A career in Digital Marketing is an attractive option for students and graduates, not just due to the lure of potentially spending your entire working day on Twitter, or writing blog posts and creating cat gifs (yes, there is a lot of that, but it’s not the whole job…)
Digital Marketing is an emerging industry with new job opportunities surfacing on a daily basis. It’s one of very few careers that requires a real marriage of creative and analytic skills, so you’re always on your toes and never get the chance to utter the phrase ‘my job is so boring’.
And there’s no better time to enter the field. The digital economy is growing at lightening speed, resulting in a considerable skills gap, with many vacancies to fill.
It is, nonetheless, a pretty competitive area to access. Just because you have a few thousand Twitter followers, doesn’t mean you’re going to be inundated with job offers. So, with that in mind, here are some great ways to get a foothold on that digital ladder and stand out from the crowd in a sea of social savvy candidates.
You don’t need a degree specifically in Digital Marketing to get a job in this field. There are many degrees, like Journalism, PR and Advertising and Business Studies, which can also lead you there. But, if you want a better shot at employment, it’s best to get certified by an accredited body. The CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) is a great place to start. Many universities or colleges will offer part-time top up courses that aren’t overly expensive and don’t take that long to complete.
Connecting with local professionals in the Digital Marketing sector can be hugely beneficial to furthering your career. Being known within those circles will keep you updated when job opportunities arise and forming strong relationships may also help you to acquire a mentor who can steer you in the right direction. Surrounding yourself with experts who are passionate about what they do will also drive you to work harder and inspire you to keep on top of the current trends.
As with most jobs, employers will always favour candidates who have relevant experience, as it not only demonstrates proof of your abilities, but also shows that you’re eager. So, if you have friends or family members who run a small business, offer to help them set up social media channels or optimise their websites. Personal projects, such as setting up a blog, can also help you refine your skills.
Be A Fan
In most Digital Marketing job interviews you will be asked which influencers you admire or follow online, as this is a great indicator of how passionate and involved you are in the industry. If you love Digital Marketing, you should be aware of the big names. The Kim Kardashians of Digital Marketing, if you will. Follow them on Social Media, listen to their podcasts and watch their videos. This is one of the most effective ways to stay ahead of the game.
However, as all these tasks require very different skills sets and disciplines, it’s almost impossible to excel at every single one. If you want to stand out among a ton of other applicants, you need to have a specialty. Rand Fishkin (who IS the Kim K of Digital Marketing) has talked on his blog about the T Shaped Marketer – this is someone who has a light level of knowledge across a wide variety of skills, but has depth in one or a few particular areas. Find what you are particularly good at, whether it’s blogging or link building, and use it to your advantage.
Get A Digital Toolbox
Digital Marketers rely on a wide range of online tools to do their job to the best of their ability. These tools include Social Media scheduling systems, SEO checkers and email automation services to name a few. At any interview you will be asked which tools you use regularly, so get familiar with them. Many are free or offer free trials, so there’s no excuse!
Speak The Online Language
The marketing industry is somewhat renowned for its ridiculous jargon and acronyms. Adept digital marketers are fluent in this language, so you have to know your SEOs from your SEMs and your CRs from your CPAs. Knowing the terminology inside out, ensures you don’t get left behind.
Written by Lana Richardson, Digital Marketing Manager for Unibaggage.com - the No.1 Student Shipping Service.