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Top tips to advance your career

Posted: 22 Feb 2017

Top tips to advance your career

Have you made it your New Year's resolution to take the next step in your career, or try to land that dream marketing job? You're not the only one; the first few months of the year are some of the busiest months for recruitment, with candidates looking for a fresh start and companies itching to spend their new hiring budgets.

While this means you may be up against some competition, it also means there are plenty of opportunities out there ready for the taking. So if you want to make 2017 the year your career takes off, here are our top tips:

Be positive

Firstly, you need to adopt a can-do attitude! It's easy to get frustrated when you're job hunting, particularly if you've suffered the odd knock back; but the only way to stay motivated is to stay upbeat and enthusiastic.

Some say that visualising your goals can help you to achieve them; but that's only true if your goals are concrete and reasonable. Make a list at the start of each week and tick them off as you go – it could be visiting a job fair, or writing five different cover letters, for example. Create a daily job search routine where you set aside time to dedicate to the task; just as importantly, make time to not think about job hunting! Find ways to de-stress, unwind and do the things you love – the positive energy this creates will keep you going and it'll come across when you get to the interview stage, helping you to make a great first impression.

Focus your job search

Focus your search according to the areas that are relevant to your experience and wider career plans. Do you wish to work with an agency or client-side? What sectors would you most like to work in? What companies would you love to work for? There's also location to consider – do you need to find work in a specific town or region, or would you be open to relocating for that perfect role?

Asking yourself these questions will help to refine your search and give you a greater chance of finding something that's right for you. You should also ask yourself whether you're looking in the right place for that dream job. Our own research found that marketing candidates prefer to use specific marketing job websites (27%) as opposed to generic job sites (20%), while 13% use job sites that are specific to an industry sector. And of course, it is always worth considering partnering with a recruitment agency to help you in your search.

Evaluate and update your skills

If you're going to keep up with the competition, you need to ensure that your skills and abilities are up to the job. As well as basic skills such as customer insights, there are some in-demand skills for 2017 that you should get under your belt – most of which relate to digital marketing. As we recently reported, the most sought-after skills for the coming months include SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click), analytics and social media. Content continues to be a hot skill, so marketers need to understand how it can be leveraged to engage consumers, drive traffic, boost credibility and raise brand awareness.

Polish your CV

When was the last time you gave your CV a makeover? Even the smallest tweaks can make all the difference in getting over that first recruitment hurdle. Make sure your CV is concise, relevant, interesting and – most of all – honest! Whether you choose to write it in a chronological or skills-based format, keep things clean and simple, avoiding distractions such as strange fonts or coloured paper. Take a look at our CV advice blog, for more helpful CV tips.

Conduct a mock interview

Practice makes perfect, so do your research about the most common interview questions and give yourself time to prepare answers that will come to mind easily and naturally once you're in the interview seat. You could even ask a friend or loved one to role-play an interview scenario – don't be shy now! According to Monster.com, the ten most common face-to-face interview questions are:

1. What can you tell me about yourself?

2. Can you list your strengths?

3. What weaknesses do you have?

4. Why should I consider hiring you?

5. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

6. Why do you want to work here?

7. What is your salary expectation?

8. What motivates you?

9. What makes a good team player?

10. Is there anything that you would like to ask me?

Get networking

The marketing industry is all about people, connections and relationships, so networking is an important aspect of it. Of course, networking now takes place online and in 'real life', so it's not just about meeting and greeting at events – you should also make the most of social channels such as LinkedIn, which is used by 58% of marketers for assisting their job hunt. LinkedIn is a great platform for finding jobs, experts and opportunities, and for showcasing your own achievements. Treat your profile like a CV, choose your groups carefully, and learn more about someone before trying to connect with them – connections are only valuable if they're meaningful and relevant, it's not a popularity contest!

So here's to a successful 2017 and for more help furthering your career this year, get in touch with us today.

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