Proven Strategies To Land Your First Digital Marketing Job
When I first got out of college I expected that knock on the door. You know the one where this good-looking guy would be right there. I even knew exactly what he would say. He would excitedly tell me that he loved all the effort I had put in as a student. He understood how hard I had worked to get that digital marketing degree. And because of my dedication, he was there to reward me and offer me this amazing digital marketing job.
It never happened! That gentleman never showed up on my doorstep. Unfortunately, like so many other graduates, I had to go out and find that amazing marketing job. I had to knock on doors, talk to professionals and apply for that marketing internship. Fortunately, I saw the process as just one more step in my educational ascent.
How to Start Looking for Your First Digital Marketing Job?
Okay, I know. You worked really hard to get through school. You’ve jumped through all the hoops and now you are about to graduate. But this is not the end. No. it is, in fact, the very beginning of your career trajectory.
But before I go on, let me digress a minute and share with you a few wise words given to me by my grandmother. Her wisest words to me were, “Never stop learning because your life is a learning journey.” I never realized how true these words were until I graduated from college. It was at this moment in my life that I realized how little I really know. And it was this realization that gave me the determination to find my first digital marketing job.
You need to realize that your imminent graduation is really just the very beginning of your professional journey. When you finish your degree, the real work begins. And this next step is probably the hardest part of your professional career – the finding of your first digital marketing job. Not to worry though. We can help by showing you a few simple tips that will help you land that first job. However, throughout your job search process, you must always keep one key factor in mind.
It is a very simple principle: The most important service or product you will ever market is, YOU.
You Are The Brand
After four years of university you know everything there is to know about brands, marketing, and sales. But the one important thing you don’t know yet is that YOU ARE THE BRAND. So finding your first digital marketing job is not going to be difficult. All you have to do is put all of the skills you learned in university to work. You are going to market your skills.
Basically, the definition of a brand is a mark. It is a short concise statement that encapsulates how you want the world to see and think about your product or service. And in this case, your product is YOU. If you want to make your mark in the world of marketing you need to begin to build your personal brand, and then you’ll want to communicate it to the world.
Employers will Be Impressed
Who are you? What do you know? What contributions can you make? How good are you at getting your voice out there? Do you have followers? Have you become an opinion generator? Nothing will say “hire me,” like someone who demonstrates that they can get their voice and presence seen and heard in this competitive world of digital marketing. So don’t wait to create a voice for your clients. Do it for yourself first. Put everything you have learned into action. Create the hype both online and off. Show off the product you are selling which is – YOU. When you can do this effectively, you’ll get the digital marketing job you desire.
Networking is A Vital Element in The Process
The simplest, easiest and most indispensable thing you can do involves networking with other people. They don’t teach this in college, but they should. Networking is the most effective way to get your foot in the door of any organization, especially one you really want to work for.
Remarkably, professionals are actually eager and flattered to help. So put your best clothes on and smile a lot. Work the room, or in this case, the company. Use your contacts, your parents’ friends and acquaintances. Reach out and make those random calls to marketing companies. Ask for guidance, assistance and mentoring. An easy, actionable first step might be to start an email campaign. You might be shocked at how receptive industry insiders may be.
Research It All
Nothing impresses a potential employer more than your knowledge of the way the organization works. Do your research and show your insight. This knowledge may get you your first digital marketing job. At the very least, it will make your skills stand out from the competition. Turn to your computer and perform a few Google friendly searches. Find out everything you can about the company you are interested in before you even apply for your first digital marketing job. This one simple act can put you at the top of their list.
My own experience has shown me that people at the top are often willing to take someone under their wing. Unfortunately, most young people are too afraid to ask. So stand out from the crowd by showing your willingness to learn.
Go to Industry Events
Another great way to be seen and heard is to attend industry events. Reseach when and where the largest digital marketing events near you will occur and be sure you attend them. Trade shows are a great way to meet people in the digital marketing industry. People at trade shows love to talk. So you can easily get them to talk to you. Ask for business cards. Be sure to ask if you call them. Don’t hesitate to request a short sit down. You might even offer to buy them a cup of coffee.
