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Niche Money
Richmond, British Columbia

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Digital Marketing Career Questions

I have applied everywhere and haven’t had any responses?

If you want a great job in marketing and digital marketing, you have to be unique. What sets you apart from the sea of applicants? Many of the top marketing firms I speak with receive TENS OF THOUSANDS of resumes every year.

Work in a marketing firm is a very team-oriented exercise. Finding someone the team works well with can often be more important than pure talent or experience.

It is human nature to want to interact with members of our own tribe. A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected by a common idea, someone to share interests. Hiring a known associate increases the likelihood this person will fit into the office tribe versus an outsider.

Building on your existing network of trusted friends and references within the marketing community will help you get your foot in the door.

Also check out: 7 Reasons Why Your Marketing Job Application Is Being Ignored

Can you help me write my digital marketing resume?

Yes, I offer resume writing services through my service business at

What is the best way to get a marketing job?

When I interviewed a leading digital marketing agency on how they acquire new hires, they gave their top 6:

  • Company website
  • Refer a friend
  • Adverts on LinkedIn and other external sites
  • Recruitment agencies (specific to the role)
  • Headhunting campaigns driven by the HR department
  • Graduate recruitment schemes

Should I apply for a digital marketing position with an online portfolio?

The short answer is no. I always get a lot of resistance on this subject. Usually because the applicant has already set up their online account, loaded their profile up with every project they have ever even thought about, and sent their link to 200 offices. They then wonder why they are not hearing back from anyone.

Just use a simple PDF email attachment. This way you are not depending on the reliability of your host site or the office IT system. In fact, many firms, especially the larger offices, will block access and downloads from hundreds of sites, potentially including your host site.

Also, by using a PDF, it allows complete control over the appearance and formatting of your portfolio. Many of the free online host sites are littered with ugly advertising and pop-ups. Not the greatest first impression. Printing from these sites can also be difficult, or impossible.

I cover more on portfolios in The Two Page Marketing Portfolio.

Do you offer private marketing career coaching?

Yes, visit The Marketer’s Guide Resources for more information.

Should I work abroad?

I would recommend thinking about what you want to be doing in 5-10 years. Do you want to be at a large corporate marketing agency handling international campaigns or a small boutique agency focusing on local businesses?

Have a plan for where you want to be and chart a course to get there. Living abroad is a great experience (I have lived in various countries like Auckland, San Francisco, London, and Madrid). However, just the fact that you are in another country doesn’t necessarily help your career.

For more information, see my post on the topic:
Is Working Abroad Bad For Your Marketing Career?

What’s the best way to explain your portfolio during a digital marketing interview?

I have done several interviews over WebEx, and they are usually a nightmare. There is always some tech problem on their end or your end. If they insist on doing a screen share, make sure you send them a PDF of your portfolio ahead of time. This way, if it doesn’t go well, they have something to look at.

Problems aside, try to keep each page of the portfolio as simple as possible. Like a PowerPoint presentation, more pages with less content per page are easier to explain. Be sure to speak slowly and as clearly as possible.

Also, just a tip, make sure to disable any pop-up email alerts, weird desktop backgrounds, etc. Since they can see your entire screen, you wouldn’t want an embarrassing pop-up.

See also: How To Ace Your Web (Skype) Marketing Job Interview

How much do digital marketers make?

There are a lot of factors that go into a marketer’s compensation. As with any profession, if you are great at what you do, you will never be without a job (not to mention paid very well).

The AMA has a salary calculator that allows you to input data such as position, company size, and location. However, keep in mind these are averages. Personally, I would like to be above average. Right?

See also: How To Earn A Six-Figure Marketing Salary

How do I negotiate my salary offer?

Generally speaking, you should not give out the first number. You can say something along the lines of, “I don’t have a firm salary in mind; it really depends on the whole package. I am sure you will make a fair offer.” Be prepared to counter their offer.

I wrote some additional tips here: 7 Marketer Salary Negotiation Tips

Who makes the final salary decision?

Who makes the final decision depends on the company. If it is a large agency, there will be an HR department. Generally, HR personnel do not make the final salary decision; that is usually management. HR will pass along the information between parties involved.

However, most HR departments have a known salary range for that particular position, so they will be advising management on what to offer. Assuming your future boss is at the level of salary decisions, he or she will be part of the negotiation, at least passively. If it is a small agency, the principal or director will make the decision.

Should I just cheat on my Internet Marketing Resume?

The number one rule of the job search is not to lie. NEVER fabricate any part of your education, experience, or qualifications. This will come back to haunt you; don’t do it.

Just ask this guy: Yahoo confirms CEO is out after resume scandal

Can you give me a reference?

I am sure you are a great candidate, but if I don’t know you or your work, this isn’t possible.

How long should I wait to contact a firm after sending my application?

After a few days, I recommend following up on the status of your application with a polite phone call.

Should I specialize in Paid Ad Management?

The idea that you become more employable as a jack of all trades and a master of none is not true. The best thing you can do is specialize and be the best within that niche.

Whether it is spec writing, BIM management, or sustainability, what you choose to specialize in is up to you. Just make sure you lay out a clear career plan.

If you don’t see an answer to your specific question here, feel free to signup to my email list and contact me at the email there.

Niche Money

About Dave Halmai:
I am a certified internet marketer who is passionate about technology. Since I was old enough to read a manual, I was connecting wires and programming the VCR. Now I share my advice and experience in the online marketing space. I recommend products and services, and offer help to startups, entrepreneurs and established businesses.

To learn more you can visit my about page or my contact page.