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How to be the digital candidate that everyone wants to hire
Digital marketing is a rapidly growing discipline. By some estimates, global digital marketing spends are set to reach US$306 billion by 2020. This is a massive budget, but the money is being spent in a more targeted, thoughtful way than in previous years.
As digital marketing becomes more refined, companies are starting to narrow their focus from widespread experimentation to proven techniques that get results. In order to get those results, their attention shifts to finding the right professionals to make up a successful digital team.
What does this mean for digital candidates?
This is all great news for candidates like you, who are looking for roles in the digital space, as there is high demand for specialised skills. However, this also means that there is stiff competition. With an influx of experienced, successful digital marketing professionals looking for that next exciting role, what can you do to ensure that you rise to the top of the crowd?
In my meetings with both digital candidates and companies across Singapore, a few key differentiators have become clear. Here are 5 ways to rise above the rest as you’re planning your next career move.
- Embrace your role as the digital ambassador.
Because digital is still a new vertical for most entrenched companies, a candidate’s ability to get buy-in for their digital roadmap, budget, and vision is essential. Be ready to explain not only what you want to do, but the reasoning behind it. Especially in large companies, it can be a challenge to deviate from the standard way of operating, which digital often does.
Having best of class senior stakeholder management, when it comes to mid to senior level roles, is a skill most clients look for when it comes to digital marketing professionals. It is a skill that will differentiate you from others with similar technical skills. Many digital marketers can manage and implement a strategy, but not just anyone can explain the “why” of that strategy to stakeholders with ease.
- Be a leader of ROIs and KPIs.
In the end, digital marketing is a numbers game, especially when compared to offline, traditional, and integrated marketing. Clients expect clear-cut results and ROIs for campaigns. Refine your digital skills, and work on having thorough knowledge of analytical tools and metrics.
Work on being able to explain campaign results in a clear, knowledgeable way. Even if you’re not in charge of your profit and loss, your ability to translate results and numbers to senior stakeholders (see point number 1) will make you stand out as a candidate, and will pay future dividends when you do land that role.
- Culture Fit is All
When working on filling digital roles, one of the biggest things I look for, even beyond the quality of resume, is culture fit. Do I think the candidate will both enjoy working with and get along with their direct superiors? This has proven paramount. I tell every single candidate I meet that the interview process is the best (and only) time to get the truest and best feel for what, and who, you may be joining in the future.
If they are able to tell me the pros and the cons of what that would mean, I can consider that process a success, and not a waste of both the candidate’s and client’s time. It is a feeling out process, and especially in the digital world, culture fit is essential.
- Future proof yourself, stay on top of the latest tools.
I can’t stress this one enough. Having even a basic understanding of the most common tools and staying on top of upcoming ones, can lead to a world of difference even beyond the selection and interview process.
On the long term, it can enable greater mobility within an organization as they build out and enhance their digital capacity. Continuous upskilling is necessary in a market that moves as quickly as digital does.
Within my digital marketing recruitment focus in professional and financial services, a big requirement I often get is that the ideal candidate cannot have jumped ship too often. While digital candidates are given more space to be mobile than traditional ones, companies still look for people who have been in their previous roles for at least a year and a half to two years.
In this market culture, especially within insurance, shorter terms in companies reflect negatively. I do see this will relax, however, as the market continues to grow in acceptance and understanding when it comes to project-based timelines (as seen in agencies) and contract work as viable experience.
Digital roles in Singapore
Keep in mind these 5 points as you prepare for your job search and continue to grow as a digital marketing professional. Opportunities only seem to be increasing in this space - ready to make the next move in your digital career? Start now.