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Digital Marketing Career Advice

Is there anything more important than your cover letter and CV when it comes to landing an interview? Maybe not. Your qualifications are critical, of course, but your CV can mitigate problems in that field if it’s done correctly. So to help you kickstart your Digital Marketing career , we’ve put together a helpful guide on how to set yourself up for the perfect digital marketing CV, taking tips from professionals across the field. It’s broken down into 5 easy to follow steps, and should get you started on the path to landing that dream interview .   1. Have a live portfolio website that you built yourself If you’ve read our article on personal portfolios, you’ll understand why this is important from a career perspective. But it’s also helpful when you go to build your resume. MarketPro Inc say:   “It’s easy enough to make a standard portfolio on one of the major portfolio-hosting sites and call it a day. There’s nothing wrong with that; outside of creatives, most marketing professionals don’t have a portfolio. So having anything at all – even something very straightforward – gives you a huge advantage over competitors for a job. But businesses want marketing professionals who can bring innovative ideas and new perspectives to the table in all aspects of their marketing. If you think of an unconventional or clever way to display your past work and experience, that goes a long way towards making yourself stand above others in your field.”   This matters for your CV because not only should your CV be equally creative and unique - it should reflect your portfolio. It’s all part of building that personal brand - which doesn’t stop at the CV stage.   2. Showcase your content and networking skills through guest blogging Guest blogging may not seem like something you do to help your CV, but in the digital marketing world, nothing is in silo. This is ‘extracurricular’ digital marketing experience that goes on both your CV and portfolio, and helps to show employers how driven you are. TwelveSkip says:   “Once accepted, you need to write a useful blog post. High-quality content is important in guest blogging. This is especially true if you’re just starting out. Before you submit a guest post, you need to make sure that the post is well-written and well-researched. You should also know how they format their content. Are they using subheadings? Do they like long paragraphs? Do they use a lot of whitespace? Keep in mind that most guest bloggers are taking this concept very seriously. If you don’t know how to create a good post, then hire someone to do it for you.“   That element of quality is critical, because it’s both your personal brand and somewhere your CV will direct recruiters to. So take it seriously.   3. Freelance to gain good references The following points about the importance of good references on a CV are from a Career Builder survey a few years back:   80% of the hiring managers and human resource professionals surveyed said they do contact references when evaluating a job candidate. 16% contact references before they even set up an interview. 69% said they have changed their minds about hiring a job candidate based on the input received from a reference. 47% said they had a less favourable opinion of the job candidate after speaking to a reference. Just 23% reported having a more favourable opinion.   It’s clear that references are going to be critical to landing your dream job, particularly if you’re really just starting out. So go freelance, go find work in the field any way you can, and work hard to make a good impression and pick up quality references.   4. Don’t forget to customise! Customising your CV and cover letter for every application sucks. We know. But you need to do it. CNBC’s business blog wrote the following:   “Adjust the wording and what parts of your work you highlight so that it aligns with what the job posting entails. For example, an entry-level videographer should have three slightly different versions of her resume that showcase different abilities for jobs in video shooting, editing or producing.”   It just can’t be overstated: if you don’t customise your CV for a job application, it’s like using a rugby ball for golf. Your product needs to fit the target or it won’t stick.   5. Aim for the person, not the company Finally, a thought for the final edit of the CV rather than the preparation. Lily Herman, writing for Time Magazine, points out that the more personal you can make it the bigger impact it will have. She says:   “If all else fails and you really want to avoid the dreaded “To Whom It May Concern” line, feel free to shoot the company an email. I did this before when I was applying to a company that had a plethora of people on its editorial and HR teams and I had no idea who’d be hiring me.”   The company is who you want to work for, but it is the people at the company who will be (hopefully) hiring you. So yes, company is important and you should customise to match, but the final target market is the recruiter. So make it personal.   Upload CV    
Kicking off a career in digital marketing can be both daunting and difficult, but there are a number of ways you can make it a smoother transition - whether you’re fresh out of school or uni, or trying to make a change from the 9-5 job you hate. We’ve put together a helpful list of 10 steps you can take to make sure you kick off your digital marketing career in style.   Personal projects This is something that is so much more important than most people realise. If you speak to all the best DJs out there, did they learn their craft by reading a book, or did they buy their first set of decks and just have at it? The best chance you have of getting really good at anything is - you guessed it - practice. Qualifications are important, as we’ll look at below, but getting out there and starting your own project not only gives you confidence in your own abilities, but stands out to potential recruiters.   Personal brand This leads on nicely from number 1: building a personal brand is important for employers to see that 1. You’re good at what you do, and 2. You take the industry seriously. You can learn more about how to build your personal brand, and why you should, over on our dedicated article: Personal branding: what you need to know .   Learn the lingo Digital marketing is a serious, constantly changing and competitive industry, and if you’re to stand out in applications and interviews, you need to be across the language. Personal projects and qualifications will help with that, but you need to stay updated on industry knowledge, which leads us too..   