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From the Blog

There’s no doubt that working in digital marketing can be highly rewarding and lucrative. There is a big demand for skilled employees and the potential to find jobs anywhere in the world. If you’re looking to get some response out of the top marketing agencies, however, you’re going to require a mix of hard and soft skills to get noticed. Being successful is not just about creativity. You need to have sound digital marketing experience and qualifications as well as the ability to handle at least three or four different balls in the air at one time. Here’s our quick rundown of skills and qualifications that are going to make you a standout candidate for the top people at the moment:   1. How to Solve a Problem Every job has it’s problems but none are as fluid and dynamic as in the area of marketing. You need to be able to grab customer attention and get them to respond. All that takes both creativity and flair. Thinking out of the box may have become a bit of a cliché but it’s still important in industries like digital marketing. If you’re good at problem-solving, you have a head start over the rest of the competition. Make sure you can identify areas in your career so far where this has been demonstrated and don’t shy away from blowing your own trumpet. The top agencies love a creative problem solver.   2. It’s About Teamwork Most top agencies aren’t about one or two individuals. They’re about closely knit teams that know how to work well with each other. They celebrate each other’s successes and work hard together to overcome obstacles. To be effective, you need to understand where all the pieces fit in an organisation and that means learning beyond your own particular skill or qualification.   3. Motivated Learning Gaining the skills and knowledge to be an effective digital marketer isn’t just about taking a few online courses. If you’ve been in the industry any length of time, you’ll know how quickly things can change. The top agencies are looking for employees who are motivated at developing their own careers and, if you can demonstrate your commitment, all the better.   4. Campaigning On Social Media It’s been pretty big for a while and there’s no sign of it letting up. Social media engagement is part of the lifeblood of many businesses nowadays. We’re not talking about the odd post here and there but having a complete understanding of how to leverage that social landscape and reach out to new and existing customers. It’s something that many people profess to be good at. Very few are exceptional. If you are good and can demonstrate it, you’re way ahead of the game and a big draw for the top agencies.   5. Be Strong on Metrics One other area where top agencies are crying out for top performers is analytics. It’s the backbone of all marketing campaigns and if you have a strong understanding of metrics you’ll be very popular indeed. That doesn’t mean you have to forego being creative. The big part of successful analytics is not about collating data and producing reports, it’s knowing how to interpret that information and how to leverage it the best. If a business is looking for anything, it’s going to be a marketing professional who is able to assess and implement strategies based on the data. While one person can look a list of numbers or a graph and just see the basics, the experience digital marketer is able to identify hot spots and important areas of interest where changes can be made to improve sales and engagement.   6. Great Marketing Managers Bringing all the diverse aspects of digital marketing together so that they deliver a powerful campaign is difficult. Great managers have a mix of skill, good communication and foresight that is in short supply across the industry. Again, it’s more than just implementing the same tired old strategies. No one business is the same as another and being able to adapt and bring the marketing team together on a coherent strategy is vital. If you can demonstrate that you are able to motivate, engage and deliver with a team of talented individuals, you will be seen as a highly valuable asset when it comes to the top marketing agencies.   7. Be Great at Content Management We’re not just talking about blog posts and the odd web landing page here. Content management covers all aspects of digital media include written, video, whitepapers and infographics. The story you tell in these mediums is vital in creating brand awareness, selling products and helping to grow a business. You need to understand instinctively how one bit of content is going to impact on another. You’ll also be focused on how to repurpose existing content and the power that can have. If you are a digital marketer who is focused on multi-media, then you are an asset to any company because you can see the bigger picture and help bring it all together.   8. It’s Not All About Facebook…But… Most top agencies understand the power of Facebook. With billions of active users, it’s the leading focus when it comes to pay per click campaign marketing. Any digital marketer who has a specialist skill in creating cutting edge campaigns on the platform is an asset. If you want to stand out, consider taking a closer look at Facebook Insights to start with and building your skills and knowledge in this area.   9. Creative Leadership While there are plenty off-the-shelf solutions for businesses nowadays, the top agencies are always looking for designers and coders who know their stuff and have a proven track record. If you want to get into these areas, you need to make yourself proficient in software like Photoshop and have a deeper understanding of HTML and CSS. Above all, you need to have that creative flair which means you see more and can do more than the guy next door.   The Next Step Whether you fit into some or even none of the above categories, the first place you need to start is building your own skills list. Take an objective look at what you are missing and pick the areas that really motivate you to start expanding on your abilities. Make this an ongoing process and you’ll find that you soon possess the skills and abilities that top marketing agencies are really looking for. Not only that, you’ll be way ahead of the other applicants for the big marketing job.  
