No one could have predicted precisely how COVID-19 was going to disrupt economies around the world. However, what is certain now is it will have a large number of people working on a remote basis for some time to come.
For those starting out in marketing and other industries, the job-seeking process and the way employees work have both been transformed. Beyond that, the economic downturn means fewer jobs for those looking.
Although it might not seem the easiest time to launch a marketing career given the post-COVID economic fallout, you can leverage a few different strategies to improve your chances of finding a job.
How getting a job in a remote-working world is different now?
As the world shifts to more remote-working arrangements to keep the pandemic under control, jobseekers will be confronted with some new changes. These can include video interviews, more time working from home, and challenges relating to training.
1. Remote workers
Whether you’re entering the workforce for the first time or established in your marketing career, you can probably expect to be working remotely for some of the time. When you start a new role, your onboarding process might not be the traditional in-office one with lots of meets-and-greets with new colleagues. You could have an entirely online onboarding and job orientation.
2. Video interviews are the norm
With numerous businesses shutting down their offices entirely, your application and interviewing journey could be online. You’ll want to be prepared for video interviewing by setting up a private space in your home and a reliable computer and internet connection.
Familiarise yourself with popular video-interview platforms like Zoom as well as video-interviewing techniques. Practicing your voice, tone, and delivery could support your interview performance. Video interviews make reading non-verbal cues a challenge, but an advantage is you can refer to notes discreetly, without the interviewers’ knowledge.
3. Training is difficult, particularly for juniors
Training has become a bigger challenge as on-premise work declines and telecommuting becomes more common. For juniors in marketing, opportunities to interact, collaborate, and learn on the job can be diminished.
Mastering collaboration platforms like Slack and seeking out any chances you get for work-based learning is vital. Proactively connecting with coworkers and asking questions is another way to learn more quickly on the job.
Some tips on how to succeed
As in any industry, earning new qualifications and accumulating experience will help you go a long way in building a successful career in marketing.
1. Courses and training programs
Cultural shifts, technology changes, and other trends constantly reshape how marketing is done. Staying up to date with new practices will differentiate you from other job seekers. The best way to learn and upskill is by doing as many marketing courses as you can manage.
The right courses should cover topics like marketing research, trend and opportunity analysis, market segmentation, and targeting strategies. It can train you to monitor and review marketing campaigns, test direct response efforts, and analyze data for different types of campaigns. What’s more, you can find high-quality marketing courses that are delivered completely online, adding to convenience and safety for you.
Experience is just as crucial as qualifications when it comes to entering the marketing field. However, how do you get experience if you don’t have prior experience? An internship could be the answer. Don’t hesitate to contact businesses that have previously offered internships. Ask them if they would be happy to offer a short-term trial internship on a remote basis. You could do a few days for free and gain some experience.
In the process, the business might decide to hire you to do a paid internship. Internships usually pay modestly, but the experience and networking opportunities are well worth it. You might even be offered a permanent role upon completion.
An internship could be an ideal short-term solution that eventually helps you land your dream job in marketing as the economy recovers. In any case, you’ll gain invaluable experience and something you can add to your resume. A similar thing to consider is volunteering to gain experience.
3. Reach out to businesses
As a job seeker, you don’t need to wait until businesses advertise to get in touch. You can be proactive in reaching out to any business you would like to work with. Networking could be part of your outreaching, but remember to offer something in return when asking for help.
Broaden your options by looking at remote-work roles where your location is unimportant for the role. You can also increase your chances of securing the right marketing role by applying for short-term roles.
Research how to put together a cold-contact job application so you get your approach right. These unsolicited applications might not work with every employer, but you could catch a business right at the moment when they are looking to fill a vacancy. During times of crisis, certain businesses might well need extra staff but be too busy to get around to advertising and recruiting.
In a deeply uncertain time, it’s natural for those launching a new career to feel apprehensive. However, some businesses are still hiring people, so stay positive, motivated, and confident. Updating your skills while you search is another way to stand out from other job applicants.
Once you have locked in that dream marketing job, be on the lookout for ways to improve your skills and knowledge on the job. Remote work could remove valuable on-the-job training opportunities, but you can be proactive about connecting with colleagues and begin learning from them.
Luke Fitzpatrick is a Forbes contributor and a guest lecturer at Sydney University—in his past, he worked for startups in both South Korea and Australia.