If you’ve thought of joining the digital marketing field, you’re one of many.
There are a ton of people looking to break into this field everyday and competition is high. To succeed, your resume needs to say more than you love Facebook and you’re on LinkedIn. But how do you stand out?
First, you need to align your skills with the demand in the market.
In a recent survey by the Online Marketing Institute, 750 employers were asked about the talent and skills the’re looking for.
Here’s how they responded:
- Analytics: 76 percent said this skill is important or very important
- Email Marketing: 73 percent said this skill is important or very important
- Content Marketing: 68 percent said this skill is important or very important
- Social Media: 67 percent said this skill is important or very important
More than ever, employers are looking for specialists. The industry is evolving, making it harder for a generalist to stand out. It is now more important to indicate expertise in specific areas.
But how do you gain this experience? Before you start giving away your time at an unpaid internship or volunteering for a non-profit you met on Craigslist, ask yourself this question: How can I improve my resume without experience?
The answer is certifications. A certification is faster and cheaper to acquire than a degree and they are more often specific to a specialty. There are more options than ever before and few candidates have them.
Not only are they are great way to differentiate your resume and show a specialty, they’re a great way to learn. Here are a four online education options to upgrade your skill set quickly:
1. Content Marketing Institute
CMI now offers an Online Training and Certification program, with classes from experts in seven tracks. Focus on the skills that your target employers are looking for and fill in the gaps in your resume. Take all the required classes to earn a certificate of completion.
2. Market Motive
Since 2007, Market Motive has offered online courses and certifications. There are eight different specialties, including analytics and content marketing. There are also three levels of certificates, including certified specialist, certified practitioner and certified master.
3. Marketing Profs University
Marketing education giant Marketing Profs just launched Marketing Profs University. Although they haven’t announced a certificate program, completing any of the nine courses would allow you to update the education section your resume and LinkedIn profile: “Completed: Email Marketing Master Course, Marketing Profs”
4. Google Analytics Academy
Google offers free education in the Analytics Academy, combining videos with activities. Complete the courses and you can take the test for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ). It’s not time consuming or expensive. The education is excellent and few job seekers do it.
And to stay sharp, here’s are a few tips beyond certifications:
- Newsletters: Subscribe to marketing newsletters. Get up early and study the content and techniques in these newsletters every day
- Share Content: Fill your social streams, especially LinkedIn, with the best posts you found in those newsletters.
- Podcasts: Subscribe to podcasts, both marketing and from the industries you’re targeting.
- Write: Take notes, write outlines and start practicing the most important digital marketing skill: writing. Being active on social media is a way to working headline writing. Deconstructing posts written by the great marketing bloggers will help you learn to structure of great online content.
Remember, your goal is to improve the three main digital marketing skills by creating content (writing), promoting content (search, social and email) and measuring results (analytics).
There you go. Now get certified, get smarter and stand out!
Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing You are welcome to connect with Andy on Google+ and Twitter.