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How to Land Your Digital Dream Job

By Leigh PankonienOctober 26, 2015Career
Behind every brand are people who in today’s rapidly evolving landscape must demonstrate proficiency in a wide array of skillsets.

Today’s companies — enterprise-sized organizations and small businesses alike–realize the necessity of embracing digital technologies to become better marketers and to more effectively engage with their community. From creating conversations on social media and implementing a smart content marketing strategy to improving SEO and running paid search and ad campaigns, there’s no shortage of tactics brands can leverage to execute an integrated, digital marketing program. And the number of technology vendors powering each of these tactics is growing on a daily basis.

However, technology alone doesn’t create great marketing programs. Behind every brand are people who in today’s rapidly evolving landscape must demonstrate proficiency in a wide array of skillsets. In 2014, LinkedIn did a survey analyzing the top 25 hottest skills that got people jobs last year and among them were ‘digital or online marketing,’ ‘SEO/SEM marketing,’ and ‘marketing campaign management.’ How does one acquire these skills? Or, how can you ensure you’re keeping pace with the industry and staying relevant— whether you’re fresh out of school or a seasoned marketer?

To explore these topics, I recently moderated a panel discussion in which we brought together experts from academia and business. What resulted was a fascinating discussion around education’s role in today’s digital world, the impact the psychology of learning can have on your career, and what’s top of mind for employers when they’re searching for their next digital marketing hire.

Here are the top five tips for securing your next digital dream job.

1. Show, don’t tell.

It’s more powerful to show potential employers what you’ve accomplished because they want proof that you have the digital chops needed to excel at your position. Build a website of your most successful work that demonstrates your skillset and past experience.

Your passion for this line of work is really showcased if you do it just for fun. For instance, if you’re into writing, start a blog on your favorite topic, promote it through social media, track your performance and share the results at your next interview.

2. Be a lifelong learner.

Often, the job requirements of someone in today’s digital landscape aren’t ones you went to school to learn (*said the lady who majored in World Religion*). New technologies emerge overnight and the nature of the industry is to push beyond established boundaries. Being willing to learn on the job and demonstrating that you aren’t afraid to take initiative and figure it out ‘as you go’ is essential.

3. Play to your strengths.

Discover what you’re good at and pursue job opportunities that both enable and encourage you to leverage your strengths. It may take time to pinpoint what you excel at, but that’s natural. In this case, it’s important to keep trying new things and pushing yourself until you find your passion.

Just because a certain job or company may be trendy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit. If the primary functions of the job don’t allow you to do what you excel at, move on.

4. Do meaningful work.

One of the top reasons people leave their current job and explore new opportunities is because they no longer feel their work is meaningful. Uncovering what you’re most passionate about and aligning with a company or specific role that supports those interests will lead to satisfaction.

5. Take risks.

Not knowing how to do everything on a job description isn’t necessarily a bad thing, nor does it make you unqualified for the opportunity. Pushing yourself a bit out of your comfort zone will ensure you’re continuing to learn and obtain new skills, which is healthy for personal career development and beneficial to your employer.

Taking these tips and applying them in Austin will be a fun ride for you as there are countless opportunities in the metro area and they continue to increase. Now that you have these tips to land your digital dream job, get at it and good luck!

[And don’t forget to check out the Austin AMA careers page.]

Leigh Pankonien, Co-founder and Director of Account Service at Social DistilleryLeigh Pankonien is the co-founder and director of account service at Social Distillery, a local social media agency. In this role, Leigh leads the client services team and company operations. She’s worked in the marketing departments of high-tech start-ups and non-profits before helping launch Social Distillery in the summer of 2011. Her expertise lies in marketing and social media strategy. Leigh received her B.A. in World Religion from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and her M.A. in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.

Find Leigh on Twitter and LinkedIn.