23. 07. 2018

Agency or in-house? How to pick your digital career path

Working as a recruiter specialized in the Digital Marketing Sector, perhaps the most frequent piece of advice I’m asked for by candidates is whether to focus their careers on the agency side of the sector or build their careers within corporate ‘in-house’ marketing teams. It’s a choice many digital marketers make, and there are a lot of factors that weigh in the balance. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are some interesting positives and negatives of careers on both sides. I advise candidates to choose based on their individual career needs: learning new skills, adding brands to their CV, working with different budget sizes, increasing versatility or gaining rapid promotion.
19. 07. 2018

Own your digital career development

Building your career should be exciting and empowering, but sometimes it can feel as though the speed and direction of our progress is out of our hands.Looking to take back control?Here are some simple, actionable ways to make sure you’re in the driving seat of your own development.  How is it that some people power upwards through the career ladder faster than you can track, while others inch forward with a minor promotion every few years?At Adaptive Digital I’ve had the opportunity to work with digital marketing professionals across a variety of disciplines – search, social, programmatic, mobile, e-commerce, analytics and more.I’ve seen some candidates’ careers shoot up like rockets, leaping from promotion to promotion and cycling up through the pay grades. (My colleague Owain recently covered five great examples here).Others have moved more slowly, and I’m often asked by candidates frustrated with the pace of their career progress what they can be doing to keep moving forward.How do the shooting stars do it?The lady who went from Email Marketing Manager to E-Commerce Director in the blink of an eye… is she superhuman?Probably not – she’s most likely applying a few simple strategies that put her in control of her own career.Based on my work with career high-flyers, here are the best ways to ensure you own your progress.Work backwards from your goalsGoals can be defined in terms of earnings, job title, responsibility and many other factors.Whatever they are, you need to build a set of stepping stones to get there.If you’re earning €85,000 and your goal is to reach €100,000+, you need to map your journey to that goal.Calculate how much a realistic annual increase may be (either through internal promotion or switching companies) and you can structure some time-frames to get to your goal.Waiting around for a 20% raise won’t work.Turning goals into plans is the secret. Plans keep you focused and ensure you work on other areas of your development to make progress achievable.Fight StagnationThe corporate world has conditioned many of us to think of progress and development in annual cycles.Why?That’s often the frequency with which our positions and our pay get reviewed by employers.If you want to truly take control of your development, you need to set your own time-frames.I’ve worked with many ambitious digital marketers who break that 12 month cycle down into 6, or even 3.With each period, they hold themselves accountable to progressing in key areas of their development, such as:Learning – have I acquired new skills? Do I understand things better?Results – am I doing this better than I was before?Network – have I made new connections that will help me?Exposure – have I interacted with a new team, tool, customer or project type?Earnings – have I taken steps towards a raise, promotion, bonus or financial improvement?Involve othersCompanies are seldom run by one individual. They’re led by a collaborative management team who lean on each other for support, advice and motivation.Leaving one person in charge is too much stress, too much risk and unlikely to produce results.Your career is one of the most important elements of your life – why not take the same approach?Proactively involving friends and colleagues in your career goals can give you some much-needed accountability and drive.Your manager is another key person to speak with. In a best case scenario, you’ll bring out the best in him or her as they help you to succeed. In unhappier situations, you’ll see their limitations and realize you may not hit your objectives under their supervision.Know when to move onIt’s important to explore potential within your current company before throwing in the towel.Good companies value ambition and will work with you to help develop your career.With that said, not all companies can give you the framework you need to reach your goals, however hard you work. Even if you do everything right you can only ever be part of the equation.Don’t stick with a company that can’t provide the opportunities, culture or investment to enable your progress. If you try and make it work but are feeling push-back, it may be the right time to make a change.* * *Adaptive Digital provides recruitment services for professionals in the digital marketing industry.Anyone looking to discuss their next career step, feel free to reach out via LinkedIn or at info@adaptive-digital.comYou can view a full list of Adaptive’s digital marketing career opportunities here.
12. 07. 2018