Anyone who has been involved in digital marketing for the last ten to fifteen years will know there have been some pretty seismic changes. It seems we’ve only got used to one platform when another one comes along. Google changes their algorithms and suddenly our sites are no longer ranking. New tech for measuring performance puts our competitors at a better advantage. Not only has the digital landscape changed but customers are savvy, demanding more bang for their bucks. For the digital marketing professional it’s a constant challenge. One of the biggest problems is how to keep your skill set on track to meet future client and employee demands. There is a digital skills shortage in the UK at the moment and it’s costing the UK economy more than £2 billion a year , a figure that’s set to rise over the next decade. If you want to make yourself more professionally desirable, therefore, building on your existing skills is vital. It can also be quite daunting. Which skills are best? Where can you learn them? How much is it going to cost? What do employers really want?   1. Find Out What’s Missing The first step in deciding what new skills you need is to carry out an audit of what you already have. If you’re in a role at the moment, you may want to make a list of what it is you currently do exactly. Perhaps you’re planning to apply for a job. Taking a look at the spec to see what skills are required can be quite enlightening. Does it match your current abilities and skills? The trick here is to find out what you have and how it works for your business or future employers. More now than ever, job applicants in the digital sector need to demonstrate what they’ve done to keep their skills up to date in a constantly changing environment. It may help to get a third party to take a closer look at your digital skills set and make suggestions about what you are missing. Platforms like LinkedIn are great for reaching out to expertise that may not be available in your local area. You might want to employ a digital marketing coach for a short while to work with you in improving those desirable skills. Whatever you do, it’s important to have a clear idea of where your skill set rates at the moment and equally imperative you understand where the shortfalls are. You should, however, bear one thing in mind – as human beings we tend to overestimate our abilities and its important to be brutally honest with yourself.   2. Stay Current When you’re working hard and trying to meet your targets, it can be hard to keep up to date with the latest changes in digital marketing. Sometimes all you want to do is sit down and relax with a glass of wine and forget about all things social media, landing page and pay per click advertising. It’s easy to get into bad habits which is how so many of us end up with a skills shortage in the first place. Put aside at least some time each week to check what’s hot and what’s not in digital marketing so that you remain as current as possible. You can use RSS feeds and subscribe to digital marketing platforms to send you automatic emails or notifications. You might also like to keep a look out for webinars by industry experts or even new eBook releases on sites like Amazon. However you do it, understanding a market that is often in flux and changing rapidly is vital if you want to ensure your digital skills set remains relevant in today’s market.   3. Practice vs Theory One issue you may have at work is that a new strategy or marketing tool might come along but you don’t have an opportunity to use it. This can be frustrating and it may also be a key factor in you not bothering to engage with it at all. When it comes to new things, you should always be looking at ways to introduce the relevant tools into your daily practice. This doesn’t always have to be at work. If you have a project at home, then practicing these new skills with that might be all you need. The trouble is that we can have lots of theory clogging up our brains. Unless you combine it with hard practice, however, you’re probably not going to learn all you need to. There are a few ways to do it at work, of course. You could ask your boss to let you get involved in a new marketing initiative if it means you are likely to learn new things. A lot will depend on your manager and the makeup of your team but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pester and make a nuisance of yourself. Persistence can pay off.   4. Formal Training The other important step is to take charge of your own continuing professional development or CPD. Going on new courses and getting various certificates provides you with strong evidence to put on your CV that you’re a person who likes to learn new things. Most new employers will be looking for digital marketing professionals who are keen to take charge of their own learning and stay current.   5. Don’t Drift Finally, doing nothing shouldn’t be an option. If you want to be relevant in your career, it’s up to you to address any skills shortage you may have. While you can learn a lot online and from various free sites, undertaking some additional formal training plants smaller markers for your future career success. The vast majority of businesses, from SMEs to the big corporations, know how important the digital environment is for their own personal success. Taking a closer look at your digital skills set is vital if you want to appeal to more companies, give yourself greater opportunities and stay ahead of the competition when it’s time to apply for new jobs. There’s no doubt that digital skills shortage is a big issue in many countries. According to the Open University it’s actually reaching crisis levels. If you work in digital marketing , however, this is also a great opportunity to boost your employability and your reputation within the industry. Addressing any skills shortage, in fact, could ensure you’re ahead of the competition when you apply for that next big job. All you need to do is take control.
