After taking loads of online courses and experimenting with the digital skills you acquired on your personal brand, what next? Get a digital marketing job, right? Absolutely! One way to officially get into the digital world and launch a career is by getting a job. The eagerness to put your skillset into use can make you get clumsy, so I thought to share proven tips on how to magnet head-hunters or ace a digital marketing job interview?
In this article, I will take you through what the Human Resource manager looks out for in your curriculum vitae, and ultimately what they want to see in you before they can entrust the digital marketing facet of their business to you. So, if you are aiming to land your first six-figure job as a digital marketer, you are in luck today.
The digital market
With millions of people shopping online and doing other transactions without physical contact with sellers, there is no doubt that virtual markets have come to stay. These days, customers spend more time behind their smartphone screens and electronic devices than they would in malls or marketplaces. And a smart marketer does not wait for them in exquisite offices, he goes after them by positioning his goods and services right in front of them. Available data on internet users reveals that they spend an average of 7 hours daily on the internet and there are over 800,000 new users each day. Obviously, the internet is the new marketplace and an excellent convergence point for sellers and buys.
Hence, it should not be surprising that digital marketing skills are one of the world’s top-paying skills and would remain so for a very long time. Consider how e-commerce has taken the centre stage in today’s economic reality, and how nearly every business has secured a place in the digital space. Even the laggards at the very end of the innovation-adoption curve have been forced to hop on the wagon by COVID-19.
Now that every business is online, the problem is how to stay ahead of the competition in a system as volatile as the digital market. This problem is what the Human Resource (HR) manager of any organization hires a digital marketer to solve. So, look at this as the HR manager saying, ‘we have rented our office space but we need a signpost to help people find us and a receptionist who is polite enough to keep customers coming back!’ If this looks like something you want to do for some bucks, read on.
The ultimate job-hunting hackathon for a digital marketer
Since every organization is looking out for quality digital marketing services to generate leads and increase conversion rates, they want to ensure that they get the best hands. This is why the screening can be multi-staged and some worth rigorous.
Generally, job hunting is not an easy task. First, because there are hundreds of applicants at every job opening. Second, if you are just starting your career without a clear-cut hands-on experience, it is hard to win the confidence of the employer in one’s ability to deliver. This is a hackathon for a rookie digital marketer with the skillset and passion but little experience. If you are reading this, I believe you are in one of the two stages in the job hunt:
- Application: You just saw the ad for your dream job right in your city with a juicy six-figure salary but decided to research how to shoot without missing it. Without a doubt, following this to the end will make your click on the “apply” button count for something.
- Invitation to an interview: Maybe your email just beeped with an invite to an interview and you are a little apprehensive and wanted to get some tips and confidence booster. You will be glad you dropped by here.
How to send a perfect application to that digital marketing gig
The job application process does not begin with sending a cover letter and curriculum vitae (CV). Surprised? Let me tell you where it begins. It begins from internalizing the job description, the responsibilities, hours required per week, etc. Understanding this is the first place you must work at scoring points to distinguish yourself from the other job seekers. Thereafter, you send in your application which comprises, a cover letter and CV.
Cover letter writing tips
A cover letter is simply a letter of introduction which must be magnetic enough to actually get the HR to want to look at your CV. If you are wondering what to include in your cover letter, I created this checklist for you:
- Address the HR manager by name, not the generic “Dear Sir/Ma” or the nearly obsolete, “To whom it may concern”. Instead, write “Dear Mr. Yusuf Yahaya,” Most job adverts are signed by the HR manager but if you cannot find the name in the advert, you have to do some research about the company. Check their website, look at the “Our Team” subsection which is often a catalog of top administrative staff and address your letter accordingly
- Use a subject line stating your name and the job position you are seeking. For example: “Taiwo Samuel for digital marketer.” Never leave the subject line blank. HR managers are busy and they sometimes prioritize emails based on subject lines.
- Your elevator pitch should sit right in the first paragraph. Don’t know what an elevator speech is? Here is an example of an elevator pitch:
My name is Kenechukwu Ogwuike. I have a bachelor degree in computer science. I recently completed my diploma in digital marketing and have been able to apply the skills gained as a United Nations Volunteer to manage virtual fundraising events and increase the brand awareness of the Special Kids Foundation from 100 to 10,000 unique page visits in 1 month.