You’d be amazed to see how freely people share their work experience with you. It might surprise you to find that they want to help you. At the very least, these people can often help you get that important digital marketing job interview. Just be sure to follow up with an email thanking them for their time and reminding them of how you met. Starting these lifelong relationships will give you the tools you need to land this first and every successive digital marketing job you want. Developing lifelong relationships within the marketing field can help you develop your professional career for many years to come
Social Media Isn’t Just Social
Instead of sharing pictures of your lunch, or of your funny faces, share your thoughts on your social media platforms. That was the original purpose of social media anyway. Post relevant articles and information. Set yourself up as an authority figure on branding and marketing. Remember, you probably know more about the subject matter than an HR manager or CEO could ever know. Remember, these may have the power to give you that first digital marketing job, but they probably don’t know all that much about the field itself. They have other matters to worry about. Besides, if you show off your knowledge, even if you don’t believe you have all the needed skills, they will be impressed. You can show off your knowledge by posting interesting articles or information on your social media platforms. These actions show off your marketing knowledge and skills.
In other words, forget the social and concentrate on the media part. You and your thinking merged with your attempts to get the info out there will be impressive to a potential employer.
Experience Is Priceless
Put yourself out there for free. Education was an expensive investment. All you need to do is invest a little more in yourself by offering to work for free (if you have to). On-the-job training is another type of education. It is REAL EDUCATION and the more you have, the more you can offer. Keep in mind that internships often turn into real jobs. Enthusiasm is infectious, it will work for you.
Know Your Stuff, Then Keep Learning
You will learn more in a few weeks on the job that you ever learned in four years of college. They say the first thing you learn in business is how little you know, so keep on reading, asking and studying. Identify the go-to marketing leaders working in your area as well as study and follow their teachings. Reach out and allow them to teach you what they don’t teach you in school.
I bet the things you’ve learned in your search for a marketing job can also be of interest to others doing the same. It doesn’t take money or a huge amount of skill to get your opinions and voice out there. Remember you are an expert in your field, so share the knowledge by blogging about it. All you need is a computer and something valuable to say.
Act The Part
Dress for success. Appear professional. Learn the language of your intended industry and follow this sage advice, “Fake it till you make it.” I am often amazed at how some people show up for an interview. They are poorly dressed, poorly groomed, and often have not thought out any answers or responses to the questions in a job interview. That can be the kiss of death. You want people to look at you and immediately think, “Yes this person will fit in here.”
Link Up to LinkedIn
Let’s face it. Social media is great but not everyone loves Facebook. Most business gurus prefer LinkedIn. This platform offers an easy way to identify and meet potential mentors and employers. It is, after all, a forum for employment and job searches. Pick out potential companies or people within a company that you might like to work for and send them a message. Just one YES can make up for a boatload of no’s. And best of all, it’s free.
Create a Killer Intro Letter
There are a lot of helpful resources online but don’t be a copycat. Find a unique way to get yourself seen, a personalized style to introduce yourself. Send out a few of these intro letters every week. If you keep sending them out, you will get a response. My letter got me my first job in advertising. It was in the mailroom, but I got in the door. In the end, that mailroom job turned into a long career on Madison Avenue.
The Things To Avoid When Looking for Your First Digital Marketing Job
Now that we have covered what you can do, let’s cover what you shouldn’t do.
- Don’t have any typos
- Avoid using a rote intro letter
- Prevent yourself from lying
- Don’t slack off. Be persistent
- Avoid the lack of knowledge
- Don’t over promise then underperform
- Prevent yourself from being too solitary and afraid to ask for help
- Don’t stop being curious
- Avoid that relaxed and unprofessional look
- Don’t forget to look and sound the part. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
The most important takeaway you can get from this article is to know your product and then market it accordingly. In this case, however, your product is YOU and your objective is to get your first digital marketing job.
Believe in yourself, market your abilities, sign up to industry newsletters, post your thoughts on new marketing trends. Study the tools and also innovations that hit the industry. Similarly, use these tools to market your skills. Use your website, blog and also email marketing campaigns to get that first digital marketing job. Just as you get results from the marketing you do for products or services so you can get the same results, if not better, from marketing your best asset – yourself.