I’ve recently had discussions with college students & recent grads about what it takes to get a position at an online marketing agency right out of college. When I graduated college, I had plenty of internship experience, but little in digital marketing. I had an executive assistant position for two years and learned so many important skills, but I longed to be in the digital realm. Luckily, a company took a chance with me because of my ample experience with social media and Mailchimp from one of my internships. Looking back, here are five things I would have done to land a digital marketing job right out of college:
1. Get Google Analytics Certified
It takes effort, but I guarantee you’ll stand out from other candidates with this qualification. By getting certified, you’ll be able to leverage Google Analytics within any organization you apply for. Interviewers will see you’re serious about a job in digital marketing and will be able to jump right in. Another bonus? The test is now free! Make sure to study for the test through Analytics Academy.
2. Find an Internship(s), Learn Everything
I can’t stress enough how important internships are in college. Many students spend their summers working at a restaurant/retail store, but take that time to invest in your future and find an internship at a successful company where you can learn a lot of skills. Be willing to take on as many different tasks as possible, and don’t just settle for what they give you. Do you see something your employer is working on that interests you? Ask if you can learn it. Is there something they do that seems over your head? Try it anyway. Dabble in as many different marketing platforms while you are there. Learn their email marketing platform, check out their Google Analytics & Adwords accounts, attend a client meeting, learn their project management software, get trained on their CMS, etc. You never know what type of job you’ll be applying for that will appreciate seeing a specific platform you used or task you worked on while at an internship, even if that internship wasn’t your most recent!
3. Tidy Up Your Online Presence
There is nothing worse than a potential employer googling your name and finding 1) nothing or 2) old information. Tidy up your online footprint; whether it’s untagging yourself in inappropriate photos, cleaning up your LinkedIn profile and asking for referrals, keeping up on Twitter, or even putting together a simple 1-page resume website. Employers are becoming very good online “creepers”, so google yourself to see what information is out there.
4. Learn Our “Language”
It becomes very obvious to interviewers how much a person really knows about digital marketing depending on the language they use in the interview. Do you know what PPC, SEO, conversions, or content strategy mean within an online marketing aspect? Could you name a few popular email platforms or social media planning tools? Investigate the world of online marketing before you go into an interview.
5. Engage With Your “Company Crushes”
Do you have a few agencies in mind that you’d love to work for? Follow them on social media and retweet, comment on their blog, share a status, or ‘like’ their posts once in a while. Make sure not to get too excited, though. If you know someone, or would like to know someone at a particular agency, add them on LinkedIn with a personal message explaining that you’d like to get to know them and are interested in a future position at their company.
With these five simple tips you’ll be one step closer to landing a digital marketing job right out of college. If you have any other experience or ideas, I’d love to hear them!