Tips for Applying for a Job with a Digital Marketing Agency

Both of our Netvantage offices in Michigan are in college towns. Our East Lansing office is located across the street from Michigan State University and our Grand Rapids office is located 10 minutes from Grand Valley State University’s Business College. Additionally, I am nearing the end of the semester teaching a digital marketing class through Michigan State University’s business school, the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. Around our parts, it is graduation season and a time when many are still interviewing for jobs. Given the time of year, I thought I would dedicate a post to those seeking a job with a digital marketing agency. A few notes and tips from our 11 years of interviewing for both full time and interns positions.

  1. Do your homework on the agency. This one is a given for any company you interview for. That being said, ask about the culture, the types of clients that firm works with, and how they define what a successful project looks like. Also, be sure to gain an understanding of what facets of digital marketing the agency specializes in. Is it social, just search, website design? All of the above?
  2. Provide some specifics on your previous campaign experience. Elaborate on campaigns you have worked on. What worked? And, most importantly – what didn’t work and explain why? Sharing this information can be more attractive than boasting about a campaign that worked. It shows that you have learned from mistakes and aren’t afraid to admit that.
  3. Certifications or courses. If you have taken the time to do the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) or the Google Ads certification, great! However, in your interview don’t just state that you gained these certifications. Talk about what you learned. What were some of the key takeaways from those courses and how can they be beneficial to the job you’re interviewing for?
  4. If you are asked if you are familiar with a specific tool or platform and you have “learned enough to be dangerous,” provide details. Nothing is worse than asking “Are you familiar with WordPress?” and the candidate saying “Yes” and then getting a blank stare and dealing with awkward silence when asked about Yoast, or other WordPress plugins. Looking at the backend of a tool once is a lot different than having experience with it. Be clear on this in your interview.
  5. Use numbers. While this is a good general tip for any resume or interview, be sure to talk about your accomplishments in numbers. Worked on a social media campaign? Talk about how you grew the footprint X percent. Or that you responded to an average of X amount of customer posts per week. In search, talk about organic traffic numbers or paid search ROI. Don’t say you worked on a campaign, demonstrate how you excelled at it.

For those interviewing in the digital marketing agency world for the first time, or for those that are looking to advance, these are some simple little tips that I have found separate good from great in the interview process.

Joseph Ford

Joe Ford is a Managing Partner at Netvantage SEO. In addition to overseeing day to day business operations of Netvantage, he directs paid search strategy and management. Ford is on the Marketing Committee for Impression 5 Science Museum, and the Executive Board of the Capital Area IT Council. He was previously a member of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Board of Directors for 8 years. Additionally, Ford is an adjunct faculty member in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.

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