Searching for a new job can be daunting, but being well-prepared will set you up for a successful search before you even start applying.
For marketers considering a new role, new industry, or career change in 2023, we’ve spoken to our Salt recruitment specialists and collated some helpful tips to consider.
1. Reflect on your current role
To set yourself up for success in your job search, take time to reflect on your current role and 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. Consider the following questions to 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 are being underutilised in your current role?
Another way to see if you’re ready for a new role is to pay attention to how you feel about your current work. Have you felt challenged by the work you’ve done during the previous year? Or bored? Are you excited about upcoming projects in 2023? Or are you dreading them? If your work is no longer energising you like it used to, you’ve likely outgrown it.
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
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”; 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 items, creating a “wish list” will enable you to be more efficient whilst searching for your next role and provide a foundation for questions to ask during the interview process.
3. Find gaps in your knowledge
Reviewing job descriptions of your ideal role will help you to find gaps in your skills and/or experience. 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.
Remember that 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, plenty of resources are available online to support development at all levels.
The Marketing Association’s NZ Marketing Academy offers online and offline workshops by marketers, for marketers of all levels. There is a broad range of topics available, covering everything from brand or digital strategy to Google Analytics 4 and copywriting, and the workshops are great for upskilling, understanding the latest trends, or analysing industry best practises. The Marketing Association has also partnered with the University of Canterbury to provide professional certifications in marketing, digital marketing, and strategic marketing. The NZ Marketing Academy workshops restart from February 13th 2023 and should be at the top of your list if you’re considering pursuing further study in the new year.
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 online business strategy to digital marketing to personal career development. The courses are developed in conjunction with globally recognised learning institutions, such as Duke, Northwestern, and Yale Universities, and are taught by everyday experts. Learning is flexible as well; you can learn by selecting individual modules or take an entire course from end-to-end.
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.
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 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. The New Year is an opportune time to reach out to former colleagues and managers to wish them well for the upcoming year and ask for their support as you seek new opportunities in 2023.
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. 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
Our teams at Salt are specialists in every aspect of digital recruitment. We partner with our clients to place not just the best individual talent but also to 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 Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About the author
Connecting people and businesses globally within Creative, Marketing, Sales, Technology, Accounting, Business Support, and Operations.