You don’t need to be a hotshot coder to start a career in digital, which according to FE News, is growing six times faster than any other sector of our economy. There are endless opportunities available in this exciting, fast-moving industry, with all different types of jobs from creative to technical, through analytical and strategical. Finding your perfect marketing role is all about knowing where to look, and how to make yourself an attractive prospect for recruiters.
How to Get a Foot in the Door When Embarking on a Career in Digital
The hardest part of getting into any profession is gaining experience to prove your skills. But how does anyone get the experience that potential employers want to see when they don’t have a job? It’s a difficult position to be in, but overcoming this obstacle is the first step into your career in the digital world. We share our top tips for anyone about to set off on their digital career path.
Compile a Portfolio of Work
With stiff competition for the best jobs, you need to work hard to stand out from the crowd. When applying for entry-level digital jobs, having a portfolio ready instantly marks you out as a professional. It can also make up for limited work experience in particular areas. Suppose you can demonstrate through your portfolio that you have the talent and the potential to perform well in the role. In that case, a hiring manager may be willing to overlook a lack of formal qualifications or commercial experience.
Many people’s idea of a portfolio is a massive folder filled with physical examples of their work. Much like old school marketing professionals might have taken to a job interview for a traditional marketing role. The principle is the same; your portfolio is a collection of the best examples of what you’re capable of. But how you present your portfolio will be different depending on what job role you are seeking. Below are a few examples to illustrate how you might go about this for various positions.
For a Digital Marketing Career
Let’s imagine you’re seeking your first entry-level digital marketing job. You spot a job ad for a Digital Marketing Executive, for which you must demonstrate relevant experience in search engine marketing and social media.
In this case, your online portfolio might be a WordPress blog you’ve created to demonstrate your copywriting and content marketing skills. To promote your website, you may have set up a Twitter account, which you manage with Hootsuite.
For Web Developers
Similarly, if you were trying to land your first job as a Web Developer, you might also set up your own website. Only whereas, above, the skills you want to highlight would focus on your technical coding ability. Therefore, your website would probably highlight how you’ve solved different technical problems, and it may link to your Git account.
Market Your Skills on LinkedIn
The best way to get yourself noticed is to promote your personal brand on LinkedIn. For both the examples highlighted above, linking to your website from your LinkedIn profile would really make you stand out to employers and recruiters.
Get Involved in the Local Tech Community
Digital and tech communities in ‘hub’ cities such as Manchester or Newcastle tend to be relatively close-knit, so if you want to work in the industry in a particular area – you need to start getting involved. Attend networking events, join forums and join in discussions online. You can even start blogging if you have a particular interest or area of expertise. The more you can immerse yourself in the industry, the more up-to-date, passionate and informed you will be.
Strengthen Your Online Presence
If you want a job in digital, you need to make sure your online presence is up to scratch. Work on your website, get involved in online communities and create a profile everywhere that recruiters and influencers are looking. Importantly, make sure these profiles accurately reflect your talents, skills and demonstrate that you’re actively involved in the industry.
Learn New Skills
Even if it isn’t part of the role you’re searching for, a grounding in other desirable IT and digital skills can be very helpful. For example, you can make an effort to learn more about programming, basic coding, prototyping or agile working practices – a working knowledge in some or all of these areas can help you at interview, when networking and in your new role.
Find a Specialist Recruiter
An IT and digital specialist is the vital link between job hunters and organisations with roles to fill. If you’re seeking a new challenge, a recruiter can assess your skills, offer expert careers advice, and crucially – get you first dibs on the role of your dreams. Recruiters also have access to key contacts in the industry that you simply wouldn’t have access to yourself.
A Few Final Words on Getting a Foot In The Door to a Career in Digital
Digital technology has one of the fastest-growing job markets globally. Therefore anyone choosing a career in digital will likely benefit from job security and a healthy salary for a long time to come.
If you already have experience and are looking for your next digital career opportunity, be sure to check out our latest jobs. Alternatively, if you’re looking to present your skills in the best possible light, our experienced consultants have a wealth of advice to offer.
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