills as a requirement, so getting your head around it will really improve your employment chances, and it’s not as daunting as it may appear.

“The world of digital and tech can seem overwhelming – it has a language all of its own and is filled with abbreviations that can sound like gibberish and might seem like a closed door to new entrants,” says Ben Hansford, MD of apprenticeships at Firebrand Training, who provide courses in key digital skills.

“But it’s a sector that has weathered the pandemic better than others and is facing a skills shortage. It’s also not as hard as people may think to reskill or upskill in.”

Here’s our crash course…

Make a basic website

“It’s easier than ever to create your own simple website. Providers like Wix, WordPress and squarespace.com are great for those starting from scratch. They’ll walk you through the whole process with simple actions and steps,” says Ben. “When creating your website,

think of your unique domain name. This is what comes after ‘@’ in an email address, or after ‘www.’ in a web address. Once you have a domain name, registering it is important to ensure that no one else will have the same one. That could end up causing confusion and weaken that all important SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, which helps you appear high up on a Google search.” But more on that later. Websites like Wix sort registering your domain name for you, and will tell you if the one you want is already taken and suggest alternatives.

make a website

Know your way around the cloud

You may have heard of it, but not fully understand what it is or how to use it. “The cloud [short for cloud computing] is effectively where data and files are stored if they are somewhere else rather than on a local device,” explains Ben.

“The cloud can be accessed from anywhere in the world, so it’s great for working from home. It saves companies millions, as it means they don’t have to have old- fashioned racks of machines in their offices. These days, most websites’ information and data is stored in the cloud.” But how do you start using it?

“You may be using it without even realising. Sites such as DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud and Microsoft’s OneDrive are all examples of cloud services. To get started, all you need to do is sign up to your preferred provider [as listed above] to start saving your documents and files somewhere other than your crowded desktop.”

the cloud


“As many businesses are now working remotely, video platforms are becoming extremely popular,” says digital marketing expert Vicky White, founder of Vicky White Communications.

Zoom is an easy-to-use web conferencing platform, used for networking, training and team meetings, but you can do more than just chat. A really useful tool is ‘share screen’ – where you can talk through a document with others looking at your screen when you bring up a Word document, say. You can also record your video chats, which is ideal when you are delivering a workshop or training session and want to share the content directly with others or on your website or social media channels.”

Vicky also recommends the app Remo. “The graphics are really clever, with various virtual meeting rooms that you can come in and out of and invite people into, which feels more like a ‘real’ office. You can also view LinkedIn profiles and book meetings during conversations, so it’s a fantastic tool for running events, networking, and connecting and engaging with your contacts.”

Maximise your Social Media Reach

Perhaps you’re applying to work somewhere and they want you to improve their presence on social media to get more customers or clients, but you only ever use Facebook and are completely clueless about TikTok.

Fear not – it’s far more important to pick the right platform and post the best kind of stuff. “Businesses think they need to be visible on every social media channel, but this is not the case. Think about your target audience and the channels they use and focus your energy there,” says Vicky.

“When it comes to content and what to post,test different content types [polls, stories, giveaways] to see which drives the most engagement [likes and shares], website visits, and sales. Also, think about your tone of voice and whether you want your audience to be informed, instructed or entertained. Think about this before you start to plan and actively post. Regularly review your account and post performance, so you can revise your strategy accordingly. For free graphics, check out Unsplash and Canva. To save time, use a free tool like Hootsuite, where you can schedule all your content to go out for the week or month and can create one post to send to all your channels. The free version includes up to three channels.”

Be Google-able

“SEO [Search Engine Optimisation] helps to rank your website in search engine results,” explains Vicky. The first step when trying to appear high in Google results is to establish what your prospective customers are typing into the search bar, and then use these key terms within your website content and CMS (content management system).

“You can find your key search terms by using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. If you’re using WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plug-in. Most other website builders, like Squarespace and Wix, already have this built in. By filling in these sections on every page of your website with your key search terms, you are helping Google to rank your page in the results when someone searches for your service or product. Your content must be as natural as possible and not just list all your keywords – Google is very smart!”

Other SEO-boosting tricks Vicky recommends include creating a Google My Business Account, requesting Google reviews from your customers, posting on your social media channels and regularly linking back to your website.