- Remember the ABC of writing. Be accurate, brief, and as clear as can be while making a mention of the specific skills in the job description and politely referring the HR manager to your CV.
CV writing tips
There are thousands of CV templates on the internet but these tips will help you select carefully or create something that is unique and suits you:
- CV does not have to be colorful to be bold and unique. Keep it simple.
- Learn about how the Application Tracking System (ATS) works and write a CV that the machine can ‘read’
- Clearly outline your skillset and any relevant volunteer service
- Include only courses for which you have a certificate to show
Free Offer: Worried about whether your CV checks all the boxes, get in touch for a free CV review.
Required skillset to successfully launch a career in digital marketing
Confidence takes you half of the way, but without competence, you cannot go the other half. How competent are you in your digital marketing skills? Do you have what it takes to increase a business’s customer base and general brand awareness? Can you navigate the digital space to put a brand on top of the highly competitive business scene? This is the point where an employer poses the question, ‘what are you bringing to the table?’ This skillset checklist will help you measure your preparedness:
- Social media savvy:
How is your social media management skill? Are you still clueless about how Twitter works? Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Are you vast in netiquettes? How are your Instagram and Facebook doing? Aside from the fact that a fraction of digital marketing happens on social media, it is now a pseudo-resume. Employers do check your social media pages to see your unfiltered thoughts. To get an idea of a potential employee’s personality, consistency, writing style, and to see if you have an audience base. If you are a meme king or queen or you retweet whatever hits the internet whether or not it will cast a shadow on your personality, you need to watch it.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
SEO skills have become a very important part of digital marketing. It answers the question of how do we know what people are searching for before purchases of the products I sell? These days, search engines are like our mommies, the one who helps us locate anything we cannot find in the house. Everyone immediately enters a word or phrase (query) into a search engine to help them locate whatever. Whether it is where to get a cup of coffee on a cold morning or to order an uber immediately one arrives in a new city. People search for the products or services your organization sells, do you know how you can get these products right to their digital doorstep? The potential employer wants to see that you have a grasp of terms like keyword research, backlinks, in/outbound links, long-tailed keywords, organic SEO, etc
- Excellent writing:
Content marketing and copywriting are the Siamese twins of the digital economy. A digital marketer must know how to leverage the power of storytelling to make sales. Quality content and an incredible copy are the backbones of any digital marketing strategy. An employer wants to see that you have a grasp of these two and that you deliver uniquely, without grammar errors. Content can be in various forms, from infographics to text, to visuals (Powerpoint slides/designs), to videos. The HR manager wants evidence that you know your way around content marketing systems and can come up with a strategy that is timely, informative, and consistent with organizational standards.
- Paid ads know-how:
There are Pay Per Click ads and ad campaigns that can be run on social media pages and search engines. In this case, the digital marketer is the one who helps the organization to make the best of their resources and make these paid advertisements a worthy investment. He ensures that the targeted audience for campaigns are those who are indeed looking for what his company sells. The period through which the campaign will start and end should be well planned to align with promo periods and other strategic periods say Black Fridays, Christmas holidays, etc
How analytical are you? Digital marketing puts the numbers into consideration. It monitors Click Through Rates, the number of unique page visits in 30 days, the places where percentages of the traffic come from, what devices the page visitors are using, the number of impressions, etc. All these fine details matter. The HR wants a critically analytical person who would monitor these data and look out for places to improve on the marketing strategy for better results.
- Email marketing skills:
We are in an electronic age. Are you the person who goes a couple of days without checking your email? How do you build a mailing list? Or familiarize with MailChimp and write actual newsletters which would drive traffic? How would you be able to write follow-up emails to customers who put items in a cart and perhaps got distracted by a phone call and could not complete the purchase? Email marketing skills are very important.
- People skills:
Are you a listener? Are you emphatic? The employer wants to see if you will be able to listen to aggrieved customers, speak to them politely and help them navigate the digital stores which you’d manage. These people skills are part of what they look out for when they run their research on you. Are you often on your social media page threatening to block people who disagree with you? Do you propagate cyberbullying for the love of “vawlence”? No employer wants to hire a digital marketer who is a serial jerk and has a track record for disrespecting people behind their keypads.
Job hunting is not as difficult, just that employers want someone who can solve problems and add value to their organization. If you are looking to have a great career in digital marketing and land that six-figure job on your next interview, follow these tips and skill up.
Remember, confidence will take you half of the way but you need competence to carry you through.