Searching for a new job can be daunting, whether that’s your next marketing role or your first, but being well-prepared will set you up for a successful search before you even start applying.
We’ve spoken to our Salt recruitment specialists and collated some helpful tips for marketers considering a new role, a new industry, or a career change in 2023!
1. Reflect on your current marketing role
To set yourself up for success in your job search, take time to reflect on your current role.
Consider what you want to change and why you want to change it. If you’ve been in your role or industry for several years, it may also be worth considering if what you truly want can be found in your current job, in your current industry, or somewhere completely different.
Pros and cons lists can help find exactly what you do and don’t like about your current role, and the following questions may help prompt deep reflection:
- What is and isn’t working for you now?
- What would you change if you could, and is it possible to change it?
- What does the job description for your perfect role look like?
- Does your perfect job highlight skills and talents that aren’t being used in your current role?
Pay attention to how you feel about your current work:
- Did you feel challenged by the work you did last year? Or bored?
- Are you excited about upcoming projects starting this year? Or are you dreading them?
If your work is no longer energising you like it used to, you may have outgrown your current role. Ultimately being honest about what truly gives you job satisfaction will make it easier to know your next steps.
2. Figure out what you want next in your career
While identifying the pros and cons of your current situation, consider what would make you happy in a new role.
Be specific about your wish list, and list examples to help you spot the patterns in what you enjoy. Try to list the types of tasks you’d like to do, projects you’d like to work on, and skills you’d like to gain or develop.
Expand beyond your role and consider what will make your life easier. A shorter commute? Flexible or hybrid working options? Better work-life balance? A comprehensive benefits package? Opportunities for professional development and future growth?
Whilst you may have to compromise on some items, creating a wish list for your next role will enable you to be more efficient during your search and provide a foundation for questions to ask during the interview process.
3. Find gaps in your industry knowledge
Reviewing job descriptions of your ideal role will help you to find gaps in your skills and experience.
Keep in mind that whilst some skills are considered deal-breakers, many listed are nice-to-have. To decide which are which, speak to people in similar roles and ask them which skills or experiences they found most helpful during their career journey. There are also lots of interviews and advice online you can use for research.
Marketing roles vary, so it’s good to recognise roles that are generalist vs. specialist when considering building your skillset. If you’re after more varied experience in your next role; a role where you’ll wear many hats, don’t be put off by a generalist job spec. If there are areas of the role that are new to you, remember that critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, the ability to delegate, and a passion for lifelong learning are all valuable soft skills and possessing them may still make you the perfect choice for what the business is planning.
Skill and experience gaps are typical, especially early in your career. If you demonstrate a growth mindset during the interview process, your future employer may be willing to invest in your training and development from day one.
Self-reflection can be unsettling; to avoid feeling overwhelmed when evaluating gaps in your knowledge, prioritise your list from most to least urgent, and start working through it methodically.
4. Consider options for filling knowledge gaps
If you wish to fill an identified gap in your skills or experience, there are plenty of resources are available online to support development at all levels, and many are free!
It also benefits your current workplace to upskill you in your role, so if there’s a paid course you’d like to do try talking to your line manager about your company paying. Developing your skills benefits your existing team as you can pass on your knowledge, and it might also lead to new projects in your existing role which you find more enjoyable.
Here are a few upskilling courses we’d recommend for any marketer:
- Google Digital Garage is a resource developed by Google for online businesses and marketers. There are over 120 free courses available, with topics ranging from digital marketing to personal career development. The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing certification provides tutorials from everyday experts covering online business strategy, search engine marketing (SEM), Google Ads, advertising on social, and email marketing. This is a great way to upskill across a broad range of areas, and get a sense of the bigger picture if you’ve been in a more specialist role.
- Meta Blueprint is a series of professional development courses focused on Facebook and Instagram marketing. Meta Blueprint courses and certifications cover topics such as finding your audience online, mapping customer journeys, setting marketing goals, and using social media to understand your audience. As social platforms become increasingly important in the ever-changing digital landscape, Meta Blueprint ensures your skills are current.
- HubSpot Academy is the worldwide leader in free online courses, specialising in comprehensive certifications, singular-topic courses, and bite-sized lessons for professionals. The offering for marketers is expansive; in addition to channel-specific marketing certifications, there are courses covering analytics, reporting, and web design.
Whilst these resources don’t replace work experience, they will provide you with foundational knowledge and demonstrate an aptitude for initiative and learning agility to future employers.
