In this guide, we’re going to reveal some of the key issues you need to consider if you want to break into digital marketing. We’ll describe a few simple things that all recruiters will be looking for, and supply you with a few handy tips. Let’s get started right away.
As we discussed above, within the frame of digital marketing lies many different roles, for people with many different skill sets. When you are just getting started in your career, avoid taking a broad approach and try to specialise in one specific area. If you can be the ‘pro’ amongst all the general candidates, it will give you an excellent head start. As you progress through your digital marketing career, you can broaden your skills sets and either move into other areas or consider moving into a more managerial role. For the moment, however, focus on one or two different areas and aim to be the go-to person for those roles. Not only will you have more luck when applying for work, but your specialism also drives up your salary opportunities.
It can be tough to get experience when you are just starting out. And it’s true that it is something of a vicious circle. On the one hand, you need the experience to get a job, but on the other, no one will give you a job until you have experience. That said, it is possible, and you shouldn’t let your lack of work experience deter you. Make sure you that you work on your soft skills, and bring these out in your applications. For example, you could look back on your previous jobs – even if they aren’t in digital marketing – and highlight areas where you have shown creativity, logical thinking, problem-solving skills and teamwork. Also, highlight times where you have led projects or organised groups. These are all the types of things that will help you thrive in the digital marketing world, so ensure you have plenty of examples.
Live and breathe the digital marketing life.
The difficulty with digital marketing is that the industry changes rapidly. What you may have learnt at college about the subject last year may not be relevant any more next year – it really moves that quickly. It’s vital that you keep yourself up to speed with the latest trends and emerging technologies in the field, and you will be able to keep yourself looking fresh. This will also show you are flexible enough to be able to handle change.
Focus on your potential employer
Many newcomers to the job market fail right from the start because they project what they want the employer to see, rather than focusing on what the employer wants. When you are writing your resume or attending an interview, always ask yourself – ‘why should they hire me?’ Doing this will help you keep the focus on your potential employer’s perspective, and help you create the answers they are looking for. Simply put, they want the best possible candidate for the role. And unless you can imagine what the best candidate looks like from their side of the desk, you won’t get the job.
Do your research
If you are applying to work for a specific company, make sure you do our homework beforehand. Visit the company website, take notes and see what they get up to on a regular basis. Check their social media accounts, too – what can you learn about the company, or its messages, goals, themes and departments? Once you know all of this stuff, it should give you a few ideas on how you might fit into the company. And once you get that interview, you can tailor your answers to show them that you are a perfect fit and a face that matches what they need. Don’t forget, as a digital marketer you will need to understand your target market. And if you fail to show an employer that you understand them, you will fall at the first hurdle.
Proof of work
As we discussed above, your digital marketing resume or CV should be packed full of references to your relevant experience and previous work. And if you are in the more creative sides of digital marketing – such as designing or copywriting – make sure you have a well-stocked portfolio. Your portfolio should contain a large variety of different work, and show an employer precisely what you are capable of. And the beauty of a portfolio is that it can be filled with creative ideas you have done in your spare time – as long as you keep it relevant. Get this right, and it could make up for a basic lack of real-world experience.
Use your initiative
Imagine how many people apply for each opening – recruiters are sometimes snowed under when it comes to processing applications. It can be tricky to stand out from the crowd in cases such as these, too. But what if there was a way to make sure you are noticed? Well, there is. You can call the office, email the HR department, or contact your potential line manager on Linkedin. If you show you are eager and keen – and super interested – it will leave a mark. You may even get moved through the basic phase of the recruitment process if you’re lucky!
Finally, there is the possibility that you face rejection. But try not to think too negatively about this – even when those rejection letters start to pile up. There will be a company out there that is perfect for you, and offer you a digital marketing job and the chance to break into digital marketing. Speak to a recruiter at this point, and they will be able to find the perfect position. Good luck!