Stay up to date As we said, this industry is constantly changing. Keep up to date with developments by having constant browses of sites like Moz, Distilled, Search Engine Land and Hubspot. These are leaders in the field and will help keep you abreast of, well, everything. This takes us to point 5…   Willingness and passion You need to be both willing to learn, and passionate about the field. We’re going to assume you’re getting into this career because digital marketing excites you. Well then, that should and needs to transfer into doing *all of the above*. The willingness comes through hard work, and getting up each morning to read about any developments. The passion comes into it when you need to keep that going for a long time. But hey, both of those aspects are part of the job, and will keep you one step ahead of your clients (and competition!).   Network Speaking of clients (and potential colleagues), networking is one of the most important parts of any job in marketing - digital included. Surround yourself with people who are more experienced in, and better at, digital marketing than yourself. That way, you’re both learning as you go and meeting people that will be able to recommend you for jobs, find you clients, and of course be friends!   Qualification But as much as nepotism plays a massive role in everything, you still need some backing behind you on a certification level. This isn’t retail where you can learn on the job. This is strategic, analytical, organised work that is a difficult blend of creativity and tight logistics. Get the balance right, and you’re laughing. But to do that, you need to have some real training behind you.   Get nerdy And whilst your going down the path of training, embrace it. Get nerdy. Learn the technical side of everything you can. Even if you don’t want to build websites - you just want to write content or create SnapChat videos - we can’t stress enough how much of a help it will be for everything from interviews to on the job projects to know the background of different elements of the digital world. So get nerdy.   T-Shaped marketer And number 8 leads nicely to 9: be a t-shaped marketer, as Rand Fishkin of Moz puts it. Have training or knowledge or experience in a couple of specific digital marketing disciplines, but have a broader understanding of all things marketing. Companies value this massively - it makes you a wildcard asset that other people may not be.   Understand data and metrics Last but not least, do you understand data? Do you know how to assess analytics? You need to know this to work in this field in the 21st Century. It comes back to almost everything above: be nerdy, get trained, learn the lingo, stay up to date. It’s all critical.   Upload your digital marketing CV today Upload CV  
Marketing is a field that just keeps on keeping on. It ebbs and flows in terms of what employers expect of the team, and what the wider populace thinks is the main part of your job, but the consistent aspect is that marketing enables businesses to thrive. The way you connect your business with current customers and future leads is arguably as important or more so to the business as the product or service itself. So why should you work in marketing? We’ve got 9 good reasons for you below:   You don’t need a degree In a world where you’re pressed for time and money, it might be nice to know you can enter a career without spending years, and thousands of pounds, on university and a marketing degree . That’s not to say that there aren’t marketing degrees our there, or that they’re not worthwhile, but you don’t have to have one to get a job in the field. And that’s worth celebrating.   There are no limitations The sky is seriously the limit with the marketing industry. You can do it for anyone, from anywhere, and the chances of turning your experience into a self-employed consultancy is clear from the number of people that already do it! There is a niche for everyone, and if you find what it is that makes you particularly great at a special marketing skill, you can use that to full advantage. There are no limitations to what you can achieve with a job in marketing.   You’ll gain confidence in your own ideas Something that a lot of people - particularly young people joining the workforce - struggle with is backing themselves in when they have an idea. The good thing about working in marketing is that your very job necessitates the construction and development of ideas, and the delivery of them once approved. Sure, you’ll make some mistakes, but you learn more by dropping a hammer on your foot than by hitting the nail by chance.   You’ll learn tact In a world of online communications, something that is sorely missing in modern society is tact: that ability to measure your response and communicate with a wide variety of people in a way that achieves the best outcome for everyone. A measured response is something you’ll become very adept at in the marketing field. This is something that will help you in every aspect of your life - be it work, social or personal.   It’s social, exciting and fun Speaking of social, one of the best aspects of working in Marketing is the potential for an extremely active social life within your work. Marketing is renowned for attracting extroverts that love meeting new people, so if getting along with your colleagues and meeting loads of new friends in the field is your sort of thing, Marketing is probably for you.   You can be creative In many roles in the workforce, something that bothers people is a lack of creative room. There jobs are so tightly ordered that they can never express themselves. You’ll never need to fear this in marketing, because the daily demands of this field necessitate outside-the-box thinking and decision making, and the further you go in your career, the more of these decisions you’ll be relied on to make.   You can take skills across any industry As we said, there are no limitations. These skills are similar whether you’re working for a high-flying finance firm or for Jeff’s Lawn Mowers on the high street. What’s great about that is that even if you’re feeling bored in one job, you can move into another in the same field, but that will be completely different.   Fantastic career prospects And that means: fantastic career prospects. You can’t really hit a bad period. Every business in every industry needs marketing of some form or the other, so regardless of where your career takes you, you can be sure that every step along the way is one that enables a future step to take place.   A good chance of great pay And we’d be silly not to mention pay, right? After all, job satisfaction is critical but so too is having enough money to pay the bills. Average marketing wages are above the national wage average for most of the country, with senior marketing executives capable of earning more money than you can count. If that’s not a great reason to enter the field, we don’t know what is!  
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