How to get started in digital marketing

Laura wearing her graduation robe

Hi, I’m Laura and I graduated from Bristol University in 2019, with a degree in English. I’m currently working as a Social Media Manager and SEO Specialist at Tutor House, an online education marketplace. I write content for the website, build our online presence and design marketing and outreach campaigns.

Searching for a job as a graduate is a long, boring process which can leave you feeling a bit blue. I applied for jobs for months before finding work in digital marketing and online content creation, so I’m going to share some tips I wish I knew before I started out.

Identify your skills

One of the things I struggled with when applying for jobs was knowing exactly what I was skilled in and showing this in my CV.

It’s worth sitting down and thinking about what you enjoy doing in your spare time and what you’ve learned from your degree. You can then turn your hobbies and education into a set of skills for your CV.

You’re not just an English graduate, but a strong communicator who’s skilled at writing compelling copy. You don’t just have a degree in Art, but a keen eye for the finer details. 

If you run a social media account, write a blog or know how to photoshop, mention this in your CV and don’t be afraid to big it up! Or, if you don’t do any of these already, it’s worth volunteering to run the social media or help with marketing for a small business in your spare time.

University is a great time to build your skills and hobbies. You could volunteer as the Social Secretary for a society, work on the student newspaper to gain writing experience or on the advertising team at the SU to learn about marketing and paid ads.

Adjust where you’re looking for jobs

LinkedIn and Escape the City are great sites for digital job opportunities. If you’re really interested in a particular company, you can even find their talent manager on LinkedIn and send them a message to see if they’re hiring.

Most businesses who are selling a product or service will be using digital marketing and social media, so there are lots of these jobs out there.

Make your job search niche

When I first started applying for jobs, I’d type in broad terms like ‘publishing assistant’ or ‘journalism internship’. This isn’t a bad thing and jobs will still come up, but they tend to be ones that say over 800 applicants have already applied.

For jobs in digital marketing, try more niche terms like ‘social media / marketing intern’ and ‘digital copywriter’. You’ll soon pick up on the words employers use to advertise the jobs you want.

You can also set up alerts for specific job titles on LinkedIn so that whenever a role pops up, you’ll be ready to apply.

Tailor your CV to the job description

It should be easy for an employer to tick off your skills against their job specification. You don’t need to completely change your CV for every application, but it is worth adjusting small details to meet the essential skills listed.

For digital marketing, it’s great to talk about any experience you have with proofreading, editing and writing. Companies love extra skills like photo editing and design, so if you’ve got experience using Canva or Adobe Illustrator then mention this.

I hope you find these tips useful and good luck with your job search!