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From the Blog

Digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing sectors right now, but while the number of available roles is increasing, so are the number of applicants. So, if you are looking for a job in one of the man fields within digital marketing, there is a big question to answer. What, exactly, are the recruiters looking for?   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.   Specialise 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 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.   Get experience 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 CV 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 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!   Don’t quit 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 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!  
Choosing the best company to work for is important, we all know that. Find a gem and you can expect to be valued as an employee, get the career development you’re looking for and be well rewarded. It’s especially important in the world of digital marketing. But does the size of the business make a difference? We take a look at whether it’s best to work for a small company or a large corporation and the pros and cons of each.   Working for a Big Company You get a strong brand with plenty of support. There’s often a clear path to build your career. More investment in training development. Better perks and clearly defined pay structures. There are plenty of big companies to choose from and they’re always looking for staff. One of the benefits of the sheer size of the organisation is that it will have a clear structure in place that suits many people, particularly those who value security. It means areas like salaries and career progression are clearly mapped out within the organisation’s various processes and protocols. How you are managed on a day to day basis should also be well defined. There’s generally a good HR department that can support you if you have any issues. There are good benefits packages available as well because the company has many more resources to call on. This could include well-funded pension plans and discounts for certain products such as gym memberships. If you work in digital marketing , having experience with a large organisation like BT, Sainsburys or British Gas will almost certainly strengthen your CV should you decide to move on. For those looking to improve their career prospects, large companies regularly provide training for those that match their criteria. There are however a few downsides to going big. For instance, large corporations may be bogged down in bureaucracy. So, if you like a free hand in the way you do things, it can be a problem. There could be set procedures and hoops to jump through before you can implement any new strategy or way of working. Getting lost in the crowd is another issue when it comes to a large organisation. It’s often difficult to stand out and you could just be another cog in the wheel. Promotions and jobs are may advertised internally but there can be quite a bit of competition and a lot may depend on whether your face fits or not. With stricter structures, it is more difficult to spread your wings and try new things, even if you work for an organisation as eclectic and boundary breaking as Google. A digital marketer normally has to be a Jack of all trades. It’s something which makes the profession attractive. In a large company, you may have to stick to what you are given and make sure you use the appropriate person to do a particular job outside your remit. That can be frustrating.   Working for a Small Company Small businesses are great should you want a role that’s varied and challenging. Rather than take on new staff, a manager or boss will find someone inhouse who can take on that extra task or new role. That may be hard work but it also gives you the opportunity to develop great new skills which will be useful in your career moving forward. Smaller companies mean close-knit teams. There’s a small number of you and you get to know each other well. This is a major driving point for people who don’t want to be just a faceless employee in a big corporation’s crowd. It also makes life easier if you want to change things or put in your four pennies worth with a new idea or two. When you do your job well, you’re more likely to get noticed in a smaller company. That means your star can rise much quicker than in any other environment. That does come with a downside, however. Because of the size of the business, you could end up reaching a certain point and not be able to go any further. That could mean looking for a new company if you want to develop more. Small businesses tend to have certain limitations in what they can do. There simply isn’t the funding, for instance, to deliver the clear training path that you might want to follow. Of course, if the business is starting to grow and you’ve got in at the ground floor, it might be worth waiting for those opportunities to come along in the future. But if things stagnate, your career will also. If you don’t like having extra work or new challenges foisted upon you and prefer the routine of your job, a small business is not necessarily the best place to be. Here, it’s usually a question of everyone mucking in where they can. That doesn’t always suit everyone. The lack of other people in the business can also be a sticking point, especially if the business only employs one or two staff besides the boss. What happens if you don’t get on?   How to Make The Right Choice Most digital marketers will work for a wide range of different employers during their career. While a big corporation has it’s merits, the stricter rules can cause difficulty when you want to get more experience in certain areas like web design, content creation or PPC advertising. You may have to wait until someone moves on before you get that opportunity. A big operation does, however, give you the chance to see the world of digital marketing and telecommunications from the point of view of one of the big players. It’s a great place to network with talented and serious staff and build relationships for the future. For many digital marketers, however, smaller businesses have the benefit that they can be king of all they survey. There’s the opportunity to spread your wings and, if you don’t mind taking care of much of your own training, you can diversify to a much greater degree. A lot will certainly depend on your own personality. You may love the challenge of a small team or you could prefer the safety and security of a big organisation. Where you are in your career may be a factor as well. If you’re bringing up a family and have learned the ropes when it comes to all things digital marketing , for instance, a big corporation can seem a pretty good career move .  
