By Andy Crestodina, strategic director of Orbit Media
I talk to a lot of job seekers. Most of them are looking for digital marketing jobs. And why not? It’s a fun and fast-growing industry. It’s also a big field with lots of specialties: social media, search optimization, content marketing, analytics and others.
But regardless of the specialty, there are a few things that will help anyone in a digital marketing job search. Anyone can do these — no experience, internship or foot-in-the-door required. Here are four ways to give yourself an edge in your job hunt.
1. Pass the GAIQ test
The name even sounds smart, doesn’t it? The Google Analytics Individual Qualification is an online test given by Google. It takes around a day to study for it (watching six hours of video), and then you take an open-browser test. It costs $50, and you can do it in a weekend.
Once complete, you’ll be certified in Google Analytics for 18 months. It looks great on a résumé and it’s an excellent education. It doesn’t teach you how to analyze Web stats, but you’ll learn about the limits of analytics and how to set it up properly.
2. Gain Google Authorship
Here’s a way to prove that you know some search engine optimization and you’re out in front of a mega-trend: Set up Google Authorship. This will make your Google+ profile picture appear in Google search results.
Pick a phrase that isn’t too competitive (a long, specific phrase usually works). Next, write 1,000 words on the topic. Post it on your blog, a friend’s blog or anywhere. Better yet — think big and submit it as a guest post to a legitimate industry blog.
Once it’s working, you can tell the hiring manager that when they search for “social media logistics specialists,” they’ll see your face in Google. Here’s a video that might help: Google Authorship and Author Stats.
3. Master your professional networking profile
When updating your professional networking profiles on sites such as LinkedIn, don’t just copy and paste from your résumé. Instead, make it personal, direct, humble and impressive.
Here are a few tips:
- Write it in the first person.
- Answer the question, “Why?” Your passion and purpose should be obvious.
- Skip the buzzwords. Jargon is too common and isn’t that impressive anyway.
- Join some relevant groups.
- Be concise.
- Get help if you’re not confident in your writing yet.
4. Have 1,000-plus Twitter followers
The average Twitter account has fewer than 200 followers. A bigger following is “social proof” and evidence that you know how to use social media. If you build to 1,000-plus followers, you’ll be in the top 3 percent of all Twitter users. Impressive, right?
Yes, it’s a vanity metric. But it matters for a digital marketing job seeker. Invest your free time in building up your Twitter following. It might only take a few months and it will look good forever.
You’ve got work to do
It’s a tough market, even for a hot industry. But the marketing job search itself is an act of marketing. So use your digital marketing skills to market yourself. Clean up your profiles, build social proof and add credentials. You’re the product. Your job marketing that product starts now.