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Career change (to Marketing) Can't get an interview...any advice?

(16 Posts)
postmanfox Fri 15-Dec-17 10:07:25

I'm late 40s and have worked for many years for a large multi-national, in a vaguely techy role. I have done this job for years as it allowed me to work part-time and flexibly and fitted in well with having kids. Now my children are at secondary I want to change direction, and Marketing seemed like a good fit for me.

I have an arts background - a degree in art and I worked as a freelance illustrator in the 90s. I have a good standard of literacy, and love writing and editing, have good visual literacy/am creative.

I want to do something which involves writing content with some design/creative - I've done a CIM course and I'm now doing a Diploma in Digital Marketing. I've also done some work experience in a creative design and PR agency, which I loved, but that was a very small organisation and they weren't looking to take anyone else on.

The problem I'm finding is that I just can't get an interview. I've applied for many, many jobs - but I can't get past the paper sift. (Actually I did manage to get one interview for a digital copywriter job - they said I didn't have enough experience.) That was with the company I already work for.

Can anyone give me any pointers? Is there any point in pursuing this or am I flogging a dead horse? Is there anything I could do which would help me at least secure an interview, or is it just a combination of my age and lack of experience? I am starting to feel a bit hopeless about the whole thing. Any ideas or tips would be very much appreciated. Or anyone who is in a similar position and would like to share sob stories. smile

Hoppinggreen Fri 15-Dec-17 11:04:09

My friend owns a marketing company and when she employs people she looks at their digital presence, ie do they blog etc.
If they aren’t already very active ( in a positive way, nit drunken nights out photos) then she won’t interview

postmanfox Fri 15-Dec-17 12:32:35

Thanks Hoppinggreen, that's useful to know... I will try to be more active on social media. Anyone else have any wise words?

AmIAWeed Fri 15-Dec-17 12:43:26

I dont want this to sound flippant, but you want a job in marketing - so market yourself. Think about not just social media but your internet presence as a whole.
Can you freelance?
Offer your services to volunteer organisations, help out at a school?
Look at groups within LinkedIn or see if there are Twitter chats for people in marketing to join in, learn, ask questions - generally get your name out there and make contacts.
Why not start with a hobby, write about your hobby create the content marketing material in this capacity to showcase your abilities - perhaps submit them to organisations working in that field of interest.

postmanfox Fri 15-Dec-17 13:02:29

AmI - thanks - these are great ideas - I do actually have a hobby that could do with some marketing help - I've done an ad for them in the past - I'll see if I can do more. I could also ask at the local primary if they need any help with newsletters and the like.
I am always networking and trying to make contacts, I will keep doing that.
I will get onto Twitter/Linkedin and start asking questions...
Keep the ideas coming. This is helping!

nutnerk Fri 15-Dec-17 13:13:30

I work in Marketing - it sounds to me that you don't have a wide enough range of skills. Writing and editing well is the very least of what you need.
Can you do some coding or understand how to update websites? Do you know how to edit and film videos? Do you have a blog or any experience of working with a blogging platform? Have you organised events or liaised with partners on exhibitions? Have you worked on design - either creating or liaising with agencies? Have you ever managed customer data?
Unfortunately, a lot of marketing skills such as website management and content creation can be self-taught and there will be people who can do all of the above as well as edit and write copy. If not - are you going for entry-level jobs? You may need to take an internship to learn a bit more and get some more practical experience.

AnnaFender Fri 15-Dec-17 13:28:41

It sounds like you would be suited to content marketing (which is what I do - it's not amazingly paid - so be prepared for that!). Nutnerk is right about the list of skills, I have a functional knowledge of HTML/CSS which helps with managing website content, design skills (photoshop/indesign/illustrator mainly), I also manage PR/outreach, social, CRM (knowledge of CRM platforms is probably going to be essential to any content marketer), also good data skills for using google analytics and other analytics tools as well as knowing how to use the data. Also, knowledge of marketing strategy will be useful; customer journeys/customer profiling/audience segmentation/strategic planning.

