In this blog, Laura, a recent graduate & now Junior Online Marketing Consultant at one of Manchester's most exciting digital agencies, shares her job hunting experience & how having a blog opened the doors to her dream role!
If someone had said to me 3 years ago, you're gonna start a blog, it's going to go really well and it's going to help you get a job, I would have probably told them to go home because they were drunk. Sometimes it's a good thing to be wrong!
I knew after my first year of uni I really wanted to get into the world of Digital Marketing but at that point my degree didn't exactly scream 'Digital Marketing Expert' nor did I have years of experience. I knew I had to do something before I graduated to change this. One night in second year I attended a networking event where major UK and global companies attended to talk to us awkward students. I mean, everyone tells you networking is important but no one ever tells you how awkward it is to actually try to network for the first time. By some miracle I managed to squeak out 'What advice do you have for someone looking to go into digital marketing?' to the BBC Communications Manager. Overlooking the awkward squeaky tone, he kindly suggested I start a blog as it shows drive and knowledge for getting into the industry as well as having something to actually show employers in the application/interview process. I headed home that night and went straight to my room and signed up to blogger. I sat staring at my empty blog and thought 'Errrm….now what?'
I wasn't talented in the world of beauty and I'm about as much as a fashionista as Lady Gaga at an award show (probably on the meat dressscale). I thought blogging belonged to the pros of the beauty and fashion world as so many have become worldwide successes due to their talents in stylish blogging. In the end I decided to settle with telling the world glamourous weekly updates on the mouldy, damp and poor living that is student life and general lifestyle chit chat. Granted the first 6 months of blog posts were sporadic, random and daft (I should probably remove the evidence at some point!) but it was working. I was steadily bringing in views, building up followers and regular readers. After 6 months I really picked up the hang of this whole blogging malarkey, developed a good approach and style and it all took off from there.
Blogging brought me so many new adventures and experiences from the attention of PR/Marketers working in outreach, to being recruited as a lifestyle editor and social media manager for a student blog. Then after only 12 months of blogging, ranking as a top 10 UK student lifestyle blogger. Without realising I had successfully built up a diverse and exciting portfolio that demonstrated so many great skills as well as providing the internet with evidence that I was bonkers (kidding!). Next came the tricky part of actually getting the job.
I battled with job agency boards daily and it really felt as if I was sending every application out into a black hole, never to be seen or heard from again. I even created 'Hire Me' blog posts and tweeted agencies on Twitter, which got great feedback yet no job. Eventually, deep within the abyss, or job board as some of you would call it, the wonderful team at The Candidate stumbled upon my CV and rescued me. The Candidate, being a fantastic digital marketing recruitment agency, opened my eyes to how beneficial my blogging skills and experiences really were for pursuing my chosen career, highlighting all the great things I didn't even realise counted as relevant for my applications. They set me up with interviews for exciting digital marketing agencies and with each interview, the fascination with my blog really did my application justice. From technical experience such as use of google analytics to creative content and outreach, my blog did all the talking for me and demonstrated how I could fit the role in hand.
After a few interviews I have finally landed my dream role as Junior Online Marketing Consultant for a great digital marketing agency. I wouldn't have gotten that far if it wasn't for having my blog (and The Candidate!). From personal experience, I couldn't recommend blogging enough in helping achieve a career in the digital sector! It speaks, no scrap that, screams volumes! I started off so embarrassed to talk about my blog and now I can't shut up. It is an asset to an application and an exciting addition to a CV, separating you miles apart from other candidates.