Of all the steps you will take on the career ladder nothing is going to test you more than getting your first step in the door. In a tough market, such as this, you’re going to need an armoury of skills but it is possible to crack the industry. Be prepared to take few risks as well.
Below are a few tips that may help if you’re looking to take the first step:
- A CV will get you so far, but can have its drawbacks as it can be too general to relay your skills and experiences to the specifics of a job. A role will more often than not have 4 or 5 key responsibilities. For example, a Digital Marketing Executive may need someone adept with CRM, Email, Google Analytics, Social Media (paid and organic), and maybe a bit of technical knowledge, such as HTML or CSS. A neat trick is to highlight in a covering email, or amend your CV to show how your skills are in line with their key requirements. It adds value to your application and with lighting speed, accentuates your relevance to the role. It will also substantially increase your chances of obtaining an interview.
- An effective job search will not work without the correct level of research. Not every company will have an opening – you’ve got to go and find the ones that do. Your immediate goal is to identify firms that are big enough to have a marketing department, are desirable to work for, and are within a sensible commute. Next you need to discover who the relevant people are and start to build up a contact list. Your initial research may take a few days to build a picture of your local area but it’s worth the pain. It will pay off in the long run. Without the right amount of research your job search could hit the buffers and lose momentum, mainly due to a lack of contacts and information to target.
- Do not be too judgemental. It’s important to keep an open mind, some firms may not have the best website but, they could be littered with amazing, talented people. See beyond the shop window.
- Do not think that 1 or 2 applications per day is going to work. The goal is to communicate as much as humanly possible. Applying to as many companies and people as possible will reap the rewards. See it is a full-time job. Your aim is to generate as many leads, connections, and interviews – without this approach you can severely reduce the odds of landing a great job.
- Work with experienced and credible recruiters in your chosen field of profession. They may not have jobs at the moment but, the good ones will definitely share their advice, help, and point you in the right direction. Keep in mind that their livelihoods depend on what and who they know.
- Get talking to as many people as possible and up your contacts on LinkedIn, you never know who they are and who they’re connected to. Opportunities can crop up out of the blue and if you are in the forefront of people’s minds, they’ll remember you, first.
- Don’t rely on just one contact to get you into a company, have your own laser like approach and get busy getting their attention. In addition to this, don’t just look at current openings, look for companies that regularly hire in your field of marketing. There are plenty of companies across the Midlands and North West, the fact they may not be advertising jobs doesn’t mean the company is not looking to hire.
- Divide your time with research, applying direct to jobs, talking to specialist recruiters, and generating new leads. Never stop until you have a written offer in your hand. Even if you are at the latter stages of an interview process – keep going. It’s important to keep all options open and try not to focus too much on one opportunity. A hiring process can change course or stop overnight so, it’s best to have as many options on the go as possible.
- The more you apply, the more you learn. The knock backs will make you more determined. The more interviews you attend, the more assured you will feel and the better you will become at them. The better you become, the chances of an offer significantly increase.
- Keep a list of contacts and records of who you have applied to. This avoids applying to the same job or company twice. It happens a lot and does not do you any favours. This will take time to nurture but, keeping all lines of communication open can open new doors in the future.
There is no single way of finding a job. Your friend may have been lucky with their approach and sometimes you will have to accept a temporary kick in the shin, but always remember that some things will work better for others than you, and that a knock back is not a rejection of you as a human being.
Keep your head held high and keep going – you’ll get there!