Welcome to our video about Digital Marketing Jobs.
We’re going to discuss the best way to land your first digital marketing job, apprenticeship or internship.
My name is Martin and I’m the founder & director of Blue Thirst. A Digital Marketing Agency based in Bournemouth that is almost 10 years old.
Over this time and in my previous roles, I’ve probably read over 1,000 CVs and conducted well over 100 interviews.
Today I want to talk to you about the 7 things you can do as an applicant to stand out and land that new digital marketing job.
This first point is probably quite obvious, but you’ll be amazed how frequently it comes up at interview!
Know the Job That You Want!
Every industry has a huge breadth of roles available. In digital marketing you could be doing anything from content creation such as videos like these. Search Engine Optimisation to get websites ranking first in search. Running paid media campaigns on the likes of Google, Bing and Facebook ads. You could be involved in social media management for brands organic posts. You could be a designer creating social content, advertising banners and website content. You could be a web developer working on website maintenance and automation scripting. You may even want to become a specialist in different content management systems, which could lead you to work for specific specialist agencies.
It’s amazing when you interview a lot of apprentices in a day. They all want to work in digital marketing but when you ask them what area you get a few blank faces. They haven’t always thought that far ahead, but it’s important that you do, so that you know the best roles to go after. Try not to be too specific, I remember I once interviewed a girl and all she wanted to do was write short tag lines. Like Nike’s “Just Do It”. If you know what area you want to work in, you can look for businesses and agencies that fit the environment you’re looking for.
Know Which Companies You Want to Work For
Now you’ve worked out the area you want to work in, you should be able to figure out the ideal companies you’d like to work for.
Some of the best apprentices we’ve had have contacted us directly. They’ve reached out and said “I’m an apprentice, i’d like to do digital marketing and I specifically want to work with you. I want to work with you because you work with these clients and you do this sort of work.”
That’s quite impressive because they’ve done their research on the business and have identified that they feel as though they’d be a good fit.
You probably want to come up with around 40 companies which are local to you, that do the things you want to do as a job. These want to be your ideal fit for a new job. Full service agencies tend to specialise in a couple of things or have small departments for each area. If you want a bit of everything, these are a good place to start. If you want to do something specific such as paid media, then find agencies such as us with a reputation for excelling in paid media. It’s also a good idea to look at an agencies case studies, see what kind of clients they work with and see if you would be interested in that. You’ll stand out if you can tell an interviewer that you have an interest in the types of clients they typically work with. You can also check their case studies for the outputs they are giving for clients and it’s a good window into what the actual job would be like.
You’ve now worked out the area you want to work in and the companies you’d like to work for. Now you need to start showing off to those companies.
So the third key point is:
Have a Relevant Portfolio
If you’re going to an SEO agency, you need to be able to show experience in ranking websites. Whether you build your own for practice or maybe try running some affiliate websites. It’s important that you show experience in on-site and off-site SEO. You should also be knowledgable on technical terms, because I guarantee you will be asked about them during interview.
We know that when you are an apprentice or an intern, you haven’t had professional experience. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have tried things. Whether you’ve practiced SEO for your own blog, or ran a social media page for your art. Talking about the ups and downs of doing those activites will make you stand out from clients who aren’t as passionate about persuing this career. This could put you into the top 10% of applicants. 90% of applicants just apply and hope that they can pull it off at interview and they don’t get the roles.
Now that you have a portfolio.
You Need to Show That You’ve Invested in Yourself.
When we take on apprentices, they need an hourly wage and training costs paid but that’s not the expensive part. The most expensive part is interviewing time and onboarding. The time of your colleagues to get you setup and getting you trained in anyway you need.
If you join Blue Thirst we get you Google certified as we are a Google Premier Partner agency. We will also get you Microsoft certified and we have a whole set of training pieces for you. This can be quite a large investment in someone who could leave after they’ve completed their apprenticeship.
If you can show that you’ve invested time in yourself that’s an indicator that you’re interested in this role because you’ve used personal time to try and learn. There are lots of free digital marketing resources out there. Google’s Digital Garage, Facebook Blueprint Training and even completing the Google Ads Certifications are all free and would earn you significant brownie points. This is because you would be entering the role with some basic knowledge around your new role.
Now you’ve done all this hard work.
You Need to Get Your CV Right.
I maybe get 200 CVs to look at for any one role. But I have to be honest, each individual CV doesn’t get much time. If you’ve got tons of text, i’m likely not going to read it. The first thing I do is scan a CV for specific things. I scan to see if you’ve invested time in your own training, have you got a portfolio and are you showing specific interest in the role you’re appling for.
If you haven’t included this information clearly in one page then your CV is going to get dismissed. I’m a busy person, I have a lot of CVs to look through and I shouldn’t have to investigate your CV in depth to know you’re suitable and interested in my role.
Your CV should be tailored to every role you apply for. It should be spell checked and professionally laid out. Try to make obvious the key points that would get you to interview. You could bullet point the training you’ve completed. You could include the URL for your portfolio or list you experience. You just need to make it super clear in order to get to the next stage.
Now you need to consider
How to Get an Advantage Over Other Applicants
Some of the things I would do in this case are: connecting on LinkedIn with people i think would be interviewing me and the owner of the business. But also competitors of that business. Think of yourself as a commodity. If i saw you were connected with 5 of my competitors, I might be thinking this person is really interested in working in this sector. Maybe they’re further down the line with my competitors, and I might need to be a bit more serious when considering this person. If I want them to work for me then I need to get that process in the works before they’re offered a job with a competitor.
Once you’re connected, you want to start showing up on their news feed. You want to be creating knowledgable posts and engaging with industry content. That would have me thinking that you’ve got a little bit of get up and go. They’re in the right place and engaging with the right content. It gives you a very powerful advantage if you’ve been getting in front of the decision makers when they’re considering hiring for a role suitable to you. As someone who hires staff, i will look you up on LinkedIn or Facebook once I’ve reviewed your CV. So it’s important that you give a good first impression on your social media platforms. It doesn’t all have to be business related but just be sensible about the things you put out there about yourself.
The next stage you’ll have got through to
We run a two stage interview. Initially we have a chat to see your personality so that I can see if you will fit in with the team we already have. By this point your CV has stood out so at this stage we aren’t focusing on your skills. We need to see whether or not your personality is a good fit for you to flourish.
Make sure you’re on time for your interview because that could be make or break. If you are running late because your car’s broken down or your lost, let your interviewer know as soon as you can that you’re still coming.
We also run a test in our first interviews. This is just to prove your basic core skills in proof reading and maths are going to be suitable to for the business. As we are an equal opportunities employer, this does allow us to fall back on a score to ensure an applicant is up to standard.
The second interview is likely to be a task related to the new role. For us this is also graded to help determine suitability on an equal opportunities basis. Some agencies may work in slightly different ways but this is the best way we’ve found as a final assessment of your suitability.
Get The Job
If you follow these steps you will definitely be setting yourself up to be in the top 5-10% of applicants for a role. It’s really important to show your interest and passion for a role, put this information front and center so they have to interview you and then show your personality.