Landing that dream digital marketing job is not easy. There’s always plenty of competition for these posts and setting yourself apart from the rest of the candidates requires a lot of hard work. It’s a bit like going on Britain’s Got Talent for marketers or the point of the film Highlander – there can be only one! If you want to nail down your dream job at interview, however, there are some things you can do to tilt things more in your favour.   1. Start With Your CV It might seem a little odd to go back to the CV but this is usually the framework for deciding what is discussed at your digital marketing interview in the first place. Of course, it shows what you’ve achieved, who you’ve worked with and what qualifications you have. But it should also be a snap shot of you as an individual and your personality. Many digital marketing candidates make the mistake of throwing out the same old CV for each job they apply for. This is inevitably a mistake because it doesn’t leverage the full power of that, initial communication. You should always, always tailor your CV to the digital marketing job you are applying for. To do this, read the job specs closely and compare these to your CV. Look at ways to tweak and change what you have to better meet the requirements of the selection panel. That could mean changing your list of achievements slightly so that they are more inline with what the job is asking of you. You might also swap certain bullet points around to make them more prominent.   2. Don’t Forget the Basics Of course, digital marketing interviews have a lot in common with other interviews in other sectors. There are basics that you need to tick off, including turning up on time and being smartly dressed for the occasion. Body language is always important and you should avoid slouching or curtail any mannerisms that send the wrong message. Yes, digital marketing interviews can often be a little less formal but that doesn’t mean you should relax too much and ignore the norms. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.   3. Do Your Homework Do you really want to land this job opportunity? If you do, it’s time to undertake some serious research. You need to find out all you can about the company you’re being interviewed by and the people who work for it. Fortunately, that’s a lot easier nowadays with all the information available online. Find out what they are saying on social media, whether there are any videos on YouTube, look at LinkedIn profiles for staff pages and check news feeds for recent stories. A lot will depend on the sector or industry as to where you search. For instance, if your digital marketing interview is for a tech company then reviewing sites like TechCrunch and The Next Web is a good idea. Don’t just rely on your current knowledge, build a base of information that will assist you during the interview. In essence, get to know everything the company does, what their products are and how they brand and present themselves to the world. And drill down as deep as possible. All this combined, says to the interview panel that you are serious about the job and really want it.   4. Declutter Your Online World We all know that social media and our online presence is increasingly important when it comes to job opportunities. Nearly half of businesses say they are likely to check Twitter and Facebook feeds if they are interviewing someone. That digital marketing job could hang on an injudicious tweet or post you made a couple of years ago and have forgotten about. Some employers will check your timelines after they receive an application, others will leave it until that first digital marketing interview. Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to go through all your online content and check there’s nothing that will work against you. That includes doing a search on Google. Check you privacy settings if you want to keep communications with friends on Facebook hidden. Update your LinkedIn profile and add in anything that can help you during interview. Cut out anything that is likely to make you look less than reliable. This is something you should be doing on a regular basis anyway but is particularly important ahead of any digital marketing job application.   5. Practice Makes Perfect With all the work you do to prepare for your interview, there is always the chance that you will find yourself tripped up by a difficult or unexpected question. In truth, most interviews tend to follow a certain format, covering similar areas. There are standard questions that tend to be asked in digital marketing interviews and having answers prepared for these obviously makes sense. But you also need to practice handling those difficult or unexpected questions so that you come across as calm under pressure and knowledgeable about your industry. Try to get as much interview practice with a friend or colleague beforehand so that you are fully prepared. The last thing you want is to be thrown by an unusual question and fluff your lines.   6. Make the Most of Your Experience Got a marketing degree or diploma? That’s all very well but most employers nowadays are much more focused on experience. They’re going to want to explore this during your digital marketing interview. What you need at the back of your mind is how to get this across at every opportunity. That means finding examples from your own work experience when you answer any question. Don’t just mention it in passing, either. Get as much meat on the bones as you can, including the stats and data associated with any marketing campaign you have been involved with and how you contributed. No interview is easy but preparing yourself well not only arms you with the right information but instils confidence as well. If you really want that digital marketing job, you need to apply yourself methodically and do everything you can to ensure success.
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