The continually evolving nature of technology, tools and strategies within the digital marketing industry ensures an extremely exciting and desirable sector to work in, especially amongst graduates.
The digital industry can offer countless skills and opportunities within this relatively new sector that has been noted in 2016 to create jobs almost three times faster than the rest of the economy.
I have been working at Impression for just over 6 months now and will be joining as a full-time SEO analyst on their digital marketing graduate scheme in July. Through speaking to my colleagues and other students that work part-time at Impression I’ve really learnt a lot about the value of a unique and relevant CV. I’ve listed my top 5 tips below and explained in detail why these are crucial.
Keep on top of industry news
Due to fitting into the cliché age bracket of a ‘millennial’, I have inevitably grown up with technology and observed it actively develop at a rapid rate. A relatively straightforward way to keep up-to-date with relevant trends within the digital industry is to follow and subscribe to key influencers, such as Moz, Search Engine Land and Impression on different social and professional platforms.
Doing this allows you to effectively network both online and offline with business professionals and to discuss the trends and how they could potentially affect the industry. At Impression, we share blog posts and industry updates frequently so it really is something you should also be doing in your own time to make your application stand out.
The importance of professional social media profiles
If you have not set up a LinkedIn profile as of yet, I absolutely suggest you do as soon as possible. LinkedIn has the power to connect you with very prominent business people in your area and chosen industry which presents you in a professional light. This also allows networking to be almost seamless with very little boundaries present. LinkedIn also can help display your CV in more of a creative manner that potential employers can view.
Similarly, Twitter is also incredibly important. With the rise of Instagram and Snapchat for personal and leisurely use, Twitter has really become a great platform for young business professionals to gain knowledge. It’s an ideal way to meet like-minded people when attending conferences and also to keep up-to-date with any speculation around big changes within the industry. By following insightful companies, such as Impression, on social media platforms, this increases the ability to gain knowledge around relevant issues and enables the building of critical networks within the industry.
Commercial experience is crucial
It is extremely important, in such a competitive graduate market, to use your initiative alongside studying and gain relevant work experience. Even with a marketing or business related degree, the standard of applications for graduate jobs is incredibly high, so you need to go that little bit further.
Having basic background knowledge in your favoured area of specialism is very much desirable from an employer point of view as it shows you’ve proactively taken an interest in learning. Consider contacting local employers and see if their company offers insight days or internships over the summer period to put your existing theoretical knowledge into practice. Try to put the effort in over summer periods when you’re more available from university and can truly immerse yourself in the work experience, and reflect afterwards to identify the preferred direction moving forward.
Don’t worry about your chosen degree
It is important not be put off by your chosen university degree if you decide digital marketing is the route for you. When I joined Impression, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of degree disciplines in the company, these include: languages, journalism, English, philosophy, music, software engineering and economics to name a few.
Whether you have a genuine passion for digital marketing or want to see if it really is for you, there are many free credible qualifications available online that are recognised by employers.
If you want to go a little bit further…
One or more of the above are great ways to understand digital marketing terminology and to have the ability to discuss marketing strategies clearly with colleagues during work experience placements and when starting your career in this exciting industry.
Discover your unique selling point
In order to truly stand out as a graduate, you must be able to recognise and exploit your personal USP. By selecting your niche area, this can really differentiate yourself from many competing graduates. This can be a result of the technical, creative and existing skills already learnt that can be communicated to the company.
To further separate yourself from the pool of candidates, try setting yourself a personal project of setting up an industry-relevant blog or submit guest posts to industry-specific publications. Look for opportunities to work with a local business and get involved in helping them set up or manage their social media channels or work on their website. As well as fundamental digital skills, this will also demonstrate to future employers that you are a proactive individual with a willingness to help others in the community, in conjunction with reading up on important trends in the industry.