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How to Kickstart your Digital Marketing Career – Part 3

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Desk and diary by Jeff Sheldon

This will be my final post in the series ‘How to kickstart your career in digital marketing’. Part 1 and Part 2 were published a few weeks ago.  “How to kickstart your career in digital marketing Part 1” focused on the basics of your social profiles and industry specific events, whereas Part 2 focused more on specific skills and qualifications that will put you straight to the top of the pile of applicants.

In today’s post, I will focus on what to do when you weren’t asked in for an interview or what to do when you received a rejection after an interview. I’m outlining a few scenarios below specifically if you have applied for a job at a digital marketing agency but most of these tips can be also applied to the client side.

I’ve applied for a job at an agency but haven’t got a response

Agencies are always busy, continuously servicing their clients. This often slows down the recruitment process, particularly for smaller to medium sized agencies that don’t have an HR person in-house. If you haven’t heard back two weeks after your initial application, give them a call. Ask whether they’ve received your application and at what stage they are with the recruitment process. This should enable you to find out how long it might take to hear back about an interview and it also shows that you are keen, which is an added bonus.

You have received a rejection letter or email after attending an interview

This can be a real disappointment, particularly if  the job description seemed right down your street and you felt you had great rapport with the interviewer. As tough as it might seem you need to see this as an opportunity to learn and find out more. Email the interviewer and ask whether they would be able to provide you with some feedback and what they think you could do to improve your chances in the industry for future applications. Ask whether they could either email you or whether they’d prefer you to call them and ask whether they could let you know a preferred time and day. If the interviewer agrees to give you feedback, it will probably be most likely by email. If you receive an answer, review it with an open mind and honestly take on board what has been suggested.

You have received a rejection letter or email without an interview

That’s not a great position to be in but it happens to the best of us.  In this case it’s difficult to ask for feedback, yet, I believe, you should still try and ask for it. Maybe give the prospective employer a call and try to find out why you didn’t make the cut for an interview. It will be more difficult to get specific feedback in this case but it’s still worth a try.

Stay in touch with the company

If you’ve had positive feedback but the agency may not be looking for employees with your profile at this point, it does no harm to stay in touch with them. Follow the company on Twitter , LinkedIn and connect with your interviewer on those platforms as well. Ensure that you engage with him/them on a regular basis. Follow their blog and read their company news. After a few months get back in touch and see whether any suitable roles might be in the pipeline. Staff requirements at agencies can change quickly as a company grows. Often their need for more junior staff increases as well during those phases of growth. Also find out whether the company or its staff attend or throw any local events that you could take part in. Just stay at the forefront of their mind, once they are going through their next recruitment cycle. You will be remembered a lot quicker if you keep in touch with them.

Register as an apprentice

In the UK there is an increase of Digital Marketing apprenticeships available and may enable you another way into a company. For employers there are now financial benefits as apprenticeships are government funded in the UK.

Find out more about English apprenticeships or Scottish Digital Marketing apprenticeships, where you are able to search for apprenticeships near you.

Find a mentor

There are various organisations of volunteers that focus on helping graduates and anyone else who is looking to getting their foot in the digital marketing sector.

Every year I mentor a few people and help them to further their career. Why not get in touch with me?

Final thoughts…

As frustrating as it can be, persevere and keep building up your own brand whilst you are looking for a job. Stay on top of industry news and try to further your knowledge, attend local meet ups and industry events and maybe start your own side project. If you keep at it, you will be successful eventually.

Do you need any help moving your digital career forward? Why not get in touch?

You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIN or just email me! I’d love to hear from you.

Photo credit Jeff Sheldon


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