Tailoring your job application for a digital marketing career

The digital marketing industry has grown at a phenomenal rate and there are new opportunities opening up all the time.

It’s a common misconception that these roles are the preserve of university graduates who have an impressive academic background. While having a first-class marketing degree will certainly do you no harm when it comes to finding a job in this field, those who opted not to spend three years of their life at university should not discount themselves.

Regardless of your circumstances, it’s vital that you put together a job application that immediately catches an employer’s eye.

There’s a great deal of debate about whether or not cover letters are still important. With more job candidates using the services of online recruitment specialists, the need for a separate CV and cover letter seems to have diminished, which is a bit of a shame. By writing a separate application letter, you’re showing the employer that you’re serious about the job, and I’d always advise people to send one. It can’t hurt, right?

That said, writing a truly effective cover letter is an art, and the type of letter written by a university graduate is likely to be very different to that penned by somebody who entered the industry in some capacity as soon as they left school.

What should graduates do?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for graduates to take when applying for a digital marketing role, as everybody is different.

You might have earned yourself a top-class degree, but have you built up any useful experience in the working world? It’s almost become a cliché, but employers are increasingly looking for people who have shown enough initiative to complete various work experience placements and internships.

If you have done this throughout your university course, make sure it is mentioned in a prominent place on your cover letter. Here’s a little tip - stick to the highlights. You can list all of your experience and academic achievements on your CV, but in order to catch a recruiter’s eye, only put your most impressive feats in your cover letter, especially if they are directly relevant to the job criteria.

There is a broad spectrum of digital marketing jobs out there, many of which will suit candidates who didn’t study marketing at university. For example, more marketing agencies are looking to hire journalism graduates to fill copywriting roles. With journalism jobs being so hard to come by, a lot of youngsters are migrating over to marketing. The lesson here is to never rule yourself out just because you don’t have a marketing degree.

What about non-graduates?

There are plenty of people who have forged successful careers in digital marketing without possessing a degree.

It’s worth mentioning that most employers are highly impressed with youngsters who’ve worked their way up from making tea for the workers at a digital marketing agency to eventually become a lead copywriter or SEO executive.

If you are applying for a new job, don’t lead off with the fact that you’ve never been to university. An employer will notice that you’ve not got a degree, even if you don’t mention this in your application. It won’t hurt to offer a short explanation as to why you chose your particular career path, but this isn’t something you should dwell on.

Instead you should talk positively about the experience you’ve built up during your short career to date. Explain how your on-the-job knowledge will help you to excel in the role and how your rise through the ranks demonstrates your willingness to learn and progress.

Many applicants fall into the trap of littering their CVs and cover letters with tired clichés, and this is a sure way to get your application put straight into the shredder. Rather than saying you have “drive” and “enthusiasm”, list clear examples of how you’ve demonstrated these traits in the past.

Regardless of whether you’re a university graduate or not, you can make a big impression on an employer if you produce a concise, well written, cliché-free, interesting and perhaps most importantly, relevant cover letter.

Article provided courtesy of Forward Role Recruitment