Of all the steps you will take on the career ladder over the years, nothing is going to test you more than getting your first step in the door. In an tough market such as this, never before are you going to need an armoury of new skills but, make no doubt, it is possible. Be prepared to take few risks as well.
A CV will get you so far & on occasion, it can have its drawbacks because it can be too general to relay your skills & experiences to the specifics of a job. A role will more often than not have 4 or 5 main & key responsibilities. For example, a Digital Marketing Executive may need someone adept with CRM, email, Google Analytics, Social Media (paid & organic) & may be a bit of technical knowledge such as HTML or CSS. A neat trick is to highlight, in a covering email, 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 have. Your immediate goal is to identify firms that are big enough to have a marketing department; are desirable enough to work for & within a sensible commute; who the relevant people are & 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 becuase it will pay off in the long run. Without the right amount will cause your job search to hit the buffers and lose momentum, mainly due to a lack of contacts & information to target.
Do not be too judgemental – some firms may not have the best website but, they may be littered with amazing people. See beyond the shop window.
Do not think that 1 or 2 applications per day is going to work. Not a chance. The goal is to communicate as much as humanly possible – only if you apply to as many companies & people as possible within your given parameters will reap the rewards. See it is a full-time job. Your aim is to generate as many leads, connections, interviews -without this approach 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 help and point you in the right direction. Do take on board that their livelihoods depend on what they know & who they know.
Get talking to as many people as possible & up your contacts on Linkedin because, you never know who they are and more important, 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 addtion to this, don’t just look at current openings, look for companies that regularly hire in your field of marketing. There are plenty across the Midlands & North West & the fact they may not be advertsing jobs does not mean the company is not looking to hire in other areas of marketing.
There is no single way of finding a job. Your friend may have been lucky with their approach but there’s no saying it will work for you. Remember, we’re all different and some things will work better for you than others.
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 does happen a lot and does not do you any favours. This will take time to nurture but, keeping all lines of communcation open can open new doors in the future.
Always maintain a high level of activity because the more contacts you make – the more you are widening your net and garnering awareness. Also, thoroughly research the firms you want to work for – a candidate who is most knowledgeable at interview can get the nod in a close race.
Sometimes you will have to accept a temporary kick in the shin but, please remember that a knock back is not a rejection of you as a human being. Always remember that they may not be right for you as well and, just move on to the next one.