To gain experience, try reaching out to marketers you respect or companies you like and asking for work experience. List what you’re most interested in, and the steps you’re taking to upskill separately, but keep your request brief and direct. You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help! We’ve all been new to the industry at some point…
5. Update your cover letter and CV
A stand-out CV will pique the interest of potential employers and accurately capture who you are and what you can do.
- Your CV should be tailored to each role you apply for. Edit it to include the most relevant information for the position you’re applying for. Only you know how your experience applies to a specific role, so you need to ensure that the recruiter or hiring manager looking at your CV understands why you think you’re perfect for the position.
- Choose a professional layout with clean spacing, concise wording, consistent font style and font size; it’s OK to have your headers in a different style but make sure you keep that style throughout.
- Finally, remember to put some time and effort into writing an engaging cover letter to the recruiter or hiring manager. It won’t matter how great your CV is if it doesn’t get opened because your cover letter can’t convince a potential employer to read further.
In our CV Writing Guide, we’ve provided recommendations on what (and what not) to include in your CV and where to find the best CV templates. We’ve also collated some insider tips from our digital recruitment specialists here at Salt to help you spruce up your CV for your job search!
6. Improve your LinkedIn presence
LinkedIn is the equivalent of Tinder for businesses: if a recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t like what they see, they are unlikely to swipe right and set up the first date.
We’re not just referring to your profile picture; make sure you add descriptions to your profile, so potential employers can see where you’ve been, what you’ve learned, and how these experiences have shaped you as a professional. This will help them understand your value even before you land an interview.
Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to search for candidates, so make sure they can find your profile. Use keywords to land more search results; to start, copy the descriptions of the 10 jobs that interest you most and paste them into a word cloud, then incorporate the most common words into the relevant sections on your profile.
Upload a professional picture and consider personalising your banner photo. Profiles with a photo receive 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests than those without. Banners should follow a cohesive colour scheme and shouldn’t be too complex or busy.
Engage with your network and attract more people to your page by liking and commenting on posts related to industry trends, publishing text-only posts, sharing original articles, and regularly searching for connections. Increasing your activity on LinkedIn will elevate your Social Selling Index and increase your visibility to potential employers.
Whether you’re setting up your LinkedIn profile for the first time or updating it as a senior marketer, our LinkedIn Top Tips Guide will help you stand out to Recruiters and Hiring Managers.
7. Be prepared to ask for references
We don’t recommend including references on your CV – save the space you do have to highlight the skills and achievements that will make your application stand out – but you will inevitably need to supply references during the recruitment process.
Reach out to former colleagues and managers and ask for their support as you seek new opportunities in 2023, and keep them informed when opportunities progress so they know to expect a call!
8. Start searching, and do your research
Preparing for a new role goes beyond reviewing a job description; researching organisations within your target industry will help you identify preferred companies and narrow your search to specific functions and roles.
Not sure where to start? Here is a brief checklist of things to consider looking into:
- Company website! Go through their ‘About Us’ pages and take the time to understand their mission or vision. Have a pen and pad or a digital notepad open and jot down your initial impressions. Note what you would change as well as what you would like. Employers will value constructive criticism paired with a good understanding of what they’re aiming for more than praise or flattery.
- Google search the company name and filter for news results – this is a great way to get up to date with their latest developments, awards, and projects.
- Glassdoor reviews can give you an insight into what the company’s leadership is like, as well as employee experience and wellbeing. Keep in mind that these may be biased reviews and will skew towards those no longer at the business who may not have a good relationship with the organisation.
Once you have familiarised yourself with a company’s mission, current position in the market, marketing initiatives and challenges it’s working through, and its culture and vision, you’ll be able to evaluate how well you’ll align with the company’s culture and vice versa. Additionally, you’ll know who to reach out to and connect with on LinkedIn.
9. Reach out to a recruiter
Working with a recruiter can help with all of the above steps, because recruiters have first-hand knowledge of what hiring managers are looking for. Our teams at Salt are specialists in every aspect of digital recruitment – which also means the consultant you work with will have specialist knowledge of your specific area of marketing.
Working with a good recruiter can help you:
- Get professional insights into how to strengthen your CV and profile.
- Increase your visibility by sharing your details with relevant hiring managers.
- Identify skill gaps and provide recommendations for development steps.
- Conduct a focused search based on what you want to get out of your next role.
We partner with our clients to place not just the best individual talent but also create some of the most exciting digital futures globally. Upload your CV here or search to find jobs. You can also keep in the loop by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.