When I was looking for my first marketing job it took me 8 months until I landed my first position, and that was as a web admin in the marketing room, then being promoted to a marketing exec. I'm now in my second exec role in content marketing. It's very competitive I think, but once you have a role and can prove yourself with data it's easier to move about.

Hope that helps! I went to uni as a mature student, and am always about 5-10 years older than my same level colleagues. Which can be a challenge as well!

postmanfox Fri 15-Dec-17 13:39:38

Hi Nutnerk
Thanks for your reply - to answer your questions..

Can you do some coding or understand how to update websites? Do you know how to edit and film videos? Yes - a bit of editing (and have said so on my CV)

Do you have a blog or any experience of working with a blogging platform? No - from people's replies it sounds as though I'm need to have to start a blog..

Have you organised events or liaised with partners on exhibitions? No.

Have you worked on design - either creating or liaising with agencies? Yes, a bit.

Have you ever managed customer data? No.

If not - are you going for entry-level jobs? Yes, I'm only applying for entry level jobs - and can't even get an interview for those.

You may need to take an internship to learn a bit more and get some more practical experience. Yes good idea - don't suppose you have an opportunity for me? wink

postmanfox Fri 15-Dec-17 13:48:58

AnnaFender - thank you - that is quite heartening to hear. I fully accept that I won't be on a huge salary - and that is absolutely fine. I agree that content marketing sounds like the right choice for me. I do have some experience with Indesign and Photoshop.

I'm stuck in that frustrating position of not having enough experience, but being unable to get the experience because no one will take me on.

nutnerk Fri 15-Dec-17 13:53:27

It sounds like you aren't too far off the mark regarding skills, perhaps it's something else. Did you get help with your cover letter and CV? Not trying to sound patronising, but things have really moved on since you probably last did it! Is there somewhere you can get help on this?

On the job opp - I live in Spain, so probably not!!

nutnerk Fri 15-Dec-17 13:56:07

Also - make sure you are up to date with as much marketing stuff as possible for when you do get an interview! They will ask you questions, and it will help show an interest on your part to getting into it. I would bury yourself in the following:

1. Hubspot academy (general content marketing)
2. MOZ (SEO - very specific but may need for content marketing job)
3. (general content marketing)
4. Content marketing institute (general content marketing)
5. Impact (more news-based)
6. Marketing Land (general content marketing)
7. Campaign (agency/news based)

postmanfox Fri 15-Dec-17 13:58:54

nutnerk ah - shame about the Spain thing - that would be quite the commute. grin

I've had professional help with my CV. I THINK it's ok... but clearly it's not doing the thing I want it to do, which is to get me an interview.

I was wondering if I should go a bit more creative with it. Make it all design-y and colourful - or would that close more doors than it would open?

postmanfox Fri 15-Dec-17 14:02:24

Thanksnutnerk - that list is super-useful. I'm on it.

SmokeintheR00m Fri 15-Dec-17 21:51:37

CV should be 2 pages, no colours. Ensure the grammar and spelling are correct. The job market is very competitive. Employers will be looking for the best candidate, with the best skills and added extras. People can apply for jobs locally, long distance or abroad. Can you do some voluntary marketing so that you can add this on to your CV?

nutnerk Fri 15-Dec-17 22:16:33

OP - ignore everything the above person has said!!!! You would never get a job at any of the places I have worked with that.

Should be 1 page and in marketing, get as creative as possible! Either keeping it simple, using a nice accent font (download a cool one) and an accent colour along with greys and blacks, or use your design skills and take it even further (if you are comfortable doing so). It's your chance to show off your flair and creativity. Go onto Pinterest and search 'CV designs' - loads of nice ideas.

byronicheroine Sun 31-Dec-17 12:56:17

I'm in more or less the same boat, and so I decided to so the squared online course in digital media marketing, hoping that will bump my cv to the top of someone's pile!
I also joined a freelance collective in the hope of some work experience being thrown my way. It's tough out there! Good luck

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