Job seeking tips for Online Marketing types...
This is the first post of 2008 (happy new year!) and the first in quite a while. Since last year quite a lot has happened, I've decided to finish living in London (Not a big fan of the place) and seek a job in the less crowded area of middle England. I've become a bit of an expert Internet job hunter and thought I'd tell you about a couple of bits of advice for those of you in Online Marketing, though this applies to many other areas too...
First of all, when leaving a job, make sure you remain professional, polite throughout the process. Tempers can be quite short once you hand in your notice so stay committed to the cause while you are there! Also, keep in touch with your colleagues, they might start a business of their own and need your expertise and advice (doing freelance work has helped keep my cash flow up while I seek new permanent employment). Have a few business cards printed out to give to people you (a) get on with, and (b) people who may start their own organisation at some point. Be careful when you give out business cards though, you do not want to give the impression that you have been seeking a new job for a long time, your present employers might see this as unfaithful.
Keep in Touch!
Keep in touch with former colleagues using sites like Facebook.com, Myspace.com, Bebo.com and Linkedin.com (in addition to email contact) some of these can seem a bit informal and this can work in your favour when striking up conversation with an old colleague, rather than a dry "work" email...
Be patient with recruiters!
Try to remain calm and friendly when dealing with recruitment companies and the "consultants" they employ. They are simply sales people and have very little experience or knowledge of a new field like Online Marketing (despite what they might say). You MUST make sure the job they are trying to "sell" to you is suitable for your level of experience. The recruiters will usually make their commission once you have completed 3 months service so they will get you a job that you will endure for at least 3 months. Remember, they will still attempt to get crummy online marketing jobs filled, so find out about the company you will be joining. When interviewed have a look at where you will be in the office, is the office a decent working environment? Have a look at what current employees say on LinkedIn.com
Is the job suitable for me?
I am currently looking for a position where I can realistically stay for several years and I have turned several job offers down because the companies I have visited have been a disappointment or have bad working environments. So when YOU are interviewed, remember that you are trying to find if the job is suitable for you rather than vice versa. I took this approach with one company and they kept upping the salary offer, (I assume because I didn't seem desperate for the job) I ended up turning the offer down after a "strange" first interview.
Bear in mind that while this might upset the recruitment consultant (emphasis on the CONsultant with some!) it is for your career, and they will not end the relationship they have with you. They will find more jobs for you and attempt to get commission with other jobs.
Keep up to date!
If you decide to leave a job before getting another, try to keep up to date with the latest goings on in your area of expertise, whether it's PPC, SEO, Affiliate Marketing etc. Sign up to Blogs like Matt Cutts or SEOmoz for you SEOs and the Google PPC blog for those in PPC etc.
Recruiters will often post non existent jobs across many different jobs boards to get good CVs through, so when they need a specialist they have a CV ready. I personally think this is spam and should be controlled. But as it exists, you should not get too fond of a certain job because it might be a fake (though they never admit this). Another ploy they have is to hijack a job found elsewhere (on an employers site or via an job board advert posted by the employer) . They even hijack other recruiters jobs as their own...(No honour among thieves!) This is also spammy but try to get to the original source of the job, look for jobs in similar geographic regions and with similar skills. You can often find the actual company advert, always contact them, always avoid recruitment consultants if possible as they are not the decision maker and will sell you as a candidate to the employer which will eat into your potential salary...
Some of this may sound a bit anti-recruiter and (while you can get some good ones) it is easy to set up a recruitment agency and many dodgy types are attracted. Don't let them mess you around, you are the skilled one, they should WORK for the commission they receive, and you should make sure they are working!
Good luck job hunting!