Firstly, welcome! Come on in, I don’t bite – I’m Laura, a Content Manager for Absolute Digital Media, primarily working on internal marketing and PR campaigns.
On Friday 6th November, Bright Network invited me to speak at their ‘How To Get Into Marketing’ online event, designed to enthuse hopeful marketing students and graduates to pursue their dream career in marketing. This event inspired myself and Absolute Digital Media to share our tips, tricks and tactics for landing your first marketing job as part of our Thrive Initiative.
As one of the A-Team’s new hires, I am part of the new Creative Team at Absolute Digital Media. I spend a lot of my day taking creative marketing ideas from conception to completion; from blog ideas to social media posts, digital PR campaigns to publicity stunts – every outlet has a creative spin. But how did I get into this increasingly competitive market?
Don’t Let 2020 Get You Down
Landing your first full-time job in your chosen career is often a struggle; add a world-wide pandemic, national lockdowns and a shaky economy into the mix and it feels near impossible. However, there are still opportunities out there and businesses are taking steps to thrive and hire despite the world’s uncertainties – I for one am proof of this!
Graduating in 2020 was not the blissful end of university I had hoped for. Finishing my degree in lockdown, graduating at home with some fizz and a make-shift mortar board and staring into the abyss of what the media was dubbing the ‘death of the job market’ was bleak to say the least. However, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how to be resourceful and make the most out of a dark situation.
Top Tips For Marketing Prospects
So, you’re geared up and ready to get out there and find your first marketing job. Don’t let 2020 dissuade you! Here are my top tips for making that dream a reality:
Work Your Contacts
‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ has to be up there with one of the most infuriating industry phrases, but it does hold a sliver of truth. If you don’t know of anyone directly in the marketing industry don’t lose hope – most new starters don’t have personal connections, but you can make them. Potential leads for paid work and experience are everywhere, need some inspiration?
- Careers advice speakers
- Connections through mutual friends or family
- Industry forums
- Local businesses you could offer freelance services to
- Charities you could volunteer with to improve their marketing
You are your very own marketing project. As cringe-worthy as it sounds, you need to show potential employees how fantastic you are at marketing – and that starts with getting yourself noticed. All the fantastic skills you’ve acquired, the experience you’ve had and your personality that sets you apart need to be showcased in an innovative and eye-catching manner. Ensure your CV, Cover Letter, Creative Portfolio or Prospect Pitch documents are on their A-game.
Developing a creative portfolio is one of the best assets you can create. A creative portfolio will demonstrate your experience and skills in a sleek, professional manner and actively present your creativity and design skills. Your creative portfolio can ooze personality and imagination, making it the perfect way to stand out from the crowd.
Check out my colleague Lewis’ campaign for inspiration. This creativity got him noticed by Absolute Digital Media!
Make Your Own Opportunities
Don’t just stop at scrolling through LinkedIn or Indeed – if you’re driven and ambitious, you need to show this and take yourself to your future employer, they might not even know they need you yet!
Spend some time getting to know the agencies you’re interested in and tailor your email to their brand. Perhaps you have an insight on their latest campaign or one of their clients; do something to show your interest in them specifically – not just blanket emailing.
This tip can also be applied to any freelance opportunities you could access. Check your network for any local businesses who you could offer your services to and present your skill set to them. Picking up a few freelance contracts could give you the added experience necessary to get noticed by agencies or in-house positions.
Basic. But extremely necessary.
Always follow up any enquiries with an additional email or a phone call. Marketers are often swamped, so they might not have had the time to respond the first time around. You always need to be the one doing the leg work to get their attention and give them a reason to want to respond to you, so get creative with your follow-ups!
Independents Are Key
Do your research into your local independent marketing or advertising agency – marketing is much more than big firms and industry headliners. Independent agencies are often happy to welcome internship or work experience candidates into their company for a few weeks, but won’t necessarily advertise this willingness.
Reach out to independent agencies to build your contacts, gain vital experience and get a foot in the door. Plus, if you’re of value to the agency, you might even get a job offer at the end of it!
Showcase Your Expertise
You need to stand out from the crowd, and when 200 applicants are going for the same job, this can feel impossible – but, get out of that mind-set now! You have a USP and the desired skill set, you just need to showcase it.
Demonstrate what you know about the industry through tangible examples and results. For example, if you built a social media campaign for a university society, apply your knowledge and skills to this example to establish your expertise. Cement your knowledge by engaging with online learning and courses for an extra edge and to accredited your expertise.
Courses to enrol on:
- Google Analytics for Beginners
- Google Adwords
- Facebook Blueprint
- Canva Design School
- Free Open University courses
Keep Up With The Industry
You’ll never stop learning in the fast-paced world of marketing! Show your interest and knowledge to employers by keeping up with industry news and trends; follow key blogs and hashtags to never miss an update.
Every day, employees at Absolute Digital Media are sharing articles, papers and social media posts on the latest industry news and trends – marketing, especial digital, never stands still. Keep your eyes, nose and ears to the ground so that you can demonstrate your dedication to the industry and come with relevant topics to any interviews or work placements.
We also produce our own insights on leading industry news and updates in our Absolute Digital Media Magazine, which is updated every week; you’re one stop shop to all things digital and marketing. Alongside our blog, you can also keep up with some of our favourite news sources:
- The Weekly PR
- The Screaming Frog
There are exciting, unique opportunities out there and with tenacity, drive and creativity you will be able to land your very own marketing role and put your skills into action. With perseverance, you will find your opportunities and claim your space in the marketing world – just keep going.