A career in digital marketing is such a great path for so many people, whether you’re more creative, technical or anything in between. It’s such a diverse industry with so many options and opportunities, and with eCommerce always on the rise, it’s becoming more important for every business to invest in.
After finishing my degree (which is absolutely not essential for a career in digital marketing, just to point out), I started my career in digital marketing and haven’t looked back since. Often people starting out try to learn about complex software or expensive training, yet the truth is every agency or business does things differently and utilise different tools, and will likely want to be able to teach you how they work almost from scratch.
So, we’re here to strip things back and tell you the key things you should be focusing on in order to get those interviews and hopefully secure a fantastic job in digital marketing!
Utilise Free Online Courses
First up, once you’ve decided you want to go in the direction of digital marketing, it’s time to learn a bit about it. There are plenty of expensive courses out there that people think they need to take, when really there are so many free courses and resources out there to help you build a foundation of knowledge to then go on to apply for jobs.
Something that worked really well for me personally is Google’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, a free online course which introduces the core areas of digital marketing, from SEO to PPC and social media to websites. It takes around 40 hours to complete and you can do each module one at a time, fitting it easily into your schedule if you’re currently studying or working.
Applying for entry level digital marketing jobs is all about showing interest, so you don’t necessarily have to have finished it when you are first applying for jobs, but just put on your CV that you’re currently working through the course. I’d absolutely recommend finishing it even if you do get a job, as it will give you a great overview and also introduce you to areas that you may be interested in moving forwards.
To summarise, don’t feel you need to spend lots of money on complex courses, just learn the basics and show you’re interested in learning more!
Get the Right Experience
Next up, it’s important to get the right experience. Many people aim to apply for internships at big companies to put a big name on their CV, when actually, it’s much more useful to gain experience in smaller agencies. I’ve done both, and trust me when I say go for the smaller agencies! You will learn so much more and will be given more opportunities to learn, whereas in larger companies, often you’ll be passed down the more boring and mundane activities. To find the right digital marketing agency, have a read of their testimonials and you should get an idea of what they’re all about.
We’d absolutely recommend aiming to gain work experience and your first digital marketing jobs in agencies rather than working in-house at a business, as you are faced with tasks across a wide range of different types of businesses, so you will get the opportunity to learn a significant amount more.
When it comes to work experience, you should expect that you won’t get paid. It’s difficult for a company to justify paying someone without any experience at all when they also need to provide training, so save up a bit for your travel costs beforehand. It could lead to some fantastic opportunities.
One piece of work experience I did was unpaid, but it led to me to a part time job throughout university and then a full time job when I finished! So, sacrificing a couple of weeks of work elsewhere has the potential to very much repay you in the future!
Focus on Your Transferable Skills
Now you’ve got a basic knowledge of digital marketing and you have gained some experience, you might be ready to start applying for jobs. Rather than trying to force digital marketing skills onto your CV that you might not know that much about, and might struggle to expand on in an interview, the best thing you can do is focus on your transferable skills.
Some key skills in digital marketing are the following:
- Strong writing skills – experience writing content for a range of different purposes
- Good communicator – always felt confident communicating with a wide demographic of people
- Data analysis – confident analysing data and providing actionable insights based on it
- Creativity – able to introduce innovative ideas to different situations
These are just some examples, and try to think about how you’ve utilised those skills in real world situations and be ready to expand on them in the interview. For the majority of agencies, I’ve found in my experience, they will look for someone who has the right transferable skills and is eager to learn and build a career. As every agency does things differently, this is so much more important than anything else for entry level roles!
When starting my career in digital marketing, I wish I would have known more about utilising free online courses, looking for work experience in the right places and focusing more on my transferable skills rather than trying to force digital marketing skills onto my CV. So, hopefully this article has been useful and you can learn from my mistakes!