How to write brilliant interview follow-up notes

Are ‘thank you’ notes after interviews and outdated concept? Far from it. They can have a big impact and give candidates a leading edge in tight selection processes. Here’s a guide to make sure yours hits the mark.Have you ever written a follow-up note after an interview?Many people haven’t.Some candidates feel it’s being pushy to email the interviewer straight after their meeting.Other people think the whole concept of a ‘thank you’ note is something you’re more likely to do when someone gifts you a toaster as a wedding present…However, from our experience at Adaptive Digital recruiting for both mid-level and senior roles across the digital marketing industry, follow-up notes can be a big opportunity for job-seekers to advance their candidacy and gain the upper hand over their competition.Your bonus interview roundThe value of a follow-up note depends on how you think about it.If you approach it as a tedious formality, thanking the interviewer for their time and “looking forward to next steps”, then the outcome is unlikely to move the needle.Think about this instead: what if you had a bonus round as part of your interview process, one that other candidates didn’t get?Imagine that after the hiring manager has finished all their interviews, you can go back into their office for a private 1-1 meeting…No rigid interview format, no tests or interrogation, no time pressure.That’s your follow-up note – your bonus round.The right way to think about follow-upsWhat this in mind, let’s have a quick look at exactly what role follow-up notes should play in an interview process.Effective thank you notes are NOT:A formality that can be dashed out in 30 seconds, just to tick a boxSomething which can be copied and pasted from one company to the nextEffective thank you notes ARE:An extension of the interview processAn opportunity to address any pending topics from the live conversationA chance to gain an advantage over other candidatesA platform to show initiative, professionalism, interest and commitmentA natural segue into the next round of discussionsHiring managers know this too – they’re seeing you in action outside of the fixed interview steps. They learn more about you – your correspondence style, your timing, your communication, how you’re visualizing the role and your relationship-building skills.It’s a golden opportunity you can’t afford to miss.Five ways to write effective post-interview follow-up notes:Be genuineIf your note is filled with business jargon and empty platitudes, you might as well not send it. Sitting down to write what you think the hiring manager wants to read is not going to work.If you’re excited about the opportunity and think you’re a fit, let that sentiment take center stage and the note will have a much more authentic feel to it.Be professional, but be real.Be specificBefore you send your note, read it back and ask yourself “could this have been written for another company or another role?”If the answer is yes, it’s not specific enough. Effective notes will be based on the conversations with the hiring manager, the business problems and opportunities that the company faces. The current team, the tools they use, their customers…Work hard to connect those unique elements and make sure your note reads personally and specifically for the recipient.Take the initiative Thank you notes are a great chance to show you can do more than just follow the flow of an interview process.If it’s appropriate, you can address any points of the interview where you felt you didn’t shine, or any aspects of your experience that may not meet the job requirements 100%.On a more positive note, you can suggest aspects of the role or company you’re looking forward to learning more about, or comment on any additional reading or research you’ve done since the meeting.Include othersIf there is more than one person involved in the hiring process, try to make sure your message reaches them all.If you don’t have their direct contact information, mention them in your note and ask that it be forwarded to them.Remember, this is your ticket to the next round of interviews, and if you’ve reinforced your candidacy effectively then you want as many people as possible to be notified.Sell your solutionCrucially, your note should close with a detailed statement explaining how hiring you will help the manager and help the business. There’s nothing wrong with “looking forward to being part of the team”, but if that’s all you’re offering then you’re not giving the hiring manager much incentive to pick you over someone else.A really brilliant note should sign off with a compelling picture showing the positive impact you’ll make if you get the job. * * *Putting it all together, an effective thank you note should help you to stand out from the pack as a serious, professional candidate with a strong, business-driven interest in the specific role.Good luck!And if you have additional tips and advice for digital industry peers, we’d love to hear them below.You can check out Adaptive Digital’s full list of digital marketing job opportunities across SEM, Social, Programmatic, AdTech, Mobile and Ecommerce here.