Many inexperienced job applicants spend an inordinate amount of time working on their CVs to perfect them. But when it comes to sending a cover letter, they just knock one out as fast as possible and hit the ‘send’ button. Unsurprisingly, few of these applicants will be successful.    The trouble is, the cover letter is one of the most important aspects of your job application. In reality, many CVs are incredibly similar and easy to skim over - it’s a factual document. A cover letter, however, is where you get the chance to let your personality shine through, as well as underlining your skills and abilities to thrive in the advertised role.   With this in mind, here are a few things you need to consider when creating your cover letter - let’s get started with the absolute basics.   Research, research, research The first thing any job applicant needs to do is research the company they are applying to. Look at how the business works, and ensure you know exactly what it is that they do. Take care to investigate your potential role, too - can you answer every question they will ask about the job spec?   There are many other things you need to know about the company, which can really make a difference to your cover letter - and you should tailor that letter accordingly. For example, are you aware of the firm’s competitors, both on a local and national level? Who is their target audience? The more you know about the company, its place in the market, and the job role, the more chance you will have of creating an eye-catching, interview-winning cover letter.   Take notes - as many as possible. Then, use everything you have learned to tailor your actual letter, matching up their requirements with your skills and experiences. Not only will it improve your chances of impressing them from a candidacy perspective, but you will also prove that your interest in their company is serious.   Content and formatting While there is more room on a cover letter for self-expression than on a CV, you do need to be wary about going on for too long. A good cover needn’t be any longer than half a side of A4, and should be concise, to-the-point, and exceptionally presented.   Formal fonts are a must, of course, so none of those fancy handwritten ones - or, worse, Comic Sans - and make sure that the words are well spaced apart and easily read.   Paragraphs are critical, too. No one likes reading huge blocks of text, as it’s impenetrable and time-consuming. Clear paragraphs will help you get your message across, and allow for any skim readers to ensure they can grasp what it is you are trying to say.   Structuring your letter Nothing is set in stone when it comes to creating a cover letter. But there are a few principles you should follow to ensure your efforts don’t go to waste.   Open the letter by explaining why you are sending the letter in the first place. You can also include where you saw the ad, and if anyone has referred you, this is the best place to use their name. It’s very simple - nothing uncomplicated, and is just there to act as a friendly and quick introduction.   Try: “I wish to apply for the position of x, which is currently advertised on y. Enclosed is my CV for your consideration.”   Next, you need to dive right in with the skills and qualifications you have for the job. Don’t mess around, get those professional and educational experiences out there straight away.   Try something like this: “I have four years experience working in x, and feel I have the skills, knowledge and expertise in y to be the perfect candidate for this job.”   OK, so now you need to move on to selling yourself. At this point, you want to ensure that you are addressing any of the points you have made in your research. Let’s say that ‘Job X’ is asking for someone with proven experience in increasing sales.   You might say: “I have ten years experience selling x, and have been responsible for increasing YOY department sales by 40 per cent.”   Finally, the last paragraph. Here, you can afford to inject a little more personality into proceedings. You need to reiterate why you are applying, of course, but it’s also a good time to show your passion for what you do. Think about why you might be the best fit.   Something like this might work: “I believe I have what it takes to translate my previous success with Company Y and contribute even more to your Company X and help you build on your reputation as Industry Z’s leading lights.”   Formalities Cover letters are usually addressed to the person dealing with the applications. The chances are that you will be able to find this info somewhere on the original application, but if you cannot find a contact name, don’t panic.   You can actually turn this into an advantage. It gives you the perfect opportunity to ring into the business and request a name. You may even get to speak to them, and ultimately that may be a good chance to ensure they remember you! Not only that, of course, but they are also likely to be impressed by your initiative.   Regarding signing off, there is a small dependency. If you know the name of the hiring manager, always sign off “Yours sincerely.” If you don’t know the contact name, however, then ensure you sign it “Yours Faithfully.”   Conclusion There is an art and a science to writing an exceptional, eye-catching cover letter. However, it’s always the science part you have to get right first. Do your research, make lots of good notes, and ensure you answer the points you need to. Then it’s a case of adding some flair and creativity, to ensure you tick all the boxes, but also stand out from the crowd.   Ultimately, a good cover letter can help you attract interest - and ensure your CV gets a second look. Then, it’s just a case of acing the interview - but that’s for another time.  
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