If you’re serious about landing your dream job in the marketing industry you have to put in the work. But the good news is, by taking proactive steps, you can show potential employers exactly why they should hire you.
The job search is usually a dreaded phase of anyone’s career and all too often it becomes an endless slog of spray-and-pray style applications, hoping that you get a few bites at an in-person interview.
Some people are lucky enough to land their dream jobs this way, but many end up taking a job they don’t really want just to gain experience and some income after years of study.
Others, don’t leave their careers up to chance; instead, they take a step back and ask themselves what brands or companies they really want to work for, and put some serious thought into how to go about getting their attention.
While doing this is valuable for anyone looking to land a top position, it is especially helpful for those with very little experience who are finding themselves constantly passed over in favour of applicants with more years under their belt.
The first step is to really understand yourself as a marketer, what skills you have that are in demand, and then see what kind of brands and companies you really want to work for.
This is easy enough to do (and hopefully fun!) - you just need to ask yourself what your personal interests are, who you want to work with, and what type of role you want to have.
Once you have an idea of what specific brands or companies you want to work with, the next step is to envision yourself within the company.
Ask yourself how you could help with problems or opportunities the company may have, or how could you have added your value to one of their past projects.
After doing your research on the company and finding out where you fit in, one rarely used by effective way to go about it is to create a project that shows how you can add genuine value to the company. You can do this by creating a “fake” digital strategy for the company.
Put all your great research skills to work and identify where you can add value to the company, whether that is based on a past campaign, a niche they may have overlooked, or perhaps in ongoing work the company may have with a brand.
Imagine how you could add your value to this company and help them grow or solve their problems. You can even get into the nitty-gritty and do an analysis on how much your idea will cost, how many conversions you expect it to drive, and how much revenue you expect your service to create for them.
Of course, your data will probably not be accurate at all as you don’t have full access to their systems, but by doing this you show the company that you are intensely interested in working with them, you have an understanding of how their operations run, and most importantly, that you fit into their culture.
Understanding a company’s culture is so important because it will show them that you are a good fit and that you understand their current systems.
Take the time to learn about the company’s culture as well, their policies, how they work, their past campaigns - everything. Anything you learn about them will help you land the job when you do apply.
Skills can always be taught, experience can always be gained, but fitting into a company’s culture is something that can never be taught, and by demonstrating to a company that you understand their culture, your perceived value to them is increased dramatically.
What you’re doing with all of this is essentially creating a job for yourself. You take the burden of imagining where you can fit in the company off the recruiter and directly show them on your own terms what kind of solutions you can bring to the table.
At the same time, you show them your values both as a marketer and as a person. You show them that you are proactive, hard-working, and have an intense interest in working with the company.
If you put all of this together, you can bet that you will be able to land your dream job, or at the very least, be at their front-of-mind when a position does open up for you.
Now, isn’t that a much better way to go job hunting rather than sending out dozens of applications? This way, your dream job is in your hands, and you never have to settle for work you don’t really want in the first place again.
After all, you spend 8 hours or more a day at work, you might as well enjoy it.
Starting out and want to get ahead quicker?
Grab a copy of my ebook 21 Things Successful Young Marketers Do Differently to get the Top Jobs. It’s a meaty 40-pages jam-packed with insights and top tips which will change the way you look at your career if you’re starting out.
About the Author
Nina Christian is a passionate marketer and mentor to young marketers and entrepreneurs around the globe.
Her marketing agency Braveda, founded in 2000, is a boutique marketing agency (est. 2000) that specialises in building brands through thought leadership and content creation, and was named Best Marketing Agency at the 2018 Australian Marketing Excellence Awards and Nina was named 2018 Certified Practicing Marketer of the Year (Victoria).
Nina believes every marketer deserves the chance to build a career that inspires and is helping young marketers become the marketers the world wants and needs through Launch Your Marketing Career.
She is also an entrepreneur with several start-ups under her belt, including a successful exit in 2008 of a pioneering ecommerce brand she co-founded in 2001.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute, and Chair of the AMI State Committee in VIC.
Nina is a regular speaker on the subjects of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and believes there has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer.
Outside of work (which she loves!) Nina enjoys the outdoors, is an active CrossFitter, and after 3pm most days is off-duty having fun with her five young children and doing mum stuff.
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